Hey guys, it’s Elianne & Alex ♥️

I love to test recipes with simple ingredients and try new things in the kitchen. I started to share what I do in the kitchen because of how many times I’ve heard people say they can’t bake or baking is too complicated. I want to inspire people to try to bake at home with simple and healthy ingredients. We all deserve to have a little dessert without having to feel so guilty afterwards.

It all became more real when my Godson, Alexander, was born. We were already very conscious with what ingredients we bring into our homes but it multiplied once we had Alexander around.

Turns out Alex, like all of us, loves his dessert! Here began the sugar-free, nasty-free, everything-free recipe hunt. Dates, bananas, coconut, and honey mixing and tasting till we get somewhere.

So I’m here for you! If you need any tips or recipes that are feel-good or healthy substitutes to your favorite desserts or if you want to request I try something too - I’m here! And I’ll keep sharing what I come up with.

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolatey Goodness

Ahhhh… if you love chocolate, bananas, and zero refined sugars - you will absolutely LOVE this recipe. 

My two favorite things to make and eat are chocolate cake and banana bread, so this was always my goto recipe to combine both. I would make five batches in a week - no joke. After my sister had her first son, we all became super cautious about what ingredients we bring into our homes. It was like a switch, so many things were all of a sudden vetoed! Refined sugar being on top of that list. 

Once Alexander turned two, and he discovered his love for chocolatey yum yums too, we had to make adjustments to share our favorite recipes and cakes with him. Thanks to Alexander, we now have the BEST chocolate banana bread recipe.  

A little background story first. We grew up with eight banana trees outside our kitchen door. We all loved bananas, but there were always so many leftovers that would perfectly ripen to make for some super moist banana bread. We literally would have an entire banana branch hanging in the kitchen - seriously, how many bananas can a person eat? My mom started to pack and freeze them if she didn’t make it in time to bake them into bread while they were ripe. Best idea ever, by the way! I always have a bag or container of frozen ripe bananas in my freezer ready to go! 

I cannot stress enough on ripe bananas for this recipe - Overripe bananas! They make everything so much better. Also, something else I love to do is mix up the cocoa. I always have a pack of dark cocoa in my cupboard. I usually mix it into the 1/2 cup of Dutch press cocoa to add a little bit of a dense and decadent flavor. 

So here we go, the ingredients:

• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup cocoa 
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cups of mashed overripe bananas
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 large egg 
• 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 3/4 and 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (separated) 

And now for the fun part…. Instructions!

1. Start by preheating your oven to 350F. Prep a 9x5 inch loaf pan by greasing it with butter, a little oil, or nonstick cooking spray and set it aside. 
2. Next, whisk together the dry ingredient. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Then move on to the wet ingredients!
3. Mash the bananas, either with a fork or with the mixer. Add the honey till slightly combined. Then add butter and oil till combined. Stir in the egg and vanilla extract till the mixture is all combined and smooth. Next, add the wet and dry ingredients together!
4. Add in the dry ingredients, not all at once. Stir in little by little, but be careful not to overdo the mixing. Stir in 3/4 of the chocolate chips and save the remaining.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use the remaining chocolate chips for the top go the cake. 
6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, check the cake around 50-55 minutes since ovens may vary. When checking the bread with a toothpick, keep in mind the batter is stuffed with chocolate chips in case you get a lot of chocolate on the toothpick. Remove bread when the toothpick comes out clean. 
7. Let the pan cool on a wire rack or 15-20 minutes. Make sure no edges of the bread are stuck to the pan.
8. Remove from pan and let cool on the wire rack. Ahhh.. at this point, I’m already holding the knife in my hand.

Chocolate Date Bread

Moist & Sweet

Dates are an amazing sweeter - these delicious chewy snacks are packed with health benefits too. 
This is the sister recipe to the double chocolate banana bread. The bread turns out perfectly moist and sweet. 

Here we go…

Prepare Dates:
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 2 cups of dried dates - pitted and chopped
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 cup butter or 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup cocoa
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup honey
*  2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 cup chocolate chip (optional)

1. Set oven to 170°C.
2. Boil 2 cups of water
3. In a bowl, pour boiling water over dates, baking soda and set aside
4. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. 
5. Mix butter and honey with an electric mixer. Scrape down sides and add eggs, one at a time. 
6. Add vanilla, mix till combined. 
7. Add dry ingredients.
8. To add the dates, transfer to a blender and blend them till they turn into a paste. You can also use a handheld blender and blend them straight in the bowl - I don’t blend them the whole way, so it leaves some chunks in the bread.
9. Mix in chocolate chips, if using.
10. Pour into bread loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, check the cake around 50-55 minutes since ovens may vary. When checking the bread with a toothpick, keep in mind the batter is full of chocolate chips in case you get a lot of chocolate on the toothpick. Remove bread when the toothpick comes out clean.
11. Let the pan cool on a wire rack or 15-20 minutes. Make sure no edges of the bread are stuck to the pan.

Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

A Flourless & Sugarless Chunky Snack

A friend of mine makes organic homemade nut butter and sells them from home. They are so good! And they have the simplest ingredients, literally - the nut used and a little honey. I bought a whole case almond butter, hazelnut butter, peanut butter, and chunky peanut butter. It turns out everyone loves creamy butter and not chunky?! So I was left with all the chunky peanut butter you can imagine. 

I’m a crunch and chunk girl.. all the way. I love the surprise crunch in the cream. That is where this ridiculously quick and easy recipe came from!

The only thing I’d have to say is to be careful not to use natural chunky peanut butter that isn’t very oily. The oil won’t allow the dough to stick. 

I also like to refrigerate the dough, so it comes together nicely when scooping. 

* 1 cup of chunky peanut butter, not very oily
* 1/4 cup of honey
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare baking sheets or silicone baking mats.
2. Mix the peanut butter, honey, and baking soda. Lightly mix the egg and vanilla in a small bowl then add to the peanut butter mixture. 
3. If you want to refrigerate the dough, now is the time. An hour works best!
4. Scoop the couch with a small cookie scoop and align them on the baking sheet or silicone mat. 
5. Baking time is about 10-12 minutes or until edges are starting to brown. 
6. Allow cookies to rest on a wire rack and enjoy when cooled!

Meghle Cookies

A little twist to an old tradition

My absolute favorite recipe so far has to be these Meghle cookies. When Alexander was born, I was in charge of prepping the meghle. One day while I was making a batch of Meghle, I was staring at the spices as I was stirring the pudding in the pot, and I thought, hmmm, let’s put them into my favorite cookie dough recipe and see what happens?! 

So here it is, a soft slice cookie to match the traditional Meghle pudding. Yields about 20 cookies.

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
* 6 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 5 teaspoons ground caraway
* 2 teaspoons ground anise seed
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
* 1 cup packed light
* 1 large egg, room temperature
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* Shredded coconut and/or ground pistachios for rolling (optional)
1. Mix the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, caraway, anise seed, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the butter and brown sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then whisk in the vanilla. 
3. Mix wet ingredients and the dry ingredients with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be thick and soft. Cover the dough and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory. 
4. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes if you had it chilling for more than 2 hours.
5. Preheat the oven to 165°C. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
6. Roll cookie dough balls into shredded coconut and ground pistachios (optional). 
7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, depending on the oven until the edges are golden brown.

Nutty Snack Bar

Midday Energy Boost

I haven’t made bars in forever. I used to make them all the time for a quick healthy snack or an energy booster in the middle of a workday.

These were fun! You can literally make bars out of anything in your pantry. Nuts, seeds, any nut butter, chocolate chips, seriously, name it. Today I used almonds, pistachios, dates, coconut shreds, chia seeds, and flax seeds. 
* 1/3 cup honey
* 1/4 cup almond flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
* 100g raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
* 100g raw unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
* 6 finely chopped dates
* 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
* 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds
* 1 Tablespoon Flax seeds

1. Set your oven to 150°C and prep an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or use a silicone tray.
2. Mix the honey, almond flour, salt, and peanut butter then add the almonds, pistachios, dates, coconut, chia seeds, and flax seeds. 
3. Tightly pack the mixture in the baking pan. Make use to firmly press the mixture as much as possible and as evenly as you can. If you are using a silicone mold, it is more difficult to tightly pack the mixture since the silicone is flexible. 
4. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven on to a wire rack. Do not remove the bars from the pan yet. Once they have cooled, let them rest in the refrigerator for an hour so that they all come together nicely. Then slice and enjoy!

Versatile Chocolate Cake

Egg Free • Dairy Free • Zero Refined Sugar

Zakai turns TWO!

This recipe was too much fun - we came up with a birthday cake for the coolest little man, Zakai, on his second birthday!

This is my absolute favorite recipe - I made it three times this week! What I love about this recipe is that it is versatile. We should call it “The Versatile Chocolate Cake.” It can be made for the layers of a birthday cake, a bundt or loaf, or add caramel drizzle, fruit and whip cream… you name it! It is an excellent base for many of my cravings.

