Almond Joy Banana Bread

Almond Joy Banana Bread

If you love almonds, coconut and chocolate, you’re almost certainly an Almond Joy fan.

The candy bar, Almond Joy first hit the chocolate bar seen in the 1940’s and was produced by Peter Paul.

Who doesn’t remember the Peter Paul T.V. advertisement of 1970 with the jingle –

“Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t – Almond Joy’s got nuts – Mounds don’t.”

In 2002, the jingle was inducted into the Hall of Fame – category, Advertising Slogan.

Today the Almond Joy candy bar is manufactured by Hershey’s who bought Peter Paul in 1988.

The Almond Joy has had a lot of influence on the making of many dessert recipes.

Such as…..

  • Almond Joy Cookies
  • Almond Joy Truffles – homemade
  • Almond Joy Fudge
  • Almond Joy Over Night Oats

So many recipes, oh and let’s not for get, Almond Joy Banana Bread.

Lots of dark chocolate, sweetened coconut, and banana flavor. With lots of chopped roasted almonds.

A Slice Of Almond Joy Banana Bread

What makes this banana bread so deliciously yummy, is there is no milk and vegetable oil.

But rather coconut milk. Oh too Joy!!

Almond Joy Banana Bread

2 cups flour

1½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 can 13.66 fl oz coconut milk

1 cups brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup (2-3) ripe bananas, mashed 

1/2 cup coconut, sweetened shredded

1 cup roasted almonds, chopped

1/3 cup unsweetened dark chocolate, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Lightly grease with coconut oil a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle in 1-2 teaspoons of sugar and shake pan back and forth to coat the sugar to sides and bottom of loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, beat coconut milk, sugar and eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add bananas. Beat on low speed until well blended.

Gradually mix wet ingredients into flour mixture.

Next add almonds, coconut and shredded chocolate. Mix softly till incorporated.

Pour batter into the loaf pan.

If desired peel and slice vertically a yellow banana place on top of bread mixture, rounded side down.

Place a few roasted whole almonds on top as well as sprinkle some shredded chocolate.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and completely cool on a wire rack. Before cutting into (a serrated knife is recommended).

More recipes with chocolate, almonds, coconut and bananas.

Vegan Hot Chocolate

Herb Chicken Cranberry Almond Salad

Coconut Pecan Sugar Cookies

Banana Pecan Upside-Down Cake


Pecans & Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Pecans & Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Did you know that over 110 million tons of bananas are grown and sold every year.

That’s a lot of banana bread.

Yep, bananas aren’t just for monkeys. In fact, among humans, they’re one of the most popular fruits in the world .

They’re delicious, inexpensive, and they even come in their own convenient packaging.

Making a banana bread doesn’t require exclusive items the likes of which a souffle or tart would.

Simple pantry items like flour, milk, eggs and baking powder found in most pantries are and can be combined with over ripened bananas to make a sweet bread or banana bread.

Good Things About Bananas

The banana is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with energy-giving carbohydrates and heart-healthy potassium.

Bananas contain sugar in the form of sucrose, fructose and glucose in combination with fibre, this allows them to supply an instant yet sustained boost of energy.

A medium banana has 3 grams of fiber.

Bananas contain resistant starch, a type of fiber that is a prebiotic.

Prebiotics escape digestion and end up in your large intestine, where they become food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Read more here about How to Make Really Moist Banana Bread

Pecan & Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Banana Bread

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

½ cup light brown sugar

1 egg

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ripe bananas

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Filling

4 ounce cream cheese, softened

1 egg

¼ cup white sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup Heath bar pieces

sliced Pecans & Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a glass 9×5-inch loaf pan.

Combine butter, brown sugar, 1 egg, sour cream, 1/4 cup white sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Mix until smooth.

Mash in bananas using a fork. Whisk in 1 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until just combined.

In a small bowl mix together cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 cup white sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, pecans, and Heath bar pieces.

Pour half of the banana mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on top. Pour remaining banana mixture over cream cheese mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven until top is firm, about 50 minutes. Cool in the pan, about 5 minutes.

