Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Do you frequently have bananas that are past their prime? Tired of the same old banana bread? If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins is the solution! They are healthy enough to eat for breakfast, but delicious enough to eat for a snack, dessert or any time of day. I tend to think that making muffins is better than making a loaf, because they 1) take about half the time to bake as a loaf, and 2) are easy to portion, no slicing required.

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

This recipe comes together quickly and easily. The best part is that you can mix it all in one bowl, so you don’t have much to clean up. These vegan peanut butter banana muffins call for millet, which you probably do not have on hand. Yes, millet looks like bird seed, but it really adds a nice crunch to your muffins and makes them look prettier too. So don’t leave them out. Make the extra effort to get your hands on some. You won’t regret it. I have found that I like millet so much that I am trying to figure out ways to incorporate it into other recipes. You’ll probably be seeing it here again in the future.

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

These vegan peanut butter banana muffins also call for that powdered peanut butter stuff. I avoided this stuff for quite a while, because it just seemed weird to me. But one day, while on Instagram, I saw a recipe where someone used the powdered peanut butter, and I knew I needed to get some. So far, I haven’t been disappointed. PB Fit works great in this recipe, and I have also used it for a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie. If you don’t want to commit to powdered peanut butter, you can try using regular peanut butter, but I’m not sure what your results will be. Please let me know how it worked in the comments below, if you do decide to use regular peanut butter.

I am giving you weights for a lot of the ingredients in this recipe. If you haven’t bought a decent cheap kitchen scale yet, what are you waiting for? Do it! You dirty a lot less dishes when you weigh your ingredients. That alone should be incentive enough. I have been through a few kitchen scales already and really like my current one, which I bought from Amazon. It is the Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen & Food Scale, and currently costs $13.95. It weighs in grams, milliliters, pounds and ounces. The best part is that it takes regular batteries. All of the scales that I had in the past used the same type of batteries that wrist watches use. Those batteries are expensive, come in many different sizes and are a pain to find. So, please, if you haven’t already, get yourself a kitchen scale.

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

  • 300 grams (about 3) very ripe banana, mashed
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) organic sugar, (natural, light brown or dark brown, whichever you have on hand & want to use)
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) sunflower oil
  • 2 Tablespoons organic flax seeds, ground (measure them whole and then grind them)
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) organic oat flour (I buy organic whole rolled oats and then grind them in my coffee grinder, usually at the same time as the flax seeds)
  • 150 grams (1 cup) organic whole wheat flour
  • 48 grams (1/2 cup) organic PB Fit (powdered peanut butter)
  • 1/4 cup of organic raw millet (I buy mine dirt cheap in the bulk section of Whole Foods)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together mashed banana, sugar and oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.

Scoop your batter out evenly between the 12 muffin cups. It should take about 1/3 cup for each one. If you have a 1/3 cup portion scoop, it makes life easier. I don’t. I have a 1/4 cup scoop, so I use that but scoop a little extra each time. Just do what you can to make them as much the same size as possible. They will bake more evenly that way and all finish baking at the same time.

Pop them into the oven. They will take anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes to bake. You will know when they are done with the old toothpick test. Take a toothpick and insert it in the center of the center-most muffin. If it comes out clean, then they are done. Make sure you rotate the muffins halfway through bake time. When they are finished, allow to cool in the pan for 5 or 10 minutes. Then remove them from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy them any time!

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

As you might be able to see, I am currently experimenting with some vegan recipes. It’s really easy to make some super yummy sweet treat out of ingredients that aren’t necessarily that great for your health. Even if all of those ingredients are organic. I have taken it as a sort of challenge to see if I can make sweet treats that are not only healthy and packed with nutrients, but are also really delicious. This raw vegan dark chocolate pudding is a definite winner when it comes to healthy, nutrient-dense and, above all, delicious!

I have a lot of people on Instagram who inspire me. One of those inspirational people is Lisa at www.chocolatemeetsstrawberry.com. A couple of weeks ago, she wrote a post called “Healthy Chocolate Pudding for One.” Both of our recipes have ingredients that will surprise you. I had heard of this type of chocolate pudding nearly a decade ago. When I read Lisa’s post, I decided to give it a shot. But since I can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to put a little different spin on it. I think it might also be a little more acceptable to people who are just testing the waters of a more healthy lifestyle.

Chocolate pudding made with avocado? What?! There, it’s out in the open now. Yes, avocado is the mystery ingredient. For those of you new to this, take a deep breath. I promise you that it is really delicious, and no one will ever know that it’s made with avocado. I challenge you to try it out. As with a few of my recipes, this is best made and refrigerated at least eight hours before eating. I think the ingredients need time to chill and get to know each other.

