Feb
19

As you may have noticed, I’ve been trying hard to rotate between baked goods and healthy meals. Quite a task for me some days as all I want to do is bake you all the things.

Lately I’ve been craving a good bundt. Because I like big bundts. And I cannot lie.

Okay, I’ll stop myself there.

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Apr
02

An incredibly moist Carrot Cake Banana Bread made healthy with whole wheat flour and applesauce instead of lots of butter or oil. Don’t forget the low-fat cream cheese frosting — it’s to die for!

Incredible Healthy Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Thick Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I never really enjoyed carrot cake until about a year ago.

It started when I was living in Los Angeles; there was an incredible cupcake shop in Manhattan Beach that I used to stop in after a beach walk in the evenings. They sold a variety of mini cupcakes and for some reason I decided to try their carrot cake version. After one bite, I was in heaven. Now I’m on some sort of quest to find the best carrot cake out there. Any suggestions?

When it comes to cake, the only thing that can compete with carrot is my Dad’s yellow cake with chocolate buttercream – and that one is pretty hard to master. I’m still working on the recipe after 7 years. Maybe one day.

Incredible Healthy Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Thick Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

There’s one thing I don’t like about carrot cake: all of those calories. And I’m already going to be eating everything else in my face during Easter, including at least three of those Reese’s Eggs and probably way too much wine. Yes, I try to make every holiday as awesome as Thanksgiving.

Anyway as I was preparing to head to the grocery store staring at overly ripe bananas on the counter, an interesting thought came to me. What if I combined the two? You know, my love for carrot cake + banana bread. Could this be a thing?

In my mind, absolutely.

Incredible Healthy Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Thick Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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Jan
05

A lightened up healthy banana bread packed with oats, coconut, and chocolate chips — you don’t have to feel guilty enjoying a slice or two!

You guyssssssss. I have made so many banana breads over the last few days. Sometimes I wish I could stop baking but when I get the urge to, I just can’t stop. I think I’m an addict.

HELLLLLPPPPPP.

Due to my baking urges, I’m often up late at night; unfortunately I don’t get the chance to photograph the recipe since it’s dark and because I’m a little bit of a perfectionist. But sometimes I just want to share a recipe with you right away so I took these photos with my iPhone… hope you don’t mind!

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Nov
02

Naturally sweetened banana bread made with whole wheat flour and oatmeal. Perfect for a healthy breakfast or snack!

I’m absolutely one of those people who believe that everything happens for a reason.

That tragedy is followed by opportunity and growth. That difficult times will eventually be followed by lovely moments. But I’m also the type of person who loves to plan, think ahead, or heck, just think about everything. My to-do lists are endless. My goals keep getting bigger.

But, I’ve also found that sometimes you have to live in the moment. Enjoy little moments with people who matter to you. Appreciate the messes, forget imperfections, and embrace the present. Still with me?

Remember last week when I told you about my vacation? Well it was the best! I went to the apple orchard, on long fall drives, baked apple crisp, coconut cookies, turkey meatballs, and more. We watched movies, drank wine, and laughed like nothing else mattered. In fact, we even went to the diner and ate pancakes at 2am on a Sunday. Sometimes you just need those moments; that little bit of time with someone special.

Other times you just need banana bread. That sweet aroma to fill your house and create a comforting atmosphere.

It’s obvious I’m in love with banana baked goods. Have you checked out my recipe index lately? It’s full of healthy banana breads.

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May
31

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Ahhh the weekend is here. I’ve been craving it like chocolate.

Now it’s unusual for me to bring you a recipe on a Friday, but I just had to share this epic banana bread with you.

Strawberries + Coconut + Chia Seeds. Have you ever heard of such a lovely combination? It’s like a cozy little slice of heaven.

Speaking of things that need to be shared: I have some exciting news to tell you… but I have to hold off a bit (sorry!). Ugh keeping secrets is pretty difficult for me too! Look for a fun announcement very, very soon!

Anyway this banana bread is something I can share. In fact, it’s pretty major — beautiful even! And guess what? It’s also full of healthy ingredients that most certainly deserve a little special attention.