Prepping and mixing is a breeze, and it only needs 30-35 minutes in the oven at 180°C. 

I can’t wait for April to see if Zakai approves! 

Dry ingredients:
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cup coconut sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa 
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup nondairy milk
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup hot coffee ☕️

Now for the easy part 👩🏼‍🍳
* Start by preheating your oven to 180°C. Prep your pan with a little oil or nonstick cooking spray and set it aside. 
* Next, stir the dry ingredients. Combine flour, coconut sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then move on to the wet ingredients!
* Add the oil, nondairy milk, white vinegar, and vanilla to the dry ingredients mix. When combined, don’t over mix, add the hot coffee and mix till smooth. The batter might feel a little runnier than others - don’t worry!
*  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, check the cake at 30 minutes since ovens may vary. Remove bread when the toothpick comes out clean. 
* Let the pan cool on a wire rack or 15-20 minutes.
* Enjoy when cooled!

No dairy, no eggs, and no refined sugar

Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies

I always seem to have so many apples at home. Before they go bad, I make applesauce; I usually leave half in the fridge and freeze the second half for later, so I’m always looking for some tasty recipe ideas with applesauce. These cookies are a great midday snack or a compliment to your morning coffee ☕️ Yields about three dozen.

I always prefer to add Cranberries and Walnuts to add a little sweetness and crunch. Let me know if you try this recipe! I would love your feedback📲

Dry Ingredients
• 255 g old-fashioned whole rolled oats
• 190 g all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice

Wet Ingredients:
• 1/4 cup coconut oil - melted and slightly cooled
• 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/4-1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins (optional, to taste)
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional, to taste)

Instructions 🥣
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Prepare baking trays and set aside.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Whisk the wet ingredients until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold until just combined. Try not to over mix.
4. If using, fold in the cranberries, raisins, or walnuts with the cookies dough.
5. I prefer a medium cookie scoop. Scoop cookie dough onto prepared trays and bake for 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.
6. Remove from the oven, let them cool for about 10 minutes, and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to fully cool.

Olive Bread

Homemade Olive Bread

You’ll need:
1. 1 1/2 cup warm water
2. 2 tsp dry yeast
3. 3 3/4 cup (500-550g) all-purpose flour
4. 1/4 cup fine semolina
5. 1 1/2 tsp salt
6. 1/2 cup olive oil
7. 1/2 cup sliced olives
8. 2 tsp ground flaxseed (optional)
9. 1/2 tsp chia seed (optional)

Steps 🥣
In a bowl, combine the yeast and the warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and combine flour, salt, olive oil, flaxseed, chia seeds, and olives - mix on low just to combine. Add flour as needed for the dough to come together completely. Start with 3 cups and add in the rest gradually as the dough forms.

Next, add the yeast/water mixture and mix on low till combined. Add semolina to separate bowl and roll dough in semolina till the outer layer is covered.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap or towel and let the dough rise. Store in a dry place for at least one hour till it doubles in size. Then place in the desired pan.

Bake at 240°C/465°F for 25 minutes, depending on pan size, or until golden brown. I use a mini loaf pan; it makes the perfect size loaves for lunch or dinner sides. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

Apple Spice Cake

No Egg or Dairy

If you know me, you know my obsession with applesauce. I hate to see food go to waste, so I always find ways to preserve it and that way I can use it in the future. Applesauce is my go-to thing to make. First, it's a fantastic snack, and it can be used as an egg substitute in some vegan recipes, a replacement for butter or oil as well, and as a sweetener in others.

This cake turns out moist and loaded with flavor - seriously, it's all in the spices! I have a premixed "apple pie spice" on hand, so I use 1.5 teaspoons of that, but I broke it down in the recipe in case you'd like to adjust or remove one of the spices. The walnuts and cranberries are optional, but they make all the difference.

If you try this out - please let me know how it turned out what you think!

Dry Ingredients:
* 2 cups flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
* 1/3 cup cranberries or raisins, optional

Wet Ingredients:
* 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
* 1 tbsp white vinegar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Start by preheating your oven to 180°C. Prep a 9x5 inch loaf pan by greasing it with butter, a little oil, or nonstick cooking spray and set it aside. 

Next, sift together the dry ingredients. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Then move on to the wet ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, coconut oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Once combined, fold in the applesauce. Next, add the wet and dry ingredients together.

Fold the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients until fully combined, and add in the walnuts and cranberries if using. Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. Remove when the toothpick comes out clean. 

Let the pan cool on a wire rack or 15-20 minutes. Make sure no edges of the bread are stuck to the pan.

Remove from pan and let fully cool on the wire rack.