Pecans & Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Another deliciously yummy banana bread –

Pecan Buttermilk Banana Bread

You can also bake some bananas right into this scrumptious good to the last bite Sour Cream Blueberry Banana Cheesecake.


Love Dessert Again With These Grain-Free Gluten-Free Sweets

Love Dessert Again With These Grain-Free Gluten-Free Sweets

Love dessert but it makes you bloat, have indigestion, fatigue, brain fog, irritability among other things?

Grains may not be as healthy as we all have been lead to believe – How So?

The Problems With Eating Grains

Grains contain anti-nutrients, like phytates, and lectins.

Phytates bind to essential minerals and essential digestive enzymes in the digestive tract rendering them non-available or in active for absorption or digesting food properly (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry).

Lectins compromise the integrity of the intestinal lining, increasing gut permeability and encouraging the spread of bad bacteria.

Lectin sensitivity is the way your body’s immune system responds to the compromise of the digestive tract.

If you are experiencing lectin sensitivity, you may notice one or a combination of the following:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Ultimately a comprised intestinal tract is associated with just about every autoimmune disease.

Gluten-Free & Grain-Free Desserts

Why not try gluten-free and grain-free alternative flours.

Like almond, coconut, garbanzo bean, amaranth and flax seed flours.

Sorghum and Teff are grains milled into flour. Both are by nature gluten-free.

Teff grains are so small, it’s hard to remove the bran and germ during the milling process and because of this, milled teff is a whole grain gluten-free flour.

A Mixing Bowl With Grain-Free and Gluten-Free Flour Alternatives

Try these grain-free, gluten-free sweets and love dessert again.


Pumpkin Pecan Coconut Cake with Cardamom Whipped Cream

Pumpkin Pecan Coconut Cake With Cardamom Whipped Cream

Some have asked if a pumpkin is a fruit or vegetable?

A pumpkin, according to The Botanical Society of America, is a fruit because it’s a product of the seed-bearing structure of flowering plants.

Vegetables, on the other hand, are the edible portion of plants such as leaves, stems, roots, bullbs, flowers, and tubers.

Simply put, a fruit contains its seeds, were as vegetable has no seeds.

How The Pumpkin Got It’s Name

The word pumpkin originates from the Greek word pepon, which means “large melon”, something round and large.

The French adapted this word to pompon, which the British changed to pumpion and later the American colonists adapted the word pumpkin.


Try Some Mexican Desserts to Satisfy Any Sweet Tooth


Pumpkin Pecan Coconut Cake with Cardamom Whipped Cream

Spices are an essential ingredient for fall baking, especially pumpkin pie spice.

This dessert cake though, is not your typical pumpkin spice cake.

The cake contains coconut, which plays off the pumpkin in texture and flavor beautifully.

Close up sopped bite of cake and whipped cream

The pumpkin cake is also topped with whipped heavy cream incorporated with cardamom and sweet shredded coconut,

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup shredded coconut

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

4 large eggs

3/4 cup coconut oil

1 cup granulated sugar

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, coconut, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

In a separate large bowl, add eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin puree and beat with an electric mixer until well combined.

Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and beat on low until just combined. Stir in chopped nuts and spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake until center has set, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Slice and serve topped with fresh whipped cream.


For The Coconut an Pecan Lovers: Coconut Pecan Sugar Cookies


Topping: Fresh Whipped Cream with Cardamom

Fresh whipped cream with Cardamom

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioners sugar 

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon

Place a large metal bowl with an electric stand or hand beater whipper attachment into the freezer, about 10 minutes.

Metal mixing bowl with whipper attachment
Metal Mixing Bowl and Whipper Attachment

Bowl and whipper along with cream need to be cold, so that the cream whips up fast.

A room temperature bowl and whipper attachment will take longer to whip up the cream.

Add heavy cream to cold bowl. Whip until lite peaks form.

Add powered sugar, cardamom, and coconut. Continue with whipping to incorporate. Whip until picks are firm.

