Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Clean)

dsc_0940

dsc_0996

Happy New Year, everyone! (yes, I know, it’s been like two weeks but still).

dsc_0945

dsc_0984

I hope that you all had an amazing Christmas and New Year’s. I definitely did. I spent the first Christmas at home for as long as I can remember. It was full of good food and good times and was probably one of the best ones ever.

dsc_0972

dsc_0979

dsc_0959

Now, it’s back to school. To be fair, workload was alright in the first week back, but I’m also training for a swim meet, which requires waking up early sometimes and leaves me tired all the time. So, you could probably guess (and if you follow me on Instagram, you’d know) that I’ve been pretty lazy with breakfast and food in general these days. I’ve just grabbed a Squarebar and a couple bread rolls for breakfast, but also – these cookies!

dsc_0961

I’ve always had my doubts with making healthy cookies. Cookies are just so technical, but these turned out beautifully. They aren’t super sweet, so they make a perfect on-the-go snack. I’d definitely want to have a batch of these in my fridge at all times. They’re healthy and delicious and studded with chocolate and they’re perfect.

dsc_0952

These cookies are soft, but hold their shape very well. They’re also slightly chewy thanks to the added oats.

And of course, chocolate makes everything better, so there’s that…

dsc_0997jpg

dsc_0992

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius or 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda
  3. In another bowl using an electric hand mixer, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and egg together until smooth
  4. Mix in the mashed banana
  5. Fold in flour mixture until just combined, before folding in the oats and chocolate chips
  6. Use a cookie scoop to drop dough onto prepared baking sheet, flattening them down slightly
  7. Bake for 10-13 minutes until edges are golden brown
Advertisements

Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms (Clean)

dsc_0001

dsc_0018

Christmas is only 4 days away! These past few days have been fully dedicated to Christmas prep, and I mean purely Christmas prep. Yesterday, I spent the entire morning putting up Christmas window stickers with my mom, spent the afternoon shopping for more gifts, and spent the night wrapping gifts. I’ve probably spent at least 5 hours wrapping gifts in the past few days, but it’s all worth it. Not to brag or anything, but those gifts are looking pretty damn good. I’d show you now, but I think I’ll save that for a separate Christmas post where I can show off how festive my house is at the moment.

dsc_0038

dsc_0011

Pop quiz: Why did I choose to make peanut butter blossoms?

dsc_1095

Answer: Because Hershey’s kisses were on buy-one-get-one-free and I didn’t know what to do with all of them ^_^ (If anyone has suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them!)

dsc_1114

dsc_1123

dsc_0014

Let’s focus on these peanut butter blossoms. I do realise that the cookie-to-chocolate proportion is a little off, but hey – more chocolate is never a bad thing, right?

dsc_0012

dsc_0049

These cookies are so easy to make and are perfect for sharing during Christmas! You could even wake up half an hour early on Christmas Eve to bake these cookies – they’re that quick! You just throw together a bunch of ingredients, bake them for just under 10 minutes, stick a Hershey’s kiss on top of each one and voila! Cookies!

dsc_0029

What I love about these is the perfect pairing of both textures and flavours. The cookie has the wonderful texture of a crunchy cookie, while the chocolate just melts in your mouth. In terms of flavour – peanut butter and chocolate is a classic flavour combo, and all classics exist for a reason – because they pair so damn well together!

dsc_1118

This may perhaps be my last post before Christmas, so I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope that you get to spend time with your loved ones, receive lots of gifts, and eat delicious food. I know I will 😉

dsc_0005

dsc_0024

Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

Adapted from Amy’s Healthy Baking

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120g) white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg white, room temperature or 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 1 tablespoon (15mL) almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (64g) natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (96g) coconut sugar
  • 15-20 dark chocolate kisses

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the aquafaba/egg white, almond milk, and vanilla extract
  4. Stir in the peanut butter until fully combined
  5. Stir in the coconut sugar
  6. Stir in the flour mixture (you may want to use your hands for this part) until a dough forms
  7. Roll the dough into 15-20 spheres and place onto a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Flatten each sphere until it’s larger than the base of the chocolate kisses
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes. While the cookies bake, unwrap the chocolate kisses
  9. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press a chocolate kiss into the centre of each one*
  10. Allow the cookies to cool and the chocolate kiss to set before serving. Serve at room temperature

*If you don’t want the kisses to soften and have a truffle-like consistency at room temperature, place the cookies into the freezer immediately to prevent the kisses from warming up

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Dark Chocolate Chunks (Clean)

 dsc_0639

Ooh been a while since I’ve posted a muffin recipe. Been a while since I’ve posted at all, to be honest. Sorry about that, end of semesters are always ridiculously chaotic, but at least Winter Break is just around the corner! One more day!!

dsc_0611

dsc_0620

dsc_0647

Let me start off talking about the muffins so that you can skip directly to the recipe later without having to read all my random rambling.

I’ve made plenty of muffins in my life, and I have to say, that this is one of my all-time favourites. The crumb is absolutely perfect. It’s not dense, and it doesn’t fall apart when you bite. It’s soft and light and perfect.

And the flavour! It has a very distinctive banana bread flavour, but these are just so much easier. With banana bread, you have to wait over an hour for the banana bread to bake! With these, you need less than 20. Not to mention, muffins are the perfect snack size and easier to bring along as a to-go snack or even breakfast.

But of course, my favourite part would have to be the chocolate. I have a rule when it comes to muffins with chocolate in them. I either eat them cold – straight out of the fridge, or hot – microwaved or baked. When the muffins come straight out of the fridge, the chocolate chunks become so distinct in their tempered texture, demanding you to notice the chocolate chunks and appreciate them fully. On the other hand, when the chocolate chunks turn into melty globs of perfection…well then, they’re melty globs of perfection. It’s quite simple, really.

I happened to have hazelnut dark chocolate on hand, which I thought would add texture and contribute a nutty texture, and I’m really glad I did. Nevertheless, if hazelnuts aren’t your thing, then dark chocolate works fine as well.

dsc_0635

dsc_0641

dsc_0654

I’m so excited for break. Like, so excited. It’ll be the first time in forever that I’ve spent Christmas at home, and it’ll be extra special now because my family is rarely together nowadays. My brother’s off at university and my dad comes home once every two weeks because he was relocated. My mom is really excited too, going out and buying all sorts of Christmas decorations and gifts while I plan all the Christmas activities and movies and desserts. It’s going to be a good one.

And of course, this weekend my friends and I are going to have the best time ever. They’re both leaving quite early on in the break, so we’re making the most of this weekend – movie nights, visiting TianAnMen square, dinner dates, hot pot…

dsc_0651

dsc_0655

If you’re still reading this, which I doubt many of you are, I have a question for you: Would you rather know how you die or when you die?

My friends and I were discussing the question. One friend and I wanted to know when, and the other wanted to know how. It’s an interesting topic and a question worth discussing.

I’d rather know when I die. My reasoning was that I would be able to truly cherish my last moments, whereas, if I knew how I would die, I’d just be paranoid of everything relating to that. For instance, if I knew that I would die by getting hit by a car, I’d just have a fear of cars for the rest of my life.

But then I asked someone else while walking home and he said that he’d rather not know anything about his death. I can’t believe it hadn’t crossed my mind, but as soon as he pointed it out, I realized that it’s not necessarily a good thing to know anything about your death.

If I did know when I would die, I’d see my life as a ticking bomb. I’d feel guilty every second I don’t do something “meaningful” and I’d live in constant terror of finding meaning to life. It’s better to just sit back and go with the flow. Enjoy life, friends xx

dsc_0638 dsc_0658

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 3 large bananas, mashed (about 1.5 cups)
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I used hazelnut dark chocolate)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C or 350 degrees F
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg and coconut sugar together until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract, coconut oil, and mashed bananas until combined
  4. Gradually add in dry ingredients, mixing until just combined
  5. Stir in the milk and mix until just combined
  6. Fold in the chopped dark chocolate
  7. Fill each muffin liner 2/3 of the way full with batter. (Optional: Place a very thinly sliced banana slice on top of the muffin and a little chopped chocolate before baking)
  8. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until tops are slightly golden. Remove and let cool

 

Banana Bread Waffles (Clean)

So relieved that it’s October break. It’s a very well-needed break. I wrote up a list on my whiteboard of all the things I need to accomplish over these next 7 days, but just looking at it makes me want to cry…UGH LIFE.

dsc_0102

dsc_0100

On the bright side, not having school early in the mornings means that I can take a little more time to put together the perfect breakfasts (best meal of the day amiright?). I realise that my last post was also a breakfast post, but this just goes to show how important breakfast is. If you’re into pancakes, go check out that post, but if you’re into waffles, stay right where you are. I’ve got a hella good banana bread waffle recipe for you.

dsc_0111

dsc_0122

Anyways, I’m going to take a few minutes here to just focus on how wonderful these banana bread waffles are, and hopefully forget about all my troubles for a bit.

dsc_0179

dsc_0180

dsc_0004

You’ll notice that I pretty much always top my waffles with ice cream. I’m not really sure why, I just think that waffles and ice cream are the best way to go. Especially when you drizzle over some melted chocolate and let it set and cover it with all sorts of delicious sprinkles and toppings and whatever you like. You know all the little pockets in waffles? The little indents? I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to fill those with ice cream so that you get 50% waffle and 50% ice cream in each bite.

God, I totally need to host a waffle party sometime. Look at all these different combinations! I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have a great time making these.

dsc_0125

dsc_0178

dsc_0186

The waffles themselves are just what you’d expect from a recipe called “Banana Bread Waffles”. They taste just like banana bread – but in the form of a waffle! They have that sweet flavour of banana infused in a light, fluffy waffle with a wonderfully crisp edge. Yumm! *insert heart-eyes emoji here*

dsc_0116

dsc_0126

dsc_0129

Banana Bread Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 cup overripe mashed bananas (about 2 bananas)
  • 1 large egg or 1 flax egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Vanilla ice cream, melted chocolate (optional, highly recommended)
  • Other toppings (banana, berries, granola, nuts etc.) (optional)

Method

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, almond milk, mashed bananas, egg, and vanilla extract
  3. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Heat a waffle iron. When it’s ready, spray or brush it, to cover it in a layer of oil. Pour the batter into the heated waffle iron, adding enough to just cover the bottom layer of the iron. Everyone’s waffle iron is different, so just estimate this and make adjustments as you go. Cook the waffle according to the waffle iron’s instructions.
  5. Top with vanilla ice cream, melted chocolate, and topping of your choice

Pumpkin Banana Spiced Pancakes with Pumpkin Fro-Yo (Clean)

dsc_0032

This one day during September, my inbox began filling up with pumpkin recipes from all the blogs that I follow, and that’s when I realised that I should probably get started on these pumpkin recipes, so today I’m giving you not one, but two pumpkin recipes!

dsc_0009

dsc_0014

dsc_0017

Here in Beijing, the temperatures are still in the high 20s, so part of this recipe is a Summer-Fall hybrid. Pumpkin Fro-Yo. All the flavours of Fall, but still keeping the temperature cool for Summer. If you’re not really up for cold food, don’t worry! The pancakes are hot and full of cozy spices, and of course, you can (should) top the whole stack off with a warm chocolate drizzle. Chocolate is great. It’s available year-round and it makes everything better.

dsc_0020

dsc_0024

dsc_0027

Also – did I mention that the frozen yogurt is only 4 ingredients? Yaaay!

Pancakes are my go-to breakfast these days. I like to make a large batch of them over the weekend and keep them in my fridge or freezer. They’re a perfect grab-and-go breakfast, which is essential now that swim training has started. Having breakfast ready everyday is the ultimate time-saver to maximise my much-needed sleep.

dsc_0038

dsc_0043

dsc_0040

Pumpkin Banana Spiced Pancakes with Pumpkin Fro-Yo 

Ingredients

For the pancakes:

  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

For the frozen yogurt:

  • 1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Melted chocolate, optional but recommended
Method
  1. For the fro-yo, mix everything together in a large mixing bowl until completely combined
  2. *Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker until it is a smooth and has thickened. Store in freezer.
  3. For the pancakes, in a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the soy milk, vinegar, egg, pumpkin puree, banana, and melted coconut oil
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and fold until just combined
  6. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and scoop on 1/4-1/3 cup of batter
  7. Cook until bubbles appear and the sides start to dry before flipping. Cook another minute or so
  8. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  9. To assemble, stack the pancakes and top with a scoop of the fro-yo and a generous drizzle of melted chocolate. Enjoy!

*If you don’t have an ice cream maker, place the bowl in the freezer and stir the mixture every half hour until it reaches desired consistency

Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Clean)

I think I found my new favorite cookie recipe.

DSC_0811.

DSC_0742.

DSC_0747.

DSC_0750.

DSC_0753.

DSC_0794.

