We all have the desire for some comfort food now and then, but often make the mistake of indulging in the wrong dish. It has been scientifically proven people crave high sugar and fat foods because it lights up the emotional section of the brain, resulting in a better mood. However, overeating the wrong foods like chowing down a tub of sugary ice cream or a whole bag of potato chips can leave us feeling guilty and depressed. Eating poorly affects our bodies and therefore affects how we feel. We tend to crave high caloric indulgences with a lot of sugar and salt, and the addictiveness of these foods cause overeating to the point of discomfort.
There’s no good feeling after that!
There is another important factor to realize when it comes to comfort foods: the psychological element. We tend to crave foods from our childhood, foods that reminds us of being loved. Some find chicken soup or grilled cheese to be comforting; for others, it can be chocolate chip cookies or birthday cupcakes. For me, it’s this:
Chocolate is a given when it comes to comfort foods. It has been proven to release endorphins in the brain and brighten a person’s mood, and besides, it tastes divine! Banana bread is also a perfect comfort food with the delicious flavor, dense cake texture, and the warm remembrances of home-baked goods. Putting these two together creates a quintessential comfort food, ideal for the final stages of this never-ending winter.
The trick with comfort foods is to eliminate the addictive, unhealthy ingredients to prevent the sugar crashes, stomachaches, food comas, and regret we feel afterwards.
I use oat flour often in baking and here’s why:
Simply put, it is a great substitute for wheat since in its natural form, oats are naturally gluten-free and are acceptable for those with gluten allergy, intolerance, or even celiac. Also, it’s loaded with health benefits, such as:
- Reduces heart disease risk due to its high fiber content
- Lowers cholesterol
- Helps diabetes by improving blood sugar control and lipid profiles
- Decreases blood pressure
- Increases satiation
- Contains high levels of magnesium, manganese, iron, and protein
It’s also easy to make! Simply process gluten-free steel cut oats in a blender or food processor until it’s as fine as flour.
Here’s a delicious comfort food that will make you feel happy, satisfied, and guiltless!
Decadent Chocolate Banana Cake
- 3 bananas (about 1 1/2 cup)
- 2 cups gluten-free oat flour
- 1/4 cacao powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup 72% dark chocolate chunks
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
- Mash the banana until smooth and add the rest of the ingredients (except the chocolate chunks.)
- Mix in the dry ingredients until well incorporated.
- Pour into two greased 9 inch round cake pans and bake for about 25-20 minutes.
- Optional: Mix 1/2 cup natural peanut butter + 2 tbsp maple syrup + 1/4 cup almond milk until smooth and creamy, and spread over or between the cakes (as seen in the pictures.)