Gooey Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free, no butter, no refined sugar!)

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Happy Monday!! Did you guys have a good weekend? Ours was pretty relaxed, but the weather turned SUPER winter in the DC area. We are even expecting snow next weekend which I am extra excited for since my mom and sister will be in town visiting for the holidays.

Now to these cookies…can you believe I snapped these pics with my phone? #vscocam for the win!! I dislike wasting anything (food, water, energy, time, etc)…but there is something about bananas where they just ripen too quickly for us to eat them and then they are black. What to do, what to do? I usually freeze the peeled bananas and save them for smoothies which is great or homemade banana ice cream (I know, yum!). But since it is fall/feels like winter, I am coming up with recipes to use them for baking.

Bananas have a lot of natural sugar so it’s so easy not to have to add a lot of additional sweeteners. I stay away from refined sugar as much as possible so I sweetened these with one cup of maple syrup (that’s it!). Rather than butter I chose coconut oil and I used oatmeal and gluten free all purpose flour for the base. They are very banana in taste (I love banana, though) and if you are a PB lover like I am, drizzle some warm Peanut butter on top and then die of love for these cookies.

Enjoy!

What you need:

  • 2 small-med overly ripened bananas
  • 1 Large Organic Egg
  • 1 Cup Maple Syrup (the good stuff!)
  • 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1.5 cups of gluten free old fashioned oats
  • 1.5 cups of all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 1 cup of organic chocolate chips or cacao chips (if using cacao chips, might want to add more sweetener such as agave!)

Directions:

  1. I used a kitchenaid but you can use a handheld mixer and one large bowl for this recipe. Combine the egg, bananas, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and beat on medium for about 3 minutes (should be on the runnier side than traditional cookies)
  2. Stop mixer, add oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and beat together for another minute.
  3. Stop, add chocolate chips and either hand mix with large spoon or beat on low to mix together.
  4. REFRIGERATE DOUGH FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS (up to 4 days!)
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit
  6. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet
  7. Using a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon scoop the dough and roll into little balls, placing on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-13 minutes depending on the ripeness of your bananas and how long you refrigerate you might want to taste test and cook some more!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you (and non-wasteful!!), xo!

Maui Helicopter Adventure

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I am having major Maui withdrawal today!! I wanted to share the AirMaui helicopter experience with you. It was by far the most incredible adventure we have done together. If you haven’t been in a helicopter before – Don’t be scared! I was surprised with how smooth the ride was. When you are ascending it feels almost like going up in an elevator. We were required to watch a mini safety video and to wear life jackets (pictured above). Our pilot, Richie, was awesome! He provided so much knowledge of the land as we flew above it — from pointing out Maui’s waterfalls which are home to one of the tallest waterfalls in the world, to learning about the Hawaiian heritage and history…we can see now why Maui is consistently rated a top island in the world.

I know this blog is mostly based on health — it’s important to do things that invigorate and excite you. Traveling and experiencing new things definitely fuels my spirit. Hope you guys enjoy the photos and let me know if you end up taking a helicopter ride sometime! I am deeply, deeply grateful for this experience and being able to share it with Kiril.

 

Here’s to a healthy and happy you, xo!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars, oh em gee.

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One more mommy, pleeeeease!

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Happy Monday! We left the DC area on Friday night and drove 14 hours straight to Florida (yes, it was soooo long.) Despite the drive I love coming down here to see family! I made these pumpkin bars before we left and brought them down with us for my parents and sister to enjoy. These were so yummy and easy to make. Definitely not overly sweet, more of a breakfast bar. I recommend drizzling almond butter over yours. I adapted a recipe I found at The Ambitious Kitchen…hope you all enjoy!

