2015 was a pretty good year for me. I moved this blog over to a self hosting site and have diligently blogged once a week ever since. My boyfriend and I traveled on our first big trip together to Turkey and it was incredible. We had two amazing camping adventures together during the summer and later in the year relaxed in Mexico while celebrating my best friend getting married. I watched a lot of fantastic horror movies. The best horror movie of the year was “It Follows” though technically I saw it at the 2014 TIFF, so I would say my favourite horror movie I saw last year was “The Final Girls”, also at TIFF. Finally I created and ate lots of delicious dishes, my top Instagram posts below!
Most of all I just feel so lucky to be surrounded by wonderful friends & family (and two fluffy cats), and that we all made it through another year with good health and happiness. I try to never take for granted the freedom that I have living in Canada.
So 2016, what will you bring? I resolve to always be kinder, more positive, more patient and spread love. I resolve to try to do more good deeds and to take care of those I love. And of course, I resolve to keep up with my blogging!
With the holidays just around the corner, I started planning out my Christmas gift list. My parents are easy – Scotch or beer for my dad and a facial or pedicure for my mother. They’re in the process of moving so I really didn’t want to add to their junk! But my boyfriend has a big family with quite a few elderly who are staying away from sugar so my homemade jam was off the list. I had to think of something else to make them, a treat that would be yummy but not too sweet.
Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread
This recipe was inspired by Martha Stewart’s Banana-Nut Bread from her Baking Handbook cookbook. To make the loaf a bit healthier, I altered and replaced many of the ingredients adding oats and flax seed for fiber and sweetening with brown sugar, maple syrup and applesauce. I also brought out the coconut flavour by using coconut oil and coconut milk. The resulting banana bread tastes wholesome with just enough sweetness to make it a treat. Firm, moist with hints of maple and coconut this banana bread is a nutritious gift to give to those who can’t completely indulge in the holiday season.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, rolled oats, flax seeds, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, maple syrup, apple sauce and coconut oil on medium-low speed until combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Add the coconut and maple syrup extracts, banana and almond milk. Beat until just combined.
Pour batter into loaf pan and evenly smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 60 minutes , rotating pan halfway through until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool completely. Banana bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic for up to a week.
Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread
What are you making the ones you love this holiday season?
I have been on a mission for awhile now to perfect a gluten free banana bread. I wanted a loaf that wouldn’t crumble, firm but not too gooey, and sweet enough without using processed sugar. I discovered the joys of chick pea flour – great texture, flavour and added protein. I experimented with this flour and I think that coupled with the maple syrup, it really brings out a balanced sweetness to the loaf. With the added nut protein, this makes a great recovery snack after a workout.