Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (vegan, gluten free, healthy)

Sweet, cakey coconut chocolate chip banana bread ready to be snacked on. This go-to recipe is vegan, gluten free, and sugar free as well! Enjoy this healthy treat for dessert, a quick snack, or even a light breakfast.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

It is no secret that I absolutely love banana bread. I constantly have to stop myself from making banana bread, or else a good 80% of my diet would purely be banana bread. Something about the taste and texture of banana bread from the refrigerator just gets me every time. It is light, sweet, and so satisfying.

coconut chocolate chip banana bread

It is also fun to switch up the flavors with every batch! One of my all time favorites is still the espresso caramel swirl banana bread I made this summer. This time around, I decided to go for a coconut chocolate taste. Because who doesn’t love coconut?? If you don’t love coconut, just get out. Why are you even on my site?

Okay so for those of you who stayed, hi friends. I like you. You deserve some delicious coconut chocolate chip banana bread. Make yourself this sweet vegan, gluten free treat and rest easy knowing that it is completely healthy. As long as it’s not 80% of your diet, that is. :p

coconut chocolate chip banana bread

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Makes: 10 slices

  • 3 medium bananas, very ripe and mashed
  • 1.5 cups raw oats, ground into a flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/4 cup baking stevia (Optional)
  • 1/2 dropped coconut liquid stevia drops
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Cocoa Coconut Square Bar
  • 1/2 oz. toasted coconut chips (for topping, I used dang brand)

Mash your bananas into a large mixing bowl. Then add the remaining ingredients (except for the square bar and coconut chips) and mix evenly. Cut the bar into small pieces, then incorporate it into the batter.

Spray a bread loaf pan with nonstick spray. Pour the batter in. Top with toasted coconut chips.

Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes.

Let cool 15 minutes, then cut into 10 slices. Enjoy!

Per slice: Approximately 170 calories; 4 g fat, 29 g carbs (4 g fiber), 4 g protein


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Vegan Orange Chicken

Yes, vegan orange chicken can be done. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative for the super-fried Chinese restaurant classic, you’ve come to the right place! This simple vegan orange chicken recipe is oil free, light, and so completely delicious.

vegan orange chicken

So a little backstory. I’ve been trying to get more creative in the kitchen lately. Why? Because I’ve been cooking with someone instead of just for myself. When I cook for myself, I get into the rhythm of just making the same things over and over. You know that feeling, right? Meh, it keeps me happy. But I have to say it’s been amazing getting more creative with them. You may be asking who it is. OKAY I’ll stop being vague; let me introduce you to my boyfriend. World, meet Nick (imagine his face here and a handshake, just work with me).

Now that we’re all familiar…onto the food! This weekend we decided to make a veganized orange chicken dish. Nick is not vegan, but he likes orange chicken and is open to the idea. And I sure as heck love Chinese food myself, so why not make it! For the “meat” I used a mock meat made from soy. You can find these types of dehydrated strips at Asian markets or online. You just hydrate, and go!

The sauce…is so magical. Sweet, thick, with a slight kick. Honestly I would drink it. Too weird? You know you’d do it too. Even if you don’t have the mock meat, you can use it to toss vegetables, tofu, or tempeh in. Or all of the above! It’s worth making at least the sauce. Especially since it is completely vegan, oil free, and easy to make!

Vegan Orange Chicken

Serves: 4-6

  • 2 cups dehydrated soy strips
  • 1 lb snap peas (or snow peas)
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 navel oranges
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch + 2 TBSP water

First rehydrate the soy strips. Place in a bowl of water and let sit for at least 45 minutes. After hydrating, strain from the water and press out any excess liquid.

Boil a pot of water, then toss in your snap peas and sliced carrots. Lower the heat and let cook while you prepare the orange sauce. Keep an eye on the boiling vegetables and strain from the water once softened.

Juice your navel oranges. It should wield approximately 3/4 cup orange juice. In a large sauce pan, mix the orange juice with the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, red pepper, and salt/pepper. Bring to a low heat, stirring often. Once slightly simmering, slowly pour in the cornstarch/water slurry. You may not need all of the cornstarch mixture, so start by only adding 1/4 of the mix at a time, then stir and let thicken. If not thick enough, add more of the mix and repeat until the sauce is the thickness you desire.

Once the sauce is prepared, add the strained soy strips and vegetables to the pan. Lightly toss to incorporate the sauce and flavors, approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with rice.


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Cookie Dough Stuffed 1-Minute Cupcake (vegan, gf)

Food is so fun when you’ve got a healthy, cookie dough STUFFED microwave cupcake in front of your face. This 60-second recipe is vegan, gluten free, and sugar free as well! Fluffy and sweet with a hidden surprise, what more could you ask for?

Cookie Dough Stuffed

You know the joy you get when you find an unexpected cupcake? A friend brings you a cupcake when you’re feeling down, you randomly come to school to find someone baked 2 dozen cupcakes to share, or a coworker decides to treat you to dessert… Okay. Now. Imagine. You bite into that unexpected cupcake…AND IT’S STUFFED WITH COOKIE DOUGH. Now how do you feel. Yeah. Almost too excited to carry on right? Me too.