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Jan
22

I’m getting to the point today. This bread is downright sensational. My goodness, I’m in love with it! I baked two loaves this weekend, and now sincerely hold the believe that it’s a little bit magical.

Honey Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Doesn’t the name just scream ‘devour me’? The flavor combination is unique: a perfectly moist interior with a touch of sweetness from the honey with the bits of chocolate. Trust me, it cannot be matched.

Most of my banana bread recipes are healthy, use minimal sugar, no butter/oil, and focus on substitutes. I wanted this bread to fall under that category as well; however, I had never experimented with whole wheat flour in banana bread, nor unrefined sweeteners so I figured I would try something new.

The result? A gorgeous, perfectly moist bread with a golden brown crust! And not to mention, it’s now my new go-to banana bread. I just can’t get enough of this gem.

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Dec
16

With the recent tragedy in Newtown, I can only express how heartbroken I am. I will continue to pray for the families and those affected by this devastating tragedy.

With that said, I’ve wanted to reach out and hug the people who mean the most to me.

And sometimes I say I love you with bread. As simple as that sounds it means a lot.

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Sep
23

I love when my weekends are full of good cooking.

Yesterday I enjoyed the day grocery shopping, eating a huge greek lunch with tzatziki (my favorite!), and drinking a little white wine… or A LOT of white wine. No biggie. For a quality nutritious dinner, I destroyed a giant cup of frozen yogurt with four flavors: pistachio, cheesecake, vanilla bean, and red velvet cake batter. Seriously extraordinary.

But then today a little bit of magic happened.

Cause I made this banana bread.

And I made it vegan.

And gluten-free.

And irresistibly healthy.

Because I love you, duh.

This recipe was inspired by my dark chocolate raspberry oatmeal banana bread, which happens to be my favorite banana bread EVER. The ingredients call for gluten-free oat flour and I love making it myself; all you do is throw rolled oats (oatmeal) into your blender and blend until they oats are ground into a fine flour. Simple and easy!

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Sep
16

I’ll never forget the day I fell in love with baking. I was 7 years old.

My Mom decided that we would make a homemade pumpkin pie for the holidays. We spent hours deseeding and roasting pumpkins. I always enjoyed our time together in the kitchen because she gave me the best tasks.

On that particular day, I was in charge of making the pie crust look beautiful and fancy. Using my small hands, I tried my best to mimic the pie crust I had seen on the Thanksgiving dinner table, which of course resulted in something unsymetrical and pretty funny looking. Nevertheless, Mom was beaming at my accomplished pie crust and I was too! Eating the pie was the best part though; each bite brought me comfort and happiness knowing that I helped create a little slice of magic.

And so my love affair with baking began.

These days I find myself so busy that baking seems like a daunting task. It’s time-consuming, and sometimes a little bit complicated BUT I have to remind myself the results of home-baked goods are always unmatched. Lately I’ve been wanting to get back to real baking, the kind that is more like a project. And what’s more fun and interesting then making bagels from scratch? Seriously!

Now surprisingly, I don’t own bread machine, so I kneaded the dough by hand (talk about a calorie burner!); I felt accomplished and proud. Although, using an electrical mixer (such as a KitchenAid) would also work with this recipe.

Alas! I’m here to convince you to make homemade (handmade?) bagels. I’ll take you step-by-step through the recipe so that you can make these too! It’s a wonderful weekend project and great to do with kids. These bagels also happen to be lower in calories than bakery style, plus they’re chewy and toast perfectly. It’s some serious magic.

And since it’s Fall, we might as well make them pumpkin bagels, right? Then top them with a homemade whipped cinnamon honey butter.

So, here’s how we start: we’re going to proof the yeast (basically activate it)! Begin by placing warm water  in a large bowl and adding the yeast along with brown sugar. The yeast essentially feeds off the sugar.

After a couple of minutes add the pumpkin, spices, and 2 cups of bread flour and mix until a sticky dough forms (pictured above).

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