Top whipped cream over s slice of pumpkin cake. Save leftover whipped cream in the refrigerator in an air tight container. Use within 5 days.

Banana Pecan Upside-Down Cake

When you think of an upside-down cake likely images of a cake topped with canned pineapple rings, each studded with a bright red maraschino cherry comes to mind.

A pineapple upside-down cake is the classic iteration, but you’re definitely not limited to just pineapple.  

Upside-down cakes can feature seasonal fruits like peaches, blueberries, cherries, or fruits available all year long, like apples, pears or bananas.


You can even use Blood Oranges (when in season) – Blood Orange Upside Down Cake


And you are also not limited to just fruit. You can also use nuts, like pecans, almonds, or walnuts and even white chocolate chips and shredded coconut.

Banana Pecan Up-Side Down Cake

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup pecan halves

4 medium firm bananas, sliced

For the bananas, it’s best to use them before they get brown spots on them.

Cake:

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup Greek yogurt, plain or 1/2 cup whole milk

In a small saucepan, combine and bring to a boil the brown sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and butter.

Reduce heat to medium and cook without stirring until sugar is dissolved.


Pour into a parchment paper lined 9-in. springform pan. Sprinkle with pecans.

Brush banana halves with remaining lemon juice. Arrange bananas in a circular pattern over the pecans and one layer high on the sides. Set aside.


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Spoon over bananas.


Bake at 375° until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.

Run a knife around edge of pan than invert cake onto a serving plate. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

You can also make this recipe using four (4) individual 5-inch spring form pans.

You like up-side down cakes? Then you’ll love Peach Upside Down Cake

Paleo Classic Walnut Brownies

Paleo Classic Walnut Brownirs

These classic walnut brownies are dense and chewy instead of cake-like, and have a delicious deep chocolatey taste.

And the coconut sugar gives these brownies a hint of fruitless.

This Paleo recipe though it doesn’t use traditional all purpose white flour – will still fill the air of your house with a chocolatey aroma while it bakes.

Go head and indulge in a brownie dessert without all the added junk.

holding a piece of walnut brownie over glass of milk

Take a bite of these perfect low-carb classic walnut brownies and fulfill your sweet tooth cravings.

Paleo Classic Walnut Brownies

3/4 cup walnut halves and pieces, divided

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate

1 cup almond flour

1 cup coconut sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Chop and toast 1/2 cup walnuts on 350 degrees F. until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Line a 8x8x2 inch deep baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small saucepan, over low heat, add the oil and chocolate. Stir together until oil has melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour and coconut sugar and mix until well incorporated.

Next add the eggs and vanilla and mix until completely combined. Fold in the toasted walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly to fit the dish.

raw baking dish Paleo Classic Walnut Brownies

Use the remaining walnuts to top the batter.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove brownies from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Fresh from oven Paleo Classic Walnut Brownies

Get more Paleo dessert recipes HERE and read more about the Paleo Diet.

Blueberry Maple Cinnamon Muffins

Blueberry Maple Cinnamon Muffins

Maple combined with a subtle touch of cinnamon and some blueberries gives these muffins the flavor of blueberry pancakes with maple syrup.

Spoon with  blueberry  muffin and yogurt

The word muffin (in the US) is often used for small, round breads with a sweet taste.

Quick breads are chemically leavened (baking soda or baking powder) as opposed to yeast leavened breads.

The word muffin comes from the French word ‘moufflet.’ However, the origin of the muffin is not from France.

The original muffin comes from England, and are called English muffins.

English muffin with jam and butter

Muffins, as prepared in US bakeries and homes, include both savoury varieties, such as cornmeal and cheese muffins, and sweet varieties such as blueberry, chocolate chip, lemon or banana flavors.


Try These Muffin/Cupcake Recipes

Blueberry Muffins Paleo Style

Dark Cocoa Banana Muffins


Muffins can range from lightly sweetened to products that are “richer than many cakes in fat and sugar.”

