two-bite banana chocolate brownies

 

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rich and dark, but not heavy

Remember how I said we go through banana bread quite often…well it recently came to a point when we needed a change (when you find yourself saying to your kids “don’t you want banana bread? there’s chocolate chiiiips!” and they say no thanks…and ask for graham crackers instead? yup it’s time for a baking change!). But I still had all these bananas in my freezer!  Not to mention I love using bananas as the sweetness in baking…so I tried making two bite brownies with bananas (you know those ones that are so good from the grocery store that you can’t resist eating one…or two when they are around). This version is made with coconut oil so has a slight hint of coconut flavour, has more of a cake-like texture and are definitely much healthier than the store-bought ones! But they totally hit the chocolate spot if you’re having a craving! And they don’t have any flour in them – making them pretty much gluten free.  Also school-safe to bring as a snack.  The kids really enjoyed them today after their swim lessons, and even Ryan liked them (he normally doesn’t like coconut-ish things).

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chocolate chocolate chocolate

prep time:   10 min    bake time: 15 min    yield: 24 mini muffin sized brownies

what you need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 large super ripe bananas
  • 1 cup dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (semisweet) – melted
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (semisweet)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • extra coconut oil (about 1 tbsp melted) to grease muffin tin

what to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly oil mini muffin tray with a brush.
  2. In a large bowl, use a large fork to mash bananas really really well (you can also use a stand mixer or electric beaters).
  3. Add eggs and vanilla, mix in well.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix ingredients together. (not the chocolate chips)
  5. Stir honey into melted coconut oil, then add to banana mixture and mix well.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Add in melted chocolate (best way to melt chocolate is with a double broiler to ensure it doesn’t burn. You can also melt it 20 seconds at a time in a microwave, stirring after each 20 seconds).
  7. Stir in remaining chocolate chips.
  8. Fill muffin tins and bake in the centre rack for 12-15 minutes, once toothpick comes out almost clean take the tray out! You can slightly under-bake them so that they are soft in the centre and don’t dry out. They do continue to bake when they are in the pan out of the oven, and since they are small they can over-bake quickly.
  9. Once cool enough to handle, place them on a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
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pumpkin seed & coconut muesli

 

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feel good breakfast

Some days, a light and bright breakfast just makes you feel good.  In the winter when pomegranates and mango are “in season” (obviously not ever in season in Canada…part of me feels guilty when I don’t buy local but we can’t just eat only apples all winter!) I like to enjoy it with yogurt and granola or muesli.  I started buying plain yogurt exclusively (greek and regular) because there really is a lot of sugar in fruit yogurts.  For me, the mangoes sweeten up the plain yogurt enough that I don’t need to use honey or maple syrup, but I do drizzle a bit on for piepie and the boss (and my husband!) because a small amount of that sweetness helps with the sourness of plain yogurt!

So here is the simple recipe for the muesli part – the sweet mango and crunchy tart pomegranate are our faves but you can use whatever fruits and yogurt are your favourites. Ground flax seeds, hemp hearts, and/or chia seeds are also great additions to sprinkle on.

prep: 5 min   bake: 8 min   yield: 2 1/2 cups

what you need:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

what to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (325 F if convection).
  2. Melt coconut oil in a small sauce pan, then turn off heat and add cinnamon, stirring.
  3. Spread rolled oats onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Pumpkin seeds are usually already toasted – but if you don’t have pumpkin seeds and you are substituting for a seed that you have bought raw – go ahead and spread it on top of the rolled oats.
  5. Drizzle coconut & cinnamon oil on top of rolled oats – bake for about 8-10 minutes, until you can smell the cinnamon and the oats are lightly golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and add pumpkin seeds.
  7. Once it has cooled – transfer to mason jar for storage. Enjoy!