Cookie Dough Stuffed

I topped this flawlessly simple cupcake with a strawberry cheesecake icing and star sprinkles. Because stars seemed most fitting for the new year. This is yum. You need some yum. Make this for yum. It’ll make your 2017 prosperous…or something like that.

Cookie Dough Stuffed 1-Minute Cupcake

Serves: 1

Cake Batter

  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 TBSP edible vegan cookie dough

Strawberry Cheesecake Icing

In a small bowl, mix all of your cake batter ingredients (except for the cookie dough). When you add the almond milk, you want to slowly add and mix simultaneously until the right batter consistency is reached. Once the batter is prepared, pour it into a small microwavable bowl or silicon cupcake mold. In the center of the batter, press down the edible cookie dough so that it is slightly covered by batter. Microwave for 60 seconds!

To make a delicious icing, mix cream cheese, protein powder, and stevia. Then, like the batter, slowly add water while mixing until a desired fluffy consistency is reached.

 


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2017 Expectations

Happy 2017!! If you’re a long-time reader of the blog, you know that I like to reflect with each new year. More so, I like to detail things I’m looking forward to in the new year, as a way to muster excitement rather than a pessimistic “same ol’ same ol'” mindset. If you’d like to check out past years, I listed 14 things in 2014, 15 things in 2015, and 16 very unpredictable things in 2016.

This year, I have to admit…It’s really hard to list 17 things for 2017. Do you know how many things that is?! It’s a lot of things. Putting aside the length of it, I just really truly don’t know what to predict. And for once, it’s kind of exciting to simply not know. The fun will be in finding out. Yes, there are the normal events like AWA…concerts…etc…but in terms of major life events? Who knowwssss.

Since I’m not up for the challenge of 17 things this year, I’d like to mostly reflect on my “16 things” from last year – how things truly went, if things went differently, as expected, etc. Just to give a little update. Here’s to hoping 2017 is this great and more.

In 2016, I was looking forward to…

  1. Opening my Etsy shop and exploring other forms of creativity
    • So I DID open the shop! And I made a handful of phone cases. Sold 1 or 2, nothing crazy. But I had a ton of fun and it kept my mind at ease for a while. I actually pulled out my materials to make a new case for my new phone the other day. I think I’ll mostly stick to personal crafts rather than sales. But it was a great coping mechanism while I figured out life at the beginning of the year.
  2. My 25th birthday!! Official “adult” point in my opinion. Ew.
    • Yeah that happened. It’s still ew.
  3. Joining a local cycling group & learning more about the sport & meeting cyclists!
    • This was one of the best things to happen all year! I was scared AF to just step into a shop, but the people ended up being some of my closest friends. You get to know people really fast when you’re right by their side at least an hour for 3-4 times a week, haha. Such a great hobby and I’m glad I finally picked it up after being hesitant for so long.
  4. Living 100% authentically and rediscovering myself
    • :DDD feels good man
  5. Going to cons! (anime/video game conventions – maybe getting back into cosplaying)
    • Sadly, no cosplays. Just not my focus of where to put my time and efforts. But I definitely went to cons – some of my best memories this year. Momocon, Seishuncon, AWA… Reconciled with some friends. Made new friends. Fun in general.
  6. Cutting my hair real short & putting blue/purple back in it.
    • Felt reborn with the haircut :) such a good decision. But I never did do color. I went all natural all year because shiny. But I still have it in the back of my mind to do blue/purple tips if the mood strikes!
  7. Pesto’s 1st birthday! We’re gonna have a big doggy bash :3
    • Baby boyyyyy. He’s almost 2 now! Wild.
  8. Expanding Beechie’s Bakehouse product line & growing/learning as a business in general
    • So. This went a totally different direction. Will discuss in another bullet, but I ended up back at the CDC again and sadly I had to close the business since I didn’t have the time for it. At all.
  9. Reading 30 books from my 2016 book list
    • Heh…didn’t happen. But I was going strong at the beginning of the year! Once I started working M-F again though, the speed reading through my list rapidly declined. Overall though the habit to read more has stuck with me so I’d say it was a success. And got me through the rough first months of the year.
  10. Going to a concert. Not sure which yet, but I’m determined to go since it’s been years.
    • I don’t remember, did I??? I know I planned to go to Of Montreal, but something else came up. I don’t think I ever did… But I have two planned for the beginning of this year already.
  11. Maybe another cookbook??
    • Meh. Been there done that. It’s a lot of work I’m not ready to put in again quite yet. Instead, I’ve done more freelance work. So rather than creating recipes and selling a compilation cookbook, I’m selling work/recipes directly to companies. I like this a lot better because I don’t have to deal with the marketing side of things.
  12. Maybe working in a lab again?? (trying out a private company would be awesome- particularly interested in food science rather than analytical chemistry which my last job was primarily)
    • I’m in a lab!! Once I felt comfortable with my health being okay again, I started to apply to private companies. I asked my old boss at the CDC if he knew of any jobs in the nutrition branch. He tried, but sadly there were none. But! I am in a group similar to before, but different and more amazing and I absolutely love my job and my coworkers. They’ve been a huge component of 2016 becoming great towards the end half.
  13. Getting better at vlogging & video editing!!! I want to get a Canon Powershot G7 or Powershot N2
    • YES! I haven’t felt the vlogging cameras were necessary enough, but I really did amp up my photography skills. Purchased a new lens for my DSLR, lots of lighting gear, and accessories. It’s been fantastic and brought a lot of opportunities.
  14. Travelling somewhere. Not sure where yet but I will this year. Top picks: New York City, any beach, Austin, Colorado.
    • Ha, this is funny to read. I did go to NYC! I had the opportunity to go again for Thanksgiving, but I passed it up. Next year though, I have very concrete plans to go to Austin/Dallas. Funny enough, my dad randomly moved there! So even more of an excuse. Colorado is still high up on my list. I also intend to visit San Francisco in 2017 because I have a handful of friends out there.
  15. Learning more about veganism and continuing to feel great & healthy!!
    • Yep!
  16. Seeing the movie Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass. Is that weird? I’m really really really excited.
    • By the time the movie came out, I was kind of over it and couldn’t care enough to see it in theaters haha. But I did watch it at home, after the fact. Underwhelming…but you can’t win them all I guess.

