Better Bites

My experiments in healthy eating, cooking, and living

Archive for the category “Coconut oil”

Crispy Maple Flavored Tofu Paired with Peach-Jalapeno Salsa

Tofu 1

I’ll admit it. Until trying this batch of maple glazed tofu (a recipe I found on a vegan blog I subscribe to called Fried Dandelions), I never used to like tofu. My feelings may have even been stronger than that of dislike. I pretty much used to despise tofu in its original form. When I would see recipes with tofu I would just look the other way knowing they weren’t for me. That was until I found a recipe for maple glazed tofu, which was the first tofu recipe that sounded appealing to me.

I was a bit suspicious that I was immediately drawn to the recipe, but I knew I had to give it a try. A vegetarian who hasn’t made tofu, I thought those didn’t exist, until me (except now I’ve joined the masses in having made and enjoyed tofu). I gave in and made the recipe and it was damn good.

The soy sauce and maple syrup gave the tofu that winning combination of having both a sweet and salty flavor. I also overcooked my tofu strips a bit. This gave them a gorgeous dark golden-brown hue and a crispy exterior, which made me like this recipe even more. The peach salsa gave the tofu some color and a pop of freshness as it was full of fresh out of the garden fruits and vegetables: farmer’s market peaches, cooling cucumber, diced jalapeno, and some chopped cilantro.

Find the peach-jalapeno salsa recipe below and the recipe for the maple glazed tofu here. I couldn’t justify rewriting the recipe, as it was written so perfectly on Fried Dandelions. The only thing I did differently was to cook the tofu longer to get that crispy exterior you see pictured above. Other than that I followed the recipe (which is slightly abnormal for me). Do you like tofu? If so what is your favorite way to eat/prepare it? Have you given in and joined the masses that cook it on a regular basis?

Tofu 2

The tofu: nearly naked and rather unappealing to me in this state.

Peach-jalapeno Salsa:

*Makes about 1 cup of salsa


1 peach, rinsed, patted dry, and then diced into small pieces

1 jalapeno diced

1/2 cucumber, peeled and then diced into small pieces

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon of cilantro, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tsp of olive oil

1/4 tsp of salt and pepper


Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Let the salsa sit in the fridge for about 10-20 minutes or more – just so that the flavors can combine. It is that simple. Enjoy alongside your favorite tortilla chips or give the maple flavored tofu recipe a try and serve with that.

Tofu 3


Chocolate Goji Berry Crunch Granola

Goji berry crunch

Okay, I admit it. I broke down and bought a couple of different superfoods. After watching Food Matters, I became curious about why people were running out and buying foods like goji berries and raw maca. I didn’t know the first thing about superfoods, aside from the idea that they were supposed to be very good for you.

Not too long after watching that documentary, I gave in and bought both goji berries and cacao nibs. Almost immediately, I found myself adding the cacao nibs to different foods I normally made like oatmeal and in trail mix.

The goji berries, however, were a different story. At first bite, I didn’t really like them. They were fairly tough on the outside and had a fruit flavor that I didn’t like the taste of (which is odd because I’d loved every fruit I’d tasted prior to this experience assuming goji berries are a fruit?). I knew they were supposed to be good for me and I’d paid a pretty penny for a small bag of the pretty, coral-colored berries, so I tried to eat a small handful with other dried fruits I enjoyed, like apricots. I tried hard to like them, but efforts were to no avail. They sat in my cabinet for a couple of months with little or no use.

One day, I was talking with the guy who lives upstairs from me and he was telling me how he and his girlfriend were on this superfood kick. They’d bought all different powders, berries, and seeds in hopes of adding them to their diet. I admitted how I’d tried goji berries, but wasn’t too fond of them. He then told me how he loved eating them with chocolate.

Ding, ding, ding. It was like the light bulb went off in my head. I’d never tried the berries with chocolate. What a genius idea. Almost immediately, the idea for chocolate goji berry granola was born.  The combination was a success and now I have a new use for all those unused berries I bought. Whether eating them with granola defeats the purpose or not, is not something I’d like to consider. It was too delicious to contemplate the idea of how healthy it was.

