Dark Chocolate, Coconut and Almond Granola

Dark Chocolate, Coconut and Almond Granola

This dark chocolate, coconut and almond granola is the BEST granola for snacking! Or, enjoy it with milk or yogurt for a satisfying breakfast. Made with mashed bananas and maple syrup, it’s lower in sugar but still plenty sweet. With chunks of dark chocolate, roughly chopped almonds, quinoa and big clusters, it’s got tons of crunch too!

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The Ultimate Recovery Smoothie

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KashiPlantPower #GOTOGETHER #CollectiveBias

The ultimate recovery smoothie is packed with ingredients to boost recovery after a hard workout, along with Kashi's new plant powered shake! 

Remember when I ran a half marathon earlier this year and was all like, "it's one and done! I just want to prove that I can do it!" Well, perhaps unsurprisingly, I've signed up for another half marathon this fall.

This time I'm running the Greenville Spinx Run Fest in October along with a group of girlfriends. My husband, who is the kinda guy who can just run 13.1 miles with no training whatsoever (ugh, I hate him) may or may not be joining. It's Halloween weekend so he really wants to dress as a T-Rex and have me dress as Laura Dern from Jurassic Park. I am all over this idea.

So my official training started this week and with that means paying a little bit more attention to how I'm feeding myself. That was one of the big lessons for me last time I trained. Even though I knew all about sports nutrition, experiencing for myself what running felt like after not fueling myself adequately drove the point home!

This time I'm training during these insanely hot South Carolina days, so I know ice cold smoothies are going to play a vital role! When I got the opportunity to partner with Kashi to highlight their new Kashi® GOLEAN™ Plant Powered Shakes, I knew I wanted to show you how to make my ultimate recovery smoothie.

So what makes this smoothie special?

Kashi GOLEAN Plant Powered Shake in Dark Cocoa // After a strenuous run, it's important to get a nice dose of protein to switch the catabolic hormones (break down muscle) to anabolic hormones (build muscle). Kashi's brand new shake contains 21 grams of plant powered protein from dried peas, sprouted beans, flax and hemp - all natural and good for you ingredients. It's gluten free, vegan and contains 1 billion CFU of probiotics to support gut health. Like Kashi Organic Breakfast Superblends (another one of their new products) both are convenient for an on-the-go lifestyle - both can be simply mixed with water or your choice of dairy to make an easy protein shake, or blend into your favorite smoothie recipe. It's available at Target.com.

I chose dark cocoa because not only does it taste like a chocolate milkshake, but chocolate also contains antioxidants that help reduce post workout soreness! Chocolate is also great for preworkout snacking as it contains antioxidants called epicatechins that improve blood flow to muscles, improving endurance. 

Tart Cherry Juice // The sour taste of tart cherry juice is an indication of high levels of anthocyanins, an antioxidant that helps reduce post workout pain and soreness. Look for pure tart cherry juice in the drink aisle along with the other juices bottled in glass jars.

Medjool Dates // With their sweet, caramel like taste, dates are one of my favorite ways to sweeten foods.Dates are mineral rich which helps replace what was lost in sweat. They also provide a concentrated source of natural sugars, which your body needs after a workout to restore glycogen stores.

Banana // Potassium!! A ton of it is lost in sweat when you're running outside. Bananas are a concentrated source of potassium, as well as natural sugars to boost glycogen stores.

Spirulina // I call spirulina nature's multi-vitamin. Spirulina is an algae that's commonly used as a supplement because of it's nutrient density. It contains more nutrients, and a wider variety of nutrients than just about any food out there. If you use a small amount, you won't taste it, so start with 1/4 of a teaspoon.

Coconut Water // Often called "nature's sports drink" because of the sodium and potassium it contains, I love the light and refreshing flavor it adds to this smoothie.

If you'd like to try Kashi's new GOLEAN Plant Powered Shake or their Organic Breakfast Superblends, enjoy $10 off using the discount code: TGTKASHI.

Connect with Kashi:

Ultimate Recovery Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks

  • 1 scoop Kashi GOLEAN Plant Powered Shake in Chocolate Vinyasa

  • 2 dates, pitted

  • 2/3 cup coconut water

  • 1/3 cup tart cherry juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon spirulina

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients together in a blender and blend until pureed. Serve immediately.

