Trail Mix Cookies

HAPPY SUNDAY! This is such a good Sunday, want to know why? I am so, so, SO happy to be done writing my Master’s final defense paper! Yay!!! Everyone just cross your fingers that it goes well in a few week! Once this is complete, I will have one class left and then I’m officially done! How stinking exciting is that?! Two years truly flew by, and I’m so proud of myself for checking (almost….) this box!

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So with all this excitement, I thought I’d bake cookies! You know, any time I’m feeling an emotion — happiness, sadness, stress — the kitchen is always one of my safe havens. These cookies came out way better than expected, so I’m extremely excited to share them!

Disclaimer:

OK… this is kind of a funny (but not really) disclaimer, so all of you dog lovers please read! If your dog is like mine and absolutely loves peanut butter, do not let these cool near the edge of the counter! These cookies contain raisins, almond milk, and walnuts, which are all things that dogs should not have…. especially raisins! Our household spent quite a bit of time on the phone with emergency vets and pet poison control yesterday afternoon after Eddie decided to jump up on the counter and have a little taste test for himself. Thankfully, he is perfectly fine (and I probably over-reacted a tad), but I just thought I’d pre-warn you…. they really do smell THAT good!

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Now that we got that out of the way, lets get to the recipe! These are super easy and perfect for a quick breakfast or pre-workout bite. I call these trail mix cookies because they have a lot of components of trail mix that I love such as dried fruit and nuts. I made this cookies fairly large, but you could always make them a little smaller to increase the final quantity. Because I made larger cookies, I got about 12-13 out of my cookie dough!

I hope you give these a try! I recommend you play around with different tastes and textures if you are feeling creative. Maybe try adding coconut shreds or using different nut butters! Let me know what you think, and as always you can message or comment with questions or general thoughts! Have a great Sunday everyone!

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Trail Mix Cookies

  • Servings: 12-13 large
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 brown bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup unsalted PB
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch of pink salt

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium size bowl, smash bananas until fairly smooth. Add dry ingredients (coconut flour, oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, pink salt) as well as the walnuts, cranberries, and raisins. Lightly mix to incorporate the banana and cover the dry ingredients.

Add all wet ingredients (egg, coconut oil, peanut butter, and almond milk) and mix until well combined. This will be a chunky batter!

Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Scoop large spoonfuls of batter onto the sheet and use your hands to help form the shape of your cookie. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to become a light golden brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving!


Cinnamon Sugar Banana Crumble Muffins

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! I thought it was about time I posted a recipe (I feel like it’s been a while?), and this one turned out better than I had hoped it would! Of course, banana anything always has a place in my kitchen. I have done a handful of banana breads (vegan, gluten-free, regular, etc.) but tend to not really do muffins! I use to be a total muffin lover and would make apple, pumpkin, or whatever flavor I was feeling in bulk to have as snacks or part of breakfast. I haven’t made a good muffin in a while, so this recipe made a little appearance this morning in my kitchen!

I think the reason I like banana-flavored bread and muffins so much is they are so versatile. You can make them extra savory with cream cheese frostings, fillings, or fit them into your breakfast with a little spoonful of your favorite nut butter. You can also add a variety of ingredients to change up the flavor or texture such as nuts, oats, or chunks of other fruits such as diced apples.

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These muffins are simple, easy, and use ingredients that I already had in my cupboard. They also cook fast, so watch your timer and be sure not to overcook them! Whole wheat flour tends to absorb a lot of liquid, so overcooking the muffins can dry them out significantly. I hope you give these a try and let me know what you think!

Side note, isn’t it kind of a bummer that the 4th falls on a Tuesday? The 4th of July use to be a huge celebration with my family. We would have a barbecue, go to the morning parade, dress up in red-white-and blue, and scramble for candy that people in the parade would throw to the crowd. It was a blast!! Jeff and I are going to spend some time at the pool with friends this 4th, which I am super excited about, but I need to start thinking about a little menu of pool snacks for that day. I will let ya’ll know if I come up with anything good! Have a great week everyone!

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Cinnamon Sugar Banana Crumble Muffins

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy-moderate
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Ingredients

  • 3 slightly-brown bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (unpacked)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of pink salt

Topping:

  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp oats
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • pinch cinnamon

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium size bowl, smash bananas until fairly smooth. Add dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, brown sugar, pink salt) and lightly mix to incorporate the banana.

Add all wet ingredients (egg, coconut oil, vanilla, and almond milk) and mix until well combined. There should be few lumps, and the batter should seem light and airy.

In a separate, small bowl combine the topping ingredients, and mix with a fork to be sure the brown sugar, cinnamon, and coconut oil cover the oats. Set aside.

Lightly grease a muffin tin and put a few spoonfuls into each cup. The batter should almost come to the top of each cup. Top each portion with a spoonful of the cinnamon sugar topping. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow 10-15 minutes for the muffins to set before serving.


Gluten-Free Gooey Banana Bread

Hi everyone! Whose excited it’s the weekend?! Sorry this post is a little later than I wanted it to be, but this week has been eventful and busy so it kind of got put on hold.

Y’all know I’m a huge fan of banana bread. The gooier, the better! This recipe gave me something decadent and special to look forward to each night this week (sad to say I finished it off yesterday!), so I thought it was necessary that I share it and hope you guys like it too!


This is the first time I have attempted to bake gluten-free, and I was pretty darn happy with the outcome! I really enjoy trying new things with baking, and I haven’t found much of a need for coconut flour until this recipe. The base of the recipe is bananas and coconut flour. It is extremely moist (hens the gooey) and tastes great both warm and cold. I actually preferred it cold, so I kept the pan in the refrigerator and just took a few bites throughout the week!


One thing to note, coconut flour definitely absorbs more liquid. If you choose to bake or cook with it, remember it is going to absorb more moisture, so use less flour! I think this is maybe why my past attempts at using coconut flour were so unsuccessful.

Thank you so much to everyone who sent me comments or picture of recipes they have tried! I love the feedback so please keep it up! Happy Saturday everyone, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Gluten-free Gooey Banana Bread

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Ingredients

  • 2 medium brown bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 capful vanilla extract (~1/8 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch pink salt
  • a few dark chocolate chips

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mash bananas with 1 egg and brown sugar. Once sugar has mostly dissolved, mix in olive oil, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and almond milk. Whisk together until well incorporated.

Add coconut flour and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. The batter should still seem fairly wet. Grease a bread or loaf pan and spread batter evenly on the bottom. Top with a few dark chocolate chips.

Bake bread for ~35 minutes or until the ends start to pull away from the pan and turn golden brown. The middle should still seem a little gooey. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving. Will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator covered with foil. Can be reheated or served cold!


Easter Dessert Made Simple, Chocolatey Banana Cake with Walnuts

Happy Easter everyone! It seems as though over the years Easter has obtained quite the reputation for chocolate, Easter baskets filled with candy, decadent pastries and desserts, and Easter egg hunts with jelly bean and candy-filled eggs. Well… even though I did cave and buy a bad of Reese’s peanut butter eggs (primarily because my husband asked where the Easter candy was in our house), I still wanted to make an Easter brunch dessert that was chocolatey and satisfying but lighter and more tummy friendly!

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Pastries and desserts often contain a lot of butter and a lot of sugar, which is perfectly fine in moderation, but typically we are not deciding between the candy, the chocolate, the danish, or the Easter bread… we are usually trying a little of all 4. For my dessert, fat it minimal, but flavor is still fully there! I use a base of over-ripe bananas to add moisture and sweetness. Whole wheat flour provides a little more density and fiber to this cake, but if cooked right will not dry it out whatsoever. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the chocolate! A few chocolate chips were added for those who desire chocolate to consider a dessert a dessert. Walnuts were also added for a little crunch!

This cake looked so delicious last night, that I couldn’t even wait until today to try it out! I hope you enjoy my Chocolatey Banana Cake with Walnuts, and have a happy Easter!

Chocolatey Banana Cake with Walnuts:

Ingredients:

  • 2 over-ripe bananas, mashed until fairly smooth
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine your mashed bananas with the brown sugar, egg, almond milk, and canola oil until the sugar is well incorporated and there aren’t any lumps. Add all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt) and mix until well combined. Add your chocolate chips and walnutsย by lightly folding them into the batter so they are well distributed.

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Lightly spray your bunt pan (or another type of cake pan; baking time may differ though), and add in your batter evenly. Bake for ~35 minutes or until the top of your cake is fairly firm and lightly brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before flipping over onto a serving platter. Serve warm and enjoy!

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The Perfect Peanut Butter Black Bean Brownie

Blacks beans…

Paired with a warm sweet potato or thrown into a Western omelet.

Added to a vegetarian enchilada or toss with a little quinoa, corn, and salsa for an easy side dish.

Black beans are one of my favorite “go-to” foods and staples in my kitchen, but yesterday they took on a whole other identity. Blended with a little dark chocolate cocoa, peanut butter, honey, and a few other baking essentials, a simple can of black beans became a major component of a classic decadent dessert, brownies.

A few tips before attempting to make your own black bean brownies (because I had failed a few times in the past myself)….

1. Blend, blend, then blend again. You want your “brownie batter” to be smooth as silk and in fact mimic regular brownie batter. My first mistake when I tried making homemade black bean brownies was I underestimated just how smooth the batter should be. After tasting a little piece of bean skin in my brownie, my stomach immediately lost its appetite and the “brownie vibe” turned back into a a weird texture and taste of beans trying to be a brownie.

2. Do not skimp on your sweetening agent! Your are already ridding your batter of flour, butter, and oil. The batter needs a sweetening agent to actually pull off the brownie flavor. I used a combination of honey and light brown sugar as my sweetener.

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Now for the recipe! Add your own favorite brownie toppings to make this recipe your own! Enjoy and happy baking ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz can no added salt black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup special dark chocolate cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping Tbsp unsalted peanut butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 over-ripe banana

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Lightly grease a small baking dish and evenly distribute your batter. I added a little extra peanut butter swirl on top of the batter before baking, but additional toppings such as chocolate chips, nut butters, or nuts are optional. Bake your brownies for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Be careful not to over-bake!

Let your brownies cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

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