Goji berry crunch 2

Chocolate Goji Berry Crunch Granola: 

*Yields about 3-4 cups of granola


1 1/3  cup of rolled oats (I used GF rolled oats)

1/3 cup of dried, unsweetened coconut flakes

2/3 cup of chopped nuts (I used a mix of walnuts and cashews – both tasted delicious with the chocolate flavor of the granola)

2 tbsp of cocoa powder

1/3 cup of raisins

1 tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp of light agave nectar

(possible substitution: maple syrup)

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/3 cup of goji berries

1 tbsp of cacao nibs (*optional)


1- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then add your rolled oats, coconut, chopped nuts, raisins, and cocoa powder to a mixing bowl. Mix the dry ingredients together.

2- Melt the virgin coconut oil either in a small pan or in the microwave. Add the Coconut oil, agave nectar, and vanilla  into a glass measuring cup. Stir once before pouring over the rolled oat mixture. Mix the oats with the wet ingredients, making sure all of the oats are coated.

3- Spread a thin layer of granola onto the parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes. The granola is finished when the raisins on the edges of the pan begin to turn puff up. After the granola has cooled for about five minutes add the goji berries and cacao nibs (I thought cooking them would make them lose their many nutritional benefits such as the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that they provide). Let the granola cool before using it (it will become crisper as it cools, it will still be slightly soft when it comes out of the oven).

*Store in an airtight container. Other possible additions: substitute goji berries for dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried apricots, or banana chips

In case you missed my two other posts on granola, I’ve also made a banana walnut version, as well as maple pecan granola. Enjoy!

Nearly Fat Free Vegan Banana Blueberry Muffins

Nearly Fat Free Vegan Banana Bluberry Muffins

At school, my kids have been learning how to write poetry and recently we’ve been talking about similes. Tomorrow, I’m going to read them a book called My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks . I think they’ll get as much of a kick out of it as I did. Since similes have been on my mind so much, here are a few that came to me when I made (and devoured) these vegan blueberry banana muffins:

As light as a croissant

As sweet as a strawberry picked fresh in June

As fluffy as angle food cake

As satisfying as early morning homemade pancakes

In case you were questioning whether you should make these muffins, well I’m telling you yes you should (they are nearly guilt free). If you do, you will be as happy as a child with a popsicle in hand. I know, I’ve got to stop thinking in similes. Until then, enjoy the recipe!

Nearly Fat Free Vegan Banana Blueberry Muffins:

*Adapted from Somer’s recipe for oil free banana muffins, which can be found on her blog Vedged Out (I used her awesome recipe as my base and added my own spin on it)

*Makes 12 muffins


3 ripe bananas, peeled

1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk)

1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar

1 tsp of vanilla

1/4 + 1/8 cup of sucanat (or brown sugar)

1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of salt

1 tsp of cinnamon (for the muffin batter)

3/4 cup of blueberries (frozen or fresh)

1 cup of oats (I used half rolled oats and half quick oats)

2 tbsp of maple syrup

1 tsp of coconut oil, melted

1/2 tsp of cinnamon (for muffin topping)


1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I followed Somer’s recipe advice and blended all of my wet ingredients (and the sugar), which included the bananas, milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and sugar. This was very fast and had such an easy clean up. I think I will be doing this again with other banana recipes!

2- Mix the dry ingredients separately and whisk them together to ensure that they are well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently mix them with a spatula. When they are combined, fold in the blueberries.

3- Grease the muffin tins and fill each cup with about 1/4 cup of muffin mixture. Then make the muffin topping. Mix together the cinnamon, oil, maple syrup, and oats. Top each muffin with about 1 tbsp of the mix. Bake the muffins for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Scones

Raspberry chocolate chip scones

Lately, I’ve undergone some major life changes, which have made writing seem difficult. It’s almost like these changes have created writer’s block. I almost wasn’t going to write this post, but then I watched a video of Neil Gaiman giving a speech at a commencement ceremony, which was posted on Change For a Year. It was then that I knew I couldn’t just stop writing even though the writing wasn’t coming and it wasn’t going to be the best writing. Sometimes you just have to keep going or as Neil Gaiman said “Make good art. Make it on the bays days. Make it on the good days too. And fifthly while you’re at it, make your art…The urge starting out is to copy and that’s not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people. The one thing you have that nobody else has is you, your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”

While this scone recipe is not completely my own, we all have to start somewhere. Someday I aspire to create my own scone recipes, but for now I’ll adapt the recipes of others until I get to that point.

