Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

bananacookies1You should probably make these if you:

  • Have a couple mushy old bananas
  • Don’t feel like eating/making/washing the pan for a loaf banana bread
  • Want a sweet little goodie that’s easy to make
  • Are a monkey with access to a kitchen

What a pleasant surprise this recipe was! The resulting cookies taste like mini chocolate chip banana bread, and don’t have that wet, grainy texture that some other paleo banana/almond flour baked goods end up having. They obviously contain “paleoish” chocolate chips, but if you’re being strict you could replace them with walnuts or pecans and I bet they’d still be tasty. I haven’t tried that, so you can be a recipe pioneer on your own, you adventurous soul, you!

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
Modified from: http://cavegirlinthecity.com/banana-chip-splatter-cookies/
Makes 18 small cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour (I like Honeyville or Bob’s Red Mill brands)
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips OR chopped up super dark (85%) chocolate without dairy or soy

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat (or grease it with coconut oil).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas (I use a whisk to smash/stir). Mix in the egg and vanilla and whisk until any remaining chunks of banana are very small.
  3. Add the almond flour, shredded coconut, cinnamon, and baking powder. Mix to combine. (Note: The dough will be pretty wet, but if it’s looking so soupy that it would spread into a puddle on a baking sheet, add a bit more almond flour until it’s thick enough that it doesn’t spread.)
  4. Form about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time into small mounds on the baking sheet – it will be a bit too wet to form into balls like normal chocolate chip cookies.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Salad with Mint and Hazelnuts

IMG_5872This is a bright, light salad from Bon Appetit magazine that is fantastic to serve as a healthy dessert (and one that isn’t full of nut flour – hooray!). I brought it to a Mother’s Day brunch back in the spring and it was a big hit!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Salad with Mint and Hazelnuts, modified from Bon Appetit recipe

Ingredients

  • ½ cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (I know, I know – added sugar, but you really need it to balance the sourness of the rhubarb)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled, quartered
  • ¼ cup torn fresh mint leaves

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then chop.

Meanwhile, toss rhubarb, maple syrup, orange juice, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Let sit until rhubarb is slightly softened and releases its juices, about 30 minutes. Toss with strawberries, mint, and hazelnuts. If you’re ok with dairy, this is great with fresh whipped cream from grass-fed cows.

Chocolate Banana Coconut Custard

I made this decadent paleo chocolate custard yesterday as a birthday surprise for my mom – Happy Birthday, Mumsy! My friend EC came through in a mini-emergency last Saturday and made this for our paleo potluck dinner (after I sliced the corner off my finger using a mandoline and couldn’t make tropical macaroons). Aaaanyway, the custard was so dreamy that I was thinking about it all week. When you’re trying to stay strict paleo and staring down a chocolate craving, it hits the spot.

A word of advice on this one: try not to pound more than a small serving because as good as it tastes in the moment, you’ll probably end up feeling queasy within about 5 minutes (maybe because of the amount of coconut oil that makes this a rich treat). Trust me on this. I’ve done it twice and both times wished I had pumped the brakes and exercised this unfamiliar thing called portion control. I’m going to file that under “Lesson Learned” (along with the importance of mandoline safety).

chocolate custardChocolate Banana Coconut Custard, from Fast Paleo

Serves 1 – just multiply the recipe for more people. The recipe calls for hand whisking, but you can also make this in a stand mixer, using a hand mixer, or in a food processor for a really smooth texture.

  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 2 Tbs almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • splash vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs raw cacao powder (I used cocoa powder and it came out great)

Instructions

  1. Mash banana with fork until creamy.
  2. Add almond butter, stir until well incorporated.
  3. Add melted coconut oil and vanilla extract, briskly mix using small wire whisk. (Use your muscles here to really smooth out the mixture with any remaining banana chunks.)
  4. Add cacao powder, whisk again and until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow coconut oil to set and thicken the mixture.

Eat as-is or top with berries, shredded coconut, chopped pecans – whatever you’d like!

Tropical Macaroons with Pineapple

This weekend was spectacular, in that I pretty much just cooked, laughed until my face hurt with great friends (and no alcohol. Whaaaat?), and watched a bunch of playoff football. Awesome.

Maybe I wasn’t tempted to cheat on the Paleo Challenge because I stayed away from bars and restaurants and anyone not eating like a cavewoman, but still – I’ll take it as a victory. It was also a success thanks to a paleo potluck with friends who 1) came up with some delicious and easy recipes I’ll be sharing on here soon and 2) make drinking water and playing games even more fun than a night on the town. Yes! Here’s a little no-cheat treat we made for dessert—Tropical Macaroons from Everyday Paleo. I might whip up another half-batch this week…

Tropical Macaroons, from Everyday Paleo

Makes 18–20 macaroons

Photo from EverydayPaleo.com

Photo from EverydayPaleo.com

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 cups finely shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups finely diced fresh pineapple (or chopped up Trader Joe’s frozen pineapple tidbits)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325. In a medium size skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the finely diced pineapple to the hot oil and cook until all the liquid is evaporated from the pineapple and the fruit is golden brown and caramelized.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl with a hand held mixer or in a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Gently fold in the shredded coconut.  Add the pineapple and coconut milk and mix well.  Grease a baking sheet with more coconut oil and form the macaroons into golf ball size cookies.  Press gently onto the cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden in spots.