The Creamiest Vanilla Chia Smoothie Bowl + A Giveaway!

Learn my trick for making the creamiest vanilla chia smoothie bowl with a protein boost from Kura smoothie powder! Don't forget to enter the giveaway for 3 bags of Kura AND a new blender! 

This post was sponsored by Kura Nutrition. I was provided with products and compensated for my time. Thanks for supporting the quality brands I love that make this blog possible! 

Eat less. Move more.

If you've ever dieted, it's a phrase you're familiar with. Heck, if you've ever opened a magazine, been to a doctors office, accidentally clicked on one of those spammy dieting articles, or stumbled across literally any government sponsored health promotion material, you've heard the saying.

And if we're being honest, it's a mantra I definitely spouted. It makes me cringe to think about it, but yes, there was a time I thought weight loss was as simple as eat less and move more.

Since then, I've been enlightened. Enlightened with both experience, and with plenty of new research showing weight is much more complex than a mathematical equation.

Eat less, move more is what I would consider a half truth. Calories are a measure of the energy in food. That goes for any food, not just chips, pizza, and double chocolate chunk ice cream. Extra calories we eat that aren't used for energy are stored as fat. One way to utilize more calories is to exercise more.

Knowing that, one might deduce that to lose weight, they must eat less and move more. And if one wants to loose a lot a of weight or lose weight quickly, they might eat a lot less and move a lot more.

This is why so many people turn to deprivation to lose weight. It's why you see 1200 calorie diets advertised on the cover of magazines. It's why people spend hours of their week pounding away on an elliptical. It's why I just saw an acquaintance post on facebook how disappointed she was in 'only' losing half a pound after practically starving herself doing one of those 3 day fix things. It's why hunger is considered a sign that you're 'doing things right.

That's the problem with simplifying weight control as eat less, move more - deprivation is the obvious conclusion. But it doesn't work. If we were machines rather than complex living creatures, sure, we could plug in the weight we want to be, when we want to be there and arrive at our destination. However we are humans, and it's a bit more complicated.

We know deprivation works for rapid, short term weight loss, but it backfires in the long run. Here's why. When you lose weight, your body responds by lowering its metabolic rate to fit your smaller size. When weight loss is rapid, metabolism drops at a faster rate than expected. To continue losing weight, you would have to eat less and less. To maintain, you could never go "off" your diet, even for short periods. With a lowered metabolic rate, it would  trigger weight regain, much more so than if you had lost the weight using slower, more sustainable changes.

There are so many other factors that impact weight besides the usual diet and exercise. Stress doesn't only trigger weight gain by causing you to run into the arms of Ben & Jerry - increases in stress hormones like cortisol trigger fat storage. Recent research is showing the role gut bacteria plays in weight. Then there's sleep. Did you know just 30 minutes less sleep than what you need can affect weight?

I can't tell you how many men and women I've worked with through the years who have whittled down what they eat to practically nothing, pound away at the gym, and still not lose weight.

As a final nail in the deprivation coffin, know that approximately 95% of people who lose weight through drastic measures will regain the weight they lost. And then some.

So we can all agree now - deprivation is the literal worst. And there's know way to know what your healthy weight is, which is opposite of what we're told. We don't have control over our weight, despite what diet culture tells us, but we do have control over behaviors. So let's start engaging in health promoting ones and let our body settle where it's supposed to. 

  1. Nourish your body - Focus on nourishment, not deprivation. When you focus on filling up on nutrient-dense whole foods, you automatically crowd out rich, sugary or processed foods. Plus, whole foods are naturally more filling, so you'll feel satisfied too.
  2. Feed your gut - Give your gut it's favorite food - fiber! That means lots of fruit, vegetables, and beans. Replenish your gut bacteria with fermented food and/or probiotics.
  3. Eat less added sugar - Enjoy sugar in things that are really delicious, like an extra gooey and chocolatey brownie. Avoid added sugar coming from foods hidden sources, like snack foods, dressings and protein shakes.
  4. Build muscle - Cardio burns calories, but it also makes you pretty hungry. That right, you're not the only one craving an entire pizza after a long run. Muscle tissue is more metabolically active, meaning it burns more calories at rest.

Kura Nutrition, the makers of the tastiest smoothie protein powder I've ever tried, covers all four of those bases. It's made with 14 grams of grassfed dairy protein from happy cows, which is packed with the amino acid leucine, the rock star of muscle growth. One serving contains 4 billion CFU (colony forming units) of probiotics as well as prebiotics to feed their growth. Kura contains 26 vitamins and minerals and provides a nice little dose of omega 3 fats on top of what naturally occurs in grassfed dairy. Best of all, it's made with no added sugar, just the hint of sweetness from the naturally occurring sugars in dairy!

What I appreciate most about Kura is that the company is committed to the same principles of nourishment over deprivation that I talk about all the time over here on Avocado. So why not start your day by nourishing your body with this extra creamy smoothie bowl, made with Kura's vanilla protein smoothie powder. Guys, I'm not kidding when I tell you it's the best smoothie bowl I've ever made! The trick is using an easy, overnight chia pudding instead of milk, which gives it a thick, pudding-like consistency. It's basically socially acceptable breakfast ice cream!

Don't miss your chance to try Kura at home! Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win 3 bags of Kura plus a new blender!

*CLOSED*

Vanilla Chia Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1

The trick to making the worlds creamiest smoothie bowl is blending in chia seeds soaked in plant milk. I made a big batch and scooped out 1/2 cup of chia pudding as needed. Also delish with chocolate and berry Kura protein smoothie powder too!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 frozen banana, in chunks
  • 1 packet or scoop Kura vanilla protein smoothie powder
  • Toppings: freeze dried fruit, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, nut butter

Instructions

  1. The night before, mix chia seeds and plant milk in a small bowl. Let sit, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next morning, when ready to eat, blend chia mixture, banana and Kura protein powder in a food processor until creamy. Serve with optional toppings, or as I like to call them, sprinkles!

Triple Chocolate Banana Ice Cream with Vegan Shell Topping

Make this triple chocolate dairy free banana ice cream topped with an easy two ingredient vegan shell topping! 

I should probably go ahead and give you my address cause you're gonna want to send me flowers for this one.

Surely, at this point you've heard of (and hopefully have tried) one ingredient banana ice cream, or banana nice cream as it's so often called. No dairy. No sugar. No ice cream maker. Just a frozen banana a food processor. Whip it up until it forms a cool, creamy mass. Being the ice cream snob that I am, I held off on trying it for years - well after it made the rounds on pinterest. Until finally I tried it and life was never the same. Err ok, it was the same but with lots more banana ice cream.

Sometimes though, you want something just a little more decadent and that's where this triple chocolate banana ice cream comes in. Blended in with the ice cream is a scoop of chocolate peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter + Co), cocoa powder and a little coconut cream for extra yumminess. The kicker is this easy vegan chocolate magic shell, made with the magic of dark chocolate and coconut oil. I got the idea from my pal Alex at Delish Knowledge. You'll be seeing a lot more of her around these parts as we're working together along with Anne from fANNEtastic Food to launch an online wellness program.

Do y'all remember Magic Shell, the chocolate syrup that hardens when drizzled on ice cream to make a crunchy, chocolatey shell? Do they still make it? (<--- Just googled it. They do. Phew). It's pretty much the worlds greatest ice cream topping with crumbled up double stuff oreos in a distant second. When I was a kid, my favorite treat was a scoop of Breyer's vanilla ice cream (always Breyers. I was an ice cream snob even back then) in a glass of milk with a hefty drizzle of magic shell. You swirl it with a spoon right after pouring the magic shell in and it make these swirls of hardened chocolate. Pure heaven. The best was when you got a spoonful of melty ice cream with some of the chocolatey swirls that had settled on the bottom. Heaven.

...And now I'm dreaming of creating an epic version of it with macadamia nut milk, coconut ice cream and this homemade magic shell. Since my brain is going to be fixated on that, I should probably go ahead and sign off with the recipe, because how do you form words when that's on your mind?