Blueberry Maple Cinnamon Muffins  in a baking pan

Three states have adopted “The Official State Muffin.” These include:

Official  state muffins

Minnesota – Blueberry Muffin

Massachusetts – Corn Muffin

New York – Apple Muffin

Blueberry Maple Cinnamon Muffins

In this recipe we opted to use heavy cream in place of milk and Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

Blueberry Maple Cinnamon Muffins  warm on a plate

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup sour cream

1 large egg, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

TOPPING:

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons maple sugar, regular sugar can be used

2 tablespoons quick oats, can opt for chopped nuts

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons cold butter

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, combine milk, butter, syrup, sour cream, egg and vanilla.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened (with heavy cream batter will be a bit thick).


Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

For topping, combine flour, sugar, oats, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.

Blueberry muffin with crumbled topping

Bake 16-20 minutes for cupcakes or 30-35 minutes for muffins. Or bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes before removing from baking pan. Serve warm with butter or top with vanilla ice cream.

You can also opt for Greek yogurt, blueberries and maple syrup.

Blueberry Maple Cinnamon  Muffin served with yogurt and blueberries

Pecan Praline Bar Cookies

According to Wikipedia’s research, praline is is a form of confection containing at a minimum culinary nuts, usually almonds and hazelnuts, and sugar. Cream is also a common third ingredient.

Homemade Praline with Chopped Pecans

There are three types:

  • Belgian
  • French
  • American
Belgian Praline Sweets

Praline is prepared and used as a filling in chocolates and other sweets.

A praline cookie is usually a cookie base topped with praline and nuts.

Pecan Praline Cookiephoto source: the view from great island

Preparing and Baking Pecan Praline Cookie Bars

The same as a cookie but only in a bar. The cookie or bars have a shortbread base.

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter

 2 cups flour

 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

 1/3 cup honey

2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

 2 cups pecan pieces

Baking Instructions

Heat oven to 350°F.

To prepare crust place flour, 3/4 cup butter, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in food processor and pulse until mixture forms small lumps.

Place in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and pat crust mixture evenly across bottom of baking dish.

Bake 20 minutes or until light golden. Remove from oven.

While crust bakes, melt remaining butter in a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.

Stir in honey and cream, then dissolve remaining brown sugar. Bring to a boil.

Cook 1 minute, remove from heat and stir in pecans.

Pour topping evenly over hot crust.

Return to oven and bake 20 minutes longer or until topping is browned and bubbling.

Let cool for about 15-20 minutes – than cut into squares and serve.

Optional to serve with vanilla ice cream.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

The blood orange is a member of the citrus family, it is both beautiful in color and delicious in flavor.

They are in season from December through May, though the exact months vary depending on what type of blood Orange you’re baking or cooking with.

The most common variety available in markets is the the Moro variety.

Moro Blood Orange

The Moro blood orange is the most colorful of the blood oranges, with a deep red flesh and a rind with a bright red blush.

The deep red flesh means the orange ranges in color from orange veined ruby coloration, to vermilion, to vivid crimson, to nearly black.

Different Hues of the Blood Orange

The flavor is stronger and the aroma is more intense than a normal orange. The fruit has a distinct, sweet flavor with a hint of raspberry.

Are Blood Oranges Naturally Red

Author Harold McGee explains in his book “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen” – that a blood orange owes the deep maroon color of their juice to anthocyanin pigments, which develop only when night temperatures are low, in the Mediterranean autumn and winter.”

On Food and Cooking

What are anthocyanin pigments? The pigment is found naturally in a number of eatable plants.

These pigments are what produces the red, purple, and blue coloring of eatable plants, such as the blueberry, cherry, and strawberry among others.

The anthocyanin pigments will only develop when temperatures are low at night, as during the Mediterranean fall and winter.

In addition to acting an antioxidant, anthocyanins help fight free radicals, and are found to offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.

Nutritional Value of The Blood Orange

A fresh blood orange is a rich source of vitamins C (20% or greater of the Daily Value), a moderate source of folate (15% of the Daily Value) and dietary fiber.

