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.
I was planning on giving you a recipe for hummus today, but after making these brownies I knew that I had to share them with you immediately! In fact after I ate half of the pan for dinner, I’m quite certain that these brownies are some of the best I’ve ever had.
I don’t even feel guilty about getting chocolate wasted with these bad boys.
I had heard about black bean brownies before, so I’ve been experimenting for a few weeks with various recipes and came up with this to surprise and delight you.
After baking these, I stood there smiling with chocolate all over my face because I had finally perfected a recipe for fudgy healthy brownies that taste AMAZING. Yeah, okay I know you’re doubting me right now. You might even think I’m super weird (which I totally am).
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 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!
I woke up early this morning eager to bake a banana bread. I silently mashed bananas in my kitchen and watched the sunlight creep through the windows. I mean to be perfectly honest all I wanted to do was turn on Jay-Z’s 99 problems, sing loudly and change the lyrics to “I got 99 problems but BANANA BREAD AIN’T ONE!” Too bad my roommates were still sleeping or it totally would have happened.
Now that I think about it I’m kinda glad I didn’t as I can’t say that rapping is one of my talents. And if you don’t know who Jay-Z is then maybe we’ll just move on and talk about the real star here: Banana bread. With peaches. Annndddd cinnamon. A brown sugar topping too!
It just makes me feel all cozy and wonderful.
Since there are an abundance of peaches in August, I wanted to bring you a fun recipe. Of course peach pie is delicious and peach cobbler is amazing but those are classics, and I wanted to bake something a little creative to make you swoon. The answer happened to be staring right at me: ripe bananas on my kitchen counter! I don’t know, it’s like these bananas just beg me to be mashed into delicious breads or something. Or to be made into pie.
Either way I know that anytime there are ripe bananas around, magic is about to happen. Hehe.
Look at that crust on the top of the banana bread! No seriously, stare at it for a good minute.
The crust is simply perfectly golden brown and the result of sprinkling brown sugar on top before baking. The brown sugar caramelizes and hardens when baked then forms a nice crusty exterior for that superb crunchy topping.
Oh and the inside? So flavorful and moist! Plus who can feel guilty about this bread? Not me considering I already ate 3 slices.
This bread is downright sensational. The peaches add a juicy flavor and a gorgeous addition to the top. Of course the bananas are more prominent that the peaches flavorwise, but nevertheless the juicy bits of peaches surprise you with every bite and the cinnamon really makes the flavor pop.
I wanted to keep this bread lower in fat and calories so I used minimal butter and nonfat greek yogurt. I didn’t have any whole wheat flour in my cupboard, or I might have used some of that in the recipe instead of only using white flour.
Peach Banana Bread. Don’t miss out. I enjoyed mine with a drizzle of honey and a cup of hot coffee. Then I busted out the Jay-Z.
Succulent fresh summer peaches combine with a low-fat moist banana bread made with greek yogurt and a touch of cinnamon.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup finely diced peaches (about 2 peaches), plus about 8-10 thin peach slices for topping
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
2 tablespoons butter, browned or melted (you can also use coconut, olive, or canola oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup nonfat plain vanilla greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar until well combined. Add vanilla and egg and whisk again until well combined. Whisk in diced peaches. Add in dry ingredients and yogurt alternatively, folding together well combined.
Pour batter into loaf pan. Top with thinly sliced peaches and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar over the top. Dust lightly with cinnamon. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or toothpick comes out almost clean in center.
Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove from pan gently and transfer to wire rack. Cool completely. Cut into thick slices and enjoy!
Can replace some of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour. Bread is better the next day. Awesome toasted and drizzled with honey
This week I joined a new gym, where I’m quite certain my trainer is either Big Foot, a marine, or a professional wrestler. He teaches my Nike Training Camp classes, which are a mix of plyometrics, military drills, cardio, and weights. Literally sweating waterfalls every time I walk out of there; it’s very similar to the Insanity videos! I just think he’s trying to kill me. But who knows.
I’ve also been enjoying living next to the ocean as much as possible. Every day I try and make it down to the beach. I don’t mean to make you jealous BUT look at this view from my rooftop! Amazing.
