Something I’ve recently started making sure we make time for is fun, hands-on book activities. I’ve always loved extending favourite read alouds with fun learning activities in my classroom, and Miss G absolutely adores reading books, so I’m not sure why it took this long, but heh – here we are.
One of the little traditions we do on Gracen’s half birthday (ohmahgerd, I have a two and a half year old) is make a fresh batch of muffins (aka ‘cupcakes’) to top with freshly whipped cream and candles later in the evening. So today we used our usual no sugar added banana muffin recipe, tweaked it just a little bit, and came up with these delicious chocolate coconut creations. They are super yummy and truly do feel like a cupcake instead of a healthy muffin… Especially if you add the dark chocolate chips I added to the adult half of the batch (with which I doubt they can be remain in the ‘healthy’ category, but hey – I try my best). ☺
Here’s the recipe…
Healthy Banana Chocolate Coconut Muffins
4 large ripe bananas
1 organic egg
1/3 cups of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons of cocoa
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
1 1/2 cups of wholewheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut shavings
dark chocolate chips (optional – we used 1/3 of a cup in half the batter)
Preheat oven to 350° . Prepare a 12 cup muffin pan by brushing it with coconut oil.
Mix the bananas, other wet ingredients, and cocoa until the mixture is mostly smooth and only slightly chunky. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (save the coconut and chocolate chips) well. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Slowly stir in the coconut (and chocolate chips if adding them). Fill greased muffin tin with the mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool.
This is a breakfast both Gracen and I love. I love it because super healthy and I can throw all of the ingredients into a mason jar before I go to bed and wake up to an already prepared breakfast. I’m sure she loves it because it’s sweet, creamy, and it feels like you’re having dessert for breakfast. And that’s okay with me. I agree!
If you haven’t yet tried chia seeds, you definitely should. They’re often called the “super seed”, and for good reason. They’re packed with essential fatty acids, fibre, calcium, and a bunch of other vitamins and minerals, plus they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid. Besides using them in puddings, around here we add them to yogurt, muffins, cereal, and smoothies too. In fact, they quickly became my secret smoothie ingredient when I learned that adding a tablespoon of chia to a blender of our favourite smoothie would keep it thick and prevent it from separating (even when kept in the fridge overnight!)
But onto the recipe. Here’s what we use to make our overnight mango coconut chia pudding… Your choice of milk (coconut milk is especially delicious in this recipe), pure maple syrup, chia seeds, pure vanilla, unsweetened coconut, and a mango (not pictured because it isn’t needed until morning).
I like to make this recipe in a mason jar because it seals well and I can give the jar a little shake every now and then, but any sort of bowl or container that has a lid will do.
To get started, add your chia seeds to the milk.
Then add the coconut…
The maple syrup…
And the vanilla.
Give everything a stir…
Pop the lid on and put the jar in the fridge. If you come back to the fridge again that night, give the jar a gentle shake to prevent clumping. If not, it’s not a big deal.
Now go to sleep.
When you wake up in the morning, retrieve your mason jar of pudding. It’ll be thick and creamy by now and will resemble the insides of a passionfruit. Grab a mango too. (Though mango / coconut is one of our favourite combinations, strawberries, bananas, and blueberries pair well with the coconut too.)
Now peel and chop up your mango into small pieces…
And add them to the jar.
Mix everything together well.
Breakfast is ready!
Serve with fresh or frozen berries, mint leaves, or almond slices.
Put the first set of ingredients into a jar and stir. Put the lid on the jar and put in the fridge overnight. If you come back to the fridge later in the evening, give the jar a shake or two (if not, don’t worry about it).
In the morning, retrieve your jar and a mango. Peel and dice the mango, add it to the jar, and give everything a stir.
Serve with berries, mint leaves, or almond slices.