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Scones: 

*Adapted from Shannon’s recipe for delicious blueberry scones found on her blog Move Eat Create (mine are also nearly identical to a Babycakes recipe – I think the only difference from mine and the Babycakes’ recipe is the chocolate chips)


*Makes 11 scones

2 cups whole spelt flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp of fine grain sea salt

1/3 cup of coconut oil, melted OR use Earth Balance’s Buttery Spread, melted (UPDATE: using the buttery spread produces a lighter and more flavorful scone than using coconut oil, as I recently found when making them again)

1/3 cup of light agave nectar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup hot water

3/4 cup frozen or fresh raspberries

1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips


1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2- Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients and stir with a whisk to ensure they are well combined.

3- Then, after melting the 1/3 cup of coconut oil, combine the coconut oil, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Stir once and then pour over the spelt mixture. Gently mix together.

4- Add the hot water and again gently mix until it’s combined (try not to over mix spelt flour).

5- Fold the chocolate chips and the raspberries into the batter. Use a 1/4 cup measure to spoon batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (to ensure that the scones will be the same size). Bake the scones for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown on top. These kept well in an air tight container for 3-4 days. I stored mine in the fridge and heated them in the microwave before eating. They taste great with fresh raspberry jam, if you have any on hand.

*If you missed my version of ginger peach scones, find the recipe here.

The Ultimate Comfort Food: Whole Grain Spelt Pancakes

Spelt pancakes

Is there ever a bad time for pancakes? Growing up, I remember my mom cooking them for breakfast for dinner. It always felt like such a treat having the fluffy white cakes for dinner. I would squeeze as much imitation maple syrup as I could on top of my short stack and immediately begin mopping up the syrup with small bites of pancake. After all of that eating, I would just sit, feeling the heaviness of the food-induced coma I’d put myself in.

So many delicious pancake based memories. These are one food that brings a wave of nostalgia over me, as I stand in front of my glass top stove cooking them. For me, this is one reason I consider these comfort food.

I also find comfort in their ability to provide choices. Are they a dinner food or a breakfast food? Or are they a late night snack? I can add blueberries, bananas, apple slices, or chocolate chips and each version is delicious. I could stuff myself full or store the rest in the refrigerator until tomorrow. So many simple decisions that all lead to a wonderful tasting breakfast treat.

For this batch of pancakes, I chose to make half as blueberry pancakes and the other half as banana-chocolate chip pancakes. Neither was a disappointment to the taste buds. My personal favorite was the banana cakes, but I’m a sucker for anything with chocolate. The fiancee preferred blueberry.

This was the first time I’d made pancakes using spelt flour. I noticed they were a bit more delicate than normal wheat pancakes (note: be gentle when flipping) and denser than pancakes made from white flour (but also so much more nutritious). Personally, these were the best pancakes I’ve tried in a while. This recipe will be bookmarked and made often. Another recipe I’d like to try is Somer’s recipe for the fluffiest maple buttermilk pancakes she posted on her blog Vedged Out.

Whole Grain Spelt Pancakes:

*Recipe adapted from the Whole Grains Council  recipe for simple spelt pancakes

*Serves 2-3


2 cups whole spelt flour

2 tbsp sucanat (or another sweetener of your choice)

1 tbsp baking powder

3/4 tsp of fine grain sea salt

1 3/4 cups of nut milk

2 tbsp of coconut oil, melted

2 tsp of vanilla

*for blueberry pancakes add 1/2 cup of blueberries and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

*for banana-chocolate chip pancakes add 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of diced bananas to the batter – then place banana slices on the uncooked side of the pancakes when they are cooking and begin to bubble (they don’t bubble as much as normal pancakes do)

Spelt pancakes 2


1- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a bowl. Whisk the ingredients together. Then add the nut milk, the melted coconut oil, and the vanilla. Let the batter sit for about 15 minutes (this allows it to thicken up and creates a fluffier pancake). After they rest for about 15 minutes, add in the other ingredients if you’re making blueberry or banana-chocolate chip pancakes.

2- Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add a tiny bit of coconut oil so the pancakes won’t stick. Use a 1/4 cup measure to spoon the pancake batter into the pan (this will create even sized pancakes). Don’t flip the pancakes until they begin to bubble around the edges or it seems like the cake is beginning to set. This took about five minutes of cooking that first side before flipping, but the recipe I used said it could also be 2-3 minutes (probably depending on the pan and heat setting used). Add banana slices before flipping (optional).

3- The second side should only take 1-2 minutes to cook. Serve immediately with your favorite condiments.

I’m convinced that if you make these pancakes, soon after your plate will look like this…

Spelt pancakes 3

Ginger Peach Scones

Ginger peach scones

My love for scones came rather late in life. I have to admit that I only really began to enjoy them about two summers ago. Oh how I’ve missed out on these delicious baked goods. These ginger peach scones were just delicious- they were light, filled with flavor, and slightly moist. In short, they were everything a scone should be. No hockey pucks here. Just a tasty baked treat. As Shannon from Move Eat Create said, they make wonderful comfort food. I made them and then promptly ate two as soon as they came out of the oven. They were that irresistible   I had to start making up for all those scones I’ve missed out on eating over the years.

Almost ready for the oven!

Almost ready for the oven!

Ginger Peach Scones: 

*Adapted from Shannon’s recipe for delicious blueberry scones found on her blog Move Eat Create (originally adapted from a Babycakes recipe)


*Makes 9 scones

1 1/2 tsp of coconut oil (for sauteing the peaches)

1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen peach slices

1 1/2 tsp of coconut sugar (or something similar to brown sugar)

1 tsp of freshly grated ginger (for the peaches)

2 cups whole spelt flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp of fine grain sea salt

1/3 cup of coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup of light agave nectar

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup hot water


1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then heat the one and a half teaspoons of coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When its melted, add the peach slices. Turn them to allow for even cooking and to make sure both sides defrost evenly (if they are frozen). Allow the peaches to cook until they begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Then add the coconut sugar and the ginger. Stir and allow the mixture to cook for about 1-2 more minutes. Then take the peaches off the heat and allow them to cool.

2- Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients and stir with a whisk to ensure they are well combined.

3- Then, after melting the 1/3 cup of coconut oil, combine the coconut oil, agave nectar, ginger, and vanilla extract. Stir once and then pour over the spelt mixture. Gently mix together.

4- Add the hot water and again gently mix until it’s combined (try not to over mix spelt flour).

5- Cut the peach slices into 1/2 inch chunks and fold them into the batter. Use a 1/4 cup measure to spoon batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (to ensure that the scones will be the same size). Bake the scones for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown on top. (If you had any juice left from sauteing the peaches, drizzle it over top of the scones). These kept well in an air tight container for 3-4 days. I stored mine in the fridge and heated them in the microwave before eating.

Ginger peach scones 3

My love for scones lives on. Especially when they are as light and fluffy as these. Feel free to post any of your favorite scone recipes and flavor combinations!

Frozen Chocolate Covered Banana Bites

banana bites

A chocolate and nut butter fudge-like coating covered the frozen banana slices, which I topped with slightly bitter cacao nibs. These weren’t overly sweet, as the mister pointed out. He was hoping for something that reminded him of a candy bar like taste. If you’re looking for that added sweetness I would add more sweetener as needed and taste as you go. For me, the sweetness was perfect. As I bit into my chocolate covered banana slice, it seemed like I was eating a creamy banana popsicle coated with fudge. I’ll take it as an after dinner snack any day! Read on for the recipe!

Ingredients for chocolate banana bites: 
 *Makes about 20-25+ banana bites
3 ripe bananas, sliced 1/2 inch thick (feel free to use another banana if you have extra chocolate coating leftover)
1/2 cup of almond butter
 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
 1 tbsp of virgin coconut oil, melted
 1 tbsp of agave nectar
 2-3 tbsp almond milk (or the milk of your choice) *amount depends on the consistency of the chocolate mixture, if it is too thick to cover and coat the banana slices then add the extra tablespoon of almond milk to thin it out
 1 tbsp of cacao nibs for sprinkling (sub mini chocolate chips if you don’t have cacao pieces)
1- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, slice your bananas and set them off to the side.
2- Add the almond butter, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and agave nectar to a bowl. Mix together. At this point, the nut butter mixture will be very thick. Add one tablespoon of almond milk at a time until the batter reaches a consistency, which will allow you to coat the banana slices. I added three tablespoons of almond milk and the consistency of the chocolate mixture was similar to that of brownie batter, but a little thicker.
3- Either add all of the banana slices to the batter and stir them up and take them out one at a time with a fork OR you can place them in the batter and coat them one at a time (pulling them out with a fork). I tried both techniques. The first was a bit faster.
4- Top with cacao nibs and freeze for 1.5 hours (they are still great after a day+ in the freezer, just don’t let them sit out too long). *NOTE: Don’t let these sit out too long or they will become melted and soft.
These would be perfect as a sweet after dinner dessert or to take to a family picnic as the weather gets warmer. Let me know what you think!

