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Dessert

The Best Banana Nut Muffin…EVER

Best Banana Nut Bread

This recipe is hands down one of the best banana nut bread recipes out there. Personally, I prefer making muffins to the traditional loafs. In my opinion muffins are prettier than slices of bread and trick me into thinking I am eating something more substantial. I highly recommend making extra and freezing some in individual baggies for snacks or breakfast on the go. Trust me, these won’t last long 🙂

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • ¼ c almond butter
  • 2 T coconut oil, softened
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ c coconut flour
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ c chopped walnuts

Extras:

  • ¼ c-½ c Enjoy Life chocolate mini chips (they are dairy, nut, gluten and soy free!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, or use muffin liners, set aside.
  2. In the medium-large bowl combine bananas, maple syrup, vanilla, almond butter and coconut oil and mix until well combined on medium speed with an electric mixer. When mixture is smooth and creamy add in eggs, one at a time, mix on medium speed until combined.
  3. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add in coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; mix again until just combined. Gently fold in walnuts and chocolate chips if using.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Fats:

Per muffin, makes 12 servings

Calories 126

Protein 3.7g

Fat 6.8g

Carbohydrate 14.5g

Fiber 3.5g

Sugar 6.9g

Maple Granola Recipe

Maple Granola I grew up baking with my mother for special occasions, holidays and some days for no reason at all. To give you an idea of how often we baked, about seven years ago I was invited to my boyfriend’s friend’s Christmas party. I would be meeting everyone for the first time (including parents) so naturally, I wanted to make a good impression. I brought beautifully decorated, freshly made sugar cookies packaged nicely in bakery boxes with holiday tissue (presentation is everything!). The funny thing is, they were convinced I bought them … not to toot my own horn but let’s just say they looked as great as they tasted 😉 Quite hysterical if you ask me! For my mother and I, baking was really about spending quality time together, talking, sharing stories and bonding. Heavenly desserts just happened to be a by-product. Thus, waves of nostalgia sweep over me each time I bake, taking me right back to my mom’s kitchen.

Unfortunately I can’t stick to the same recipes I grew up with. Now that I am aware of the health dangers granulated sugar, wheat and dairy, I look for alternative ways to bake. If I can’t find recipes, I create them! This is no easy task either. Baking sans white sugar, wheat and sometimes eggs can be a recipe for disaster. That is why my kitchen becomes a little test kitchen so I can actually see how well these new age recipes hold up before I decide to share them. This one I tweaked and made it scrumptious and nutritious.

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 c. GF oats
  • 1 c. nuts or seeds of your choice (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas…)
  • 1/2 c. flaxseeds
  • 2/3 c. coconut, shredded
  • 1/3 c. maple syrup, grade B
  • 1/3 c. sesame seed oil
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Whisk honey, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt in a small bowl.
  4. Combine with dry ingredients. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes.

 

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Who doesn’t like peanut butter cookies? I know I sure do! They’re delicious and with this recipe pretty much guilt free because I used xylitol instead of sugar. Xylitol is a fantastic natural sugar substitute. It is a low glycemic sugar that is processed from natural xylan-rich sources. Xylitol is safe for diabetics because it is metabolized independently from insulin. It has 40% fewer calories than processed sugar and 75% fewer carbs. Wow! If you don’t have it in your kitchen already, I suggest you go out and get some! The brand I like is called Xyla.

 

PB cookies

  • Peanut Butter + Xylitol + Eggs

Mix 1 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup xylitol with 1 egg. Stir until smooth. Drop tablespoon sized balls onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes. Makes 1 dozen cookies. Allow the cookies to cool then enjoy! You may want to refrigerate to speed up the process 🙂

Chocolate Pudding

This delicious recipe is packed full of healthy fat, protein, complex carbohydrates. It tastes so good you wouldn’t guess that it is actually good for you! It is sweetened with maple syrup which is mineral and antioxidant rich. Researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that maple syrup is filled with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich compounds that may help prevent several chronic and inflammatory diseases like diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s. In addition, this guilt-free pudding packs 14 grams of satiating protein per 1/2 cup serving. Not too shabby for a dessert.

 Chocolate Pudding

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana, save a few slices for topping
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder ( I used pea protein)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, grade B
  • 2 tbsp cocao powder (not cocoa powder!)
  • 2-6 tbsp unsweetend almond milk, depending on desired consistency

Directions:

  1. Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Top with sliced bananas, strawberries or other clean toppings of your choice.

Banana Nut Cookie

It is as easy as 1-2-3-4! With only four ingredients you can whip up a healthy batch of cookies in no time at all.

 Banana Nut Cookie

Banana Nut Cookies

 

  • Bananas + Oats (GF) + Walnuts + Cinnamon 

Mash 2 large overripe bananas in a bowl. Add 1 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and tsp of cinnamon. With a melon baller drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350°. Makes 1 dozen cookies.

Nutrition Facts:
(per cookie)
Calories: 71
Total Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 11g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 2g
Protein: 2g

Banana Ice Cream

BananaIceCream

What? Ice cream made with one ingredient? Unbelievable!!! Well believe it my friends. This “ice cream” is super yummy and easy to make. Just follow these simple steps and your taste buds will thank you.

Ingredient:

  • Banana

Directions:

  • Peel your bananas first.
  • Cut them into small pieces.
  • Freeze for just 1-2 hours on a plate.
  • Blend, blend, blend – scraping down the bowl when they stick.
  • Enjoy the magic moment when they turn into ice cream!

Mini Chocolate Souffles

Cheat treat!! Even the most devout health fanatic needs to make some wiggle room in their clean diet. People tend to obsess over food that is “restricted”. That’s why you need to have a weekly cheat meal where you allow yourself to dig in to your cravings. If you don’t, then you may feel deprived and eventually binge. Make this treat the next time you want something sweet. It’s sweetened with honey which has anti-inflammatory benefits, antioxidants, and boosts immunity. So grab a spoon and dig in!

Dark Chocolate Souffle Cake

Makes 4 servings

Ready in 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 6 tbsp honey, divided
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/8 cream of tartar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spry 4 single-serve ramekins.
  2. Set a saucepan over low heat. Stir in cocoa and flour. Add milk and 3 tbsp of honey and whisk until smooth. Continue stirring until thick, about 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla and set aside to cool.
  3. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a small bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add honey, continuing to beat at high speed.
  4. Fold 1/4 cup of the egg whites into the cocoa mixture, gently fold in the remaining whites. Divide mixture into prepared ramekins. Bake for 15 minutes, or until puffy and set. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts

Calories: 140
Total Fat: 1 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 28 g
Protein: 4 g
Iron: 1 mg

Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

IMG_3439Okay, I have to be honest, baking was one of my favorite pastimes growing up. I looked forward to the holidays for several reasons, one of them was baking with my mom. We would make pies, sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, snicker doodles, and much much more. Our friends and family began to expect our sweets when the weather started to turn and Christmas lights went up. Now imagine my conundrum, I love to bake but sugar is literally poison. I was thrilled when I came across this recipe from food.com when baking cupcakes for my dad’s birthday. I made a couple substitutions to make it nutritionist approved and voila here’s a figure friendly cupcake recipe. For those of you who are gluten free, I’m working on a gluten free version so stay tuned!

Ingredients:

For Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup rapuda sugar
  • 1/2-1 c chocolate chips (I like to use “Enjoy Free Chocolate Chips” they are soy, dairy, and nut free!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3  cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or oil of your choice
  • 1 cup water or milk if using dairy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together until moist and well blended.
  3. Put in cupcake cups and bake for 20-25 minutes ( I baked regular sized for 20 minutes and mini for 12 minutes, you may wish to turn down the oven 25 degrees.) Check with a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean.
  4. Frost with your favorite icing.
  5. To make a layer cake, double the recipes and put in 2 round cake pans.
  6. Increase baking time to about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For Frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients and beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.

Vegan Pumpkin Custard

Prep time:20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Makes 8 Servings
By: Grace Dickenson

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14 oz) cans coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp agar
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • Dash of salt
  • Vegan whipped cream, optional

Directions:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium-sized pan, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Divide mixture between 8 ramekins.  Cool in refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.
  3. Serve, adding a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Baked Apricots with Almond Topping

A simple dessert from Martha Stewart’s “Dinner at Home” cookbook. It features the winning combination of apricots and almonds. Other stone fruit, such as peaches or nectarines, can be substituted, but they may take longer to bake.

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for dish
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar or sucanant
  • 6 apricots, peeled, halved, and pitted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish. Process almonds and brown sugar in a food processor until almonds are finely chopped. Add butter; process until just combined.
  2. Place apricot halves, cut sides up, in buttered baking dish. Cover top of each apricot half with almond mixture. Bake until apricots are soft and almond mixture is deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer 3 apricot halves to each serving plate. Serve warm.

 

Photo: Kristen Strecker

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