Chocolate peanut butter banana bread

 

Sometimes all you are craving is chocolate, bread and bananas…. so why not combine all 3 into one and add some peanut butter as well?

In the past i have made banana bread before but this one is by far the best. It turned out fluffy, a little crumbly and the right balance of sweetness according to me. If you have some ripe bananas or just feel like baking… then give this recipe a go! You can see me make this bread in my instagram highlight (itsahealthylifestyle – my banana bread story highlight!)

Recipe:
▪︎
3 ripe bananas (note, leave half a banana to use on top)
180g all purpose flour
90g brown sugar
90g white sugar – or use stevia
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bakingsoda
C.a 50g cacao powder
1 tbsp vanilla sugar(or powder)
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp peanut butter… or use another nut butter
75ml coconut oil (neutral) or use melted margarine
C.a 60ml water/oatmylk/aquafaba

Top with: banana, chocolate chips and/or walnuts

How to:
Preheat oven to 175C
In a bowl mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugars, baking powder/soda, vanilla, salt, cacao). Sifting the flour is the best… but mixing until no clumps also works.

In another bowl mash the bananas (2,5 ripe bananas). Add the oil or melted margarine as well as the peanut butter. Mix until combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix. Add some water as necessary. Add in some chocolate chips and walnuts.

Grease a bread form or make mini muffins.

Pour the mix into the form… top with some extra bananas slices. Cover with some parchment paper or aluminium foil.

Bake in the oven c.a 45-60 minutes… depending on what form you use. I don’t know the exact size of my form but mine baked for about 50-55 minutes… if you use a bread form(i.e longer and not as high) it might not need as long. And if you make muffins it might only need 25-30 minutes.

After 35 minutes check with a potato stick/knife to see if the knife comes out dry … if it does, then it’s done. If not.. bake longer.

When done.. take out of the oven. Pour over some chocolate chips. Allow to cool before eating

 
If you give this recipe a go don’t forget to let me know!!

 

Vegan twix bars |Recipe

Surprisingly… it has taken me 4 years to recreate and veganize twix bars. In the past I have veganized kit-kat andsnickers bars… however they may need an updating soon just to double check the recipe and make a few changes if necessary. But I am surprised that it has taken me so long to try to make twix.One reason… I thought it would be somewhat difficult with the caramel.Two, twix wasn’t my favourite candy bar even when I ate dairy. But I have wanted to try give a homemade version a go.The thing about making homemade twix is that it can easily become… far too sweet. The sweet shortbread base, the sweet caramel and then topped with the sweet chocolate…. It can just become too much. But I found that these were ok, not too sweet…. Even if they were still very sweet.Adding a pinch of salt in the caramel and even adding some sea salt ontop of the chocolate doesn’t just make it look fancy, but is also necessary to balance out the sugar and sweetness.There are a few ways you can make twix which I have seen online.Many go down the route of making it a raw food/no sugar/margarine/flour type of snack…. And I think many presumed that I made these twix from dates, nuts and coconut oil when I shared these on my feed (click here).Unfortunately,…. Or fortunately? These are made from sugar, flour, margarine and sugar…. So if that’s not for you, well then I have linked some alternatives on how to make this down below. However, it wouldn’t give you that caramel pull which I shared on my feed and it won’t taste exactly the same. But it can still be delicious 😊 Personally, I like both alternatives…. The rawfood/only natural sugars type of remakes of candy as well as the real deal – just a veganized version. They have two different purposes and taste slightly different, and well… it’s good that options exist!So… You all came here for the recipe so that is exactly what is coming next.But first, just some notes:

  • You can add some peanut butter or nut butter before the caramel layer to add a little extra salty touch
  • *Note, the shortbread base will be slightly crumbly, but you need to press it compact and store in the fridge to fully cool before baking.
  • Also, make the base rather thin, not too thin that it crumbles but about 1-2 cm. Otherwise it is easy for the base to take over in the completed bar.
  • *How long the shortbread base needs to bake will vary depending on ovens and how big you make the bars, so I highly recommend that you check on the base and not let it overbake. It will firm up when it is cooling, so don’t bake too long, but keep an eye on it as ovens and the size of your base will affect the cooking time.
  • *Use whatever chocolate you like – I added some coconut oil to mine when melting to thin it out and not be too sweet. You could potentially use a darker chocolate which isn’t as sweet, or why not use maybe a dark chocolate with some flavour in it, to kick it up a notch!

How to make these bars with no sugar/margarine/white flour will be posted after the original recipe!

Recipe:

Makes 16 bars. C.a 1 hour prep/cook/chill time. Minimum 2 hours in the freezer before serving.

 

Ingredients:

Shortbread base:

200g margarine (take out of the fridge c.a 15 minutes before using)

100g caster sugar

c.a 260g all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1tsp vanilla powder/sugar

½ tsp baking powder

1-2tsbp cold water, if necessary.

Caramel sauce:

500ml vegan cream – either cooking cream (such as imat) or whisking cream such as (Alpro soya)

100ml syrup

3tbsp white sugar & 3 tbsp brown sugar (note, can also use just either or)

2 tbsp margarine

Pinch of salt

Topping:

c.a 100-150g chocolate of choice

Pinch of salt

Optional, 1tbsp coconut oil

How to:

Short bread base:

In a mixer, or a with an electric whisk, cream together the margarine (200g), sugar (100g) and vanilla (1tsp). Once creamed, sift in the flour (260g) and add the salt and baking powder (1/2tsp). Mix until combined and a dough starts to form. Note, you may need to add 1 tbsp of water if it is far too crumbly… but best is to add just a little water at a time so that it doesn’t get too wet. The dough should just about form into a ball/dough.

Wrap the dough in aluminium foil or cling film into a tight ball and place in the fridge for minimum 30 minutes.

In the mean time make the caramel.

Caramel:

To make the caramel, add the cream (500ml), sugar(6tbsp), syrup (100ml) and pinch of salt to a pot. Heat on medium/high temperature and stir to avoid burning. Allow to cook – avoiding burning – for around 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously. The caramel will begin to thicken – remember that it will thicken up more when cooling down. Once the caramel has begun to thicken up, after about 10-12 minutes cooking remove from the heat and add the 2 tbsp of vegan margarine. Allow to melt, stirring if necessary. Set aside and allow to cool down.

Note, if the caramel hasn’t thickened up despite cooling down for atleast 30 minutes, just heat up once again for another few minutes, stirring when necessary, and that will help it to cook a little longer and become thicker.

Preheat the oven to 160C (or 140C with fan). Either grease your baking tray, or place parchment paper in your tray (I personally recommend using parchment paper so you can lift the bar out when done).

Once the shortbread base has chilled in the fridge for minimum 30 minutes, take out of the fridge and press into the base of your baking tray, forming the base of your bars. The dough should have firmed up and not be too crumbly so that you can press it into a base. Remember, to not make the base too thick – or too thin so that it just crumbles apart.

Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes – the time depends on the thickness of your base and what size tray you are making. Just check on the base to make sure it isn’t burning.

Once done, take out of the oven and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate topping:

In the mean time, melt your chocolate over a waterbath. (Heat water in a pot, place a bowl or plate – that can stand the high temperature – ontop of the pot. Place the chocolate in the bowl or plate and it will begin to melt from the steam. Add some coconut oil if you want to thin out the chocolate). Once the chocolate has half way melted, remove the pot from the stove and the chocolate will continue to melt just from the heat.

When the shortbread base has cooled completely and the caramel has thickened up, pour the caramel over the shortbread base and spread out to cover the whole base. Then pour the melted chocolate on top, sprinkle with a little sea salt and place in the fridge to cool and firm up.

In a few hours, take out of the freezer and chop into desired bars or squares! Eat and enjoy 😊 Keep stored in the fridge or freezer, depending on how fast you eat them.

Alternatives:

You can make the base using almond flour and dates which you combine in a food processor (make sure the dates are the fresh kind and not the dry kind).

For the caramel you can make a date based caramel, such as THIS ONE, or you can mix together almond butter, maple syurp and a pinch of vanilla and salt to make a caramel sauce. These are not exactly the same as caramel based on sugar and cream, but it still works.

And for the chocolate topping you can opt for a verk dark chocolate or using sugar free chocolate, or make your “own” chocolate from melted coconut oil, cacao powder, vanilla…. Though that definitely won’t be the same result but it can work.

If you give this recipe a go don’t forget to let me know and tell me what you think! You can tag me or message me on Instagram, itsahealthylifestyle!

Are there any other candy bars you would like me to recreate? 😊

New Years Eve vegan dinner ideas

New Years eve is coming up and that may leave you wondering…. what should i make to eat? The last meal of 2019 – and the decade – it should be special right?

Well, of course it doesn’t have to be…. my recommendation is always to just go for your favourite foods or meals to end the year. Why make something complicated and gourmet if you won’t like it?

But of course, many end the year with a 3 course dinner and i thought i would give you some tips on what to cook or prepare…. or what to bring to the party to impress your non vegan friends. Because whether vegan or not, the majority of people can all enjoy a vegan meal! So why not end the year with a vegan 3 course meal….?

So i have gathered some recipes and ideas from the internet which i thought i would share with you. If you want to check out the recipe, click on the name and it will take you to the recipe.

Starters/appetizers:

Bruschetta with a tomato and basil mix on top (or 3 other topping ideas, HERE)

Different canapes such as “crostini” with tomato topping, or an olive mix on top.

Spinach, sundried tomato and olive puff pastry

Crisps and guacamole/hummus

Dumplings or bao buns with smoky tofu

Yorkshire puddingsThese look so amazing i am tempted to give them a try myself

Garlic bread

Smashed potatoes with gucamole, or a pea and avocado dip… or why not make a ranch dressing.

Pinrolls with example sundried tomato, basil and cream cheese. Or spinach and cheese pinwheels. 

Focaccia – tomato and thyme

Pizza twists with pesto, cream cheese and vegan bacon

Savoury stuffed dates

Tomato tart

Beetroot, vegan feta cheese, rocket and walnut salad with a balsamic vinagrette

Roasted bread with tahini and israeli salad “vegetable-tahini toast”

Main meals:

Hassleback potatoeswith seitan steakand grilled asparagus with ared wine sauce

Vegan Bouef Beourginon or try THIS recipe by Jävligt Gott(it is in Swedish, but it is a really good recipe)

Baked potatoes with chickpea “tuna” salad.  Or twice baked taco stuffed sweet potato. Or baked potato with vegan feta, rocket and sundried tomatoes.

Vegan “beef” wellington

Creamy Mushroom risotto

Saffron paella

 VegetableStuffed portabello with salad

Pizza or sweet potato pizza – choose your favourite toppings! It can be a fun idea for everyone to make their own pizza or if you buy premade dough that everyone tops their pizza themselves.

Lasagna

Savoury crepe with a creamy mushroom filling

Mini pizzas with vegan feta cheese, walnuts and rocket.

Make your own sushiis also a good idea. It isn’t as difficult as you may think!

Langos with smoked tofu and cream cheese

Potato gratin or give THIS recipe a try by the Minimalist baker

Dessert

Chocolate mousse with whipped cream, nuts and berries on top (or try chocolate mousse based on aquafaba – it is surprisingly good!)

Nutella pizza top with eg. bananas, berries, nuts

White chocolate mousse with saffran cookies – recipe is in Swedish, but should work fine to translate

Creme brulee this recipe includes both tofu and turmeric, which may not be for everyone. So then you can check out THIS recipe which is creme brulee with the basic ingredients like sugar, cream, corn starch.

Tiramisu – can make into portions or in one large form

Saffrons parfait or some other parfait ideas HERE

Mojito cheesecake

Oreo mousse cake

Snickers mousse cake

Raw food chocolate cake

Mango and passionfruit cheesecake

Chocolate ganache pie

Vanilla pana cotta (this recipe is based on cashews) ortry THIS recipe based on coconut milk

Triple layer vegan cookie brownies! [i.e slutty brownies]

 

 

Hopefully these give you some ideas on what to make for new years eve! Remember it doesn’t have to be too complicated just because you want to make vegan food 🙂

I hope you all have an amazing New Years Eve and a great start to the new year!!!

And if you are planning to give Veganuary a go… don’t forget to follow me on here – and myinstagram (itsahealthylifestyle) where i will be sharing tips and advice to help you 🙂

Salted caramel-tahini-roasted nut nice cream

Ever since I bought my food processor this summer all I have wanted to do is mix foods….. hummus, soup, nice cream…. It has definitely been a well used kitchen appliance.

And the panic that set in when my food processor began overheating and smoke was coming from the motor…. Full on panic that I would no longer be able to make nice cream. It was then I relized that adding smoking hot soup directly to the blender and blending a little too long was not a good idea i.e the motor overheated. But it is working fine now once it had cooled down.

You can see the blender I use HERE: (amazon affiliate link)

As you saw in my previous recipe, I made a salted date caramel, which was tasty just as it was. However once I made the caramel I also realized I didn’t know what to do with it… of course, I would gladly eat it just on it’s own with a spoon… but I thought I should try making something with it.

And it was then when I was looking in my pantry that inspiration struck….tahini and dates works amazing… add it to nice cream along with some roasted nuts. AMAZING, am I right?

And luckily for me, I had some banana slices in the freezer ready to be turned into nice cream when cravings hit.

So what is nicecream… well if you haven’t heard it before, it is basically just bananas, frozen and then mixed into “ice cream”.

Nice = because it is tasty but also nice = as in no animals were harmed to make this ice cream.

You can find some of my other nice cream flavours HERE. But it is just to go wild and crazy and use whatever extras, toppings and flavours you want. Just use bananas as the base and then add in some coconut milk or substitute half of the bananas for berries and then add some nuts, seeds, nut butter, cacao, cookies, brownies, chocolate chips etc

The best is to use a highspeed food processor when making the nice cream. And I recommend you take the bananas out of the freezer 10 minutes before making just to let them get a little softer so that your food processor doesn’t overwork or break from trying to mix the frozen bananas.

How to make the salted caramel tahini nice cream?

Ingredients:

For thesalted caramel, use THISrecipe. Then add 2-3 tbsp or more depending on your preference

Tahini, 2-3 tbsp

1-3 bananas (for one serving). Peel, chop and freezer for 3-4 hours or overnight. (Note, freeze in a container with a lid on, or in a plastic bag/freezer bag

Handful of nuts – salted or unsalted. Either buy preroasted or roast yourself

How to:

Begin by peeling, chopping and freezing the bananas. The best is to buy bananas when on sale and just peel, chop and freeze a whole bunch of them. I recommend you store 2-3 chopped bananas in separate freezer bags so that you have them proportioned instead of freezing them all in one container as then it can be hard to get only some of the banana out.

Freeze for 3-4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Make the date caramel if you haven’t already.

Roast the nuts – Place the nuts on a baking pan, spread them out evenly. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 180c. Note, you can add a little oil/vegan margarine and salt, but then just check on the nuts to make sure they don’t burn. You may need to rotate them after half the time.

Begin making the nice cream by adding the frozen bananas, some date syrup and tahini to the mixer. Mix on high speed until smooth. If necessary, add 1-2tbsp oat milk, though this shouldn’t really be necessary.

Once done, taste and add more date syrup or tahini according to preference. Add the roasted nuts, mix in and then eat and enjoy!!

Another amazing nice cream flavour to add to the books! Not everyone will like this flavour because of the sweet and saltiness… the salt from the salted caramel does stand out against the sweet dates and the sweet nice cream, but I liked that!!

Lastly I do need to note that even if this is nice cream and the caramel is made from dates, do consider this a sweet treat. Fruit sugar may not be exactly the same as white table sugar, but it still contains quite a lot of sugar and therefore it works great as a dessert. Of course if you just use 1-2 bananas and 1-2tsbp date syrup it is not a big deal, but I wouldn’t recommend going overboard with bananas or date syrup.

Salted date caramel

I don’t know about you…. But I love the sweet and salty combo.

Fries in milkshake? Yes please.

Ice cream and crisps? Yes please.

Caramel popcorn? I want it all.

Salted caramel rice cakes? I could eat the whole package at once.

I am a huge fan of salted caramel but I have never made or bought a vegan kind. I think I have eaten brownies with salted caramel sauce in a restaurant, but never tried making my own.

I am pretty sure it is easy to make your own… Brown, coconut milk or soya cream, vanilla and sea salt. Boil it together and make some caramel.

But as I had bought a bunch of dates and I knew date caramel was a thing I thought…. Why not try making salted date caramel?

And I can say….. it was so yummy. Of course, it was not as smooth as maybe a regular caramel sauce or a store bought one as dates has a lot of fiber and the skin is on the dates which contribute to a rougher texture. But it still tastes good.

The best is to use fresh dates, the kind that are super soft and “moist” (gotta love that word!). However, if you do use dry dates just put them in a bowl and soak in boiling hot water for 5-10 minutes, then they will become softer.

I also recommend using a highspeed food processor and not a handmixer, just because it will get the job done quicker and will make it smoother. But you can of course use a handmixer.

I used soya cream at home as that was what I had at home, but it should work fine with coconut cream (though the caramel will have a taste of coconut then) or you could use oat cooking cream.

Note, I used a sweetened soya cream which wasn’t necessary as dates are already so sweet. So I would recommend using an unsweetened cream if possible.

How to store this caramel?

I stored it in an airtight glass jar in the fridge, and it lasted about 5 days. So that is what I can guarantee, but it should store longer.

You can adapt the quantities based on how much caramel you want. You can use more liquid to thin it out, add more sweetener or salt depending on your preferences. So this is just a base recipe, but you can adapt it as much as you like. And if you do want a really thin and smooth caramel sauce I do recommend you go for a coconutmilk/brown sugar caramel sauce and not use dates.

Also, you can use less liquid and instead make more of a date caramel paste which you can use to dip apples in or even use as filling for cakes!

 

Recipe:

I used about 15-20 dates. (Use the fresh kind, if not soak in boiling hot water)

Around 200-300ml soya cream/oatcream/coconut milk or cream

1-2tsp sea salt

Optional, 1tsp vanilla or brown sugar for muskiness (though the dates or so sweet this shouldn’t really be necessary)

How to:

If your dates aren’t fresh, soak them. If they are fresh then add them to a pot along with c.a 200ml liquid (add more as necessary when mixing). Heat on medium for 5-6 minutes and allow to simmer. Add 1 tsp of sea salt.

Pour of the contents into a high speed food processor and mix until smooth, or if using a handmixer, mix directly in the pot until smooth. Keep adding liquid until you have reached the right texture. (add a little at a time). Give the caramel a taste and add more salt according to preference. It is better to start off with a little and add more, rather than add too much and not know how to fix the saltiness.

Once smooth, pour over into a clean glass jar and store in the fridge!

This caramel works great to eat just as it is, or use in cake fillings or why not eat with some apples or crisp bread!

It should of course be noted that even if this is date caramel sauce, it is high in sugar and should still be considered a sweet treat!!!

Have you tried making your own date caramel sauce before…? If not, it is about time you try!!

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments down below if you made this or tag me on Instagram, itsahealthylifestyle.