Friday, January 15, 2010

Banana Almond Butter Macadamia Nut Toast

I don't like bananas anymore. I used to eat them every single morning chopped up on cold cereal, or as a snack in the afternoon. For some reason over the last few years they have started to become disgusting to me. The flavor is too strong and the mushy texture is a big turn-off but I also don't enjoy them under-ripe.

I still eat them, though. I rarely eat cold cereal anymore but bananas go well with warm oatmeal, nuts and dried fruit. I've been craving and eating sprouted wheat toast with almond butter since I started going to Jazzercise recently. It's filling and two pieces is all I need. This morning I added some simple flourishes for variety and it was really tasty, even with bananas.

(One of the reasons I still eat bananas is because they are indicated for healthy digestion and elimination. Heard of B.R.A.T.? If you need to bulk things up, four foods are commonly indicated: bananas, rice, apples or toast.)

This morning I created a toast masterpiece for my mouth. Perhaps I was giddy from the goodies I brought home from Trader Joe's: dried cherries, prunes, cashews, macadamia nuts, and lots of fruit to name a few. Right now my local TJ's has organic oranges, apples and grapefruits so I loaded up.

As for my toast:

Sprouted wheat berry bread (5g of protein per slice, and although it contains dates and raisins, it does not contain them in whole form. They must grind them up and add them in pulverized or something. Terrific sweeteners.)

slathered with almond butter, topped with chopped banana, and loaded with roasted-but-not-salted macadamia nuts, and then sprinkled with cinnamon.

It was so filling that I could only eat one piece of toast with all of that. My other piece was just Earth Balance and cinnamon. You don't need cinnamon sugar, which is something I grew up with. Just recently I started sprinkling straight cinnamon on toast and it's perfect.


On a different note, I was thrilled to bring home sugar-free "dried bing cherries" from TJ's....until this morning when I opened the package and took another look at the ingredients just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating last night when I bought them, because it is SO hard to find dried fruit without sugar. Indeed they are sugar free, but contain sulfur dioxide. What the heck is this stuff, I asked myself. I referred to two different books about additives to see what came up. Not good. Very bad.

From Food Additives, it says, "See sodium bisulfite." Okay. "Sodium bisulfite: destroys vitamin B1; small amounts may cause asthma, anaphylactic shock; dangerous for asthma, allergy sufferers; has causes deaths; banned on fresh fruits and vegetables, except potatoes." Next to the definition were the letters "A" which means, "The additive may cause allergic reactions," and "X" which means, "The additive is unsafe or very poorly tested."

Wikipedia says, "Inhaling sulfur dioxide is associated with increased respiratory symptoms and disease, difficulty in breathing, and premature death." Is that why I coughed when I swallowed a few cherries?

My What's In Your Food book says "Produced by burning sulfur," and the "Potential Effects" are as follows: "Asthma; bronchospasm; bronchoconstriction; hyptension; anaphylaxis, bronchitis; cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, liver and neurotoxicity; destroys vitamins A and B1 in food; animal mutagen." It has a frowny face next to it.

I love TJ's. I feel like I represent many of their health-conscious customers when I say that an ingredient like that is not acceptable.

Sometimes, though, I wonder how I can keep up being pro-active in the food world. I feel like I'm always writing letters to companies, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. However, once I believe there is a problem I feel it's my responsibility to do something about it. You should see the havoc I wreak in my local big box grocery store where they continue to try and sell "Conventional" produce under "Organic" labels..... It's not a pretty sight.

If you are inspired to give TJ's your feedback, here is their contact form. I'm going to personally return the package of cherries with a letter to the manager attached.


Health and Happiness said...

I saw the title of the post and just had to check it out. The picture is so mouth watering. Anything with almond butter looks delicious actually. Great recipe!

Farty Girl said...

Hey girl! Thanks for the sweet message on my page. Awesome to meet you!

If you are lookin for fruit sweetened dried fruit, try Whole Foods. I swear they have fruit sweetened cranberries in their bulk section. Try online too!

My Year Without said...

H&H-I've improved the toast even more....adding sliced pineapple and unsweetened shredded coconut to all of it. Can I even call this breakfast?!

Farty-I think I have seen apple juice sweetened dried cranberries at WF.....I know back in Portland my favorite food co-op always carried naturally sweetened, moist dried cranberries and they were heavenly.