Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

I’m going to get real deep here for a second.  I’m going to ask a question(s) that most females ask at least once in their life.  Where do all the bobby pins, hair ties, chapsticks, and mismatched socks of the world end up??!?!?

Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

No. But seriously… I am convinced that there is a lost and found of just these items.  Not that I would want someone else’s hair accessory or used socks.  Or would I?  I always wonder about these misplaced items and then think to myself, “not this time little bobby pin, I will not lose you.”  Without fail, fast forward to me purchasing another package of bobby pins :/

Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

Now with food, I wonder what do people do with the overly ripe produce?  I grew up NEVER being allowed to waste food.   I am thankful that my parents made me appreciate and respect the food that we had in our kitchen.  There are starving individuals around the world and I think too many people look at their produce drawer or fruit bowl and toss the food out.  Unless you have been living under a rock, you have enjoyed a slice of warm banana bread or a banana nut muffin of sorts.  This is what the world has decided the fate of overly ripe bananas should be.

Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

I am not here to argue fate.  But I think I might have just created a pretty fancy-fanc twist on banana bread.  My thought process:

I love chocolate.
I love brownies.
I love banana bread.   …

Whoa, I can make super chocolatey banana bread.  Per the usual, I tried to justify eating not one, but three different types of chocolate.  I decided, if I am eating chocolate, I should probably use healthy fats, unprocessed sugars, and limit the cereal grains.  The bananas bring a lot of moisture and natural sweetness to this bread and you really do not notice that coconut flour or coconut oil are substituting the usual butter and flour.

Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

Baked goods you can feel a little less guilty about.  That is my kind of treat!  Now that I have found yet another use of my brown bananas, I guess I should work on a solution for the other lost items ;)

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 16 bars

The Players: 

3 ripe bananas
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 C coconut oil, melted
1/4 C light agave syrup (alternatively honey or maple syrup)

Dry ingredients
1/2 C coconut flour
1/2 C hemp seeds (alternatively hemp hearts)
1/2 C dark cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1 C dark chocolate chips
1/4 C cocoa nibs

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease 9×9 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine bananas, egg, vanilla, coconut oil, and agave syrup using a hand/stand mixer.
  3. Add dry ingredients, except cocoa nibs, to the bowl and incorporate into wet ingredients.  Do not over-mix.
  4. Pour batter into baking pan and spread evenly with spatula.  Sprinkle cocoa nibs over batter and press down gently with hand.  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, then turn off oven and continue baking for 5 additional minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

I apologize.  I took a blog hiatus.  I cooked up a storm and played with recipes, but the one thing I have learned about blogging is…not to post something just to have content.  I share recipes because I am proud of them, think they taste good, and hope you enjoy them too!  I missed sharing stories and taking pretty food photos.  It feels so good to be back on the blog :)

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

We have been SO BUSY.  I do not know if anyone else feels this way, but every week I think to myself next month will be more relaxing.  Less packed with activities and somehow when I look at our calendar I notice that we have only 3 free weekends in the next 4 months!!!  How does that even happen???  (Answer: Everyone you know if getting married.)  I honestly should not even complain, because Andrew will tell me I need to stop planning.  He says all I do is plan and organize.  With a packed calendar, you have to plan!

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

One good thing about being a “forever planner”  = I am always trying to create recipes that my family and friends can enjoy.  Andrew’s brother is one of those super successful, athletic, motivated people…ugh I know…you want to hate them ;)  Well not only does he dabble in real estate, but he gets to jet-set since he’s a pilot.  He doesn’t let his busy, unpredictable schedule stop him from doing cross-fit work outs or sticking to a primal diet.  Now I am not a primal or paleo guru, but I am always curious about the diets/routines people take on and how to dream up delicious treats that they can enjoy.

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

The story of my paleo coconut banana muffins starts there.  Andrew’s brother told me about a friend of his who owns a paleo bakery in Florida.  I was instantly curious and decided that if someone can have an entire bakery dedicated to this lifestyle, I should be able to execute at least one baked good.  Oh yes, I am pretty determined (errr slightly competitive).

No processed sugar
No dairy
No grains
LOTS OF FLAVOR.

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

I brought these muffins to our softball game last night and I received the highest praise.  One of the girls told me that my banana muffins taste exactly like her grandmother’s banana bread.  (My inner amateur baker is doing somersaults)  She requested the recipe to re-create the treat for her family.  If that is not a good review, I don’t know what is?!?  After that stamp of approval, I am so excited to share these moist, dense, muffins with you all.

P.s. please share your favorite paleo/primal baked treat.  I would love to try it out.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

The Players: 

2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 C coconut cream
1/4 C coconut oil
1/4 C natural sweetener (I used honey)
1/2 C coconut flour
1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

Optional toppings: banana chips, coconut flakes, peanut butter

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Place all the wet ingredients, including bananas, in a medium mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to combine.
  3. Add all dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until well-incorporated; do not over mix.
  4. Divide batter among muffin tins, filling ~3/4 full.  Optional, top each muffin with a dried banana chip or additional coconut flakes and press topping into the batter.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Allow muffin to cool in muffin tin.  Serve warm or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

3-Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

 

 

 

Yesterday was one of “those” days… you all know what I’m talking about.  The days you come home from work and you don’t want to talk to anyone.  The days where you find yourself looking forward to a nice glass of wine.  The days when you need chocolate therapy.  

3 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

Lucky for you guys, when I have a bad day I spin that negative energy into creativity with cooking or baking.  Seriously, some of my favorite and best recipes are a result of “those” days.  Also, wine helps everything.  So I came home, took Teek on a long walk, poured myself a glass of wine, and decided to bake an Easter-friendly treat.  What do you do to turn the switch?

3 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

My thought was not April Fools, but Easter desserts.  We are going to a friend’s place for an Italian-inspired Easter dinner.  Of course, since I love to cook, I want to bring something to share.  I already volunteered to bring a cocktail, but I also thought how fun would it be to make a Holiday-themed treat.  My girlfriend is already making a bunny butt cake (how cute is that idea?!?!), so I figured why not bring the bunny tails?

3 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

These macaroons are simple, require only 3-ingredients (if you don’t count the dark chocolate bottoms), and most importantly they are delicious.  I whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks, which makes the macaroons wonderfully light and chewy.  No additional sugar in this macaroon recipe, since the sweetened shredded coconut is sweet enough for my taste.  I make the macaroons bite size, that way I can justify eating a handful….right ;)

3 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

 

Oh and the chocolate bottoms…well that’s just the perfect finishing touch.  It gives a great presentation to the macaroon and gives me an excuse to dip fruit, pretzels, and my fingers in the left over melted chocolate.  Too much information?  Oops.

3-Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: ~25 mini macaroons

The Players: 

2 egg whites
1 t pure vanilla bourbon extract
2 C shredded sweetened coconut

optional: 1 C dark chocolate chips or chunks for dipping macaroons in

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together egg whites and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
  3. Fold in shredded coconut, until well incorporated.
  4. Drop macaroons onto your baking sheet, using a cupcake corer, cookie scoop, or teaspoon.  (Note: You want the macaroons to be dense and formed in the shape you desire, they will not expand while they bake)
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool ~10 minutes.
  6. Optional Dark Chocolate Coated Bottoms: In a microwave-safe dish, melt chocolate chips by microwaving for 45-60 seconds and stirring every 15 seconds.  Dip bottom of macaroons in chocolate and place bottom-side up on your cookie sheet.  Place in freezer for 10 minutes to allow chocolate to harden.  Store macaroons in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

3 Easy Smoothie Bowl Recipes

Smoothie bowls are one of those “must try” recipes.  It’s a food trend, kind of like juicing, overnight oats, kale chips, spaghetti squash subbed for pasta, and cauliflower errrything.  Don’t get me wrong, I have dabbled in pretty much all of the aforementioned food trends (minus juicing…I cannot survive a day without chewing something).

Chocolate Raspberry Acai Smoothie Bowl

I make smoothies as a protein boost after a workout, breakfast on-the-go during the week, or as a meal replacement when I’m feeling lazy.  Pretty much any hour or meal of the day can be substituted with a smoothie hehe.  I noticed that although I am always drinking or eating this sweet little treat, I am never blogging about smoothies.  I send texts to girlfriends all the time with smoothie recipe ideas, so why not start sharing the love with all of you too :)  I will add more smoothie recipes to the blog soon, since I am always mixing them up.  I even have a yummy chocolate, peanut butter, banana protein smoothie that will have you reaching for a smoothie instead of a cookie (errr maybe both…I really love cookies).

Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl

These are 3 different smoothie bowl recipe ideas.  Seriously take a risk and mix them up, you really can’t go wrong.  You can even add oats, granola, chia seeds, or coconut flakes into the blender to add to the thickness and consistency of your smoothie.  If you have bananas that are going bad, peel, slice, and freeze them for your smoothies too.  Other fun boosts are ginger, cinnamon, orange juice, maca powder, and spirulina.  You can load up on nutrients, fruits, veggies, and fiber without using any silverware or making extra dishes.

Green Goddess Smoothie Bowl

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Chocolate Raspberry Acai Smoothie Bowl

The Players:
1 sambazon acai smoothie pack, thawed
1/2 C frozen raspberries
1/2 small banana, sliced
1/2 C fresh spinach (optional)
2 t dark cocoa powder
1/2 C to 3/4 C liquid (coconut water or unsweetened soy or almond milk)

Toppings: 
1 t chia seeds
1 T coconut flakes
1 t cacao nibs
1/4 C fresh blueberries (alternatively raspberries or strawberries)

Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl 

The Players:
1 sambazon acai smoothie pack, thawed
1/2 C frozen blueberries
1/2 small banana, sliced
1/2 C fresh baby kale
1/2 C to 3/4 C liquid (coconut water or unsweetened soy or almond milk)

Toppings: 
1/2 kiwi, peeled and quartered
1 T coconut flakes
1/4 C fresh blueberries
1/4 C granola
1 t chia seeds
1 t cacao nibs

Green Goddess Smoothie Bowl

The Players:
1 kiwi, peeled and halved
1 C spinach (alternatively baby kale)
1/2 C frozen mango (alternatively frozen pineapple)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 to 3/4 C liquid (coconut water or unsweetened soy or almond milk)

Toppings: 
1/2 small banana, sliced
1 t chia seeds
1 t cacao nibs
1 T coconut flakes

**optional protein boost: 1/2 to 1 scoop vanilla protein powder added to the smoothie bowl ingredients**

The Rules:

  1. Place ingredients for the smoothie in a blender or food processor and pulse to desired consistency.  (Note: I use a Magic Bullet and it takes < 60 seconds)
  2. Pour into bowl and garnish with desired toppings.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Who else loves the taste and more importantly the smell of cinnamon?!?!  Seriously, cinnamon reminds me of Autumn…my favorite season.  I might be slightly biased since I am born in November, but hello all great things are associated with Autumn.  Football season, changing colors of the leaves, cozy layers, everything pumpkin, the start of Holiday Season…oh yes Fall is perfect.

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

I am a firm believer that cinnamon-boosted baked goods should be enjoyed throughout the year.  Everyone smiles a bit wider when they walk through the door and are engulfed in the aroma of cinnamon and know a yummy baked treat is waiting.  It’s almost as exciting as walking through the door to your excited puppy.

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

I decided to surprise Andrew with some fresh from the oven, cinnamon swirl muffins this week.  I did not want to make any special trips to the grocery store so I decided to get creative with my pantry and refrigerated goods.  Usually I feel that baking is a science, but these muffins seriously came together with no effort.  They are moist and not too dense.  The perfect balance of cinnamon and sugar.  They taste even better warmed up in the morning with a cup of piping hot black coffee.  Hello work day, with a little extra swagger in my step!

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Look who wanted to be a part of the photo shoot or wanted a bite of muffin hehe.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

The Players: 

For the batter: 
1/3 C egg whites
3/4 C brown sugar
1 C greek yogurt
3/4 C coconut water
1 t vanilla extract
2 C flour (I used 1 C whole wheat + 1 C coconut flour)
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

For the cinnamon swirl: 
1/4 C coconut oil, melted (I microwave for 15-30 seconds)
2 T brown sugar
1 T cinnamon

The Rules:

  1. Preheat over to 350 F and line cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Combine dry ingredients for the batter in a small mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar.  Add greek yogurt, coconut water, and vanilla extract mixing until well combined.
  4. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  Do not over-mix the batter.
  5. Whisk together ingredients for the cinnamon swirl.  Set aside.
  6. Scoop muffin batter evenly into muffin tins ~3/4 full.  Divide cinnamon swirl among muffins, ~1/2 tsp per muffin, and use a knife to swirl into muffin batter.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Allow to cool.  Store in air-tight container in the refrigerator.