I pulled my first batch out of the oven and omg the chocolate was all melty and it looked so good. Seriously, this recipe is definitely not short of chocolate. I grabbed a cookie without letting it cool and gobbled it down. It was delicious. I did burn my fingers on the melted chocolate, but all was worth it. I knew this was a killer recipe. But then, after I had let the cookies cool for a bit, I went to grab another one and – would you believe it – this one was better than the first!! The chocolate doesn’t set very easily, as it’s been in such a high temperature, so the chocolate was still ooey and gooey, but the cookie itself had firmed up. The straight-out-of-the-oven cookie was still a little crumbly and had a very even texture throughout. The cookie I’d left to cool for about 10 minutes had a crispy exterior layer with a soft inside. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it made it so much better.

Then? I had another cookie. Yeah, that’s like three cookies within 15 minutes. #noshame

DSC_0799.

DSC_0780.

DSC_0789.

The next morning, I added two cookies onto my papaya smoothie bowl, and yet again the cookies awed my taste buds. Either they had gotten better or I was just really hungry – and I had just eaten half a large papaya, so I’m pretty sure they’d gotten better. I couldn’t stop myself. I ate another two. That’s four cookies within 15 minutes. Are you starting to see a pattern?

DSC_0823.

The weird thing is, I’m not usually a fan of coconut in sweets. Macaroons? Bounty bars? Never liked them. Never even really liked coconut yogurt (then again, I only had that once). But undoubtedly, this cookie wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for that coconut. It adds texture and flavor that is addicting and irresistible. Hence, why I’ve been eating about a dozen of these a day…

DSC_0920.

By the way, you might notice some darker chunks of chocolate in these photos that don’t seem to have melted. In case you were wondering, for my first batch, I mixed in some chunks of chocolate date fudge, just as an experiment. It was fine, but it didn’t really make the recipe any better or anything, so I omitted it in the second batch.

DSC_0783.

DSC_0822.

These photos do not do the cookies justice. You have to eat one to know how insanely and unexplainably delicious they are. Please make them now. They’re suuper easy to make too! One-bowl and you basically just dump all the ingredients together.

Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Makes 20-30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or another 1/2 cup coconut oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut or almond milk
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut*

*You can also use sweetened, depending on how sweet your chocolate is as well

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients except for the chocolate chunks and shredded coconut until well combined
  3. Stir in the chocolate chunks and shredded coconut
  4. Clump together a tablespoon or two of the dough into a ball (if it’s a little too crumbly, add another tablespoon of oil) and place it onto a lined baking sheet
  5. Repeat with the rest of the dough
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until set and golden

Chocolate Sprinkle Banana Bran Muffins (Clean)

You guys should probably all know by now that I love muffins. They’re perfectly sized on-the-go snacks, especially when traveling! In a couple of weeks, I’ll be heading off to Sri Lanka, so I’m going to need lots of yummy snacks for my long hours of traveling, and that’s where these guys come in – chocolate sprinkle banana bran muffins!

They’re not only suuper delicious, but they’re healthy too! They’re sweetened with coconut sugar and naturally sweetened thanks to the bananas, and I’ve reduced the oil to just 1/4 cup of coconut oil! But going back to the bananas – do you guys have any idea how good bananas are for you? A friend of mine just wrote an extensive article about it with 24 scientifically-backed reasons why bananas are your best friend. You guys can check out the article here (or http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/bananas-health-benefits/).

DSC_0003.

DSC_0007.

These muffins are everything you could want. They’re fluffy, and are covered in chocolate sprinkles and granola (my favorite part).

DSC_0016.

DSC_0018.

DSC_0021.

I’m literally getting hungry just from looking at these photos. I really want a muffin now.

DSC_0030.

DSC_0048.

In case any of you were wondering, the chocolate sprinkles I used in these muffins is “hagelslag”, which is a Dutch chocolate sprinkle for putting on bread. We always buy a ton of them when we go back to the Netherlands, but I seem to be the only one who eats them, so I figured I’d incorporate them into these muffins to get the rest of my family to eat them. It’s not that they don’t like chocolate, but they just don’t actively crave chocolate like I do.

DSC_0059.

DSC_0062.

DSC_0069.

DSC_0075.

DSC_0083.

Chocolate Sprinkle Banana Bran Muffin

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 cup soy or almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 + 1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles, divided
  • 1/4 cup banana nut granola (or granola of choice)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 370 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and coconut sugar, before whisking in the bananas, milk of choice, apple cider vinegar, wheat bran, coconut oil, and vanilla
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and fold together gently until just combined
  5. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles
  6. Scoop the batter into a greased muffin tin and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles and the granola
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean