Banana Blondies with Nutella Frosting
As I was walking past my fruitbowl yesterday I noticed some very brown bananas. Not a problem for me…I love ultra ripe bananas but since I am reducing my intake of baked goods for a few weeks, I couldn’t whip up my favorite “brown banana” recipes. Instead, I made this batch of banana blondies for my son, Kyle, who is home from college this week. He’s a big Nutella fan so we thought the frosting would just put these babies over the top, which it did.
I strongly suggest using the most ripe bananas you can find and the best dark chocolate you can afford. It’s absolutely worth it. There is something so yummy about the banana and dark chocolate combination. It’s probably the ultra sweet ripe banana with the dark, bittersweet chocolate. Such a great pair.
These blondies came out unbelievably rich and dense. They were much better the second day, after I frosted them and they had a chance to soak up all that Nutella frosting goodness. As I mentioned, since I was cutting back on eating sweets, I had just a tiny taste but I can tell you, these were amazing.
1 Large Egg
1 C flour
3/4 C brown sugar
1 stick salted butter melted
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
1 mashed banana or 1 cup mashed banana
1/2 C dark chocolate chunks
For the frosting:
1 C Nutella (softened)
3 T melted butter
In the bowl of your mixer, combine the melted butter and brown sugar. Beat until combined. Add the egg, mashed banana and mix another 20 seconds. Add the flour and salt. Stir in the dark chocolate chunks. Spread into an 8″ prepared square pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and cool slightly.
Whip together the Nutella and the melted butter to make sort of a fudgey ganache frosting.
Spread the frosting over the blondies and let them sit in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. The longer they chill, the better they will taste.
Hand ground vegetable flour pancakes
I have been having a lot of fun with my birthday presents this year! I was so fortunate to receive a Victorio Deluxe Hand Crank Grain Mill so I could make my own flours. Not only is it very simple to use, it grinds into a beautiful, very fine powder. Perfect for baking, thickening soups and stews or anything you can think of.
I decided to grind up a bag of Hot Veggies I had leftover from a day of shopping at my local Whole Foods. I didn’t really love these veggies by themselves, as a snack but as a flour, they are really good!
The Victorio Mill takes 2 minutes to assemble and I ground a cup of vegetable flour in 3-4 minutes. I guess you could grind even faster depending on how strong you are! I added this flour to my favorite, Kodiak Cakes Protein Flapjack Mix but you could make them following your own pancake recipe. Substitute 1/3 of the flour you would normally use with 1/3 of the vegetable flour. My vegetable flour also contained hot peppers so I used a Sriracha Maple syrup on top. It was really spicy and delicious!
2/3 C Kodiak Cakes pancake mix (or your own recipe)
1/3 C Vegetable flour made from a combination of dehydrated vegetables (you can use a hand mill or food processor to make into a flour) the food processor will make a more coarsely ground flour.
1 C water (since I used a complete mix) follow your recipe with regard to liquids if you are not using a pre made mix
1 T sriracha sauce
3 T Vermont Maple Syrup
Whisk together the pancake mix, the vegetable flour and the water. Batter should be smooth but do not over mix.
Pour the batter into a preheated griddle (medium) or frying pan. Cook your pancakes as you normally would. While they are cooking, whisk together the maple syrup and sriracha sauce. Pour the syrup over the top of the pancakes and eat while nice and hot!
Everything you need in one tasty little bite!
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Pistachio Orange Biscotti
For some reason I never consider biscotti to be a “cookie”. I don’t even count the calories! I think that because they are dry and thin, how bad could they be? These biscotti are super thin and deliciously crunchy. The most challenging part was shelling all of the pistachios because my store didn’t have shelled pistachios. Even considering the extra effort that went into these little cuties, they were absolutely worth it. A perfect compliment to my afternoon cocoa or tea. Enjoy!
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 organic sugar
2 large eggs (divided)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c crushed raw pistachios
2 Tbs orange zest
I tsp allspice
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 1 egg with sugar and orange zest. Mix well until eggs begin to get slightly frothy. This will give the cookie a bit more volume. Add nuts to this wet mixture.