 


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Double Chocolate Microwave Cupcake (vegan, gf)

The most simple double chocolate microwave cupcake that only takes 60 seconds to make. This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and sugar free. Although seemingly indulgent, this cake makes the for perfect healthy snack.

chocolate microwave cupcake

This recipe is my go-to lazy day dessert. Sorry I post this so much but…there’s just something about it. The texture is so effortlessly soft and fluffy. This time around, I added a ball of edible cookie dough and just trust me that it’s a great combination. I mean, when is cookie dough not a great addition to a dessert? Yeah…I can’t think of anything either.

chocolate microwave cupcake

If you haven’t tried this recipe yet, what are you doing?! Try for yourself and see how deliciously easy this vegan, gluten free, microwave cupcake is!

Double Chocolate Microwave Cupcake

Makes: 2 cupcakes

Cake Batter

  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stevia packet

Icing

  • 2 TBSP chocolate pea protein
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 TBSP water

Mix all of the batter ingredients evenly. Pour into two silicone cupcake molds. Microwave for 60 seconds. The cupcakes are done!

Make the icing now. You want to first mix the protein powder, stevia, and syrup. The syrup can be any syrup ie maple syrup, sugar free syrup, brown rice syrup, IMO fiber syrup… This makes it creamier. Then slowly add water until a thick, mixed consistency is reached. Use to ice the cupcakes!!


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Pumpkin Chickpea & Red Lentil Curry (vegan, gf)

A warm, comforting pumpkin chickpea & red lentil curry for the chilly winter nights. Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch prep recipe, or just wanting a cozy dinner for the family, this curry is perfect for the occasion! This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and oil free as well!

chickpea & red lentil curry

You may know by now…but I’m cold. Always. Fall? Cold. Summer? Cold. So wintertime….I’m borderline dying basically. I may or may not be exaggerating but let’s just trust me. I’m dying. I just want constant warm foods to heat my body up! I had a fantastic kabocha squash curry from a restaurant lately, and I just neeeeded more. So I pulled together some of my favorite ingredients to make my own. I love red lentils in a curry because they kind of just absorb the liquid, and it becomes a thick, full curry.

It came out fantastic, if I do say so myself. Very filling, savory, yet bits of sweet mixed throughout. I am so happy. This recipe also doesn’t use any coconut milk, making this a great low fat curry.

While this recipe list may look intimidating on first glance, it’s truly a simple recipe! I pulled most of these ingredients using what I had to use up in my fridge and pantry. The fresh/new stuff I had to get for this was onion, celery, and green onions. Everything else I had! The spices make up the majority of the list heh, so I think you will find this recipe easy as well!

Pumpkin Chickpea & Red Lentil Curry

Serves: 3-4

  • 3/4 cup dry chickpeas (135 g, or 1, 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained)
  • 1/2 cup dry red lentils
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2 green onions, sliced (whites and greens)
  • 1.5 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP red or yellow curry paste
  • 1 TBSP curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Rehydrate the chickpeas as instructed on the bag. Alternatively, you could use canned chickpeas. In a pot, boil the dry lentils until they are cooked and hydrated. Strain off the water, then place the lentils and chickpeas back in the pot and set aside.
  2. In a pan, sauté the garlic and onion until lightly browned. You don’t need to fully cook the onion, just until fragrant.
  3. In the large pot of lentils and chickpeas, add the cooked garlic and onion. Then add all of the remaining ingredients.* Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer 10-15 minutes, until the curry is thickened to your liking. It will also thicken a little more after cooling in the fridge.
  4. Remove from heat, and serve! Goes great with rice or with lettuce cups.

*If you’d like a curry with more spicy undertones, add 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper when cooking.


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