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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Recipe: Healthy Vegan Banana Blondies

Healthy Vegan Banana Blondies Recipe  healthy, low fat, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, egg free, dairy free

You know, sometimes I look at Jesse and think "wow.... what kind of a man did I marry?!". 

And I'm not talking in the oh wow I'm so lucky kind of way (though I definitely think that a lot too), I'm talking in the what planet did he get dropped off from kind of way. 


But you see, Jesse has the world's weirdest taste buds, sense of smell and sense of well.... a lot of things. This week he told me that bananas taste like nothing, however, he eats bananas every day for breakfasts and banana baked goods are his favourite thing in the world. Last week he told me that my lasagna was the best dinner of the week but I couldn't call it lasagna because it didn't have a tomato and meat sauce like "lasagna" - even though that's just the style of the dish.

Vegan Banana Blondies Recipe  healthy, low fat, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, egg free, dairy free

But whilst bananas taste like "nothing" to Jesse and apparently nuts have an overpowering smell like Katrina's random bath bomb that she has sitting on the side of the bath, Jesse is always watching the piles of bananas in our fruit bowl, waiting for them to go brown so I can make a banana flavoured treat. 

A few weeks ago we got home from church and Jesse decided we had to bake something with bananas and nuts. It didn't matter what it was but it had to have banana and nuts in it. 

I, however, was feeling like blondies or brownies - something dense and full of flavour and texture. At first I made the mistake of saying to Jesse "what about banana blondies?"

"Blondies? What's that?" Uh oh... I knew I was in for trouble. I gave Jesse a really basic description of your typical blondie, however, then I told him I wanted to make blondies that had all the texture of blondies but all the flavour of banana bread.

Gluten Free Banana Blondies Recipe  healthy, low fat, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, egg free, dairy free

"Can't you just make one or the other?".... at this point I was cursing myself for giving them a name, thinking I would have been much better off calling it banana bread and sticking it in a loaf tin - but I stuck to my plan, knowing it would be all sorts of delicious and Jesse would forget all about the name once he tried them.

Whilst they were baking in the oven I could head Jesse drooling over the smell from his office and the second I pulled them out he was there, eagerly awaiting the moment I sliced them up so he could try one. A few minutes later they were cool enough to cut and I popped one on a plate and took it into him. 

The first one disappeared in seconds with mmm's and ahhh's all around and the batch was quickly gobbled up by the SIL family. They weren't just a new favourite for Jesse - they were a favourite for the whole family (especially this banana loving girl!) and we've been making them again and again ever since! It just goes to show, don't judge a book by its cover or a recipe by it's name ;)

Let me share the recipe with you so you can bask in the deliciousness too! >>

Healthy Banana Blondies Recipe  healthy, low fat, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, egg free, dairy free

Lightened Up Vegan Banana Blondies Recipe 
makes 9 large blondies or 16 smaller ones
low fat, refined sugar free, clean eating friendly, healthy, vegan & gluten free

1 1/4 cups mashed ripe banana (280g or 2 large)
1 1/2 tbsp (25g) coconut oil, melted (or butter or a neutral tasting oil)
1/4 cup (~50g) coconut sugar or brown sugar*
1/4 cup milk of your choice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup (180g) gluten free plain flour 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
~1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped (optional - you can also mix through chocolate chips, dried fruit or whatever you fancy!)
  • Preheat your oven to 160C/320F
  • Grease and/or line a 8" or smaller brownie tin. We like to use a 6-7" brownie tin for thicker blondies! Alternatively, you can double the recipe and use a medium sized rectangular tin.
  • In a mixing bowl, mash your banana and add in your melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, milk and vanilla, mixing until combined.
  • Add in your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined.
  • Stir through your nuts or mix ins, if using, and pour your blondie mix into your prepared tin. 
  • Bake for 20-40 minutes, depending on thickness, or until your blondies are cooked through and a skewer inserted into the middle removes clean. You don't want to overcook them as they'll dry out and not have the fudgy blondie texture!
  • Once cooled, slice your blondies into pieces and devour! These blondies are best eaten on the day that they're made, however, they'll keep in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature for 2-3 days.
*If you like things extra sweet use 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar, however, we found they were perfect just the way they are thanks to the natural sweetness of the banana!

But tell me, what's one food everyone else seems to like but you just hate?
And are you a traditionalist like Jesse or do you find yourself fusing flavours and ideas like me?
I may be the only "healthy living blogger" out there who will openly admit that she hates kale. I love vegetables but kale? Nuh uh! Unless it's in chip form.... but if I really wanted chips I'll just have chips! :P


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