Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Clean)

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Dark Chocolate Chunks (Clean)

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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!!

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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.

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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…

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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*

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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

Sugar-Free One-Bowl Apple Oatmeal Muffins (Clean)

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I’ve posted muffin recipes before, but all of the classics – blueberry oatmeal muffins, double chocolate muffins, chocolate chip…but never apple oatmeal. In fact, I barely even have any apple recipes around here. I think it’s start I adding to that collection.

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I always seem to have too many apples in my fridge. My brother loves apples. He’d literally eat an apple every day, so we’d be perfectly fine buying a bag of apples every time we went grocery shopping (which, with me in the house, happened pretty often). Now, he’s off at college, and we seem to always have apples in the fridge. My mom tries to get me into the same healthy apple-a-day routine as my brother, but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of apples.

Not to say that I dislike apples, but like, in terms of texture and flavor, I’m kinda meh about them. What I do love, though, is incorporating them in baked goods. Remember that apple pie I made ages ago? Yeah, that was a damn good pie and one of my favorites.

Point is, to me, apples are okay on their own, but they get so much better when combined into baked goods and paired with some good old-fashioned spices.

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I love this recipe because it’s so easy, and if you’re like me (with a fridge full of apples 24/7), you can whip these up pretty much anytime you want. The whole recipe comes together in one bowl, and only takes 5 minutes or so.

Not to mention, they’re so good for you! They’re naturally sweetened with applesauce and stevia, with only 2.9 grams of sugar per serving! That’s practically nothing. FYI – a 46g Kit Kat bar has 22g of sugar.

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Sugar-Free Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon powdered stevia (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 medium or large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 205 degrees Celsius or 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a bowl, stir together oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, stevia, and salt
  3. Mix in the applesauce, eggs, coconut oil, milk of choice, and vanilla extract
  4. Stir in the chopped apple and chopped nuts, if using
  5. Transfer batter into a greased or lined muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes

Chocolate and Walnut Breakfast Cookies (Clean)

I usually try to keep things from being repetitive on this blog, and by that, I mean I never post two muffin recipes without at least 4 other types of recipes in between. Yeah….that’s changed. It’ll probably be a one-time thing, but nonetheless, I’m guilty.

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Two posts ago was the recipe for these AMAZING cranberry and dark chocolate oatmeal cookies. In that post, I told you guys that my new favorite go-to snack were cookies, and I still stand by that. I am literally eating one of these cookies as I type.

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These cookies have the classic chewy texture of any other oatmeal cookie, with a slightly crispy exterior, especially when you re-heat them in the oven. When heated, they get so aromatic thanks to the walnuts, and the chocolate chunks melt and go all gooey and you will find yourself eating more cookies than you planned, but that’s okay, cause they’re pretty damn good for you.

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Chocolate and Walnut Breakfast Cookies

Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest

Makes 25 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, flaxseed, baking soda, and salt
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the coconut oil and peanut butter together for 30 seconds, then whisk to combine. Add in the mashed bananas, egg, honey, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until the dough comes together. Fold in the dark chocolate and walnuts until well combined
  5. Scoop out a heaped tablespoon of the cookie dough and roll into a ball. Place onto a greased or lined baking sheet and flatten into your desired shape. They will not spread while baking. Repeat this for all of the dough
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes

Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (Clean)

Healthy oatmeal cookies are my life right now! My old go-to snack were healthy muffins, but now, cookies have undoubtedly taken first place (sorry, muffins, I still love you).

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Where do I start with these cookies?

They’re gluten-free, and aren’t insanely sweet like your average cookie, which means that you can eat two (or three!) without feeling sickly full. Nevertheless, they’ve definitely got that comforting oatmeal flavor, which pairs beautifully with the subtle, fruity flavor of cranberries and the undeniable richness of the dark chocolate chunks.

Gotta say – the dark chocolate chunks are probably my favorite part. Chocolate chunks in any recipe will be my favorite part.When it comes to chocoholics like me, it’s inevitable, and when I say chocoholic, I mean chocoholic. I can’t (okay, rarely) go a day without eating chocolate. I just indulged in a decent bunch of chocolate truffles, the ones with the crispy little pieces inside. They’re so good, and apparently each one is over 100kcal but that didn’t stop me from eating 5. You see where I’m going with this? If I ever decided to do a calorie-restricting diet (FYI: never happening), I’d insist that chocolate doesn’t count towards my daily calorie count. How could it? Chocolate is a joy in life that must not be denied.

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But moving on from the chocolate, these cookies are seriously the perfect snack. They’re filling, and satisfy your sweet tooth. I actually like to stick them into my nana ice creams, mostly because aesthetics, but I’m always incorporating these cookies into my nana ice creams and it’s become an obsession. I can’t get enough. I’ve been luxuriating in nana ice cream with cookies and the weather’s still hanging around the negatives. See? I’ve been willing to sacrifice my scarce warmth for the sake of nana ice cream with these amazing oatmeal cookies. I hope you’re convinced – these cookies are the s**t.

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Oh, and LEO WON AN OSCAARRR!

Fun fact: He’s a vegetarian

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One last side note – be gentle when chopping up cranberries. They do not go down without a fight. As I was chopping them up, I had to gently squish them with the knife. If I dared to get aggressive, they would too, shooting out streaks of deep red juice, leaving every object within a 2-meter radius (including me) covered in red dots. Lesson learned: cranberries like to die a slow, gentle death.

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(Update Mar 8. 2016:  I made another batch of those cranberry and dark chocolate oatmeal cookies three days ago, and now there’s only one left. They’re that good. That’s like, 5 cookies a day. I have no regrets.)

Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Amy’s Healthy Baking

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (100g) quick-cooking/instant oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • ¾ cup (90g) whole wheat or gluten-free flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120mL) maple syrup or honey
  • ½ cup (55g) cranberries, chopped*
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
*You can also use frozen cranberries that have been thawed
Method
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Fold in the flour mixture until just combined, before folding in the cranberries and 2 tablespoons of the dark chocolate
  3. Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit or 160 degrees Celsius
  4. Place the cookie dough in 12-15 rounded scoops onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten them into desired thickness and size. The cookies won’t spread much or change shape as they bake. Press on the remaining chocolate pieces on top and bake for 9-12 minutes
  5. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks

Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins (Clean)

School is starting up again, and as always, I’ve got a batch of muffins in my fridge to allow for easy school-snacking. A muffin (or two) a day keeps the school stress away.

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So – why are these chocolate chip quinoa muffins so perfect as on-the-go snacks? Let’s talk quinoa.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-WAH) is a seed, though it’s often used as a grain. It’s gluten-free, with a tiny amount of fat, but more importantly, it’s a complete protein, making it an ideal protein source for all the vegetarians and vegans out there. A cup of quinoa gives you 222 calories, along with 8.1g protein and 58% of your RDA for magnese. It’s fibrous with a low glycemic index, keeping you full for a longer period of time, which is why I am oh-so-grateful for having these with me during school and getting me through the classes leading up to lunch.

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Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240g) cooled, cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup (120g) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (130g) light rye flour (Or more white whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered stevia
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips

*If you want a sweeter muffin, feel free to add in a bit of honey/coconut sugar and adjust to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together quinoa, flours, stevia, baking powder, and salt
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, buttermilk, egg, greek yoghurt, and vanilla extract until smooth
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the smooth mixture and stir until just combined, before folding in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix
  5. Transfer the mixture into a lined muffin/cupcake tin and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one comes out clean. Allow to cool and enjoy!