Triple Chocolate Dairy Free Banana Ice Cream

1 large or 2 small servings

Regular peanut butter works too if you don't have chocolate on hand. This makes extra magic shell, which you can store in the fridge. You'll have to remelt before each use by heating it in the microwave about 60 seconds, stopping halfway to stir.

Ingredients

Ice Cream:

  • 1 frozen banana

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon chocolate peanut butter

  • 1 tablespoon coconut cream (taken from the top of a can of full fat coconut milk)

  • Coconut whipped cream, optional, for serving

  • Shredded coconut, optional for serving

  • Vegan magic shell, optional, for serving

Vegan Magic Shell:

  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions

  1. First, make the shell topping. Microwave chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl about 30 seconds. Stir and put back in the microwave 20-30 seconds more. Stir until chocolate is melted and combined.

  2. Next, place banana, cocoa powder, peanut butter and coconut cream in a food processor. Blend, scraping down sides as needed, until a creamy mass of 'ice cream' forms.

  3. Scoop ice cream in a bowl or cup. Garnish with whipped cream, shredded coconut (if using) and magic shell.

More banana-chocolate love children:

One Ingredient Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

One Ingredient Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

Low Sugar Dark Chocolate Almond Granola

Low Sugar Dark Chocolate Almond Granola

Roasted Bananas with Salted Coconut Cream, Dark Chocolate and Pistachios

Roasted Bananas with Salted Coconut Cream, Dark Chocolate and Pistachios

Gluten Free Carrot-Pecan Muffins

Alternate title: Life Changing Muffins.

This is no exaggeration friends. These bad boys are made with a combination of whole grains and almond meal and naturally sweetened with only dates, banana and shredded carrots. Although they're not cakey like store bought muffins, they're hearty and dense - a stick to your rib type of muffin.

I adapted this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories, and since then, I've adapted it many more times. Just keep the basic dry and wet mixtures the same, then swap in different shredded fruit, vegetables and nuts. You could also swap apple sauce for mashed banana if you like, but add a few extra dates to compensate for the sweetness. Although these muffins are gluten free, you could also make them gluten full by swapping whole wheat flour or spelt flour.


Gluten Free Carrot-Pecan Muffins

Makes 12

To make these vegan, use plant yogurt and swap 3 tablespoons ground chia seed mixed with 9 tablespoons water.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 roughly chopped carrots, about 1 cup
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place oats in a food processor and blend until they form a flour. Pour out into a large bowl. Add almond meal, buckwheat flour, tapicoa starch, baking powder, baking soda, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and whisk to combine.
  3. Place carrots in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to dry mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Add dates to the flood processor and blend until roughly chopped. Add bananas, eggs, yogurt, coconut oil, and ginger and blend until pureed. Stir wet ingredients into dry until fully combined. Stir in pecans.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the wells of a lined 12 cup muffin tin. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Store covered at room temperature and transfer to the refrigerator after a couple days.

Roasted Bananas with Salted Coconut Cream, Dark Chocolate and Pistachios

Sweet roasted bananas with salted coconut cream, dark chocolate and pistachios is the perfect gluten free and vegan dessert for summer entertaining. 

Fresh fruit as dessert has never been my style. Great for snacking, but as dessert? Nope, not gonna cut it. Whenever I read a nutrition article encouraging people to swap dessert for fruit, I literally want to jump through the screen and kick them in the kneecap. No. Just no.

But when you roast aforementioned fresh fruit in honey, serve it over a lightly sweetened and sea salted coconut cream and garnish it with a crunchy mixture of dark chocolate chunks, toasted coconut and pistachios, then that is a fruit dessert I can get behind.

If you're gonna do fruit as dessert, you probably want to take my advice and roast it first. Concentrating the natural sugar and adding a hint of caramelized flavor takes fruit from tasty snack to droolworthy. Sweet and creamy bananas are a perfect candidate.

Bananas are a great way to enjoy a sweet and creamy dessert with less added sugar. Dense in natural sugars with a creamy consistency, I use bananas to sweeten and replace fats and dairy in all sorts of desserts from cookies to ice cream to bars to milkshakes.