In another bowl mix flour, baking powder, allspice, and salt. Pour dry ingredients into wet mixture and mix just until a sticky dough is formed. Do not overmix or the dough will be very dry.
Line a baking sheet and form a log out of the dough. In a small bowl mix the other egg with a tbs of water to form an egg wash. Brush egg wash over the dough log and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the dough turns light brown.
The first baking is very important because you need to make sure that the dough is firm but still soft to the touch in the middle. Remove and let it cool for 10 minutes
Thin slice diagonally and set the sliced biscotti on a baking rack. Bake for 5 minutes, flip and bake another 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool and place in an airtight container. These will keep for 10 days in a dry, airtight container.
Almost Home Made Red Velvet Cupcakes
Ok, so there was a little cheating going on with this batch of cupcakes. I used a box mix for the cake and then whipped up and topped them with my own frosting. I think the combination of the two were perfect! What boxed cake or cupcake mix do you like to use?
1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix prepared as instructed and made into cupcakes
1 8 oz block cream cheese
1 C powdered sugar
1 T strawberry jam
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
While the cupcakes are cooling. Blend the jam and blueberries in the high speed blender. Using your mixer, beat the cream cheese and the jam mixture until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix at medium speed until creamy and well combined. Top the cupcakes with the frosting and place a few extra blueberries on top! Simple and delicious.
Lemon zucchini noodles with skinny alfredo
Zucchini noodles (aka Zoodles) are one of my new favorites! Lately I have been buying them at the local gourmet market but at $5.99 a pound I thought it was time to try making my own. Unfortunately my vegetable spiralizer decided to stop working the day I wanted to use it so I managed to use the large holes in the cheese grater to do the trick. Admittedly this batch was a tiny bit “heavy on the sauce” but you can scale that back if you like.
2 large zucchini or 1 lb zucchini noodles
1 container plain Greek yogurt
1/3 C Parmesan cheese grated fine
1/2 C light cream or substitute
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 C chopped fresh spinach
Dash of Kosher Salt
1 tsp olive oil
Using your spiralizer or large cheese grater, shred the zucchini into long noodle like pieces. Saute in a preheated sauce pan with 1 tsp olive oil for 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
In a small sauce pan, heat the cream until just beginning to simmer, add the yogurt, cheese, zest of 1/2 lemon and salt. Whisk together until creamy and heat to boiling. Stirring constantly.
Plate the zucchini noodles, add the chopped spinach and top with the sauce. Sprinkle a little zest and spinach on top and enjoy!
Gluten Free Zucchini Banana Muffins
Wow! I wasn’t sure if I would get it right with these muffins. I had never worked with coconut flour before so I was a little hesitant but I have to admit, these were incredible! Even better the next day! They are dense yet creamy and so perfect in every way. I had a zucchini and an almost too ripe banana so I used those and mixed up a batch of my new favorite muffins!
One of the benefits of using alternative flours (aside from being able to remain GF) is seeing how each different flour will react in a recipe. The coconut flour definitely absorbed all of the liquid as soon as I added it so that was a concern. Since I was using fresh zucchini and banana I was pretty sure they wouldn’t dry out and I was pleasantly surprised they did not.
What alternative flours do you like working with?
2 C coconut flour
1 stick very soft butter (not melted)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 very ripe banana (smashed)
2 C shredded fresh zucchini
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C maple syrup
1 C Extra Dark Chocolate Chips (optional)
1/2 T kosher or sea salt
In a large bowl (don’t use mixer as this batter can be overmixed quickly) combine the very soft butter, sugars, syrup and salt. Mix well. Whisk in the eggs and banana. Stir until combined. Add the zucchini, chocolate chips and stir again. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add to the wet mixture and stir just enough to combine. The coconut flour will absorb all of the liquid very quickly so don’t overmix here.
