How To Fight Seasonal Allergies With Food and Herbs

You can fight seasonal allergies with food and herbs… and you can win this fight! You often hear me say that food is medicine… but food is also the best allergy medicine! Read more

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

peanut butter banana oatmeal

Last week here in New York we were freezing our tootsies off. It was so cold outside! And, unfortunately, it was really cold inside our apartment as well. If you’ve ever lived in an old pre-war apartment, you know the “Three Little Bears” type of frustration with the heat.  It’s often too hot or too cold. I have to say, too cold is most often easier to deal with than too hot… but last week we had to break out every blanket we had to stay warm. So, I did something to make me feel nice and toasty — from the inside-out — I made a big batch of peanut butter banana oatmeal. You just can’t hate the cold while you are eating this…

You can make this oatmeal with quinoa or with a grain-free blend if you prefer. On this cold, snowy, day, I went for the real thing and it was soooooooo good. Oftentimes, if I’m making a flavored type of oatmeal, I will make it the night before in my slow cooker. Honestly, I haven’t cooked a pot of oatmeal on the stove in a really long time, but this was so easy and so delicious, I won’t wait very long to make it again.

I used what I had in my fridge and pantry, but this is so easily customizable that I want you to just have fun with it. Go into your fridge and your pantry and remove everything that might taste good on a hot bowl of oats. Go ahead… I’m waiting…
Now, pick several of these things that you think will compliment each other. Now, grab some honey or maple syrup. Now, you are ready to cook your oats.

The recipe below shows you what I used and, I will tell you, it was truly awesome. Yup, this combo is a keeper!

For another great warming breakfast try my recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes!

peanut butter banana oatmealpeanut butter banana oatmeal

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this peanut butter banana oatmeal:

Oats are great for the digestive system — they make you feel better if you are feeling bloated or have indigestion. This ancient grain can also help reduce some types of swelling in the body and, a little known tidbit: they can be eaten to help stop lactation.

Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

Walnuts are actually a Chinese herb (He Tao Ren). They are used for some knee and back pain, some chronic coughs and for chronic constipation. These nuts are also good for infertility and sexual dysfunctions, and they have been used to help people with kidney stones.

Peanuts, contrary to what some believe, are actually good for many things in your body. I don’t often let myself eat them because they sometimes contain mold and it’s really hard to find reasonably priced organic healthy peanuts. But, these popular nuts are great for lessening edema; they act like a diuretic. They can also help you if you have insomnia or if you are breast feeding. An old-time remedy is to made peanut tea and drink it for bed to promote sleep. And, peanut shells used to be used to help with high blood pressure. Try to buy organic peanut butter if you can — sometimes the ground these nuts grow in isn’t filled with the stuff you’d want to ingest.

Honey is a Chinese herb (Feng Mi). It’s used to boost energy, quiet coughs, and lessen constipation. It can even help with ulcers.

peanut butter banana oatmeal

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal
Recipe type: oatmeal, hot cereal, breakfast
Cuisine: grains, gluten free, dairy free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
On the next cold day, make a bowl of this simple, healing oatmeal -- it will make you smile as it warms you from the inside - out!
  • ½ cup steel cut oats
  • 2 cups water
  • One banana, sliced
  • 1 tsp butter
  • ¼ cup raw honey, melted, or pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup organic peanut butter, melted
  1. Cook the steel cut oats in the water until they are done (follow the package directions); mine took 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the butter on low heat in a small saute pan.
  3. Add the sliced banana, and stir until the banana starts to melt.
  4. Scoop the oatmeal into 2 bowls.
  5. Top with the melted bananas, melted peanut butter, honey or syrup, and the walnuts.
  6. Smile and enjoy!

peanut butter banana oatmeal

Grain-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

You’ll swear there’s oatmeal in these grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies, but nope… totally grain-free!

grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies

These grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies are magical. I say that because there is no way you can tell that they are grain-free. You can’t tell by the texture — they have the exact texture of traditional oatmeal cookies. You can’t tell by the taste –nthey taste better than most oatmeal raisin cookies!

Full disclosure: I am not the magician here. The original recipe is from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain, cookbook, so kudos to Danielle! I took some liberties with the recipe when I made it (because I am pretty sure I am incapable of not changing a recipe…), and I (not being the best baker in the world) was so impressed with the end result that I ended up making a ton of these cookies and putting bags of them in my freezer! Another disclosure: they are so good that sometimes we eat them frozen instead of waiting for them to defrost…

A few weeks ago I had some old friends over for dinner. It was the first dinner party I had in our new apartment. But more importantly, the women who were coming are amazing women who I re-connected with after many years and I really wanted the serve special food.  I knew some of my guests would bring dessert (at least those that were not bringing wine) so I just wanted to have something here that was healthy to nibble on so I wouldn’t go crazy eating all of the decadent desserts I expected would be on the table. Well, my friends did not disappoint. Yes, we had lots and lots of wine. But, between the Italian pastries and the cheesecake and the prettiest boxes of cookies I ever saw, I set a basket of these grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies. And, they were able to withstand the competition! They really are that good!

If you like chocolate chip cookies, but don’t want the grains, try my Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookie recipe.

grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies

Here are some of the reasons these cookies are awesome for you:

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. Even if you are not on a dairy-free diet, almond milk is the way to go. This recipe uses almond meal instead of a grain-based flour.

Coconut strengthens the body, reduces swelling, and stops bleeding. It kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. It’s the coconut flakes that mimic the texture of oatmeal in these cookies, and there is also some coconut flour included.

Raisins help relieve constipation, can help bring down a fever, and can be good for you if you have anemia. Research has also shown them to be effective in helping to ward of cancer because they increase antioxidant levels in your body.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is used in different forms in Chinese medicine: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming.

Goji berries are a Chinese herb (Gou Qi Zi). They are great for your blood. I prescribe them to some people with chronic pain in the legs and lower back. They are also good for men experiencing impotence and can be used to treat some eye problems. Women who are pregnant and people with intestinal issues should be careful not to eat too many gojis, but the amount in these cookies shoud be fine for anyone.

Honey is an amazing food. It is also a Chinese herb (Feng Mi). Raw honey is honey in its purest form; it has not been filtered, strained or heated above 115 degrees. This means when you eat it, the enzymes, anti-oxidants and nutrients haven’t been disturbed. I use raw honey in my tea, smoothies and in any recipe that calls for honey. Raw honey is solid and may need to be melted before you use it, but this is easy and only takes a minute or two. Honey helps with constipation, some coughs, and some stomach ulcers.

grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies


Grain-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Recipe type: dessert, grain-free, paleo
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from: Against All Grain
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 dozen
These are oatmeal cookies with no oatmeal... but no one will ever know!
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a mixer bowl, place the shortening and egg and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the honey and vanilla and mix until creamy.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, almond meal, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and flax meal.
  5. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix for about one minute, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  6. Add the coconut, raisins, and goji berries and mix again until combined, about one minute.
  7. Using a tablespoon, place balls of dough onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. You should end up with about 2 dozen balls.
  8. Wet your palm and gently flatten each ball. I like my cookies kind of thick, so I didn't flatten mine too much.
  9. Bake for 6 minutes, then swap the tray positions so they will evenly cook. Then cook for 4 minutes and then swap again and cook for another 4 minutes. Then repeat for 3 minutes in each position.
  10. *This is how long my cookies took to bake; be aware and check the cookies often -- if they are thinner than mine were (see how thick mine are in the photos), they will cook faster. The original recipe calls for 12 minutes total cooking time.


grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies