Chunky Monkey Banana Muffins (refined sugar and dairy free)

Chunky Monkey Banana Muffins | Refined Sugar & Dairy Free

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The Best Banana Muffins

Recipe yields 12 muffins.

This banana muffin recipe is one of my favourites and it just so happens to be healthier than most! I used my basic banana muffin recipe, drizzled them with chocolate & peanut butter and topped them with walnuts to make them the Chunky Monkey version. You can also leave them as is cause they are also really good just on their own!!

  • These muffins are easy to make with basic ingredients. Only one bowl required.
  • They’re made with 100% whole grains, yet they’re fluffy and delicious. No one will know the difference.
  • They’re also naturally sweetened rather than loaded with refined sugar. You can use maple syrup (or honey) offers a touch of extra flavour!
  • They are dairy free and use either olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter.
  • These muffins also freeze well. Just defrost individual muffins in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, or until gently warmed through.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil. I prefer coconut oil as sometimes you can slightly taste the olive oil depending on the brand you use.
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice or water (I used almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1 3/4 cups regular or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • Optional: once out of the oven and cooled drizzle with melted chocolate (dairy free if avoiding dairy), melted peanut butter and add chopped walnuts or pecans to make these Chunky Monkey style!

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). Grease all 12 cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins, like nuts, chocolate or blueberries, fold them in now.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon in total).
  5. Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool.
  7. Once cooled drizzle with melted peanut butter and chocolate and top with walnuts if you want!

*These muffins will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They keep well in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months (just defrost individual muffins as needed).

Enjoy!!

xo Chelsea

Raw Vegan Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce

Raw Vegan Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce

 

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I tried my first raw vegan cheesecake at a local market a few months ago.  I’m a bit of a cheesecake connoisseur and I was surprised at how good it tasted even though it wasn’t made with cream cheese.  I liked that it had less sugar and was made with all natural ingredients.

I wanted to make one at home so I tried out a few recipes.  Some were made without dates, some were made with macadamia nuts, some were made with cashews and some had a lot of lemon and were a bit too tart.  After experiminting with a few recipes and tweaking things a little I finally came up with one that I love.  This raw vegan cheesecake contains just 7 ingredients and it super easy to make!  It has almonds, dates, cashews, lemon, maple syrup, coconut milk and a touch of coconut oil.

It requires no baking, is dairy free and is really creamy and decadent. Being that it is made mostly of cashews and coconut milk it has a slightly different taste than cream cheese cheesecake but trust me it is so good you will absolutely love every bite!!

Ingredients:

Crust

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup pitted dates

Filling

2 cups raw cashews (pre-soaked in water)

1 large lemon

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup maple syrup or honey if you prefer

Topping

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

2 tbsp maple syrup or honey

2 tbsp fresh lemon

1/3 cup water

Instructions:

1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water (approx 1/2 cup water) and soak for 8 hours or overnight. As an alternative you can also speed up the process and soak the cashews in hot water for 1 hour instead.

3. Place your can of coconut milk in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight while waiting for the cashews to soak.

2.  For the crust place the almonds, dates and a pinch of sea salt in a food processor and blend until a sticky dough forms.

2. Line a 9″ glass dish or baking pan with parchment paper and press the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Set aside.

3. Drain and pat the cashews dry and place them in your food processor. Blend the cashews until they are fine.

4. Open your can of coconut milk and scrape off the thicker cream that has solidified on top and add it to the ground cashews. *Do not use the whole can of coconut milk, just use the thicker cream on top.

5. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.

6. Pour the filling over the crust and place in the freezer for 4-6 hours.

7. To make the blueberry topping place the blueberries in a saucepan along with the water, lemon and maple syrup. Cook on med heat and bring to a low boil, constantly stirring until the mixture thickens. Approx 5 mins. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.

8. Remove the cheesecake out of the freezer once it has set. Let it thaw at room temperature for 10-15 mins before serving. Cut cheesecake into pieces and top with your blueberry sauce and enjoy!!

Xo Chelsea

Serving size: 1 slice cheesecake Calories: 319 Fat: 20 g Saturated fat: 8.7 g Carbohydrates: 29 g Sugar: 18g Sodium: 10 mg Fiber: 2.6 g Protein: 6 g

 

 

 

 

 

Bliss Balls-Healthy No Bake Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

Bliss Balls- Healthy No Bake Coconut Snowballs

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I call these bite sized little morsels Bliss Balls. They are gluten-free and a healthier version of a Bounty Bar. I don’t know about you but I LOVE the combination of coconut and chocolate. This year I was looking for something a little healthier to make for Christmas. I wanted something that wasn’t full of processed sugar and flour. These little treats fit the bill and are perfect to give away as a little gift to friends and family during the holidays.

While they still have sugar in them, with the maple syrup and the dark chocolate, they are WAY healthier than the original version. The dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, minerals, and fiber. When it comes to dark chocolate the higher the percentage of cocoa the better so I always try to use a min of 70% dark chocolate. This way I maximize the nutritional value of my treats as much as I can.

The coconut is rich in fiber and loaded with essential vitamins/minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium.  The added coconut oil is a good source of energy, can boost metabolism, and aids in fat loss when eaten in moderation.

The key here is moderation. Even though these are a healthier version they still contain sugar and are high in fat. While they provide more nutrients, no processed sugar, and are made with a healthier fat you still want to make sure you don’t eat the entire batch. I know you’d likely prefer me to tell you that they are super healthy and that you can eat the whole tin BUT my philosophy is all about moderation. I eat healthy majority of the time but definately enjoy to indulge in some bit sized treats every once in a while!!

That being said I must warn you because these little balls of bliss are so yummy that you may be tempted to eat the whole batch once you try them. I know I had to place the container in the back of my fridge so I didn’t keep reaching for more. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!! The recipe makes about 24 little snowballs.

Ingredients:

2.5 cups of unsweetened coconut

6 tbsp. of coconut oil

6 tbsp. maple syrup

4 tbsp. coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of sea salt

Organic dark chocolate (1 cup)

Directions:

1. Place 1.5 cups of shredded coconut in a food processor. Add 4 tbsp. of coconut oil and blend until it’s creamy like butter, scraping off the sides of the bowl as you go.

2. Add the coconut milk, vanilla, maple syrup, and a small pinch of salt and blend together until smooth.

3. Add the remaining coconut and process at high-speed until a dough forms.

4. Roll the mixture into 1″ balls.  Note-if the mixture is wet and sticky you can place the batter in the fridge for 20 mins until it stiffens and then roll them into balls.

5. Place the balls in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight.

6. Melt your dark chocolate in a small double boiler on minimal heat for 1-2 mins until melted.

7. Take the coconut balls out of the fridge and dip them in the melted chocolate using a spoon, then place them on parchment paper. Sprinkle some shredded coconut on top while they are still wet and then place them in the fridge for 5-10 mins.

Store these Bliss Balls in the fridge to keep them fresh but serve them at room temperature to enjoy!

Happy Holidays!!

Xo Chelsea

*recipe was adapted from Pinterest