This raw vegan dark chocolate pudding is so packed with nutrients, that it would be perfectly acceptable to eat it for breakfast. Avocados are loaded with several vitamins, B5, B6, C, E, K and folate and have more potassium than bananas. They also contain plenty of heart-healthy fat in the form of oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. If you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard how good avocados are for you, just Google “health benefits of avocados.” There is really no reason you shouldn’t be eating this delicious fruit! If you don’t know the health benefits of the ingredients in this pudding, do the same thing for all of the ingredients. I promise you, I’m giving you a recipe for something super healthy and super delicious at the same time. Who wouldn’t want to eat chocolate pudding for dessert? And even better, who wouldn’t want to eat chocolate pudding for breakfast? Guilt free!!

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

Here’s a shot of all of the ingredients that I used. If you have any questions about where I get any of my ingredients, please ask in the comments below.

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 30 grams of organic honey
  • 2 packets (or 6 grams) of granular stevia
  • 28 grams (5 Tablespoons) raw organic cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon organic Ceylon cinnamon
  • 14 grams (2 Tablespoons) organic virgin coconut oil
  • 65 grams (about 2 Tablespoons) organic light canned coconut milk
  • a pinch or two of pink Himalayan salt
Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

This is a happy dessert!

You could do this in a blender or a food processor if you don’t have an immersion blender. I’m giving instructions for an immersion blender since that is what I used. Put all ingredients into a glass 4-cup measuring cup. Insert an immersion blender and pulse on high until things get a bit mixed.

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

Blending up the ingredients

Then blend on high, moving the stick around and up and down a bit until it reaches a creamy consistency. This takes 30 seconds to one minute. Spoon about a half of a cup (about 125 ml) into similar sized dessert ramekins or dessert cups. You should be able to get 3 to 4 servings out of this recipe. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving. Top with unsweetened, shredded coconut, a light dusting of cinnamon, sliced strawberries, cacao nibs, chopped nuts, or other such yummy topping. Enjoy and know that even though it tastes decadent and sinful that it is really good for you!!

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

I know what you’re thinking already. How can anything with “vegan” in the name taste good? “Vegans only eat beans, kale and alfalfa sprouts,” I can hear you saying. Well, I’m here to fix that thinking for you. These vegan peanut cacao bliss balls really do taste good, and none of the ingredients are beans, kale or alfalfa sprouts. I promise.

Besides being super yummy, these little bites of deliciousness are also healthy and really easy to make. You only need five ingredients, and there is no cooking or baking required. And each ingredient has a myriad of health benefits. Let’s go through some of them before we get to the recipe, shall we?

Peanuts, which have gotten a bad rap in recent years due to peanut allergies, are first. Peanuts are delicious, and I feel sorry for anyone who has a peanut allergy. They are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is the heart-healthy fat found in the Mediterranean diet. Peanuts also contain vitamin E, niacin, folate, resveratrol, oleic acid and antioxidants. And roasting peanuts actually boosts their antioxidant content. If you would like to read more about the health benefits of peanuts, please click here.

Cacao is next. Cacao is not cocoa, so please don’t confuse the two. Cocoa is that bitter, processed powder that you have probably used to make hot chocolate or chocolate cake and/or frosting. You can actually use raw cacao powder in the same recipes, but the difference is notable. Since I found raw, organic cacao powder on Amazon, I haven’t even considered ever using cocoa again. If you would like to know, I buy Healthworks Raw Certified Organic Cacao Powder on Amazon. It’s a fantastic deal! This stuff is truly a superfood. Cacao contains high levels of powerful antioxidants that have numerous health benefits. If you would like to read more about the health benefits of cacao, please click here.

Dates are used in this recipe as a binder and a sweetener instead of sugar. Plus, dates have the added benefit of having significant health benefits with which sugar just can’t compete. Dates contain a variety of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and have a long history of traditional uses. Modern research has backed up long standing beliefs about the fruit. If you would like to learn more about the health history and benefits of dates, please click here.

Honey is also used as a sweetener in this recipe. You have probably used honey to sweeten tea or lemon water when you have a sore throat. Besides as a sweetener, do you have any idea why you do that? It’s not just to sweeten your beverage or to coat your throat. Honey actually has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Honey also contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you would like to read more about the health benefits of honey, please click here.

The last ingredient is vanilla extract, which, I have read, contains antioxidants and can boost mood and enhance mental performance. If you would like to read more about this, please click here.

See! I told you there would be no beans, kale or alfalfa sprouts!

Enough with how good it is for you. Let’s get on with the recipe so you can find out how good they taste in your mouth!

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

  • 120 grams of roasted, salted peanuts
  • 120 grams of pitted medjool dates
  • 15 grams (2.5 tablespoons) of raw organic cacao powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw organic honey
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Here’s a shot of the ingredients that I used in this recipe.

Put peanuts, dates and cacao powder in the bowl of your food processor. Process for a few seconds to chop and mix everything up a bit. Add the vanilla extract and a tablespoon of the honey. Process on high for about a minute. Everything should be well chopped, combined and a loose dough should form. Pinch a bit into a ball and see if it will hold together. Have a taste and see if you want to add more honey or leave it the way it is. If it’s not holding together, process it until you can get it to hold together.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

This is not a lovely picture, but it’s to show you what your dough should look like when it’s ready.

Scrape everything out into a bowl and use a small cookie scoop to make equal sized portions.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Scooping dough with a cookie scoop is the most effective way to get equally sized bliss balls.

Roll together in the palm of your hand to form a firm ball.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

This is how your bliss balls should look after rolling them in the palm of your hand. Your hand will also be greasy. Think of it as moisturizer.

Once you have done this with all of the dough, for best flavor, refrigerate overnight. For some reason, these taste better after they have had a chance for the ingredients to blend together. So they actually taste better the day after you make them than right away. Eat and enjoy.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls ready to eat!

Keep any uneaten bliss balls in the fridge until you are ready to eat them. With the size I made, this recipe yielded about 25.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

I put the bliss balls onto a flat-bottomed bowl and covered with plastic wrap to refrigerate.

If you make this recipe, please let me know. Follow me @organicandrea on Instagram and tag me in your recipe photos. Also be sure to like the Organic Andrea Facebook page.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Vanilla Flan

Easy Organic Vanilla Flan

Happy New Year everyone! This has been an unseasonably warm winter, even for Florida. I think new record high temperatures were set for December. It was a bit hard to get into the holiday spirit with such warm weather. So instead, in the spirit of the milder temperatures, I decided to go tropical and make a creamy, delicious and easy organic vanilla flan! My husband lived for many years in Madrid, and he says that this is the best flan he has ever eaten.
I should tell you that this is not a make it and eat it the same day kind of dessert. You should definitely make it the day before you want to serve it. If you have never made flan before, what are you waiting for? It is really easy. I promise. The most challenging part is making the caramel sauce, but that really isn’t difficult either. And all you need are six ingredients! Are you ready? Let’s make flan!

Easy Organic Vanilla Flan

Easy Organic Vanilla Flan after inversion onto a plate.

Easy Organic Vanilla Flan
2/3 cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed organic orange juice
1 14 ounce can organic sweetened condensed milk
1 12 ounce can organic evaporated milk
5 large organic eggs
1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Get a small to medium sized heavy saucepan. Add your sugar and orange juice. Cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and the mixture turns a golden-amber color. You don’t want it to get too dark or it will taste burnt. Remove from heat and pour directly into an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan. With oven mitts on, quickly move around cake pan to cover the bottom with the caramel sauce. The caramel sauce will cool and set up into a hard-candy mass in a very short time. Plus, the temperature of the sauce will make the pan very hot also, so be sure to wear oven mitts.

This next step can be done a variety of different ways. You can use a blender, immersion blender, a bowl and whisk, whatever. Choose your method. I prefer the immersion blender method. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs and vanilla and blend well. Pour this mixture into the cake pan on top of the caramel sauce. Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil. Take the cake pan and set it inside of a larger (and equally deep, but not deeper) pan. Put this into the oven add hot water to the larger, outer pan to halfway up the side of the cake pan holding the flan mixture. This is a water bath, what the French call a Bain Marie. It helps cook the flan to a creamy consistency instead of a scrambled egg consistency. Believe me, you don’t want to do this without the water bath. Bake the flan in the water bath for 50 minutes to an hour. Remove it from the oven and from the water bath and place into the refrigerator overnight.

When you are ready to serve the flan, remove it from the refrigerator. Run a clean knife around the outside edge of the cake pan to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Place your serving plate upside-down onto the cake pan. Hold on to the plate and the pan and invert. The flan should fall cleanly out of the pan onto your plate with the sauce, which has turned back into a sauce. There will be a little bit of hard caramel stuck to the pan, but hot water and soap should take that right off. Cut your flan with a sharp knife like you would cut a pie. Serve with the sauce and enjoy!!

