Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread- refined sugar & dairy free.

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This banana bread is one of my favourites, is really easy to make and full of healthy whole food ingredients.  Made with 100% whole wheat flour and and a touch of natural honey or maple syrup for sweetness they are made with just a few simple ingredients. I also love that they are full of fibre, potassium and also dairy free!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or grapeseed oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
  • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • Totally optional: 1/2 cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, fresh banana slices.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)
  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
  4. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. (I used a mini loaf pan and decreased the bake time to 30 mins)
  5. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

xo Chelsea

Healthy Blueberry Mufffins- oil, sugar, dairy, and flour free!

Healthy Blueberry Oat Muffins- oil, sugar, dairy, and flour free!

Blueberry Muffins

This is one of my favourite muffin recipes!!! It’s the same recipe as my Apple Crisp Muffins but I added blueberries instead. They are made without flour, dairy, sugar, or oil and are sooo good! My family ate the whole batch in 2 days!!!! I love that they are loaded with blueberries and use whole grain oat flour, almond milk, and natural honey.

Here is what makes these a little more nutritious:

•Toasted oatmeal replaces bleached white flour. (Use oats labeled gluten-free for healthy gluten-free muffins.)

•Bananas/applesauce keep the muffins moist instead of the usual oil or butter.

•A bit of honey sweetens the recipe instead of refined white sugar.

•These can be made using gluten free oats to make them gluten free.

I love this recipe because you can get creative and add your favourite add ins. I have used this basic oat muffin recipe a lot and like to swap out what I put in them to switch things up!

Here are some of my favourite add ins and the recipe below:

  • frozen blueberries Tip-I keep mine in the freezer until the very end when I’m ready to add them to the batter, then I rinse them in cold water and pat dry. This will keep them from turning your batter blue or purple!                                                               chocolate chips
  • 1/2 zucchini and 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 walnuts and 1/2 raisins
  • fresh or frozen raspberries

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Muffin Recipe

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats ( 2 cups ground, 1/2 cup whole)
2 Tbsp old-fashioned oats for muffin tops (unless adding crumb topping-see below for ingredients and recipe)
3 large overripe bananas (1.5 cup mashed or or 1.5 cup applesauce- I used applesauce)
1 cup blueberries (or your favourite add in like 1 cup berries, OR 1/2 cup grated zucchini and 1/2 chopped apple as an example)
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/3 cup honey
3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
2 tsp real vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Muffin tin

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place oats on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, stirring once (about 4 to 6 minutes). Do not let these get too toasted! Then cool to room temperature. *Note-If you are in a hurry you can skip this step, however the toasting adds flavour!)
  2. Divide oats into portions of 2 cups, .5 cup and 2 Tbsp
  3. Turn oven heat up to 350 degrees.
  4. Place 2 cups of oats in a food processor and blend/pulse until they reach a rough, flour like consistency.
  5. Mash bananas well, they should have no lumps. I use my mixer to mash them before adding the other wet ingredients.
  6. Add eggs, honey, milk and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  7. Add dry ingredients (including the ground oats and .5 cup whole oats) to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Allow these to sit for 10 minutes to soak the oats.
  8.  Fold in approximately 1 cup fruit (I like them with lots of fruit!), raisins or nuts.
  9. Scoop into muffin tin, lined with muffin wrappers (makes 12 muffins).
  10. Sprinkle muffin tops with the 2 Tbsp of reserved oats or crumb topping (see recipe below) and press lightly to make sure they stick.
  11. Bake at 350 for about 20 -23 minutes, a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean.

Enjoy!!

xo Chelsea

Healthy Carrot Cake Granola Bars

Carrot Cake Granola Bars

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I’m always looking for healthy snack ideas for my kids and for different ways I can sneak in veggies that they won’t oppose.  I found this recipe from Pinterest and absolutely love it!  It’s from the girls at Super Healthy Kids and they have some great recipes for picky eaters.  The recipe and all the photos are theirs and not mine but it was too good not to share!!

I don’t know about you but my kids can be picky especially my toddler.  If he even spots a veggie these days he immediately puts up his hand and says ‘gross’.  Like how did he even learn that??!  While I love his funny little personality his picky eating habits drive me crazy.   I’m always worrying that he is not getting enough nutrients and eating enough nourishing food when he needs it the most.  That’s where I have to get creative and try to make things that secretly contain veggies.

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My kids love granola bars so I just had to try these carrot ones.  They are full of healthy ingredients and use natural honey rather than processed white sugar so I feel good about them eating them.  The flax, nuts, oats, and almond Butter add protein, healthy fat, good fibre, to help keep the kids full without all the junk you can find in some store bought bars.

They are also made with flax egg instead of real eggs to help the ingredients bind so it’s great for anyone who may be allergic to eggs.  These remind me of those crunchy Nature Valley bars I used to have as a kid.  These are similar in crunch but are a healthier version and are really easy to make.  I hope you like them as much as I do!!

Ingredients
1 tablespoon – flaxseed, ground
2 1/2 tablespoon – water
1 3/4 cup – oats, dry
1/2 cup – pecans, chopped
2/3 cup – raisins, seedless
1 medium – carrot
1/3 cup – coconut flakes
2 teaspoon – cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon – salt
1/2 cup – honey
1/4 cup – almond butter

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 3 quart baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Combine ground flaxseed and water in a small bowl to make a flaxseed “egg.” Allow to sit for 10 minutes to congeal.

3. Pulse oats and nuts in a food processor until semi-finely chopped but not powdery. (This helps them to bind into a bar better than when they are left whole or chunky).

4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine pulsed oats and nuts, raisins, grated carrot, coconut, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

5. In a microwave safe bowl, heat honey and almond butter for 20 seconds, or until easy to stir together.

6. Add the honey/almond butter mixture and flaxseed egg to the medium bowl with oat mixture. Stir until fully mixed.

7. Pour mixture into lined baking dish and spread out until it is even and about 1/2 inch thick (mixture likely will not cover the entire length of the baking dish).
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges slightly brown.

8. Remove from the over and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting bars. Let cool completely before removing and eating bars.

Makes approximately 12-14 bars.

xo Chelsea 

 

Watermelon Popsicles

Watermelon Popsicles 

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How pretty are these watermelon popsicles??!  I just love how colourful they are and my kids love them too.

With the weather getting a little warmer and summer just around the corner I’ve been trying out new popsicle recipes for healthy treats at home.  Using all natural fruit, no processed sugar or preservatives, these are a great option for a guilt free treat.  They are naturally low in calories, are packed full of immune boosting vitamin C, and have a good source of vitamin A.  They also contain potassium which helps to balance fluids in the body and keeps you hydrated.

These popsicles are also dairy free, vegan, and gluten-free if anyone has any dietary restrictions!!

Ingredients

2 cups Watermelon, diced (seeds removed)
1 cup Strawberries
½ cup coconut milk, regular or light
1 cup Kiwi, diced

Instructions

1. In a food processor or blender, puree the watermelon and strawberries until smooth and set aside.

2. Puree the kiwi until smooth and set aside.

3. In your mold, fill ⅔ way with your watermelon puree. Freeze this layer for 30 minutes.

4. For the next layer pour in a layer of coconut milk on top of the frozen watermelon, leaving room for the kiwi layer on top. Pop back in the freezer for another 30 minutes.

5. Pour the pureed kiwi on top of the frozen coconut milk. Freezing in between layers gives you lovely clean layering.

6. Cover mold, add sticks and freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight. They will keep in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.

TIP: Run the molds under warm water to loosen up the popsicles.

xo Chelsea

Key Lime Chia Pudding with Avocado Creme

Key Lime Chia Pudding with Avocado Creme

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I LOVE anything  key lime. Ice cream, pie, cookies, yum yum yum.  I wanted to make a healthy dessert to satisfy my key lime craving so I created this Chia Seed pudding.  It’s dairy free, made from healthy natural ingredients, and is packed full of nutrients.  Chia seeds are a superfood that provide a ton of fibre, protein, and minerals.  The avocado adds healthy fat and additional fibre making this pudding a perfectly balanced treat for anytime of the day!!

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Key lime chia pudding recipe

Chia Pudding

1 cup almond milk
lime zest from 1 lime
4 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Avocado lime creme

lime juice and zest from 1 lime
1 avocado
1 tbsp agave
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Whisk together all ingredients for the chia pudding in a bowl. Whisk for a couple of minutes until the seeds start to form a gel like consistency. The more you whisk the more your seed will get evenly spread out and you’ll avoid getting lumps in your pudding.

2. When you see that the pudding starts to thicken and the seeds are evenly spread out. Put the bowl in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.

3. Make the avocado creme while you wait. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

4. When the chia pudding is ready, split it up to two glass jars or one bigger jar. Top with the avocado creme and sprinkle with some coconut flakes.

5. Enjoy!!

xo Chelsea

Coconut Thai Asparagus Soup

Coconut Thai Asparagus Soup

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This Coconut Thai Asparagus Soup reminds me of my favourite green curry from our local Thai restaurant.  It is rich and creamy with little hint of spice.  It is also a LOT lighter than your typical Thai curry.  I used coconut milk instead of cream and vegetable broth instead of chicken stock so it is dairy free and vegan.  Boy is it good!  This soup is packed full of veggies and is a sneaky way of getting your greens in for the day.  It is packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties.   If you love Thai food, you will love this guilt free Coconut Thai Asparagus soup!!

Coconut Thai Asparagus Soup

Ingredients:

2 bunches Asparagus

1 med sweet onion

2 cloves garlic

1 can coconut milk

3 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 tbsp olive oil

2- 3 tbsp Thai green curry paste (depending on how spicy you want it)

1/2 lime

1/3 cup crushed peanuts or chia seeds for a garnish (optional)

Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

1. Wash your Asparagus and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. *Note- I snap off the base of my Asparagus after washing. If you grab the Asparagus stalk and snap off the bottom the toughest part of the stalk will break off.  Removing the woody end gives your soup a nice smooth consistency!!

2. In a large saucepan or skillet heat your olive oil over med heat. Then add the onion and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until tender.

3. Next add your coconut milk, green Thai curry paste, and stir until well mixed.

4. Place your Asparagus and 3 cups vegetable broth in the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until Asparagus is tender. Approx 5-7 minutes.

5. Then use an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a blender and purée.

6. Once the soup is puréed you can transfer it back to the pot and add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Heat the soup to desired temperature on a low summer, add a squeeze of lime, and pour into bowls.

You can top with crushed peanuts or chia seeds for a little garnish if you like!

xo Chelsea