Honey Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

You know how some people bite their nails or grind their teeth when they’re nervous or uncomfortable or stressed? Well I nervous eat. If possible, alone in my bedroom with the door shut. Nervous or stressed eating is not pretty. Big test tomorrow that I haven’t really studied for? Yep, I’m eating an entire bag of chips. Awkward moment when the only 2 friends you’re hanging out with start arguing loudly and one of them starts crying and you don’t know what to do? Yep, I’m quietly picking every single grape off of the bunch. Just witnessed your only housemate walk into the bathroom to have a long shower with his girlfriend and noticed that the water has not been running for the past 10 minutes? Yikes. Not okay. I’m stuffing my mouth full with this honey chocolate chip banana bread right now.
The good news is that I rarely feel nervous or stressed enough to eat everything in sight. I like to think I’m pretty laid back and happy anyways. But right now, I’m glad that this banana bread is somewhat healthy, with greek yogurt to keep things moist and the use of honey instead of plain sugar. So it’s not so bad after all that I may have just eaten a few slices..

Honey Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups pastry flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 heaping cup mashed ripe banana (about 2-3 bananas)
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt or sour cream
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 tbsp milk (I used 1%)
1 egg
1 egg white
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder,baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed banana, honey, greek yogurt or sour cream, olive oil, milk and vanilla and beat on low until smooth in consistency. Add in the egg and egg white and beat again until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and combine until moist — It’s important to not over mix!

Next gently fold the chocolate chips into the batter. Spoon all of the batter into the greased loaf pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until a tester inserted into middle of the bread comes out clean. The length of time will vary based on which loaf pan you use, so I suggest checking the bread at 45 minutes. Once a tester inserted into the bread comes out clean, cool for 10 minutes in pan on wire rack, then remove from pan gently and cool completely on wire rack. Cut into thick slices and enjoy!


slightly adapted from Ambitious Kitchen


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

IMG_4613I’ve been feeling a little down in the dumps this past week with very little motivation to do anything really. All I’ve been wanting to do these past couple of days is to bury myself in my bed and just watch movies on Netflix on repeat. I’ve been replacing all of my outdoor runs with sessions on the treadmill at the gym this month because with the snow and extremely cold weather we’ve been experiencing this January it’s been difficult to run outside. However two days ago I got up early, made myself these pancakes (which I’ll get back to in a sec) and then ventured outside into -20°C/-4°F weather and ran just under 10km. This is probably the coldest temperature I’ve run in, and despite wearing 2 pairs of leggings and 4 long sleeved shirts, it still took me at least 5 km to actually warm up. I’m so glad I went though as the cold, crisp air really cleared my mind and helped to put things into perspective for me.

I feel like all my life I’ve always been putting other people first, before me. I always did what made other people happy, and if I did something that made me happy but made someone else upset I would feel horribly guilty for it and wouldn’t be able to shake the feeling that I had upset someone.  This past year I’ve really grown as a person and decided that enough was enough, I refuse to do things I don’t want to do, just to keep others happy. I’m going to do the things I want to do, when I want to do them and how I want to do them. I’m no longer interested in compromising my happiness just to keep someone else happy. The reason I’ve been feeling so down is because this time around I wasn’t afraid to change something in my life even if it meant upsetting a friend. However ever since I made that change I feel like I have constantly been punished in my relationship with them. Things are constantly changing in life and unfortunately so do friends. However in this ever-changing world we live in where people come and go, there have been a few friends that have stuck around and are still there for me when I need them, no matter what. And I’m happy to say that those are my real friends.
IMG_4626I’m really sorry for that massive, selfish rant, so now onto something a bit more positive! I’m constantly on the lookout for a good pancake recipe to bookmark for a weekend breakfast when I have a bit more time to play around in the kitchen. These pancakes are great in that the batter comes together quite quickly in one bowl! Peanut butter, a banana and coconut oil all go into these fluffy pancakes but not enough to take away from the chocolate chip oatmeal cookie flavour. Whether you are about to go for an hour-long run or just laze around the house watching movies, these pancakes are effortlessly good and I know I will be making them again soon 🙂

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

Yields: 2 servings (6 pancakes)

1 banana, ripe
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
Pinch sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp skim milk
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp chocolate chips

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer), beat together the banana and baking powder until the banana is mushy.

With the mixer speed on medium-low, add the egg, salt, vanilla, almond butter, coconut oil, milk, oats, and whole wheat flour.  Mix until the batter is mostly smooth (you will still have lumps, and this is ok.)

Gently fold in the chocolate chips by hand until incorporated.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  (I sprayed mine lightly with cooking spray.)

About 1/4-cup at a time, gently pour the batter into the hot frying pan and cook the pancakes, flipping after about 2-3 minutes (or until one side is cooked-check yours frequently) and cooking evenly on both sides.  Serve immediately.

slightly adapted from The Curvy Carrot, adapted from the Minimalist Baker.

Banana Nut Pancakes

IMG_4536You know how certain songs will remind you of a certain someone or memory?  Well these pancakes made me think of a song…obviously one called Banana Pancakes! I feel like I’ve said this a hundred times, but pancakes are perfect for the weekends when you can have a lazy morning making banana pancakes and listening to Jack Johnson. I always love a pancake recipe that doesn’t call for ingredients I would usually have to run out and get (like buttermilk!) so these pancakes were perfect since the only ingredients required are more or less pantry staples. These pancakes were perfectly fluffy and the banana flavour is not overwhelming at all. I hope this weekend you will take the time to have a lazy morning making pancakes and listening to the songs that make you daydream happy things!

Banana Nut Pancakes

Yield: 4 servings (about 16 pancakes)

1½ cups all-purpose flour
3½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white sugar
2 ripe bananas
1¼ cups milk
1 egg
4 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup chopped pecans
Vegetable oil, for pan-frying
Maple syrup, for serving

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl then set it aside.

In a separate bowl, mash together the bananas with the milk, egg and melted butter.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet, stirring to combine, then stir in the nuts. Allow the batter to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, allowing it to heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the oil is hot enough (the pancake batter should sizzle immediately!)

In batches, scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan to form pancakes. Cook the pancakes on one side until bubbles appear in the center, then flip them once and continue cooking them until they’re no longer doughy in the center. Serve the pancakes with your choice of toppings, including maple syrup, fresh fruit or whipped cream. Enjoy!

slightly adapted from Just a Taste, Pancake batter recipe adapted from Good Old Fashioned Pancakes.

2-Ingredient Vegan Banana-Oat Cookies

IMG_4237So I guess the title of this post gives away exactly what the 2 ingredients are in these cookies, and if the title didn’t then the picture above definitely does! My sister had originally told me about these magical 2-ingredient cookies months ago but I didn’t believe her, and when I heard what the ingredients were I felt very skeptical. But one day I found myself desperately craving something sweet and baked but did not have the time or energy to whip up a batch of cookies. However I did happen to have a banana and a cup of oats and that was how I was finally introduced to these brilliant cookies. 1 banana, 1 cup of oats. You will have cookies baked and ready to eat in literally 20 minutes from the second you start. These cookies may not be the sweetest, the prettiest, or the most flavourful but they are good enough to satisfy any serious cravings. The bonus (as if only needing 2 ingredients and 20 minutes isn’t enough) is that they are a healthy, vegan alternative to traditional cookies and you can pretty much customize them any way you like!
IMG_4240The first time I made these, I stuck with 1 banana and 1 cup of oats, and added a handful of raisins as well. The raisins added a nice flavour and texture, but I found that while these cookies were amazing fresh from the oven, they dried out quite a bit after a few hours. The next time I made these, I used about 3/4 cup of oats, a handful each of chocolate chips and flax seeds, and 2 dashes of cinnamon and they were out of the world. AND they stayed pretty moist throughout the day. I ended up baking the exact same cookies 5 days in a row, and then I ran out of bananas, so sad. So try these cookies and don’t be afraid to experiment!

2-Ingredient Vegan Banana-Oat Cookies

Yields:  About 6 small cookies

1 ripe banana
1 cup quick oats (use a bit less if you want your cookies to be more moist)

any additional mix-ins you like, including but not limited to: chocolate chips, raisins, craisins, cinnamon, flax seed, berries, nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick spray. In a small bowl, break your banana into smaller pieces by hand and add the oats and any additional mix-ins you have chosen. Combine all ingredients together by hand until the batter has reached a uniform consistency. Using your hands, scoop out a small amount of the batter and form into a circle, then place on the baking sheet. Continue until there is no more batter left. The number of cookies you will get depends on how small or large you form them.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, and let cool slightly before devouring. Enjoy!

based off of Blogilates

Single Lady Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Sometimes the downside of cooking for just one is that many recipes tend to make enough food to feed a small army, and not all recipes can be scaled down that easily (think lasagnas, chilli, cheesecake and pancakes!)  I’m usually fine with leftovers, but eventually I will get to a point where I get sick of eating the same thing over and over again, which is why I tend to avoid recipes like that which can’t be scaled down easily. These pancakes are the perfect breakfast solution!  Pancakes never taste good when re-heated the next day. Sure, you could save a portion of the batter and just cook a fresh batch the next morning, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to do that the day after!  These single lady pancakes are perfect for one :) Delicious and fluffy buttermilk pancakes, with no leftovers to worry about!

Single Lady Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 1 large or 3 small pancakes

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. old-fashioned oats
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
5 tsp. vegetable or canola oil, plus additional for the griddle
dash of pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tbsp. chocolate chips
10 banana slices (almost 1 whole banana)

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together oil, vanilla and buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. The mixture will be thick. Fold in the chocolate chips and banana slices.

Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle with 1-2 tsp. oil.

If making one large pancake, pour all of the batter into the hot griddle and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form and pop on the surface of the batter. Flip. It’s okay if it doesn’t flip perfectly. It’s hard to do…and you’re only enjoying this pancake, right?

If making 3 small pancakes, pour 3 dollops of batter into the hot pan and cook just as you’d do for one large pancake. They’re a little easier to flip when smaller.

Cook until golden brown. Place on a plate and top with any extra toppings that make you happy. Maple syrup is nice, too. Pancakes are best served immediately!

the official Joy the Baker Cookbook 

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Happy Halloween! I’m so disappointed that I was unable to share any Halloween themed goodies with you this year. I had it all planned out to bake Halloween appropriate sugar cookies for you this past weekend, but then I got really sick and spent most of the weekend passed out in bed. Instead, I’ll just have to tell you about this blueberry banana baked oatmeal with a promise of spookier treats next year!

I love this blueberry banana baked oatmeal because it’s so easy to put together, and makes for such a fast and filling breakfast in the mornings – just a quick zap in the microwave and you’ll have oatmeal that tastes and smells like you just took it out of the oven! A bonus is that you can use frozen blueberries, making it perfect for those cooler mornings when you’re missing summer.


Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

1.5 cups (3 medium) mashed bananas
2 large eggs
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
2 cups milk
2.5 cups old fashioned oats
8 oz. frozen blueberries

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mash the bananas in a measuring cup, starting with two or three and adding more until you have 1.5 cups of banana mash.

Combine the banana mash in the large bowl with the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to combine. Add the milk and whisk again until smooth.

Stir in the dry old-fashioned oats. Lastly, stir in the frozen blueberries (keeping them frozen and stirring them in last helps prevent Bake in the preheated 375 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is no longer wet to the touch.

Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to eat. These oats can be quickly reheated in the microwave each morning for a quick, filling breakfast.

Budget Bytes


Brown Butter Strawberry Banana Bread


Some of Lianna’s very favourite smells to smell, in no particular order:
1. the intoxicating scent of a wild rose
2. grass when it gets heated on a hot summers day and you’re lying down with your eyes closed surrounded by it..
3. poutine
4. that dog smell…is that weird? sometimes I think dogs smell like doughnuts.
5. rich, nutty, browned butter – one of the reasons why I love baking this bread

IMG_3705 I thought strawberry season was long gone, but when I went grocery shopping a few days ago there were containers of beautiful, deep red strawberries still on sale! I couldn’t bare to wait until the weather gets warm again to share this recipe with you because that would have just been selfish if you still do have access to fresh strawberries.

IMG_3710 I’ve baked this brown butter strawberry banana bread twice already which is really saying something since I rarely try the same recipe twice (only because there are about at least a hundred other recipes that I want to try). Each slice is deliciously rich and moist with small chunks of strawberries in every bite. Strawberries will remind you of summer and browned butter and cinnamon will ease you into fall. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!


Brown Butter Strawberry Banana Bread 

6 ounces unsalted butter, melted and browned to just over 1/2 cup of butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain yogurt (any fat content) or buttermilk
1 1/4 cup mashed banana (from about 3 medium bananas)
1/2 cup diced strawberries plus 1 strawberry very thinly sliced, for topping

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Butter will begin to foam and crackle as it melts.  When the crackling subsides, the butter will begin to brown.  Swirl the pan as the butter cooks.  When the butter browns and begins to smell nutty, remove the pan from the flame and transfer the butter to a small bowl.  Taking the butter out of the hot saucepan will stop the butter from overcooking and burning.  Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract, and yogurt or buttermilk.  Whisk in the mashed bananas.  When butter has cooled, whisk in the browned butter.

Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients.  Fold together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to reveal any hidden pockets of flour.  Fold in the diced strawberries.  Fold together ingredients, but try not to over stir.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and top with thinly sliced strawberries.   Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Bread will last 4 days, well wrapped at room temperature.  This loaf also freezes well.

Joy the Baker

Banana Crumb Muffins


These muffins are so quick and easy to make, and oh so satisfying. The banana flavour really shines through without any other flavours to compete with, and the sugar crumb topping makes every bite feel like a treat! The best part about these muffins is that you don’t need an electric mixer to make these, so less to clean afterwards!


Banana Crumb Muffins

Yields: 10 muffins

For the muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

For the topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375°.  Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg, cinnamon and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Annie’s Eats, from Allrecipes

Green Detox Smoothie

The weather has finally been getting consistently warmer here in Toronto, and what better way to soak up the sun then a freshly blended smoothie? I’ve always been a fan of the classic strawberry-banana smoothies, but I’ve been seeing several versions of these green smoothies popping up everywhere on blogs.

Don’t be scared by the colour of this smoothie. Yes, it is green because it is packed with spinach (other variations I’ve seen use kale instead of spinach) but I promise you that you can’t even taste the spinach. This version has a lovely banana (but not overwhelming banana) flavour and is easily one of the healthiest smoothies you’ll every try. I am looking forward to trying out different variations of this smoothie 🙂

Green Detox Smoothie


1 (6-8 oz.) yogurt (preferably one with 100 calories or less)
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup fresh or frozen spinach
1/2 banana
2 handfuls ice
1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice


*Mix all the above ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Top with grated lemon peel, if desired.

Source: Espresso and Cream

Banana Cranberry Bread

I think that one of the easiest things to bake is banana bread. Most recipes don’t call for too many ingredients, and most ingredients are ones that you most likely already have at home.

Baking banana bread is one of the best ways to fill your house with an amazing, drool-worthy scent, and is absolutely delicious too eat, both warm and at room temperature (although I prefer mine warm, especially when it’s fresh out of the oven).

This bread is a fun spin on classic banana bread, with the incorporation of cranberries. Before trying this, I don’t think I have ever had fresh cranberries before. I have had dried cranberries before, as well as cranberry juice and cranberry sauce (which I love with chicken or turkey), but never fresh cranberries, so it felt a little weird going to the grocery store and buying a bag of these little, red oval shaped fruits.

Fresh cranberries are sour and bitter, and even baked, they still have a bit of a sour flavour. The sweetness of this banana bread does help to balance the tastes out nicely, but overall, I don’t think I am a huge fan of fresh cranberries. It’s just me, not them 🙂

Banana Cranberry Bread


3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter
3/4-1 cup light brown sugar, depending on the level of sweetness you prefer
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cup of flour
1 cup fresh cranberries


No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour, mix. Add the cranberries, and stir until just incorporated. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Source: Joy the Baker

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