Almond Joy Flavored Popcorn

almond joy popcorn


Sometimes I need a little evening pick me up. This almond joy inspired popcorn is a fairly healthy recipe that does just that. This light light as air snack is hardly over the top, as the popcorn recipe produces subtle flavors of coconut and chocolate. Which foods do you look to when you crave a healthy treat?

Ingredients for almond joy popcorn:
*Yields about 3 cups of popcorn
1 tbsp of virgin coconut oil, melted
1/8 of a cup of popcorn kernels
1 tsp of coconut butter, melted (I used Earth Balance’s coconut spread)
1 1/2 tsp of coconut sugar
1 tbsp of melted vegan dark chocolate
1 tbsp of cacao nibs
1/8 cup of slivered almonds
1- Melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan or sauce pan. When the coconut oil is melted add 2-3 kernels to the pan.
2- When the kernels begin to pop, add the rest of the kernels. Keep the pan moving as the popcorn pops.
3- When the corn is done popping, take it off the heat. Pour it into a medium sized bowl and pour over the melted coconut butter. Then sprinkle the coconut sugar on the popcorn and stir.
4- Drizzle the melted chocolate on and spread the slivered almonds and cacao nibs over the top. Then stir once more and serve.
In case you missed my post on the raw almond joy bars I made, which were created by rawmazing, here is the link!


Melt-in-Your-Mouth Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip oatmeal cookies


I was craving oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The buttery-flavored kind that I remembered eating as a child. I wanted to smell that sweet aroma that fills the kitchen just a few minutes before the oven timer beeps. The zucchini oatmeal breakfast cookies that I made earlier in the week just didn’t satisfy that craving. They tasted too health conscious (if there is such a thing). They lacked the flavor of the chocolate chips and the distinctly crisp yet soft texture of oatmeal cookies that have all of those rich and over-processed ingredients.

As I searched for oatmeal cookie recipes on my laptop, I was appalled by the amount of white sugar and fatty butter I found in each recipe. One recipe actually called for two cups of butter and while I’m sure they would taste wonderful, I wasn’t quite sold on thinking about the tablespoon of butter I would be eating each time I picked up a cookie. I wanted to cut out the artery-clogging fat and the large amount of processed sugar in each cookie. So, I thought, why not create a near guilt-free cookie? One that would be highly-flavored and with crisp edges that led to a soft gooey center.


After my disastrous pancake episode earlier in the day, I wasn’t leaving the outcome of these cookies up to chance. Since all of these drop-cookies didn’t fit on the baking sheet, I put two in a small loaf pan and tested those first. I wanted to make sure the batter wasn’t too dry and that the end result would more than satisfy my sugar-loving taste buds.

The verdict? Without any butter, eggs, or table sugar, these cookies had a buttery flavor that came from the combination of using coconut oil instead of butter and sucanat instead of sugar (which has the flavor of brown sugar). As I neared the center of these precious gems, the soft cookie crumbled into my mouth, the taste, fully appeasing my week-long craving. The rolled oats towards the outside of the cookie added that promised crunch I desired. I was in such a good mood from the making and eating of these cookies that I only laughed when I came into the bedroom and saw my dog, Maxi, chewing holes into my white, cotton , lace-trimmed underwear. Sadly, it’s not the first time he’s done this. He seems to have an affinity for my panties. I’ve even seen him just walking around the house with them. It’s weird, but also slightly hilarious to think of this small cockapoo creeping around the house with my underwear in his mouth!

Back to the cookies! I’m guessing that if you make these, you’ll find reasons to keep coming back into the kitchen and that somehow you’ll just keep picking up another cookie each time. I mean they’re healthy right? Indulge a little.

These were just out of the oven and nearly ready to be eaten!

These were just out of the oven and nearly ready to be eaten!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies: 

*Lightly adapted from the chewy chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe found at

*Makes about 14 cookies (recipe can easily be doubled to make more cookies, I just didn’t want to have 28 cookies laying around in the house – it seemed deadly since only two of us live here)

3/4 cup of oat flour (GF if you prefer, or if you don’t have oat flour white/wheat might work also)

1 1/2 cups of rolled oats

1 tsp of baking soda (*not sure if it needs baking soda, because they don’t really rise due to the denseness of the oat batter)

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1/4 – 1/2 tsp of sea salt

3/4 cup of vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Whole Foods 365 brand, which naturally has no dairy)

1 mashed banana

1/2 a cup of sucanat (I used the Wholesome Sweeteners brand, though I’m sure you could use regular brown sugar or turbinado sugar)

1/4 of a cup of coconut oil, packed in the measuring cup and then melted

1 tsp of vanilla extract


1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then whisk the flour, oats, chocolate chips, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.

2- In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and then add the sucanat to them.

3- Melt the coconut oil and add it to the banana mixture. I melted mine in the microwave for about 1 minute. You can also stir in the vanilla at this time.

4- Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Make sure you stir the batter enough so all of the oats are coated by the wet ingredients. Note that the batter won’t be overly moist or doughy (no need to worry, since that is the way it is supposed to be).

5- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

5- On a lined baking sheet, drop cookies onto a baking sheet using a tablespoon. You may have to form them a bit just to make sure that all of the cookie stays together (as the batter crumbles easily before baking).

6- Bake for about 10 minutes (depending on your oven). When they are finished the bottom should be a golden brown color and the top should begin to brown.

7- Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for about five minutes and then move them over to a cooling rack for five minutes or so. Note that the cookies are fragile when they immediately come out of the oven, so be gentle when taking them off of the cookie sheet.

Do you have any favorite healthy dessert recipes that you’ve made or any healthy baking tips? As always, enjoy the recipe and let me know how the oatmeal cookies turn out, if you make them!



Whole Grain Banana Pancakes: Giving New Life to Old Bananas

The unintentional heart-shaped final product.

The unintentional heart-shaped final product.

A mouth-watering breakfast is one of the simple pleasures I enjoy most. It could consist of a vegetable omelet, fresh fruit salad, cinnamon flavored french toast, or pancakes.  Today, I opted to make my favorite recipe for banana pancakes. Even my fiancee, Eric, couldn’t help but get up as soon as he smelled them cooking. The aroma is subtly sweet, just as the flavor is. In the past, when I’ve made whole grain pancakes they tasted like a piece of wheat bread instead of like of like the pancakes I grew up tasting (which were unfortunately not healthy, but were lightly sweet and delicious). Then I stumbled upon this recipe. I’ve been using it ever since. The breakfast cakes always taste of bananas with subtle hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. Sometimes I vary the recipe depending on the ingredients I have. As promised I made sure to use coconut oil in this recipe and they came out just as delicious as they usually do (when I’ve used butter).

UPDATE: Recently after doing some online research, I learned that using oat flour on its own can lead to a gummy end product. Supposedly mixing oat flour with rice four can create a more even texture in baked goods. If you try these pancakes with oat flour you may either want to use less liquid ingredients or do a half and half mix with rice four for a better texture.

Ingredients for heart healthy whole grain banana pancakes: 

*Recipe from

*Serves 2-3 / Cook/prep time: 20 – 25 minutes

1 cup of whole wheat, oat flour, or GF oat flour

1/4 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 tsp of nutmeg

3 ripe bananas, mashed

2 tbsp of coconut oil melted

1 tsp of honey or maple syrup

1 tbsp of fresh lemon or lime juice (about 1 the juice from 1 lemon or lime)

2 eggs

1- Mix all of the dry ingredients together in one bowl.

2- In a separate bowl, mash the bananas. Then add in the other wet ingredients listed after the bananas on the ingredient list. Mix well.

3- Meanwhile heat a frying pan to medium heat and melt a little bit more coconut oil in the bottom.

4- Add the dry ingredients. Stir until they are incorporated with the wet ingredients.

5- Add the 1/2 cup size scoops to the frying pan. You may have to spread them out a little bit with the measuring cup to flatten them out (as the batter will be thick). Cook them for about 4 minutes on one side (or until the bottom starts to brown and the top starts to slightly bubble – they do not get as bubbly as normal pancakes). On the other side cook them for about 1-2 minutes, or until they start to become slightly brown.

*On a side note, I think that you could use applesauce instead of bananas if you wanted to make apple pancakes, but I haven’t experimented with that yet.

Lastly, top with your favorite pancake toppings like fresh Vermont-made maple syrup. Feel free to post any of your favorite breakfast recipes below!

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