Scoop into a lined muffin tin using a #12 disher (ice cream scoop) or fill a muffin tin 2/3 full with batter. Top with a few chocolate chips (optional) and bake 350 degrees, 20-25 minutes. The muffins will be golden on top, firm to the touch but not hard to the touch. They should feel slightly undercooked in the middle but not raw. I know that is a tough distinction to recognize but you want them to feel slightly soft.
Remove from the oven and let cool (if you can keep yourself from eating them) and enjoy! These will last a few days if stored in an airtight container.
This Raw Candy Bar is off the charts!
12 pitted dates soaked in water 2 hours and strained
1/4 C cacao powder
1/4 C cacao nibs
1/3 C almond butter
2 T liquid sweetener of choice ( I used agave)
Dash of sea salt
In a food processor, combine 8 dates, cacao powder, cacao nibs and 1 T sweetener. Process until dough ball forms. Remove and set aside.
To the food processor, add the remaining dates, almond butter and sweetener. Process until very smooth.
Take the dough ball and roll out on a piece of parchment paper to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into rectangles or squares. Spread a layer of the nut butter mixture on top of the dough. Top with another piece of dough. Add another spread of the nut butter mixture and top with another piece of dough. After you have used up all of the dough and nut butter. Freeze for 2 hours.
When you are ready to serve, remove from freezer and let sit out for 20 minutes. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt and enjoy! Make sure you have lots of napkins!
Crunchy cabbage and kale salad with soft boiled egg
Salad really is my favorite dinner. I feel so good after eating a bowl of crunchy, fresh vegetables and the dressing is a total bonus prize. This salad doesn’t disappoint at all. It’s hearty enough to eat for dinner and it hits every one of your taste buds. For those who prefer a sweeter dressing, leave out the sriracha sauce drizzle or choose your own dressing. Either way, this salad is the bomb.
1/4 head Napa cabbage
1/2 C shredded cabbage mix ( I used the rainbow coleslaw mix for this) or a mix of purple and white cabbage
1/2 carrot shredded
2 T finely diced red onion
1 soft boiled egg (learn how to make here)
1 T sliced natural almonds
1/4 C crunchy Asian noodles
your favorite Asian dressing
drizzle of sriracha sauce (optional)
Assemble all (except egg and sriracha) and toss in a large bowl. Plate your salad. Carefully cut your soft boiled egg on top of the plate in half. Drizzle with the sriracha. The creamy egg will mingle with the sriracha and you will be in love with this salad instantly!
Coconut Java Chip Ice Cream Sundaes
I thought this photo was slightly intriguing since I couldn’t get a great shot of the ice cream, I thought it made a good “teaser” for what was underneath. If you own an ice cream maker, you are going to love this 5 ingredient ice cream recipe. It’s absolutely amazing. I will also share with you the steps for assembling the sundae but of course, you can use your own favorite ice cream toppings to push this coconut java chip ice cream into a whole other world! Enjoy!
2 cans coconut milk ( I used Trader Joe’s light)
3/4 C coconut sugar
3/4 C strong brewed coffee or espresso
1/3 C Dark chocolate chunks
Dash of kosher salt
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, coconut sugar, coffee and salt. Bring to a simmer (approx 5 minutes) to allow the sugar to melt and the flavors to combine. Remove from heat and let cool 1 hour. Continue to cool in the refrigerator 2-3 hours.
Once the mixture has cooled, add to your ice cream maker and follow the instructions for your specific machine. After your ice cream has set up, stir in the chocolate chunks. Transfer to another freezer safe container and either serve immediately or freeze until it is as firm as you like. I couldn’t resist and ate mine immediately.
To assemble the sundae:
In a small saute pan, heat 1 T butter until melted. Add 2 T brown sugar and 2 T water. Allow to come to a boil. Whisk slightly to create a thickened caramel sauce. Add a dash of salt. Slice 1/2 banana and saute in the sauce 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat. Scoop the ice cream into a bowl, add the hot bananas in sauce, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of roasted coconut chips or chocolate sauce…oh yeah baby, this is gonna be amazing!