Banana Blondies

What a beautiful Saturday morning we had with perfect conditions for the Balloon Fiesta! Unfortunately that was the last glimpse of summer, which pretty much ended around 10 am. But to be honest, the rain and lower temperatures are very welcomed. It also means that it is now comfortable to heat up my oven! And since the heat has been causing my bananas to ripen very fast, it only makes sense to make up some Banana Blondies. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • What I like the most about this recipe, is that you can make it using one bowl. And in that bowl, the first thing you’ll do is mash up the banana.
  • Next, add the brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Combine very well.
  • Next add the egg and beat as much as possible. Ideally, you should beat the egg in a separate bowl. However, I didn’t feel like washing more than I have to, so I stuck to the one bowl baking ideology on this one.
  • Next, mix in the flour.
  • Last, melt the butter and slowly add it in to the batter.
  • As soon as you can, pour it into a square pan. Mine isn’t square, but it’s all I had, so use your imagination.
  • Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for ~25 minutes.
  • And there you have it! Banana Blondies!
  • If you’ve got ripe bananas that need to be consumed, forget about banana bread and try these treats. They were soft, had a slight caramel flavour, and melted in my mouth. My only suggestion is that they weren’t very thick, so I’d probably double up the recipe next time. You can also use coconut oil instead of butter to make these dairy free if you’d like. I truly hope you get the chance to make a batch of these as the weather cools a bit. Remember your umbrella this week, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!
  • Advertisements

    Mango Chia Icebox Cake

    Ok guys, it’s still hot up in here! I haven’t baked anything proper in ages because the mugginess is just ugh! So, in honor of Bristol’s Harbour Fest, I decided to make this icebox cake since summer is truly upon us. Back in the states, icebox cakes are popular because they’re easy and perfect to bring to BBQ’s when have a consistent summer year after year. In England, it’s more like a trifle but in a rectangular dish. Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 1 large, ripe mango
    • 1/2 cup chia seeds
    • 2 cups almond milk
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla
    • Lots of coconut biscuits
    • Shredded coconut to top
  • First, you’ll want to prepare the mango chia pudding. Cut up a sweet, ripe mango and combine in a blender with the almond milk and vanilla. You can use any milk, but I prefer almond.
  • Pour the mango mixture into the chia seeds in a medium sized bowl.
  • Mix it up really well. Scrape down any seeds that may be stuck on the sides. Put the mango chia pudding in the fridge for at least 3 hours. You will notice the chia seeds will get sticky as soon as they come into contact with moisture. You may need to give it a stir after an hour, and you’ll know it’s ready when it has a custard like consistency.
  • Now it’s time to prepare the dessert. Start with an even layer of biscuits, as seen above. Then spread on a layer of chia pudding, followed by another layer of biscuits. Then chia pudding, then a final biscuit layer. You can add as many layers as you like, but this amount of chia pudding makes two layers in the dish as seen above.
  • When the layers are complete, top it off with several chunks of fresh mango.
  • Place the dessert in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours. As it sits in the cold, the biscuits will absorb the moisture, becoming soft and cake like.
  • Once it’s set, add lots of shredded coconut on top. Now it’s ready!
  • And there you have it, Mango Chia Icebox Cake! What a delicious summer treat to make without heating up your oven.
  • I love making this dessert because it’s sweet, creamy, and tastes far more decadent than it is. You get some fruit and fibre without the dairy (although you can use milk if you’d like). And, you can easily make it vegan or gluten free as long as you use the appropriate biscuits. This recipe works with other fruits as well, so mix it up and add your own twist to it.
  • I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as I’ve enjoyed eating it! And enjoy yourself at the Harbour Fest if you’re out Bristol way. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!
  • No Bake Cookies

    Anyone else hot up in here? Ok, ok, so I know that the weather we’ve been experiencing is called summer – I did grow up in California after all! But after living in Bristol, this sudden heat is all so sudden! I’ve not really baked anything lately because I don’t want to heat up my home any more than I need to. Most homes here don’t have that precious central air conditioning, so we kinda have to rely on harbour side breezes. However, I wanted something sweet to enjoy while watching football and I have to clear out my cupboards. Hence, no bake cookies… aka I’ve got coconut flour and golden syrup that needs to be used up. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 2 1/4 cups coarse coconut flour
    • 3/4 cup almond flour
    • 1/2 cup cranberries
    • 2/3 cup golden syrup
    • 1/4 cup almond milk
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract

    Step one, pour all ingredients into a bowl! Great recipe right? I did make my own almond flour with raw almonds I got from the Zero Green shop in Bristol, and added some organic cranberries I got there as well. And if you’re looking for a coarse coconut flour, I got this one at Southville Deli ages ago, but I’ve also seen the same brand at Sainsbury’s.

    Next, mix it up! If you find the dough is still a bit dry, you can add a bit more syrup or almond milk to bind it together.

    Once the dough is a bit sticky, roll into cookie like shapes and place on a plate.

    Pop into the freezer for about 30-45 minutes to set.

    And there you go, No Bake Cookies, made unique by whatever you’ve got in your kitchen. There are a lot of ways to personalise these as you see fit. You can add nuts and/or chocolate chips. And you can substitute honey or maple syrup for the golden syrup. Or drizzle caramel or chocolate on top. Oh go ahead, just dip them in the chocolate! And the best part is that you don’t have to power up the oven! Make these ahead of time for a cool summer treat, or to bring to a World Cup get together. Stay cool Bristol, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Almond Crackers

    Summer is finally here! Although we have the occasional rain shower, the weather has been absolutely lovely. So even though it’s been warm, I decided to power up the oven and make some homemade crackers featuring some almonds and rosemary I got from Zero Green on North Street in Bedminster. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup (105 g) almond flour
    • 3/4 (110 g) cup plain flour
    • 1 tablespoon rosemary
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

    First, I made some fresh almond flour. Simply put some almonds into a blender (I have a Ninja) and pulse it up!

    Pulse until it turns into almond flour, as seen above.

    Now for the crackers… you’ll begin by beating the egg really well. This will be one of the main binding ingredients.

    Then add all the other ingredients to the beaten egg. Mix very well. Once it’s nearly combined, use your hands to press it together.

    Once you’ve got the dough together, roll it out to a few millimeters thick. These are hearty crackers, so I find they end up being thicker and denser than your typical boxed cracker.

    Once it’s rolled out, you can cut into squares or use cookie cutters to make them look fancy.

    Place them evenly on a nonstick tray or line with baking paper, and bake for 10 minutes at 350 F / 180 C.

    And there you have it, Almond Flour Crackers! These are flavorful, savory, and the perfect addition to any garden party. They are lovely with dip or cheese, but just as enjoyable on their own. I originally found this recipe on the California Almonds website, which called for all almond flour which is a great gluten free option. However, I found it to be a bit grainy, hence the addition of plain flour. However you decide to make them, give these a try, you won’t be disappointed!

    Almond Flour Cookies

    The weather in Bristol has been fantastic, so I’m trying to spend as much time outside as possible. It also means that I need more snacks for the increased activity and because I’m usually pretty hungry in general. I initially tried to make almond butter, which ended up as almond flour. So now I’m making almond flour cookies, here is what you’ll need:

    • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
    • 1/4 cup baking soda
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 3 tablespoons honey
    • 1 teaspoon almond essence

    Combine the almond flour, baking soda, and salt. If you are interested in making your own almond flour for the recipe, place once cup of raw almonds in a food processor and pulse until it becomes flour like.

    Next, add the coconut oil, honey, and almond essence. Mix together very well. It will be crumbly, but you can add a bit more coconut oil if it’s too dry.

    Because of the consistency, you’ll have to shape the cookies by hand. Make into small balls and place them evenly apart on the baking sheet.

    Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for 8 – 10 minutes.

    And there you have it, Almond Flour Cookies! These are super easy to make and taste delicious!

    Note, these probably aren’t low calorie, but completely natural, so a perfect snack to keep you fueled for summer activities. I’ll try making my own almond butter another time, but for now, these cookies will do just fine! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Oat and Banana Energy Bites

    Today is bank holiday Monday and it is absolutely gorgeous! I had a fantastic run this morning and decided to make this recipe as a post workout treat. And although I do enjoy running as a hobby, this time it’s in training for the Bristol 10k. I also decided to raise funds for the Bristol city centre hospital charity, Above and Beyond, which does some really great things for so many patients. If you would like to make a donation towards my fundraising goal, you can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/candice-cole

    And if you’d like to make these delicious energy bites, here is what you’ll need:

    • 3 cups oats (270 g)
    • 4 tablespoons milled linseed or flaxseed
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 small bananas
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (170g)
    • 1 cup peanut butter or nut blend (225g)

    Go ahead and mix up the oats, linseed, and cinnamon. Put aside.

    Next, mash the bananas. Make sure your bananas are ripe. This ensures they are soft which makes it a lot easier to mash into a smooth purée.

    Add the vanilla, honey, and nut butter to the bananas, stirring very well.

    Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture, and mix very well. Once thoroughly incorporated, let sit for about 10 minutes for the oats to absorb some of the banana mixture.

    At this point, roll into balls and place on a piece of parchment or baking paper. If the dough is still a bit wet, you can add a bit more linseed, or roll with something like coarse coconut flour, chopped nuts, or mini chocolate chips.

    Place in the freezer for an hour to set.

    And there you have it, Oat & Banana Energy Bites! They are the perfect pre-workout, post-workout, or sitting on the couch snack! You can even have these for breakfast or an afternoon pick me up. It’s also tasty to try different nut butters like a coconut peanut butter, as I did in mine. Next time I’ll experiment with different bits to roll in it, although the coconut is delicious! However you make them, I hope you savour these healthy treats! Enjoy the good weather and if you’re around on Sunday May 13th, cheer on all of us running the Bristol 10k in the city centre. Remember your sunscreen, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

    So, I still have Easter chocolate left! Although I love baking I don’t tend to be eating as much sweets as I’ve been getting older. Therefore, I turned my last (dark) chocolate egg into brownies. They don’t contain any dairy or refined flour. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 3 eggs, room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • ~2 cups (260 g) dark chocolate
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter, and 2 tablespoons to drizzle
    • 1 1/3 (120 g) cup almond flour
    • 2/3 (50 g) cup coconut flour

    If you have a double boiler, use that to melt the chocolate. Otherwise, like me, use a saucepan that is wider than a small pot of simmering water beneath.

    While the chocolate is beginning to melt, beat the eggs and vanilla very well.

    You can also use this time to measure out the almond and coconut flour.

    Once the chocolate is melted, take it off the heat source and stir in 1/4 cup of peanut butter.

    Now, you’ll add the warm chocolate to the eggs, mixing well. Make sure the chocolate isn’t too hot so the eggs don’t cook up.

    Next, you’ll add both flours, making sure it is all incorporated and absorbed by the chocolate mixture.

    The mixture will be very thick by now. Go ahead and press it into a square baking tin, or anything you have. Mine was rectangular, so the brownies will be a bit thinner.

    At this point, go ahead and drizzle some extra peanut butter on top.

    Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for 20 minutes. It will rise a bit, but it should be done when you notice a bit of cracking on top.

    And there you have it! Peanut Butter Brownies that are dairy free and free from refined flour! These are very rich and decadent, making it the perfect companion for a cup of coffee. They are also a great post run treat! And as I’ve been training for the Bristol 10 k in two weeks time, these went down nicely. Give these a try and savour them as summer approaches. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Chocolate Orange Cake

    So, I still have Easter chocolate and I simply can’t eat anymore… on its own, that is. In times like this, baking a cake that incorporates it somehow is the solution to my problem. Since I received a chocolate orange egg, complete with 2 sharing bars, a chocolate orange cake just makes sense. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 2 oranges
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 6 eggs, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup (125 g) powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon almond essence
    • 2 cups (250 g) almond flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder

    Before you get started, this cake will take some time. So if you have the time, let’s get started! First, rinse and clean two oranges and place in a saucepan of water. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then simmer on low for 2 hours. Take off the heat and let the oranges cool.

    While the oranges are cooling down, beat the eggs, then add the sugar and almond essence.

    Once the oranges are cooked, blend completely until a smooth orange paste is produced. You may want to cut off the ends which can sometimes be bitter.

    To the smooth orange mixture, add the coconut oil, which should melt if the mixture is slightly warm.

    Add the orange mixture to the bowl and whisk very well.

    Add the almond flour and baking powder. Mix this very well until a smooth batter is produced.

    Line or grease a baking tray and pour the batter in. Let it sit for a few minutes so it can settle and even out.

    Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for approximately one hour.

    I broke up the chocolate from the sharing bar and melted it. The idea was to drizzle it over the top. But as in life, things don’t always work out as you planned.

    What I didn’t realize, was that there are crunchy bits in the sharing bar which affected melting the chocolate into a smooth drizzle. In the end, I just spread it over the top.

    And there you have it, Chocolate Orange Cake! As it didn’t look as nice with chunky chocolate spread over the top, I topped it with sliced almonds and a dusting of powdered sugar. Either way, it tastes fabulous and is a great treat to welcome in the warmer weather! It’s moist, sweet, and bursting with citrus flavour! The only downside is that it took just over 4 hours: 2 to cook the oranges, 1 hour to let them cool, 1 hour to bake and at least 30 minutes of prep before and after it’s time in the oven. But seriously, it’s well worth it! Sometimes good things just take time, and this cake is a great thing! So, as you’re enjoying the warmer weather, give this cake a try! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Peanut Butter & Chocolate Muffins with Coconut Flour

    Hello Bristol! Enjoying the spring weather? I’ve been loving the longer days and slightly warmer temperatures. I feel much more active, thus much more hungry. And if like me, you still have leftover Easter chocolate, then this is a fun way to use it up. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 3 eggs
    • 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 cup coconut flour
    • ~1/4 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

    First, beat your eggs very well.

    Next, add the coconut oil, peanut butter, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Mix this very well.

    Last, add the baking powder and coconut flour. Combine thoroughly. It may take a few minutes, but keep stirring until the batter is smooth.

    You will then chop up some chocolate and throw that in. You can also substitute nuts instead of chocolate if you like.

    Line or grease a muffin tin for 6 muffins. I seemed to have lost my 6th one, so greased it with coconut oil. Bake at 400 F / 200 C for 10-12 minutes.

    And there you have it, Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins! These are packed with protein and are a great post workout snack. Or a post work snack, post nap snack, etc. And since they don’t contain refined flour, it can be a great gluten free treat. They come together quite quickly, making these muffins an easy treat to whip up today. Use up the last of your Easter chocolate by giving these a try! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Apple Cider Caramel Cake

    I know I’ve been a bit lax on the posts lately… I blame that on the cold and snow. So I decided to make a cake for Easter this past weekend using some cider I bought at The Cider Shop here in Bristol. It’s a bit time intensive, but well worth it in the end. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 2 cups almond flour
    • 3/4 cup coconut flour
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 mashed banana
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/4 cup any kind of milk (I used almond)
    • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon almond essence

    In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients- almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

    In a separate bowl, mash a ripe banana very well, until it becomes paste like.

    In the wet ingredients bowl, add 4 beaten eggs, the almond milk, melted coconut oil and almond essence.

    Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing very well. Go ahead and pour the batter into a lined round baking tin and bake for 35 minutes at 350 F /180 C.

    Once baked, take the cake out of the tin and while it is cooling, you can make the caramel topping. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 1 cup of sweet apple cider
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup salted butter
    • Sliced almonds to top cake at the end

    I picked up a bottle of Woodredding medium sweet cider at The Cider Shop while I was exploring the Wapping Wharf cargo shops the other week. This was lightly sparkling and not too dry, so very enjoyable to drink on its own. It’s also a sweet variety which is great to reduce when baking.

    On a medium high heat, combine the butter, cider, and sugar. Melt everything down and stir, stir, stir. You really want to make sure to keep an eye on it, constantly stirring at this heat, and having the patience not to raise the temperature too much.

    As the liquid and alcohol evaporate away, the mixture will thicken. I cooked it a little too long, but next time, I will stick to 20 minutes then reduce the heat for another 5 – 10.

    Let the caramel cool only slightly, then pour over the cake, smoothing it evenly over the surface.

    I was aiming for a caramel that wasn’t as thick so it would drip down the sides, but, you can’t have it all, eh? Top with sliced almonds and eat vigorously.

    And there you have it, Apple Cider Caramel Cake! It may take some time to make, but is sooo worth it in the end! And although my kitchen smells like a pub from the evaporated cider alcohol, my tummy is very satisfied.

    This is a great treat to make for garden parties or just to enjoy on your own as the weather gets warmer. It’s also a great way to showcase some of the wonderful cider the West Country has to offer. Pick your favourite sweet cider and have a go! Hope you all had a relaxing long weekend, and fear not, Spring is (probably) on the way! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!