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:
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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? 😊

Portion dessert: Saffron and gingerbread cheesecake

Saffron and gingerbread cheesecake parfaits

It’s Christmas and new years… you want dessert but you don’t want to, or don’t need to make a cake for several people… what do you do? Skip dessert… no of course that shouldn’t be an option.

Instead… make parfaits or single portion desserts… then you won’t have a bunch of dessert over that may not be eaten (or let’s be honest, is left over dessert even a thing?). Or maybe it is just date night and you want a tasty dessert for you and your partner or friend. Then here is the perfect dessert fro you.

Or if example, you whipped a bunch of cream and don’t know what to do with it, then this recipe is also for you 😊

Variations: NOTE… you can vary this recipe by making it oreo based. I.e use oreo biscuits as the base and add some crushed oreos to the cream. Or make a snickers based parfait by using digest biscuits in the base, adding chocolate and peanut butter to the soya cream, adding some salted nuts and caramel sauce as well as dark chocolate to the parfait 😊

The actual cake recipes for inspiration: Snickersmousse cake(HERE)& oreo mousse cake (HERE)

There you have 3 easy dessert ideas you can make.

So this recipe has been shared before, HERE, but that was to make an actual cake that serves 6-8 people, and this recipe is basically just downsized to make parfaits.

Recipe:

Ingredients – 2 large pots

c.a 100g-150g gingerbread men (you don’t need to be so precise with how many gingerbread men you use)

C.a50 g vegan margarine (melted) or neutral coconut oil

120ml soyacream, whipped

0,5g saffron

c.a 50g sugar

c.a 150g vegan cream cheese

Optional: some vanilla

How to:

Begin by melting the margarine. Crush the gingerbread men until almost crumbles – some bigger pieces are ok.

You can do this by placing gingerbread men in a plastic bag and then with a rolling pin, rolling over the bag to crush the cookies. Or just smashing down on the cookies with something heavy.

In a bowl, pour the crushed gingerbread men, and then pour over the melted margarine until combined. It should not become mushy or be too much margarine, if there is… then add more crushed cookies. Or vice versa, if it is too dry then it is just to melt a little more margarine.

Pour the base/cookie mix into your desired glasses, jars or pots. Press down to form a base.

Place in the freezer while you make the filling.

In a clean steel (or baking bowl) – make sure there is no oil reisdue, whisk the soya cream with a few drops of lemon juice until stiff peaks begin to show.

In another bowl mix together the cream cheese, sugar and saffron. Then “fold in” the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix. When it is all mixed together, pour into the portions/jars which you placed the gingerbread base and let sit in the freezer to solidify. Take out of the freezer c.a 30 minutes before serving and optional to top with some more gingerbread cookies.

NOTE – you can make layers and parfait. Example, make the gingerbread cookie base, place into the freezer. Add the saffron filling to half way, then add some crushed gingerbread cookies before adding more of the saffron cream. And then place back into the freezer.

Also note, you can use some lingonberry jam on top or in the middle, as that works well with the saffron cream and the gingerbread cookies. Though I don’t know how easy it is to find that jam in countries outside of the Nordic countries.

If you make this, don’t forget to let me know… on here or on my Instagram! It is always fun to hear when you try my recipes and what you think of them…. And yes, that also means constructive feedback 😊 I have been asked to start writing in grams instead of ml or dl which I usually use, and that is feedback which I am keeping in mind and going to try writing in grams instead or as well as ml and dl!

Banana bread granola

Crispy, crunchy granola…. amazing to snack on just as it is!!

I remember when i was younger -and even now as an adult – i love eating granola right out of the package!

However storebought granola is often rather expensive – if you want the yummy kind – and it is not so economic for me to buy granola at the same pace i eat granola! So… making my own is definitely a money saver.

Of course nutritionally granola isn’t the best food to eat lots of. This granola recipe – among many others is made with margarine and syrup. That is what adds the sweetness and the crunch.

Sugar and margarine free?

I haven’t personally managed to make a tasty granola without any source of fat – whether it’s oil or margarine. Also the syrup does help with the crunch, but you can use stevia or a sugar free syrup… but i can’t guarantee the results will be the same.

Granola is one of those foods it’s easy to alot of. But just be aware of the sugar content of this granola! But nothing wrong with eating this as a sweet treat with some soya quark and berries!!

If you want another granola recipe, i have made an amazing chocolate and PB granola which you can also try!! RECIPE

How to store the granola?

In a clean, airtight jar. As the granola has banana it does have the risk of getting mushy, especially if it gets wet or is stored in an open jar.

My granola only lasted about 5-7 days, so that is the period i can guarantee it is still ok. But should store up to 10 days.

Tips:

Make sure you let the granola crisp up in the oven. It will still be drying and crisping up after it has baked.

Don’t over crowd the baking pan. It is better to use two baking pans and spread the granola out, so that it all bakes evenly.

If you have some ripe bananas, give this recipe a go 🙂

Recipe:

Prep: 10 minutes, cook time: 35 minutes, cooling time: 2-3 hours

250g oats

100ml syrup

200ml melted vegan margarine

2 bananas, mashed

2tbsp peanut butter *can be omitted

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

Pinch of salt

2 tbsp chia seeds

Options: banana chips, coconut shreds, pumpkin seeds

How to:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Begin by adding the dry ingredients in a bowl – oats, seasoning, chia seeds and also if you want some walnuts, coconut pieces or other extras.

Melt the margarine in a pot, add the syrup once melted.

Mash the bananas and add to the margarine mix along with the peanut butter. Mix until combined.

Pour the liquid over the oats and mix so that all the oats are covered.

Pour the granola onto 1-2 baking oans with parchment paper, spread the granola out. However it is ok to leave some clusters, as that is what makes the granola crunchy!

Bake in the oven for around 35-40 minutes. Check on the granola after 20 minutes and stir the granola a little so it bakes evenly.

After c.a 35 minutes, turn the oven off and you can let the granola sit in the oven for 30-60 minutes to cool (leave the oven open a little) before placing in the open to cool for another 2-3 hours. Or you can take the granola out and allow to FULLY cool for 2-3 hours before placing in airtight jars.

As you can see, it is rather easy to make your own granola. You just have to be patient and also try not to eat all the granola at once!!!

If you do try this recipe, let me know what you think 🙂

Don’t forget to follow me on instagram: itsahealthylifestyle where i share more vegan meals and recipes!

Vegan cinnamon buns recipe!

Cinnamonbun day in Sweden i.e kanelbullensdag, and of course i had to bake and eat some cinnamon buns today!! If you didn’t know – freshly baked buns and freshly baked bread is a weakness of mine. I don’t understand people who only eat one slice of bread or one bun… i eat like 3 or 4 at once, hahah.

If you are wondering, i may or may not have eaten several cinnamonbuns since i baked them on Tuesday!

My cinnamon baking skills aren’t on top, but they are delicious nonetheless – and it is the taste that counts. And if i am honest, i have made worse buns in my days… so these don’t look so bad!!

These do take a while to make, but they are so worth it and you get anything from 20-48 buns depending how small you want to make them! So the two hours it takes to make these, it is worth it 🙂 And you can freeze them in and have them ready for whenever you want to eat buns or invite others over for coffee! 🙂

If you don’t want to bake cinnamon buns… then i can remind you that there are frozen premade cinnamonbuns that are vegan, as well as fresh mini cinnamonbuns (skogaholms gifflar!)

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