Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for breakfast? Heck YES! I’m all for that and these cookies are perfect for quick mornings when you literally just have to grab something and run. I actually love these cookies as a pre-workout snack in the mornings, mid-day snack, or dessert. They are good ANYTIME of the day. Packed with whole, healthy ingredients that will make you feel good! They are vegan, gluten-free, and have no refined sugars. They are bursting with whole grains and SO easy to make…like I’m talking about ONE bowl people! Also, I love the crunch the walnuts add to these soft, chewy cookies. It’s the perfect combination.Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast Cookies Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast Cookies Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast Cookies Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast CookiesDouble Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies

1 medium banana, ripened
1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water, combine together, set for 5 minutes)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp cacao powder (or you can use unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

In a large bowl, add peeled banana. Using a sturdy whisk or fork, mash until smooth. Add the remaining wet ingredients: peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, flax egg, and vanilla. Whisk until well incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients: oats, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Using a rubber spatula, stir and fold until well mixed. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop and drop cookie dough on the prepared pan. Flatten slightly, as they won’t spread much during baking. Bake for 10-13 minutes and allow it to cool on the pan for 20 minutes to help it set more. Carefully lift cookies and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or ziploc on the counter or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Beaming Baker)

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Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls

Need a healthy treat for Valentine’s Day? These almond beet coconut energy balls are seriously so delicious, perfectly sweet, nutty, and beautiful! Not only are these super healthy, they are the prettiest too! Beets are high in vitamin C, fiber, manganese, folate, potassium, and lots more. These almond beet coconut energy balls are vegan, gluten free, and paleo. They are the perfect pre or post workout snack, can make for a tasty dessert, and are filled with the good for you fats. There is no added sugars because it’s naturally sweetened by dates and beets! #winning Now make these for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day! Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls
Makes 12-14 energy balls

9 medjool dates, pitted and soaked to soften
1 large cooked beet, chopped (I steamed mine)
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp almond flour
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (plus more for rolling)
1/4 heaping cup raw almonds
1 Tbsp natural almond butter
1 Tbsp finely ground flaxseed (plus more for rolling)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Add all ingredients to a food processor. Process until a smooth paste forms (you may need to stop and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula).

Put the mixture into a container, cover, and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and set.

Take mixture out and roll into 12-14 balls. I used a 1 1/2 Tbsp cookie scoop. Roll in shredded coconut or ground flaxseed.

Store energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or wrap each ball and freeze.

Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Love Beets)

Flax Almond Flour Banana Muffins (sugar-free, paleo, vegan, gf)

I’ve been baking with almond flour a lot recently and I love it! The nutty taste and soft texture from using almond flour give baked goods a whole different flavor profile. I love nuts and these flax almond flour banana muffins are so dang good. They don’t have the same texture as a traditional muffin. They are more dense and a bit fudgier. These muffins are sugar-free, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and only have a tiny bit of oil. Talk about HEALTHY and DELICIOUS. I made a batch and put them in the freezer so I could have one everyday. You can add chocolate chips, nuts, or even blueberries to them. I personally opted for the dairy free dark chocolate chips because who doesn’t like dark chocolate with banana?! These muffins are perfect for breakfast, as a snack, and even dessert. The ripe bananas give the perfect sweetness. They are packed with healthy fats, fiber, omega 3s, and protein! Flax Almond Flour Banana Muffins Flax Almond Flour Banana Muffins Flax Almond Flour Banana Muffins Flax Almond Flour Banana MuffinsFlax Almond Flour Banana Muffins 
Makes about 10 muffins

1 3/4 cups almond flour or fine meal
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
2 medium extra ripe bananas (about 3/4 cup mashed banana)
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil (avocado or olive oil also works)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond meal, flaxseed meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the following together until smooth and creamy: mashed banana, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and almond milk.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in dark chocolate chips, leaving a few for sprinkling on top of the muffin batter.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 of the way full. Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let it cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely (at least an hour) on a wire rack. They will firm up as they cool. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag and put it in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

(recipe adapted from the Ambitious Kitchen)

Lightly Sweetened Cranberry Walnut Bread

I love quick breads and I’m in love with this lightly sweetened cranberry walnut bread. Also, it’s really pretty and would be perfect for Valentine’s Day! It’s a healthier version of the traditional cranberry bread you are used to. It is meant to be less sugary and it’s also vegan and oil-free! YES! If you would like a sweeter bread, you could up the sugar, but I really love this more tart quick bread. The tartness from the fresh cranberries make this bread so so good. Usually lots of quick breads are high in fat and sugar, but you can actually feel good about eating this yummy bread. I also recommend wrapping this bread up after it has cooled completely and waiting until the next day to cut into and eat. I know it’s hard to wait, but the flavors are so much better the next day and it gets more moist as well.  Go pick up some cranberries before they are out of season! Lightly Sweetened Cranberry Walnut Bread Lightly Sweetened Cranberry Walnut Bread Lightly Sweetened Cranberry Walnut Bread Lightly Sweetened Cranberry Walnut Bread Lightly Sweetened Cranberry Walnut BreadLightly Sweetened Cranberry Walnut Bread 

1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1 Flax Egg (1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water)
1/2 cup Pure Cane Sugar
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
2 cups Fresh Cranberries
1/4 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 9 x 4 inch loaf pan and set aside.

Prepare your flax egg by combining 1 Tbsp ground flax with 3 Tbsp water. Stir and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, until it has a gel-like consistency.

In a large bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

Add the flax egg, non-dairy milk, and sugar. Stir until just combined, don’t overmix.

Fold in chopped walnuts and cranberries.

Transfer to greased loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and carefully remove bread from the pan and let it continue cooling on a cooling rack. Wait for it to completely cool before cutting into it or wrap it up and put it in a ziploc bag once cooled. Let it sit overnight and cut the following day…if you can wait that long. 🙂

Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Pickles & Honey)

Jam Thumbprint Cookies (vegan, gf)

I am so excited for Christmas and these cookies are perfect for the holidays! If you need a quick and EASY cookie recipe, not to mention way healthier than most cookies, these babies are it! Seriously, so good, vegan, refined sugar free, paleo (if you use paleo jam), gluten free, and best part, comes together with only FOUR ingredients! Yep FOUR! Literally, it will take you 2 minutes to whip up and then you just chill them in the fridge and bake! They are oh so tender, slightly sweet, and very addicting. It’s hard not to eat the whole batch! It doesn’t make a huge batch, but can be doubled easily. You can even swap out the jam and put almond butter in the middle. If you want a sweeter cookie, add a bit more maple syrup. Anyways, these jam thumbprint cookies are totally delicious and a great healthier option during the holidays! Jam Thumbprint Cookies Jam Thumbprint Cookies Jam Thumbprint Cookies Jam Thumbprint Cookies Jam Thumbprint Cookies Jam Thumbprint CookiesJam Thumbprint Cookies (vegan, gf)
Makes about 11-12 cookies

1¼ cup blanched almond flour
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
3-4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
¼ cup refined sugar free fruit jam or preserves

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients except for the jam and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours).

Preheat oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking sheet.

Form 11-12 balls from the dough (about 1 Tbsp). Make an imprint in the center of each cookie with your thumb and fill each imprint with jam.

Bake for 10-11 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

(recipe from the Bakerita)

Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Happy National Cookie Day everyone! I’ve been wanting to post this recipe for awhile and what better day to do it than today?! These vegan dark chocolate pecan cookies are perfect for the holidays and might be my favorite right now. I go through phases with favorites, but I’m a huge fan of nuts and chocolate in anything. They are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Pure perfection people! It’s cookie heaven I’m telling you! Also, feel free to substitute the nuts for a different kind of nut or even dried cranberries. You can also add some unsweetened coconut flakes as well. Your guests (and your belly) will be so happy if you made these for them, I promise!  Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies
Makes about 16 cookies

½ cup coconut oil, softened
½ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 flax egg (combine 1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water, set aside for 5 minutes)
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup vegan dark chocolate chunks or chips
1 scant cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, move baking rack to middle of oven, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make cookie dough by adding coconut oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar to a medium sized mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy, or about 2-3 minutes.

Add flax egg and vanilla and beat until just incorporated.

Next, add all purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to the oil & sugar mixture. Gradually mix on low until incorporated.

Next, add dark chocolate chunks or chips and toasted pecans. Mix with a spoon until incorporated.

Scoop golf ball sized cookies (I used a ice cream scoop) and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with hand. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just golden.

Remove from oven and let cookies sit for 5-10 minutes on the pan. Then place on a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

NOTES
*Dough can be made 2-3 days in advance. Keep in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to bake.
*Leftovers will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can also freeze leftovers for up to a month. Reheat in the microwave for 10-20 seconds or until desired temperature.
(recipe adapted from Peach and the Cobbler)

Easy Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese

Okay, I’ve been meaning to blog about this recipe for months, but I just never got to it! This is one of my favorite meals to make for a large crowd because it’s easy, packed with flavor, healthy, and delicious! I love using my instant pot for quick meals. I’m not going to lie, the instant pot intimidated me at first, but after giving it a try, it wasn’t so hard after all! This lentil bolognese is so good, I could just eat it like soup. It can be paired with bread, pasta, rice, or quinoa. My husband loves it with pasta. This lentil bolognese is full of protein, fiber, veggies, and flavor. I can eat it by the spoonfuls. I can never get sick of lentils. I know the holidays can be kinda crazy, so this meal is definitely something you can whip up fast and not have to slave hours over.

Easy Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese

1 1/4 cups red lentils, washed
1 -28 oz. can of fire roasted chopped tomatoes
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 medium carrots, diced
1 can of tomato paste
4 cups of water
2 Tbsp of Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Into your Instant Pot liner, add all of your ingredients through red pepper flakes.  Give that a good stir to incorporate all of the ingredients.  Place in your Instant Pot, close the steam release knob and set to manual for 15 minutes.

When it’s done cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for the next 15 minutes.  Then carefully manually release the steam. Once you open the top, add the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Stir well. Taste test for seasoning/salt preference. Serve over your favorite pasta, bread, rice, or quinoa.

Enjoy!

(recipe adapted from Knead to Cook)