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.

Coconut Almond Granola

Wake up. Hungry. Work out. Hungry. Work. Hungry. Go to bed. Hungry.  This is what I have come to realize marathon training is…I am always hungry.  I literally eat something and am thinking about the next thing I want to eat.  I heard from multiple friends that have completed marathons that I should prepare for the hunger.  I had no idea what I was in for.  I have emergency snacks in my purse, at work, and I don’t leave the car without snacks.

Coconut Almond Granola

We went out to a brewery tour yesterday and Andy laughed at me as I packed snacks for the 30-minute car trip.  Oh yes, the fear is real.  Stopping at a gas station, grocery store, or you know getting food to eat while we were out did not cross my mind.  I needed to make sure that I had snacks just in case.

Coconut Almond Granola

One of my go-to snacks is granola.  Have you ever stopped to read the ingredients on a bag of granola.  I don’t know about you, but I do NOT want my granola to contain ingredients that I do not understand or cannot find readily available at a grocery store.  I want whole grains, real proteins, and natural sugar.  So this was my first experiment to create a simple granola recipe with ingredients I had in my kitchen.

Coconut Almond Granola

The aroma of toasted almonds, cinnamon, and vanilla throughout the house is an added perk of this recipe.  Andrew walked through the door after work and immediately asked what I was baking because it smelled amazing.  Talk about delicious?!?!  The first batch of granola lasted about 3 days.  Oops.  Honestly this is the perfect breakfast paired with fresh fruit and milk, an added treat to top your smoothie or yogurt, or the ideal snack for a girl (umm or man) on the go.  Not too sweet with just the right amount of crunch ;)  I can’t wait to explore with more flavors and fruit/nut combos.

Coconut Almond Granola

What’s your favorite snack?

As always,

Bon Appeteek

 Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Prepares ~4 cups of granola

The Players: 

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 C raw almonds
1 C unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 C coconut oil
1/4 C honey*
1/4 C agave*
1 T ground cinnamon
1 T pure vanilla bourbon extract

*Note: I used a mix of honey and agave syrup; however, you can use any mix of maple syrup, honey, or agave*

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line baking sheet with silicone mat or wax paper.
  2. Place oatmeal and coconut in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Roughly chop almonds and add to oatmeal-coconut mixture.
  4. In a microwave-safe dish combine coconut oil, honey, and agave (or sweetener of your choice.  Microwave for 30-45 seconds. Add cinnamon and vanilla extract to the honey mixture and whisk to combine ingredients.
  5. Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and toss with spatula to coat.
  6. Transfer the granola to your baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Remove granola from the oven and allow to fully cool.  Store in an air-tight container.

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.

Magic Bars (7-Layer Bars)

This weekend I spent an unforgettable weekend in Leavenworth, WA.  Our group of friends started the Quarterly Crew with our Oktoberfest trip this past Fall.  We had such an amazing time hanging out the cabin, exploring the city, cooking, hot-tubbing, playing games.  We knew this needed to become a tradition.  This wasn’t one of those situations where you say you will do something and then never follow through.  We were determined.  After all we live in the PNW, there are so many amazing things to do year-round, and cabin trips are never a bad idea.

Magic Bars (7-Layer Bars)

I even had my first lesson and successful snowboard mission!!  No sore butt or wrists.  I do have the best instructor.  Andrew grew up in Alaska and has been snowboarding since he was 10.  He even graduated high school early and spent the time before college snowboarding.  Talk about living the dream?!?!  Well I am determined to pick up this hobby and make my man proud.  Thankfully, our relationship survived the day at Steven’s Pass ;)

Magic Bars (7-Layer Bars)

So how do these Magic Bars come into the picture.  Well when I go on group trips I tend to take charge of the food.  I was able to create a main grocery list so 30(+) people could survive the weekend without worrying about running to the store.  However, I thought it would be fun to bake the treats instead of store bought.  A few of us girls volunteered to bring the goodies.  Personally, I like making cookie bars for large groups because they are less time-consuming than cookies, cupcakes, cakes, or pies.  Honestly, aside from making the graham cracker crust all you do is layer toppings.  Now that’s a dessert I can get down with!  Also, my secret ingredient is the sea salt.  When you’re ingredient list is basically all sugar, the taste of sea salt with each bite is an amazing surprise for the palette.

Magic Bars (7-Layer Bars)

These bars a) ARE FREAKING FANTASTIC b) pretty much make themselves c) are definitely not healthy.  So you should probably make your way over to your kitchen and whip up a batch!

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Servings: 24 bars

The Players: 

1 sleeve honey graham crackers (9 whole crackers)
(Note: if using pre-bought graham cracker crumbs you will need 1 + 1/2 C)
1/2 C unsalted butter, melted
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 C chopped pecans
1 C butterscotch chips
1 C chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
1 C shredded coconut
1 t sea salt

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and coat 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place graham crackers in resealable gallon-size bag and seal.  Use a rolling pin to crush the crackers to a bread crumb consistency.
  3. Combine butter and crumbs in your baking dish and press firmly to form a crust.
  4. Spread condensed milk over the graham cracker layer.  Top evenly with remaining ingredients.  Using a fork press down firmly on toppings.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Use a sharp knife to cut into 24 bars.  Store in an air-tight container.