Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut bread (vegan & soy free)

Fall puts me in a baking mood. I would be in the kitchen baking up a storm everyday if my waistline wouldn’t object and I had an extra source of income to feed my addiction! (and someone to wash all of my dishes, of course!) Today was another one of those perfect, fall days. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and Olive spent all day lying on the deck. We had a few overripe bananas on the counter, and so banana bread it was!

For my birthday this year my sister gave me the Sticky Fingers’ Sweets cookbook. I was elated! So I grabbed the book today and checked the index for bananas. In it was a recipe for banana bread! Sold. I made a few changes, of course, as I always like to make it my own in some way. I also appreciate that the recipe uses ounces for ingredients. I feel like that leads to a much more consistent product.

This was a great way to use bananas! The bread has a great crust on the outside, and soft, moist inside. Just the way I like it! This is perfectly respectable all on it’s own, but it’s great with a slather of your favorite vegan butter! YUM.

Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread (Vegan)

Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread
2 ounces coconut oil, in solid form
4 ounces evaporated cane juice
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 ounces ripe banana (this was about 2 1/2 bananas for me)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
10.25 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts*
1/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, evaporated cane juice and vanilla until creamy. Add bananas and mix until the bananas are completely mashed. Slowly add almond milk and mix until incorporated. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until they just come together. Add walnuts and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for about 15 minutes before moving to cooling rack to cool completely.

(*to keep walnuts and chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the batter, toss with about 1 tsp all-purpose flour before adding to the batter)

Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread (Vegan)

Slice & enjoy!

Pumpkin Risotto (vegan & gluten free)

Nick and I have loved every recipe we’ve made from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen so far. I’ve already made MANY a non-vegan a believer of the Orange-Zested Chocolate Chip Scones. I love when that happens!

It’s been feeling a lot more like fall around here and so Nick and I have been craving a lot of warm, comforting dishes. This risotto fits the bill! It’s creamy, full of flavor and helps feed my crazy pumpkin cravings!

It takes a little bit of love (read: time) to make risotto, but as far as risottos go, this one is pretty low maintenance. If I can do it, so can you!

Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto
(recipe adapted from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen)
5 cups vegetable broth
3 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
1 T chopped fresh sage

In a medium saucepan, heat broth to a simmer and let simmer while preparing the risotto. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and sauté onion until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in rice and 1 cup of the warm broth. Reduce to the heat so the mixture simmers. Stir often, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat with another cup of broth and continuing stirring, adding additional broth 1 cup at a time, until the rice is tender. (about 20 minutes; you may not use all of the broth)

Pumpkin Risotto - 1

Once the rice is tender, stir in pumpkin, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once the mixture is heated through, stir in chopped sage and serve.

Pumpkin Risotto - 2

Enjoy!

High Five for Friday

It’s that time again. THE WEEKEND! What fun things you have planned?

Here are my top 5 for this week:

1. Nick and I took Olive to the park on both Saturday and Sunday for a long walk. The weather on Saturday was beautiful! The weather on Sunday was less than stellar, but it was great to get some exercise and some fresh air.

2. Olive graduated from Puppy Education on Tuesday night from PetSmart! She wasn’t sold on wearing her graduation cap, but she passed with flying colors! We start intermediate classes next month.
Puppy Education Graduate!

3. THIS FACE.
THIS FACE.

4. I baked some dog treat this week and Olive game them two paws up. Super easy, too! I took 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup buckwheat flour and about 8 oz of pumpkin puree and mixed it all together. Baked them until set and bam! All done. Vegan & gluten free! ;)

5. Last night Nick and I had a bunch of errands to run and stopped at our favorite falafel place for dinner. Oh, Oasis. SO GOOD!
Oasis

Have a fantastic weekend!

*Linking up with Lauren
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High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! It’s been a lovely, fall-like week around here. While I dread the upcoming winter (*sob*), I completely LOVE fall! It just makes me happy. And watching Olive run, play and chase leaves just makes my heart smile.

Here are my top five for this week:

1. We were going to take Olive for a drive on Saturday, but the wind caused us to make other plans. It was a beautiful day, but the 25+ mph winds were something of a downer. However, we made the most of it and took Olive to a local park and went for a hike. It was actually pretty nice amongst all the trees. I love this picture of Nick and Olive. She’s totally over it, as you can see. Haha!
These two.

2. After the park, we stopped at the Pumpkin Patch. Olive was afraid of the wagon we pulled our pumpkins in, but other than that, she had a grand time!
Pumpkin Patch

3. We went to brunch with my Lil Sis and her boyfriend on Sunday at the Trumpet Blossom Cafe. I ordered something new (look at me! growing!) and went with the Veggie-Potato Hash. DELISH. I devoured the whole thing.
Veggie Potato Hash at Trumpet Blossom Cafe

4. I love when Olive snuggles. She’s usually going 150mph, but it’s so sweet when she gives in to sleep.
Sleepy Olive

5. We had the Compassion Experience at our church on Sunday. We experienced the story of a young woman from Rwanda. It was very moving and definitely emotional. We were able to get an idea of what life is like for kids in the Compassion program. Nick and I sponsored another little girl from Brazil. She such a little doll! I wish I could hug her! Having four sponsored children is definitely a blessing to us.

Do you have fun plans for the weekend? Nick and I have nothing on the calendar and I’m excited! That’s when the fun stuff really happens. :)

Have a great weekend!

*Linking up with Lauren
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