Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread

August 24, 2016 // - - - - - - -

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You know the “How do you know if somebody’s vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you” meme? It’s a dumb joke, but true to a degree. It’s pretty unavoidable while making new friends unless you never want to eat or drink around them (equally unavoidable). I have no problem with people asking why I’m vegan, but sometimes it’s phrased as “You’re vegan to be healthier, right?” and even “If you’re vegan, shouldn’t you be skinnier?”. To avoid any further assumptions: no, I’m not vegan for health reasons. Often times it’s a bonus, but you can make a vegan version of anything! Including banana bread. Oh god, this banana bread. I had a bad craving and just went for it.

This recipe is vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. It can easily be modified to nut-free and refined sugar-free as well.

For more of my recipes, check out Vegan Girlfriend on Instagram at @vegangirlfriend and our blog at vegangirlfriend.com.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour — I used Bob’s Red Mill.
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil — must be liquid, so keep at room temperature.
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (to make refined sugar-free: substitute for carob chips or cacao nibs)
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts (to make nut-free: substitute for pumpkin seeds or rice crisps to add crunch)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of raw pink salt

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Standard 9×5 inch loaf pan, either non-stick or foil
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Potato masher, if not fork will work as well.

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DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In large mixing bowl, sift flour to make everything mix more easily by whisking flour for 30 seconds.
  3. Add baking soda and baking powder to mixing bowl. Whisk it on in as well.
  4. Peel bananas, slice into chunks and add to medium mixing bowl. Mash until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add mashed banana to larger mixing bowl, then add coconut oil, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Incorporate using a fork until a cookie dough-like consistency is reached.
  6. Break raw walnut pieces up into smaller pieces, then add to large mixing bowl with chocolate chips. Gently mix together, but be careful not to overdo it.
  7. Oil pan with coconut oil. Spoon batter in evenly, then flatten out on top. Pan should be a bit more than halfway full of batter. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips and walnuts on top if desired.
  8. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Test with toothpick by inserting — if it comes out clean, it’s ready to eat!
  9. Let cool at least 1 hour before slicing.

Dig in! Makes approximately 8 slices.

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Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfaits

June 27, 2016 // - - - - - - - -

One of my close pals is Jennifer McNaughton, otherwise known as the fashion blogger behind Ethics of Style. Jenn interviewed me earlier this year for the Ryersonian, and we discussed how the Human Rights Commission of Ontario has legally recognized veganism as an ideology with protection against discrimination. I headed over to Jenn’s apartment soon after that, equipped with groceries and a hearty appetite, to whip up these treats for Jenn to photograph to accompany the article.

Seriously though, these parfaits are perfect! This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and refined sugar-free. Knock yourself out.

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INGREDIENTS:

-3 cups unsweetened almond milk

-1/2 cup fresh strawberries,chopped

-1/4 cup fresh whole blueberries

-1/4 cup 100% maple syrup

-9 tbsp (0.56 cups) white chia seeds

-2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

-2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Whisk together almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla in large bowl or plastic food container.

2) Add chia seeds by the tbsp, stirring vigorously with spoon to prevent unwanted clumping.

3) Cover bowl with cling wrap and leave in fridge overnight.

4) Next morning, stir chia pudding then place back in fridge for 1-2 additional hours to help it further thicken.

5) When ready to serve, scoop chia pudding into mason jars by the tbsp. Layer with fresh fruit and coconut flakes, or simply add after as toppings.

Serve chilled. Makes 2 meal servings or 4 snack servings. Enjoy!

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Note: This post was originally published on Vegan Girlfriend earlier this year, viewable here.

All photos by Jennifer McNaughton

Tweak your Tea: Pure Leaf Cocktail Hacks

June 13, 2016 // - - - - - - - - - -

Note: I originally posted this on Vegan Girlfriend. Click here to view it over there.

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It’s that time of the year where all I want to do is chug lemonade while window shopping or sip hard cider on a patio. Those drinks have zero nutritional value though, so why not swap for tea? Tea does a body good: it’s packed with antioxidants and is even anti-inflammatory. When Pure Leaf offered to send me their new unsweetened flavours (0 sugar, 0 calories, 0 artificial sweeteners), I got a big dumb smile on my face because I’m a sucker for anything iced in summer. It’s brewed from real tea leaves, too.

Here are a couple of iced tea-based cocktails I whipped up. These are perfect to enjoy on your own, with a couple of girlfriends, or served to a smokin’ hot date! You can also omit the alcoholic ingredients to turn ’em into mocktails, and enjoy with breakfast or even as a rehydrating post-workout treat.

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SPIKED BLUEBERRY PEAR COCKTAIL 

Ingredients…

-1 cup Pure Leaf unsweetened green tea

-1/4 cup Absolut vodka (warning: add less if you don’t want it strong, taste as you go)

-2 tbsp agave

-Handful fresh blueberries

-1/2 small pear, sliced into bite-size chunks

-Pinch ginger

-Ice cubes

Directions…

1) Combine Pure Leaf unsweetened green tea, vodka, agave and ginger. Stir vigorously.

2) Add fruit and ice. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 cocktail.

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LEMON LIME GINGERITA 

(My take on a margarita)

Ingredients…

-1 cup Pure Leaf unsweetened lemon tea

-1/4 cup Don Julio Blanco tequila (same warning as above)

-2 thin lemon slices

-2 thin lime slices

-2 tbsp agave

-Additional lime for garnish

-Ice cubes

Directions…

1) Combine Pure Leaf unsweetened lemon tea, tequila and agave.

2) Add fruit and ice. Slice halfway through a lime slice and place on side of glass accordingly for garnish.

Makes 1 cocktail.

Pure Leaf unsweetened tea acts as an awesome cocktail alternative to juice if you’re looking to lighten up this summer without sacrificing flavour. For more recipe ideas and details about their products, follow Pure Leaf on Instagram at @PureLeafCanada.

*Disclaimer*: This is a sponsored post for Pure Leaf, but all views are my own. For inquiries about sponsored posts, please email vegangirlfriend@gmail.com and/or megstulberg@gmail.com.  

#pureleafcanada #tweakyourtea

  • Hi, I'm Megan! I'm a lifestyle blogger, social media specialist, illustrator, writer and vegan recipe maker-upper based in Toronto. Let's work together: megstulberg@gmail.com.
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