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    Paleo Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Banana Bread

    Paleo Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Banana Bread

    This easy Paleo dark chocolate banana bread recipe was inspired by our Butte Cacao Banana Breakfast Meal.  It is a sweet, savory and addicting Paleo dessert without any added sugar or dairy. 

    My family LOVES bananas, and I feel like I am constantly buying a new bundle.  Whether it's just to pair with a spoonful of almond butter or in a smoothie, they are the perfect healthy solution to a sweet craving.  But the best part about bananas? When you forget about them, they make something even better: banana bread!

    This recipe was inspired by a serious chocolate craving and a brown pile of bananas that had been staring at me for a while.  It is paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and has no added sugar, but has tons of flavor. The sugar from the banana breaks down as it bakes to add sweetness and moisture, while the dark chocolate baking cocoa adds a deep, sharp chocolaty flavor.  Sea salt adds just the right amount of savory to every bite so that it's not too rich.  That way, you don't have to stop at just one piece.

    TIME THIS WILL TAKE: 1 HOUR-ISH
    PREP TIME: 15-20 MINUTES
    BAKE TIME: 40-45 MINUTES

    INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED FOR THIS DELICIOUSNESS:

    DRY
    • 2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Paleo Flour (My favorite but you could use any of your favorite Paleo flour mixes)
    • 3/4 cup Organic Cocoa Powder
    • 1 tsp Baking Soda
    • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
    • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
    • 1 tsp Kosher Sea Salt

    WET

    • 4 Large Bananas (mash 'em up)
    • 4 Eggs at room temperature 
    • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 2 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract 
    • 1/2 cup hot water

    OPTIONAL

    • 3/4 cup Paleo Chocolate Chips (My favorite! If I have more of a sweet tooth that day, I'll get semi-sweet, otherwise, the dark chocolate are amazing)

     

    Simple directions full of pictures: 

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the dry ingredients together.  Paleo flour is clumpy
    by nature, so don't worry if it's not totally smooth. No biggie. You just want all of the baking powder and baking soda to be evenly distributed.

    Tip: The amounts of cinnamon and salt in the recipe are a recommendation, but if you want this banana bread to have a deeper level of nuttiness, add an extra 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.  Similarly, feel free to add another pinch of salt if you like a more savory quickbread! 

    Paleo Banana Bread Recipe Mashed Bananas Olive Oil Eggs 2. Mash the bananas with a fork.  Create a well in the center of the bananas and add the olive oil and eggs to the center.  Mix them well and then combine the whole wet mixture.  Add the vanilla.

    Tip: Add an extra banana or two for a sweeter, more moist bread.  This may extend the baking time by a few minutes, but as long as you're equipped with patience and a toothpick to check for doneness, you're good!

    Paleo Chocolate Sea Salt Banana Bread Mixture and Greased Bread Pan

    3. Mix wet banana mixture into the dry mixture with something more substantial than a whisk.  It will be thick, don't worry.  Don't go crazy, only mix until it is combined and there are no visible areas of dry flour.

    4. Add the hot water to the mixture to loosen it up slightly.  It will still be too thick to just pour into your bread pan, that's okay. Also, this is when you add those optional (but let's be real, recommended) chocolate chips.

    5. Grease your bread pan with ghee or olive oil, and then sprinkle Paleo flour inside to keep your bread from sticking. Spoon the mix into the pan and flatten out gently. Throw that bad boy in! You've got about 40-50 minutes of waiting.

    Paleo banana bread recipe dark chocolate sea salt

     6. Nice waiting, that's the hardest part! Here's how to tell if it's done: press the top gently, and if it springs back then it is close or done.  If it just smushes down under gentle pressure, put it back in. When it's nice and springy, take a toothpick and stab it into the bread at one of the natural seams.  If you pull it out and it is covered in delicious chocolate goop, it needs a few more minutes.  The bread will always cause some residue on the toothpick because it's moist, but it should only have a light coating.  

    7. Let the bread cool for 5-10 minutes before you cut it! I know it blows to wait after your whole kitchen smells amazing, but it gives you the opportunity to take pictures like this one to impress all of your friends.

    8. Eat! Eat! My recommendation: add a little dollop of ghee on top of your slice.  It adds richness and even more moisture.

    Kids Review Wild Zora Bars

    Kids Review Wild Zora Bars

    Need a healthy, gluten-free, paleo snack packed with veggies for your kids?

    It can be so hard to find vegetables and healthy snacks that your kids WANT to eat.  Wild Zora meat and veggie bars are Paleo and gluten-free, have zero added sugar or preservatives and are kid approved!

    Our Move out of Whole Foods and into Walmart!

    Zora packing Wild Zora Paleo Meat and Veggie Bars for the Walmart Launch

    Where Whole Foods was once the great supporter of small family brands like ours, Amazon’s takeover has forced us off of the healthy grocer’s shelves and into the unlikely arms of the world’s largest retailer, Walmart.  Walmart’s recent shift of enthusiasm toward domestic and healthy food brands really appealed to us and gave us opportunity to sell our Original Meat and Veggie Bars™ at lower prices.  It has been Zora's hope for a long time to get our Paleo bars out to a wider audience, so this felt like a match made in retail heaven.

    Zora holding the paleo gluten-free meat and veggie bars for the Walmart order.

    Moving Away from Whole Foods

    The shelves of Whole Foods have long been the aspiration of emerging brands like us. Historically, they have provided support for local companies seeking opportunity and exposure.  When our meat and veggie bars first hit stores in the summer of 2015, the moment was surrounded by a celebratory air of, “we’ve made it.” Zora spent many hours in-store, providing demonstrations of our bars, which was both extremely fun for her and also provided us with valuable market research.  

    Wild Zora's entire awareness of the AIP diet and our commitment to providing AIP options began because of conversations Zora had with customers in Fort Collins Whole Foods.  They were desperately seeking AIP snacks and meals that were nightshade free. Zora took that to heart and created new recipes for AIP bars, AIP meals, and now an AIP soup because of these valuable conversations.  

    But just four years later, we faced the tough decision to bear further increased demonstration fees and promotional costs, without which our products would be removed from Whole Foods’ shelves.  

    "I'm a business owner, so I completely understand that Whole Foods has to increase costs to make their business more profitable," Zora commented.  "It is just sad that we won't be in their stores anymore, but the fees became completely unmanageable for our family business."

    Sammi packaging our paleo gluten-free meat and veggie bars in the Wild Zora warehouse

    Why Walmart?

    In 2017, Walmart announced its greater commitment to supporting local, small businesses while maintaining the same low prices for which they’re known.  As new brands like ours have continued to appear on Walmart’s shelves in the last year, they are following through on their promise and providing more space for smaller, local and health-conscious products.  Wild Zora’s Mediterranean Lamb and BBQ Beef bars joined Walmart’s “Healthy Alternatives” section on February 1st at the lowest retail price yet, alongside several other brands that we trust, including Purely Elizabeth, Udi’s and Canyon Bakehouse.

    “My vision is to provide as many people as possible with healthy snacks made from organic fruits and veggies and responsibly-sourced meat.  I’m really glad that working with Walmart gives us the opportunity to sell our food at a lower price so more people can enjoy them,” Zora commented.

    6,000 Miles in 16 Days: A Healthy Road Trip

    6,000 Miles in 16 Days: A Healthy Road Trip-Wild Zora

    Wild Zora on the Road

    We’re Adam and Kathryn, also known as Adventures of A+K, and there’s nothing we love more than adventuring. Since moving from Texas to Washington a couple years ago, we have gained a huge love for traveling and the outdoors. On the weekends you can often find us hiking up mountains, chasing waterfalls, driving along the coast, exploring local coffee shops and restaurants, and enjoying everything else that the diverse and beautiful Pacific Northwest has to offer. We’re always thinking of our next big adventure and for the holidays we had a crazy idea. What if we drove to Texas and back?


    As we dreamt about the idea more and more, we started planning out a route and made it happen! Over 16 days we drove 6,000+ miles from Seattle to Texas and back, stopping in California, Arizona, and New Mexico and at multiple national parks. It was the adventure of a lifetime and we made some of the best memories along the way!


    However, one of our concerns before the road trip was how we were going to stay healthy while being away from our kitchen and gym for over two weeks. We try to stick to a very clean diet and with some portions of our trip being in more rural areas, it can be hard to find a healthy meal on the road, so we knew we had to bring Wild Zora along for the ride!


    And we’re so glad we did! Wild Zora was a lifesaver and kept us full and healthy during some of our favorite adventures of the trip. Here are a few of the highlights:

    Big Bend National Park


    We lived in Texas for 16 years (Kathryn) and 28 years (Adam) and both of us had never made it to Big Bend National Park. It was a big reason why we did the road trip and it was definitely worth the wait! To celebrate finally getting to experience the park, we enjoyed our favorite meat and veggie bars, the Mediterranean lamb, at the top of the Lost Mine hike, which has a crazy view of the mountains. It was truly a special moment for us former Texans!

    Guadalupe Mountains National Park


    When we arrived to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, we were greeted by an unexpected surprise: snow! Despite leaving our microspikes back in Washington, we hiked to Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,751 feet. After slipping and sliding our way to the top there was nothing better than a hot and fresh Wild Zora backpacking meal. Not only was it delicious, but it kept our hands warm, which was a huge added bonus!

    Big Sur, California


    We left our campsite near San Luis Obispo around 4 AM one of the last mornings of our trip (it was rough!) and drove 2.5 hours to Big Sur. We arrived just as the sun was beginning to rise and were starving, so we made two Paleo Meals to Go on the side of the road as we watched a beautiful sunrise illuminate Bixby Bridge. Breakfast on the road (quite literally) has never been so easy or tasted so good!


    We have been loving Wild Zora for almost a year now and are so thankful for healthy fuel to do what we love. From the Hoh rainforest in Washington, to the Oregon Coast, to the deserts of Utah, to our road trip, Wild Zora has made adventuring easy and healthy. Here’s to more healthy adventures in 2019! If you’d like to follow along on our adventures, you can find us at @adventuresofaplusk on Instagram, on YouTube, and on our site adventuresofaplusk.com.

     

     

     

    5 Healthy "Fast Food" Options for the New Year

    5 Healthy "Fast Food" Options for the New Year-Wild Zora

    When we are looking for great fast food options, we picture a little less golden arches and a little more wholesome goodies you can run out the door with.  Here are our 5 favorite quick snacks and meals that will make your life easier!

    Bobo’s Oat Bar 
    (GF/Vegan/Soy-Free/Non-GMO)

    At some point when you’re an adult, between remembering where you parked your car and keeping dogs and children alive, you all the sudden forget to eat breakfast.  In an attempt to avoid the hangry 11 AM in-office breakdown, Bobo’s Oat Bars are perfect. They have so many delicious options, but the Lemon Poppyseed Oat Bar is not too sweet and the oats will keep you going for a couple hours.  

     

    FBOMB Nut Butter
    (Keto/Paleo/Non-GMO/Vegan/Dairy-Free/Peanut-Free)


    Don’t be scared of fat! The FBOMB Nut Butters provide essential good fats that keep you full and fuel your body. Plus, they contain no added sugar of any kind.  The Macadamia Pecan with Sea Salt is the newest flavor and is the perfect blend of savory and sweet.  It is satisfying, easy to eat on the go and packed with nutrition at a minimal 200 calories. Yes, please!

     

    Wild Zora Meat & Veggie Bars
    (Paleo/GF/Soy-Free/Nut-Free/Milk-Free)

    Wild Zora Meat & Veggie Bars 7 Flavors

    Yeah, yeah, so we made the list. Two of the hardest things to prep to take on the go are meat and vegetables.  Our Meat and Veggie Bars  are a great way to bring a balanced, clean snack anywhere for you, your kids and even the Apple Pork for your dog. With 7 very different flavors, two AIP options and easy-to-toss-in-your-bag packaging, they are a good fast food for everyone.

     

    Canyon Bakehouse Bread
    (Kosher/GF/Non-GMO)

     

    It can feel like a daunting task to prep easy meals to go when you follow a gluten-free regimen.  Eating out is expensive, and for our gluten-free customers, often very challenging. The Canyon Bakehouse Bread is a delicious GF option that isn't crumbly or chalky, contains seeds and other whole grains, and can actually support the contents of a sandwich (the GF bread struggle is real).  Their new Heritage Style Whole Grain is the size of a normal, glutenous slice of bread and is their best offering yet! Our favorite: some corned beef, ground mustard and Zora's homemade sauerkraut! The GF reuben of dreams.

     

    Mulay’s Sausages
    (Paleo/GF/Soy-Free/Dairy-Free/Nut-Free/Egg-Free)

     

    Sausage has long has a bad reputation for being full of fillers and listing many ingredients that are unrecognizable (and we’re in the meat business).  Mulay’s thinks about sausage differently and creates responsible products with only a few real ingredients. Plus they have an entire blog  full of great recipe ideas. The Italian Sausage and Cauliflower Rice Stuffed Peppers recipe is our favorite; it is bold in flavor, spicy, super easy to make and only takes 20 minutes.  Let’s be honest, it takes longer to choose something on Netflix.

     

    Need more inspiration to get you going this year? Same. Here's a little extra:


     

     

     


    @thewholesomeminimalist for Paleo & Whole 30 Recipes

     

     

     

     

     

     
    @triplepeakwellness for Healthy Hacks and All Around Wellness

     







    Must Haves for your 2019 Adventures


     

     

     

     

    13 Foods You Need to Start Eating in 2019