In the nutrient department, they're adding a lot more than just potassium. Bananas contain sterols, a plant compound that's structurally similar to cholesterol, but actually blocks the absorption of cholesterol. They also pack a hefty dose of soluble fiber, a cholesterol lowering type of fiber. Bananas are great for digestion as well as they contain pectin, a type of prebiotic fiber that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria. In one study, eating two bananas a day led to a significant increase of bifidobacterium, a friendly-type of bacteria often used in probiotics. Pectin content increases as bananas ripen, so enjoy those bananas when they're super spotty and sweet!

Roasted Bananas with Salted Coconut Cream, Dark Chocolate and Pistachios

Serves 6

Ingredients

Roasted Bananas:

  • 6 bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Coconut Cream: 

  • 1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Sea salt

Other Ingredients: 

  • Chopped pistachios

  • Chopped dark chocolate

  • Toasted shredded unsweetened coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. In a small bowl, stir together coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Arrange bananas cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush with the coconut honey mixture. Place in the oven and roast 20 minutes until lightly golden and tender.

  3. While bananas are roasting, combine coconut milk, honey and vanilla in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until thickened. Once slightly thickened, stir in sea salt to taste. I used about 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

  4. Spoon some of the salted coconut sauce into the middle of a dessert plate. Top with two roasted banana halves. Garnish decoratively with pistachios, dark chocolate and coconut.

Food Rx: Red Velvet Smoothie

This vibrantly hued red velvet smoothie can help boost your endurance during a workout, thanks to a surprise ingredient - beets! 

A couple months ago, I committed to my friends, family and the entire internet to running a half marathon next year. As someone who hasn't run more than 3 miles since high school, this was either a powerful, exciting and inspiring commitment that will show me what I'm really made of....or a totally boneheaded move. Only time will tell.

As I've started to wean myself back into running, I've been trying to eat a runner too, getting plenty of healthy carbs before my runs, increasing my protein intake a bit and including more endurance boosting foods in my diet.

One of those endurance boosting foods? Beets! I know, a smoothie isn't exactly the place you'd expect to see beets, or want to see beets for that matter. But trust me on this one, chocolate and beets are a natural pair (please see these chocolate beet cupcakes). Plus, both work together to improve endurance and blood flow to muscles during your workout. Head over the Healthy Aperture blog for the recipe to make this red velvet smoothie with beets!

Sexy Strawberry Cream Vegan Milkshakes

Wanna guess my favorite kind of smoothie? One that's really actually a milkshake.

What, did you think I was going to say a kale smoothie?? Pffffttt!

But before we get to this amazingly creamy, dreamy milkshake/smoothie hybrid, I should probably explain why I'm sharing this luxurious treat when everyone in the world is searching for salads and green smoothies. Today, the Miyagi of the dietitian blogger world, Regan Jones (of Healthy Aperture, Blog Brulee, RDs for Disclosure and Recipe Redux fame) turns forty. She has done so much for her fellow dietitian bloggers, and in the process, gaining the respect and admiration of her colleagues. And for that, a whopping forty of us got together to throw her a virtual birthday party by sharing healthy cocktails or gluten free desserts in her honor!

Cue the confetti and champagne toast!

I've said it before, but one of the best things about becoming a blogger was  joining this incredible community. It would be easy for us to view each other as competition, bash and belittle each other, but instead we support, uplift and help each other grow and succeed. Regan is a huge reason for this, really setting the standard for how to treat others within our community. She works with brand contacts to create sponsorship opportunities for us smaller bloggers. She's developed an entire recipe sharing network through Healthy Aperture to highlight the healthy food blogger. She spent an entire year organizing Blog Brulee, an inspiring blogging conference that we all agreed, did so much more than teach us about photography and search engine optimization (although it did that too!). Regan is funny, bossy (in a good way!), motivated, enthusiastic, creative and talented...it's no wonder we all love her so!

Plus, she even shared one of my all-time favorite blogging tips - how to make food look sexy, hence the title.

Regan, wishing you the happiest of birthdays! Thank you so much for all your support and for welcoming me into this community with open arms! The inspiration I gained at Blog Brulee helped make 2014 the best year yet, and I wish the same for you in your fortieth!

Now, on to this milkshake. Err, smoothie. Because ingredient-wise, it has absolutely nothing in common with a milkshake. However if you factor taste and creaminess, it's got everything in common with a milkshake.

Frozen bananas are the secret to getting that milkshake consistency. The creamy, sugar dense fruit not only sweetens the smoothie, but makes it thick and creamy. I added macadamia nuts for even more creamy, fatty mouthfeel. Plus, I love the rich flavor it gives along with the coconut milk.

I used unsweetened coconut milk, the thinner kind they sell by the soy and almond milks. You could use canned coconut milk, which would make it pretty thick, but hey, when has anyone complained about their milkshake being too thick?? Considering the amount of coconut used in the recipe, canned coconut milk would make it a bit of a calorie bomb. A delicious whole food calorie-bomb...but a calorie bomb nonetheless.

To save time, you could skip making the strawberry sauce and blend frozen strawberries into it. But, we know how Regan likes her food sexy, and what's hotter than swirls of bright red, vanilla-scented strawberry bits running through a creamy, white base? Not much. Not much at all.

Sexy Strawberry Cream Vegan Milkshakes

2 servings

Ingredients

Strawberry Sauce:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon honey

    Shake:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk

  • 2 medium frozen bananas

  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts

Instructions

  1. Place strawberries, vanilla and honey in a small pot on medium heat. Bring to a simmer. mashing with a potato masher or the back of a spoon as the juices release. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened. Remove and set aside to cool.

  2. Add coconut milk, bananas and macadamia nuts to a blender. Blend until smooth.

  3. Divide strawberry sauce between two glasses, Top with milkshake. Swirl together a bit with a spoon and enjoy!

Baked Oatmeal with Bananas and Berries

This fruity baked oatmeal with bananas and berries is the perfect breakfast to bring to a potluck brunch! 

A few weeks ago in my yoga class, we discussed the concept of dharma. It's a complicated concept, and I don't think I got it 100%, but what stood out to me most was the importance of building your life around your strengths and the activities that make you happy.

After class, I kept thinking about dharma and how to incorporate the principle into my life and my mind kept going back to this little blog. As much as I love my job, writing here taps into my creative side - it brings me joy! And that joy from blogging has brought new energy and life to my real job.

Today's recipe is adapted from the first blog I ever subscribed to, 101 cookbooks. I started reading it right after I became a dietitian - it's actually what initially inspired me to start a blog. 101 Cookbooks is where I first learned how to use many natural ingredients and create food that's tasty and nourishing.

Baked Oatmeal with Bananas and Berries

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups
  • 2% milk, unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk (not the canned kind - too thick for this recipe)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced into
  • 1/2 in rounds
  • 1 1/2 cups berries, fresh or frozen

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray the inside of an 8-inch baking dish with oil.
  2. In a bowl, mix together oats, half the walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, mix together the maple syrup, milk, egg, butter and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
  3. Layer slices of banana on the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle 1 cup of berries over the bananas. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Carefully pour the milk mixture over the oats, giving the baking dish a good tap to make sure it settles in. Sprinkle the remaining berries and walnuts over the top.
  4. Bake for 35-45 minutes until set with a golden brown crust. Remove and let cool slightly before slicing.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
banana sweetened chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

These cookies are one of the nutritious treats we frequently enjoy at our house. I was surprised to find something that was gluten-free, flourless, butterless, eggless and made with no added sugars could be so good. Friends and family frequently request these cookies at tailgates, potlucks and other events. I highly suggest you keep these ingredients on hand to whip up a batch whenever your sweet tooth hits!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Serves: 30

Run almonds through the food processor if you can't find any almond meal. I purchase mine in bulk from our local health food store. Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Ingredients

  • About 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (from about 3 large)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed slightly, or olive oil
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Instructions

  1. Put the oven rack in the top third.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the mashed banana, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the oats, almond meal, coconut, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Fold in the chocolate.
  6. Drop tablespoon sized balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with canola oil.
  7. Bake about 14 minutes.
  8. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire cooling rack.