{Healthier} Banana Bars

A healthier snack to pull you out of your afternoon slump 

Banana Bars

I’m the biggest contradiction ever – when it comes to healthy eating that is. From 6am to 1 pm, I stay on track. I usually have the same thing for breakfast – yogurt (and sometimes granola) and lunch (almost always salad,) but as soon as I have that last bite of salad, I’m craving something else – and it always goes downhill from there.

That’s why I needed a healthier afternoon treat.

Banana Bars

When I was making these, I was really worried that these wouldn’t satisfy my snack craving and, therefore, lead to more excessive snacking ( I know. I’m the worst.) Surprisingly, these did just the trick. I enjoyed every bite and stayed full until dinner – unlike my other sugar laden treats. (Don’t get me wrong though – I’ll still be snacking on lots of sugar – it’s in my DNA ;) )
Banana Bars
These bars are packed with healthier ingredients like coconut sugar, coconut oil, whole wheat flour, unsalted peanuts, raisins, oats and dark chocolate chunks. Oh- & of course banana!
{Healthier} Banana Bars
 
Author:
Serves: 24

Ingredients
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup peanuts, unsalted
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup oats
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chunks

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet.
  3. Mash bananas in large bowl. Once mashed, mix in oil and sugar.
  4. Add flours, baking soda and salt and mix into banana mixture.
  5. Fold in peanuts, raisins and oatmeal. Sprinkle chocolate chunks on top.
  6. Pour into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Do you have any secrets for staying full and not snacking all day? I need to know all your secrets ;)

Chocolate Granola

Chocolate and granola meet in this delicious breakfast treat

Cocoa Granola

When I was growing up, I had the same routine every morning. For some reason, I would get up extra early. My mom left early for work and my dad worked 2nd shift. It was my responsibility to wake my dad up to get me ready for school.

While I waited for 7:30 to roll around, I watched my favorite shows like Aladdin and Saved by the Bell. To my dad’s dismay, his least favorite show came on when I woke him up – Timon & Pumba! I thought it was hilarious and always made sure to turn the sound up while he was fixing my breakfast.

Back in those days breakfast consisted of toast with some kind of shady jam – or so my ten-year-old self thought. I think my dad got a kick out of serving me damson plum jam. The look on my face was probably priceless!

Cocoa Granola

These days almost every day starts with granola. I love trying new recipes, but always come back to this one. It’s super customizable – add your favorite nuts and dried fruits – these are just my favorites. Also, cacao nibs make a delicious, crunchy addition. Try these from my home state ;)

Do you have a special morning routine?

Cocoa Granola

Other Granola Recipes:

Hummingbird Granola

Carrot Cake Granola

Holiday Granola

Chocolate Granola
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup cacoa nibs, optional
  • ½ cup pecan halves
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Grease baking sheet with canola oil.
  3. In large bowl, combine rolled oats, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, cacao nibs (if using,) pecans and almonds.
  4. In measuring cup, combine canola oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour liquids into dry mixture. Mix to coat.
  6. Spread oats on baking sheet, pressing into a single layer.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip oats. Add raisins and dried cranberries. Bake an additional 20 minutes.

Carrot Cake Pop Tarts

Cake and pie meet in this delicious spring treat

Carrot Cake Pop Tarts

I went on an unexpected Easter egg hunt yesterday.

Every morning I take Winston for a walk. I always go through a check list before we leave – bags (for clean up,) key, phone.

Carrot Cake Pop Tarts

I always use the RunKeeper app and start it as soon as we leave. I didn’t remember starting it, but it wouldn’t be like me not to.

It was a typical walk except for the moderate rainfall. Once, we got home I put my hand in my pocket to stop the app and was shocked that it wasn’t there!

Carrot Cake Pop Tarts

I thought maybe I didn’t take the phone today, so I took a spin around in the house, but I didn’t see it anywhere. Today the Find My iPhone app was my savior. It turns out the phone was a block away. It must’ve fallen out of my pocket!

The phone seemed undamaged at first, but then the screen started to flicker. As of right now, it has made a full recovery from its stint in the rain.

Carrot Cake Pop Tarts

I guess this was just a warm up for my family’s traditional Easter egg hunt this weekend! (I certainly need it since I won a prize for finding the least eggs at a church hunt one year!) Are you a fan of egg hunts or have any special Easter traditions?

If not, you should make these carrot cake pop tarts part of your festivities! These were originally created for Pi Day. I wanted to make something new & somehow these came to mind. I was thrilled they turned out!

Carrot Cake Pop Tarts

Carrot Cake Pop Tarts
 
Author:
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup ice water
  • Filling:
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • Topping:
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp almond milk

Instructions
  1. Prepare Crust:
  2. Mix flour, sugar and salt in large bowl. Cut vegetable shortening in chunks and add to flour mixture. Use your hands to incorporate flour and shortening. Complete when mixture clumps together. Measure ⅓ cup of ice water and add to crust mixture. If mixture is too dry, add an extra tablespoon of ice water. Continue until dough forms. Split dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap. Allow to chill at least one hour.
  3. Prepare Filling:
  4. Mix all ingredients together.
  5. Prepare Pies:
  6. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Once dough has chilled, roll into 11 x 14 inch rectangle. Trim edges for perfect rectangle. Cut into 3.5 x 3.5 squares.
  7. Place 2 tbsp of filling into 6 of the squares. Top with extra pie crust. Use fork to crimp edges. Use toothpick to poke holes in top of pies. Sprinkle pies with water and sugar, if desired.
  8. Turn oven down to 425. Bake pies for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
  9. Once cool, mix powdered sugar and almond milk in bowl. Drizzle on pies and top with sprinkles if desired.

 

 

Hummingbird Granola

Granola filled with the flavors of spring

Hummingbird Granola

There’s big news at the TEB household – we have kittens!

I’m obsessed with cats, so you know I went wild when I heard the news. I actually couldn’t believe it.

Hummingbird Granola

See – this female cat started coming by each day at the same time and same place. The first time I saw her I thought she was “in heat,” so I joked that we would be having kittens soon – but I didn’t mean in two days!

It turns out she had the kittens in our backyard. We have owls and foxes that roam the area and our neighbors wanted us to bring the cats in. We happily obliged! Can you believe I’ve never seen a kitten before?!?!

Hummingbird Granola

There are five kittens in total. I can’t wait to watch them grow up, but I’m already dreading when it’ll be time for them to find homes. (But I’m sure Winston will be glad when I can devote all my free time to him again ;) )

Hummingbird Granola

On to this granola. Ever since I made the Hummingbird Cupcakes, I’ve been dying to replicate the flavors in other treats. This granola is based off of my basic granola recipe with the addition of mashed banana, banana chips, dried pineapple chunks and pecans. Let’s just say I couldn’t keep my hands off this sweet, spring treat (kinda like how I can’t keep my hands off these kittens ;) )

Kittens

Other Granola Recipes:

Carrot Cake Granola

Holiday Granola
Hummingbird Granola

Hummingbird Granola
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 mashed overripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup banana chips, broken in half
  • ½ cup dried pineapple chunks

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Grease baking sheet with canola oil.
  3. In large bowl, combine rolled oats, whole wheat flour, cinnamon and pecans.
  4. In measuring cup, combine canola oil, maple syrup, mashed banana and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour liquids into dry mixture. Mix to coat.
  6. Spread oats on baking sheet, pressing into a single layer.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip oats. Add banana chips and dried pineapple chunks. Bake an additional 20 minutes.

 

{Vegan} Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

An easy vegan ice cream made with coconut milk

Mint Chip Ice Cream

So, really all of my recipes are vegan. Did you know that? Sometimes I don’t emphasize it, but I try to make all my recipes vegan without the sometimes nasty vegan substitutes (uhh familiar with using ground flax seed as an egg substitute? Sorry, but I’m not a fan. Applesauce all the way!) I’m not vegan, but I am vegetarian (today’s my 10 month anniversary!)

Mint Chip Ice Cream

Really, we can thank my dad for introducing my family to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. When we first started eating healthier, I freaked out. Trying tofu for the first time, I was a complete baby. Stuck up my nose and wouldn’t try one bite. (I was probably 10 or 12 – not sure.) Now I love it! I would probably be so surprised at the person I’ve become! It’s silken form makes the best cakes/bars (check these babies out – Lemon White Chocolate Bars) & good old extra-firm tofu makes the best dinner ever (I swear you’d love General Tso’s Tofu from Vegetarian Times.)

Mint Chip Ice Cream

OK – so why am I ranting about tofu? It’s not even used in this recipe!

Mint Chip Ice Cream

On to the task at hand, this super delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in honor of St. Patrick’s Day! Mint Chocolate Chip is my favorite ice cream flavor and I really wanted to replicate a vegan version. I took my tried and true recipe and added a smidge of Creme de Menthe syrup and chopped up a bar of chocolate. The results were amazing! It’s not your typical ice cream, but it’s still pretty delicious.

Hope you have a great St. Patrick’s Day filled with lots of yummy green treats ;)

Mint Chip Ice Cream

{Vegan} Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
 
Author:
Serves: 18

Ingredients
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Creme de Menthe syrup, like Torani
  • 4 oz semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped

Instructions
  1. Bring two cans of coconut milk to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, add sugar and mix until dissolved. Stir in Creme de Menthe syrup.
  3. Allow to chill overnight in refrigerator. Once completely chilled, transfer to loaf pan.
  4. Place coconut mixture in freezer. Every 30 minutes use handheld mixture to beat mixture. Continue to do this for three hours. Fold in chopped chocolate.
  5. Ice cream can either be eaten right away or left in freezer to completely harden.
  6. If eating the next day, allow to thaw at least 10 minutes before eating.

 

More “Green” Treats:

Mint Oreos

Thin Mints

Creme de Menthe Cookies

More Vegan Ice Cream:

Lime Ice Cream

Pumpkin Ice Cream