Vanilla Flan

Oatmeal Two Ways

I kept up on the sugar-free, dairy-free, grain-free diet for exactly two full months. It felt more like two full years. Last Sunday at my two daughters’ birthday party, I decided I would eat whatever I wanted, mainly because I was making a cake that is the best cake ever. Long story short, I didn’t eat that much that day, but I felt a satisfaction that I hadn’t felt for two months. At the end of the day, I said to my husband, “I feel great!” So that was the end of that. Though I am still going to do my best to keep my sugar consumption to a minimum.

Sometime within the last year, my doctor warned me that I was headed down the road toward type-2 diabetes. This is one of my nightmares. I love baking and I love sweets. It’s just part of who I am. Instead of giving up the baking of sweet things that I love, I decided to cut out sugar in other areas of my life. I no longer sweeten my coffee. I didn’t think I would ever be able to drink coffee without sugar, but I have gotten used to it. Along the same line, I also quit eating sweet oatmeal. You might not think that either of these sacrifices really constitutes as a sacrifice, but I used to put two tablespoons of sugar per cup of coffee. And I would drink two cups of coffee each morning. That is 1/4 cup less sugar every morning. I also used to sweeten my oatmeal with 1/4 cup of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar!!

My grandfather had type-2 diabetes for the last decades of his life. Every morning he would eat oatmeal with butter and salt and pepper on it. I always thought that his oatmeal must be disgusting. When I decided to cut the sugar from my oatmeal, I decided to try a little different take on his oatmeal. Have you ever read the directions on a box or can of oatmeal? It says to cook the oatmeal in water with a little salt. Who eats their oatmeal that way? From what I read on the steel-cut oats can, this must be a traditional Scottish way to eat oatmeal. I’m not there yet and I’m not interested in ever getting to that point. I hope my Scottish blood line will forgive me.

You have heard it at one point or another that breakfast is the most important part of the day. I completely agree, but you need to make good choices to fuel your body for the day ahead. This first recipe for oatmeal is hearty and satisfying and will keep you from getting hungry for quite a while. Pair it with some protein, like a handful of almonds or a scrambled egg, and you’ll keep yourself fueled and keep hunger at bay for several hours.

Buttery Oatmeal

My younger daughter, very excited to have buttery oatmeal, that she requested, for breakfast! She won’t eat the sweet oatmeal.

Oatmeal Two Ways — First Buttery Oatmeal, then Sugar and Spice Oatmeal:

Buttery Oatmeal

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup organic whole rolled oats
  • 1 Tablespoon organic butter

Bring water, milk and salt almost to a boil over high heat in a large, heavy saucepan. Add oats, reduce heat to low and stir. Cook oats until they are almost to the consistency that you like them, anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on what temperature your stove thinks is low. Stir occasionally during cooking. Remember that oats will thicken as they cool, so you don’t want to cook them until they are at the consistency that you like, otherwise, they will be too thick once they are cool enough to eat. Put your oats into a bowl and add butter. Stir and enjoy. You can always add a little more milk, cream or half and half to your oats to thin and cool them. This recipe makes one to two servings, depending on how much oatmeal you like to eat at breakfast.

For extra protein, nutrition and flavor, you can add chopped nuts, chia, hemp or flax seeds to your cooked oatmeal.

Now, for those of you who have children that I cook for on a regular basis, you might want the recipe for the oatmeal that I make for your kids. This is also the way that I used to eat my oatmeal, and the way that my older daughter prefers it. She has gotten used to the buttery oatmeal though. This recipe should make enough for two to three kids, or one to two adults.

Sugar & Spice Oatmeal

  • 2 cups organic whole milk
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon organic clove (optional, I don’t always have it, so I don’t always use it)
  • 1 cup organic whole rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

Bring milk, sugar and spices almost to a boil over high heat in a large, heavy saucepan. Add oats, reduce heat to low and stir. Cook oats until they are almost to the consistency that you like them, anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally during cooking. Follow what I said about oat consistency in the above recipe. When oats are ready, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve and enjoy. As with the previous recipe, you may add more milk, cream or half and half to thin and cool your oats. Just remember, if you eat your oats this way, don’t do it everyday. Otherwise, you may have your doctor giving you a diabetes warning. This should be considered a special treat, comfort food kind of breakfast.

Try them both and leave a comment below letting me know which one you like better and why.