What you will need:

  • 3 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup organic canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • Shredded coconut for topping
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup mini vegan chocolate chips plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling on top (my little helper is a chocolate chip thief!)
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8×11 or 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare oat flour by putting oatmeal in blender or food processor and blend for a few minutes until all oats have been blended and mixture resembles flour.
  3. Measure 2 1/2 cups of the oat flour and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and banana and maple syrup for 1-2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Slowly add in oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in mini chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes and let cool briefly before slicing into squares
  7. Top with shredded coconut and serve as is or drizzle melted almond butter on top!

TIP: These bars can be frozen and reheated in conventional toaster or microwave…!

Perfect breakfast bar for fall! Hope you enjoy!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you, xo

 

Gluten Free Sesame Peanut Noodles

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It’s FRI-YAY!! Yesterday was a very busy day! By the time dinner rolled around I was so tempted to just order something, but the more I cook the less I seem to like eating out, especially to-go food! Since we are leaving today for Florida I decided to use whatever I could find in my fridge, and voila…Sesame Peanut Noodles were created. I had sweet potato noodles already spiraled from Wegmans and I was craving a dish that was sweet, salty and a little spicy for a balanced palate.

Let me know if you guys make this at home! It was so simple and all family members said it was one of their favorites (although Sofia will eat a cookie that fell on the ground so I am not so sure her opinion counts on this issue, haha). Enjoy!

What you will need:

  • 1 Small Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Organic Sesame Oil
  • Sesame Seeds for topping
  • Spiraled Sweet Potato Noodles
  • Brown Rice Noodles
  • Broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 Tsp fresh grated ginger
  • Zest and juice from half a lime
  • Thai Basil or regular basil (1 big handful or more!)
  • Pink Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Honey
  • Chili Garlic Sauce
  • Sriracha or Red Curry Paste to add spiciness (optional- I left this out because of Sofia)

Directions:

  1. Soak Sweet Potato noodles and rice noodles in water
  2. Boil Water with Salt for rice noodles
  3. Steam broccoli
  4. Mince Garlic, finely chop onion
  5. Boil rice noodles for 4 minutes
  6. Remove and pour cool water over to stop the cooking process
  7. In a large wok or pan, drizzle sesame oil and place garlic and onion in there stirring constantly for 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper
  8. Add fresh ginger, lime juice, zest, peanut butter, a teaspoon more of sesame oil
  9. Optional, add red curry paste or garlic chili sauce here to make spicy
  10. 2-3 minutes longer, when the mixture has become more sauce like, add the sweet potato and rice noodles
  11. Mix Sauce throughout, adding a little water if sauce is too thick
  12. Add broccoli and basil and continue to mix together
  13. Season with Cayenne, red pepper flakes, pepper
  14. Drizzle 1 tsp of honey, taste test! Add any other spices at this time for your palate!
  15. Serve and top with toasted sesame seeds and/or Sriracha

Bon apetit! Have a great weekend!! Follow me on Instagram: @missjessashley for instastories of our upcoming trips to Florida and Hawaii!!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you, xo!

Creamy, Spicy Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup (say that 3x fast)

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My little helper <3

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FALL is SOUP season. This Thai Butternut squash soup is so freaking yummy. I am sharing the vegetarian version, but you can easily add shrimp or chicken to this if you want! Sofia gets so excited to cook and bake with mommy, I always find a job for her to do in every recipe- it’s such a joy to share this with her. She’s also the best taste tester! What I love about this recipe is that it can be made as spicy as you’d like depending on the amount of curry paste you add- the flavors balance so nicely and it warms your whole body from the inside. The flavors also marinate well overnight so you can enjoy the next day or freeze (OMG YES) and save for later!!