I’m not even prepared for Summer to end or these sunny days that seem to never cease. I’m dropping my roommate off at the airport in a few hours, where she’ll head to Greece for a vacation… on a yacht. WHAT! I can’t even talk about it because I’m so jealous. My weekend plans consist of more cooking, maybe a little surfing, and most likely a dinner with these mushroom + kale quesadillas and probably a couple of roasted blueberry basil margaritasto drown in my sorrows. Only kidding, I’ll be fine.
Maybe my trainer would chill out if I offered him a margarita? But then again, he’s there to push me to help me get in great shape; that’s why I made these skinny! I can’t go around eating pie and doing jump squats; those two activities would not mix well.
These strawberries are a great party appetizer or summer treat for anyone. The filling is made with reduced-fat cream cheese, nonfat vanilla greek yogurt (protein!), key lime juice and zest. All you have to do is hollow out the strawberries then fill them with this mix.
I topped my strawberries with sliced toasted almonds, but I think that crushed graham crackers would add a lovely texture and be more reminiscent of a true key lime pie or cheesecake.
After I filled the strawberries, I froze them for about an hour. I think they would be also delicious if you froze them before filling, but that’s up to you. I also found that I had a bit of the filling left over… UM, thank goodness because I spooned that on top of everything. And when I mean EVERYTHING I mean granola, bananas, almonds, in a smoothie, on a muffin, AND on top of graham crackers. My crazy drill sargent trainer would not be proud that all these things, but you act like I could resist putting this dip on everything in sight. It’s called recipe testing!
So really the filling can act as a dip, too! A creamy, healthy key lime cheesecake flavored dip perfect enough to serve to guests at a party, give your kids, or just to distract you from real pie.
Well until next week when pie takes over this blog and I throw pictures of oreos, bananas, peanut butter, and whip cream in your face. So just trust me, eat skinny things while you still can.
Strawberries filled with a sweet and zesty key lime cheesecake yogurt filling.
1 lb large strawberries
8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup vanilla nonfat greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh key lime juice
1 teaspoon key lime zest
Optional toppings: Sliced toasted almonds, graham cracker crumbs, extra zest, chocolate drizzle
Rinse the strawberries and dry. Remove the top with a pairing knife; set strawberries aside until ready to fill.
Whip the cream cheese until it is fluffy and light. Fold in yogurt, key lime juice, and zest; mixing until well combined. Refrigerate to thicken, about 20 minutes.
Add cream cheese mixtue to a pastry bag or ziploc bag with the tip cut off. Fill each strawberry with the mixture and add additional toppings such as almonds, graham crackers crumbs, or chocolate drizzle if desired. Serve immediately or place in freezer for an hour for a cool treat.
I mean, have you ever wondered why old people love butterscotch candies so much? I did and I googled it… here is the answer. Please read the entire explanation.
I think the best part is the last sentence. Spot on, right?
I’ve discovered that my soul must be about 70 because some of my favorite sweets include butterscotch candies, Fig Newtons, peppermint patties, and Almond Joys. Simplicity is good in the candy world. The sweet and salty versions and contrasting textures that make up a good bar.
Almond joys are great examples: coconut, almonds, and dark chocolate. I mean, it’s kind of just simple perfection. Or perfect enough for me to want to put the ingredients on top of my ice cream anyway.
When you dream and work in the food world — you always want to experiment with what you create. To be wild and explorative makes things interesting. Adding bourbon to sauces and cookies, baking with brown butter, adding green chile to eggs. These things are totally what I’m about–keeping it fearless and sassy.
Anyway my point is that applying more spontenaity to my actual life could be beneficial. These days I tell myself to pursue the projects I think I might enjoy. If they don’t work out, then it’s not meant to be. Right now, I’ve got A LOT of thing I’m working on… including a guest post from someone VERY special this week!
Opportunities are endless.
Can ice cream be endless too?
Without a doubt. Especially when it’s healthy and vegan. Although I will admit that this really isn’t ice cream — it’s a one ingredient guiltless summer treat. All you need is a couple of frozen bananas and a food processor (or a blender). Once the frozen banana are processed, they turn into a creamy treat that mimicks your favorite soft serve! Make sure you use ripe bananas to ensure sweetness and an irresistable texture. You’ll be surprised by this one.
Banana “Ice Cream” with Toasted Coconuts, Almonds, & Dark Chocolate
To make the banana ice cream:
Start with 2-4 ripe bananas. Peel your bananas and cut them into small chunks. Freeze for just 2-4 hours on a plate or in a plastic bag. Place into food processor and process (you can use a blender as well), making sure to scrape down the bowl when they stick. Again process the bananas until they create a creamy puree. Serve in a cold bowl or in a cone. Each banana will make ½ cup of “ice cream.”
To make Almond Joy version:
Add 2 tablespoons of toasted coconut, 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips, and 1 tablespoon of chopped almonds to a medium bowl. Sprinkle on top of banana ice cream.
Wayyy back before my obsession with yoga, shopping for shoes, and the Food Network, I was a child who loved the following:
-drawing pictures of ballerinas
-reading mystery books
My mom says that I was usually happiest when I was being creative… but she’s so wrong. There was something else that made me completely happy. Uhhh no, it wasn’t a margarita… or Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. It was something much much better.
Ice cream! Had you guessed by the giant picture of the ice cream cone?
Back up. Let me just fill you in for a sec. I pretty much ate ice cream in any form possible.
Bubble gum push pops.
Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches.
Snickers ice cream bars.
Bowls of vanilla bean.
Sundaes. (I always asked for more hot fudge and peanuts.)
Peanut butter cup DQ Blizzards.
Wait… Banana split? Happy for weeks.
I mean seriously what’s better than ice cream when you’re a kid?
My favorite way to have ice cream was every Sunday with my Dad. We sort of had this ridiculous tradition which consisted of eating everything my Mom wouldn’t give me. So at the end of each weekend in the summer we’d go to Dairy Queen. I’d get a vanilla cone with sprinkles on it; sometimes even dipped in butterscotch or cherry. Mom always told Dad to stop bringing me, but we just laughed about it and kept showing up at the house with ice cream cones bigger than our faces.
I totally miss the days where I could eat anything I wanted. Last summer I looked up the calories in dipped cones at DQ; let’s just say I now reserve those for special days. When I’m craving ice cream, I opt for frozen yogurt and even make my own that tastes just as good as the real thing. It doesn’t require an ice cream maker (although you can use one) and it’s perfect for the single girl (or guy).
This fro-yo is made with plain nonfat greek yogurt (good for you), cocoa powder (antioxidant), and stevia (all natural sweetener). I have a berry and chocolate obsession so that’s what happened here.
All that on top of a sugar cone? #freakingdelicious
Yep I just hashtagged in this post. Time to go eat a cone.
Blackberry & Chocolate Greek Frozen Yogurt Cones (with or without an ice cream maker)
Makes 1 serving
1 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
2 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 packed all natural sweetener (I used Truvia-it’s less bitter))
6 berries (blackberries or raspberries)
1 sugar cone
Directions (without an ice cream maker)
Mix yogurt, cocoa powder, and sweetener together in a small bowl. Next scoop yogurt into an ice cube tray. Cover and place in freezer for at least an hour or two.
One yogurt is frozen, remove from freezer and let it thaw out for a bit until it starts slightly melting or becoming creamy around the edges.
Once yogurt is a bit thawed, remove from ice cube tray and place the yogurt in a blender. Blend for about 5-10 second or until yogurt is slightly creamy, scooping down the sides if needed. Add berries and scoop out of blender and immediately place in cone.
If you are using an ice cream maker, simply mix all ingredients together then transfer to your ice cream maker
Feel free to omit the berries and add sprinkles instead
Because of my general lack of time these days, I haven’t been in my kitchen in a week. The truth is, although I’d love to bring you recipes, I can’t bear myself to take pictures in the dark.
Don’t worry! I can’t be away for too long. Baking and cooking is in my soul, it’s just what I do. Making pies for hunnys. I’ll be back soon with some sweet delights and healthy bites. I’ve also been working on developing a Pinterest site, a tailored newsletter for all of you, plus Valentine’s day goodies!
Today, I’m having a guest blogger for the first time ever. She made Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies. Crazy awesome, I know! I hope you enjoy her healthy recipe.
Well, I’ll be honest with you, it’s hard. Like really hard!
It can be difficult even knowing where to begin. There are temptations everywhere you go! Especially when you’re waiting in line for your morning cup of joe at Starbucks. Next to the register awaits buttery banana walnut bread screaming to be paired with a salted caramel hot chocolate. I’m totally guilty! After munching on this, a headache and guilt ensues. My eyes were bigger than my stomach. Again.
I’m here to tell you that eating healthy takes a lot of experimenting. Some days you’ll eat beautiful colorful salads, quinoa, and everything labeled organic and natural. Other days you’ll feel as though your car drove itself to the McDonald’s drive thru as you barely remember chomping on salty french fries. You’ll eat these Poptartsfor breakfast simply because you love them. You’ll give yourself excuses too. Maybe your boyfriend and you broke up and you ate a pint of Ben and Jerry’s plus six chocolate chip cookies. (Okay you might have good reasoning here– that jerk)! Of course we all have that love/hate relationship with Chinese buffets.
I’m obsessed with Berets.
No matter what the case, we all have downfalls! Most of the time we feel regretful and guilty, but learning from those indulgences and moving on is the only thing you can do. While giving into your cravings is okay every once in a while, the trick is realizing that your body is happier eating eggs and oatmeal for breakfast. Chocolate chip muffins bigger than your face are awkward to eat and big no-nos. Oh, and that inhaling that box of Oreo cookies isn’t going to solve a crisis. Even though I really wish they would.
But where do you begin with this health chaos you’re in?
Someone once told me that they didn’t like banana bread.
What? Everyone likes banana bread.
I think I stared at them in shock for a good 10 minutes. Because if you don’t like bread, then how can we be friends? It’s the BEST bread on earth. The bread that makes you remember what it’s like to be a kid and eat massive amounts of sweets when your mom wasn’t looking. It’s moist. It’s heavenly. It’s awesome. It’s in your face.
You know what else has been in my face a lot lately? Reality TV. Everytime I turn on the TV there it is. And you know what I think I secretly like it. It’s addicting. Don’t judge.
In fact I kinda want to be Giuliana Rancic’s best friend. Mainly because I want to raid her closet. But she seems nice and fun. And I bet she likes bananas. I’m going to tweet her and find out.
Ah the power of Twitter. You can find out if people like banana bread.
Speaking of social media…
Maybe I should have defriended the person that didn’t like banana bread. Because that’s what you do these days. You go on Facebook and defriend the people who don’t like banana bread.
Only kidding. That would be rude. But I am going to hug them next time I see them. They are missing out one of the best breakfasts in the world. That makes me sad.
Okay but really, you want to know why this banana bread is so great?
Because it has coconut in it.
And toasted coconut on top.
It also has greek yogurt in it.
And a splash of orange juice.
Plus it’s made with love.
And because it will be your favorite breakfast ever.
Oh, and did I mention it’s healthy? Yep that’s right. 115 calories per slice. Yes, I will repeat that for you. 115 calories per slice. I calculated it out just for you.
Why is it healthy you ask? Because I use egg whites, greek yogurt, and minimal oil. It’s a lower fat, healthy option for you. The coconut provides some good fats though.
It also provides a bomb of flavor goodness in your mouth. Moist, delicious tropical savory sweetness.
A healthy, low fat banana bread packed with coconut. Great for breakfast!
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 Large ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup + 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
½ tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup of brown sugar
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons skim milk
¼ cup fat free plain greek yogurt
¼ cup orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda together in mixing bowl. In separate large mixing bowl combine mashed bananas, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg whites and mix together until smooth. Next add oil. Then, slowly add in flour and combine until moist.
Next add greek yogurt and orange juice. Depending on the consistency you can add 2 tablespoons of skim milk. If you like your bread more dense than omit the milk, but if you like it more airy or lighter you can add it.
Lastly fold in ½ cup of coconut into batter. Pour into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of coconut on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and the bread is golden brown.
Optional: throw in ½ cup of walnuts to batter to help keep you satisfied all morning. Another option: Substitute ½ cup of regular flour with whole wheat flour. Make 16 slices.