The orange also has potassium, which is needed for healthy blood pressure and the absorption of zinc.

Interesting Facts About The Blood Orange

Within Europe, the arancia rossa di Sicilia, or the red orange of Sicily, has Protected Geographical Status.

According to The National Gardening Association, the flavor of blood oranges is essentially a cross between an orange and a raspberry.

garden.org

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

This recipe is baked in a 9-inch spring form pan. But we used four, 5-inch spring form pans. Using this size is up to you, but using them makes individual small sized cakes.

Cakes this size are great for serving at gathers, tea parties, and brunch.

5-inch sized Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

• 2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 2/3 cup light brown sugar

• 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

• 4 medium-sized blood oranges

• 1 cup fine cornmeal, may sub almond flour

• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup granulated sugar

• 4 large eggs, at room temperature

• ⅓ cup sour cream

• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place a 9 inch round piece parchment paper into a 9-inch round spring form pan.

Note: If using the 5-inch spring forms – do the same and place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of pans.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add the brown sugar and lemon juice. Stir until sugar melts, about 3 minutes. Scrape mixture into bottom of prepared pan (pans).

Grate 1/2 teaspoon zest from one of the oranges, then slice off the tops and bottoms of oranges.

Place oranges on a clean, flat surface, and slice away the rind and pith, top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit.

Slice each orange crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick wheels and discard any seeds.

Arrange orange wheels on top of brown sugar mixture in a single, tight layer.

In a large bowl, whisk together orange zest, cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, cream together remaining 2 sticks butter with granulated sugar. Beat in eggs, one a time, then beat in sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the dry mixture by hand.

Scrape batter into pan (pans) over oranges. Transfer to oven and bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then run a knife along pan’s edges to loosen it. Unlock side of pan and remove.

Next, invert cake onto a platter and cool completely before serving.

Coconut Pecan Sugar Cookies

Originally, cookies had one purpose in the kitchen as bakers used them to test the oven by baking small amounts of cake batter before baking an entire cake.

Since then, these “small cakes” have evolved and now hundreds of recipes for cookies are available today – which includes the Sugar Cookie.

The Sugar Cookie made its debut in the 1700’s by German settlers to Pennsylvania (USA) and the cookies were an instant success.

Since that time, sugar cookies have become popular at Christmas and Halloween time and including Arbor Day and Groundhog Day in the U.S.

GROUNDHOG DAY COOKIES – Photo Credit: Fork and Beans

Sugar cookie dough is easy to work with (usually just 3 or 4 ingredients) as the dough holds its shape during the baking process. It is also a great cookie recipe to work with because it contains no baking soda.

Although they are frequently eaten straight from the oven, the sugar cookie can be frosted, sprinkled, and cut into any shape for added eating fun.

Though sugar cookies are about 2 to 3 round, you can also make them bite sized.

And that is what we did with this recipe, Coconut Pecan Sugar Cookies – sandwich style. They are topped with pecan bits and powdered sugar. And between the two cookies are shredded coconut, Heath bar bits and sweet milk.

Making Coconut Pecan Sugar Cookies

You will need:

1 (17 ½ oz.) sugar cookie mix
1 cup shredded coconut 1/4 cup Heath bar bites
1/2 cup pecan halves, finely chopped
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

In a large bowl add the cookie mix, butter and egg. Mix until dough thickens.

On a floured surface with a roller spread dough to ¼ inch thick.

Cut out cookies with a cookie mold – about 1 to 2 inches in diameter.

Place cookies on non-stick cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

Next mix coconut and Heath bar bites with sweet milk and set aside.

Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool one minute on cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack until they cool completely.

To assemble the sandwiches smear 1 tsp. of coconut – sweet milk mix onto 12 cookies. On the other 12 cookies dab a little sweet milk, and then put cookies together forming a sandwich.

Top cookies with chopped pecan pieces and top that with powdered sugar. Store cookies in an air tight container.

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