What you will need:

  • 1 Can of Organic Coconut Milk (save a little for topping soup after!)
  • 4 cups of cubed butternut squash
  • 2 Cups of Organic Veggie Stock
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (this seriously makes the dish imo!)
  • 1 tablespoon red curry chili paste (or more if you’re up for it!)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • Pink Salt, Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Sriracha (for topping if you’d like it spicy)
  • A blender

Directions:

  1. Prepare the butternut squash (I LOVE to buy the one that’s already chopped up but in case you want to start from scratch).
    • Cut off each end of the squash
    • Peel the squash (Thank you Kiril for doing this part, it wasn’t that easy!!)
    • Cut and Cube, done! woo.
    • I found this video from The Kitchn here for additional help!
  2. Mince garlic, grate ginger, dice onion.
  3. Put tablespoon of coconut oil in large soup pot over medium heat.
  4. Place garlic and onion in pot, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes until onion is translucent and the smell is very fragrant! Season with pink salt and pepper.
  5. Add ginger and red curry paste (careful here, you can always add more later on after you taste test!)
  6. After another 3 minutes of continuous stirring add the cubes of butternut squash.
  7. Pour veggie stock directly over (it’s okay if it doesn’t cover all of the squash)
  8. Keep an eye on it until it starts to boil.
  9. Then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes, until squash is very tender.
  10. The tricky part here is to take the mixture in 2 batches, and blend in a blender. The consistency will be more like a puree.
  11. I like to pour the first blended batch into a bowl and then blend the second batch and pour both directly back into the soup pot.
  12. Once the contents are back in the pot, pour most of coconut milk in and mix together. Reserve the rest of the coconut milk for plating.
  13. Taste test and season with salt and pepper accordingly!
  14. Plate and top with Sriracha, coconut milk and cilantro!

This pairs really well with naan bread or coconut rice. Enjoy!!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

 

 

Life Hack #1 – Homemade Compost!

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Who doesn’t need a good life hack every now and then? Last week, Sofia and I made Gluten Free PB Banana Cupcakes  and we had banana peels and egg shells leftover. I decided that rather than throwing them away or put them in the food disposal, they could be repurposed! A few of our plants need some extra love so I decided we could make a super easy compost in the blender and voila…happy plants!

What you will need:

  • Egg Shells
  • Coffee Grinds
  • Banana Peels
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together adding water as necessary.
  2. Place spoonfuls on top of the soil.
  3. Water normally.
  4. Wait a few days, and the plants should be doing a little better!

I love finding ways to repurpose things and lessen our garbage output. This is a really great way to reduce and reuse 😉

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

Gluten-Free Almond Joy Granola (Bars)

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These granola (bars) are bomb. I accidentally just ate half- woops! These are a much healthier version of the “chewy bar” or the stuff you find at the grocery store. I wish I could call them BARS but they kind of crumble together and become yummy granola pieces. Apparently, this is because I adapted a recipe online that had brown sugar and butter and opted for coconut oil and maple syrup- so I will be experimenting in the future and coming back with another recipe. But in the meantime, here you go!

What you will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups of Gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup of Agave or Honey
  • 1/4 cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup – I actually think it was too sweet, next time I will add less!
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup (or more, who is counting anyways) of chocolate chips
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Place almonds and oats on a rimmed baking sheet
  3. Place in oven for 9 minutes (give or take) to gently toast
  4. In the meantime, in a small saucepan add the coconut oil, maple syrup and agave or honey
  5. When it has fully combined and started to bubble, remove from heat and add salt and vanilla extract
  6. Take the oat mix out of the oven and pour the mixture in sauce pan over the oats and almonds, coating generously…add the coconut and combine evenly. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before adding the chocolate chips!
  7. Use a spatula and make sure all oats/and additions are coated in the syrupy sauce
  8. Take a 9×9 pan and place aluminum or parchment paper, spray with non stick spray (I love the coconut oil one!)
  9. Place chocolate chips on the bottom of the pan
  10. Take mixture from pan and place in pan, pressing firmly with the spatula
  11. Top with coconut and chocolate chips
  12. Refrigerate for AT LEAST 2 hours… I took mine out a little early because I was craving a taste
  13. These hold up well in the fridge or freezer. You can store at room temperature but there are no preservatives so eat within a few days

Let me know what you guys think! Sofia loved to steal all the chocolate chips as pictured above.

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo