Coco-banana muffins

My weekly routine inevitably changed when Miss C started pre-school and I increased my work hours, and I feel as if I’ve been trying to find the “new normal” ever since. The days are quite frantic, as I work out who needs to be where, with what, and when (all while desperately hoping that I don’t  mess things up and forget a school pick-up!).

To try and streamline things, I’ve changed from little grocery shops throughout the week to (hopefully) a big shop once per week. This is working quite well, although the rate at which my girls consume yoghurt has meant there have been a few emergency yoghurt dashes.

And, on occasion, the bananas that I bought at the start of the week do not look so fantastic at the end of the week.  But we all know that overripe bananas can be perfect for baking – with the added bonus that a healthy baked treat makes a perfect school lunch-box addition.

On this occasion, I had two quite sad looking bananas taking up my fruit bowl. A quick rustle through the pantry revealed that we also had coconut and honey.


And so these little banana-coconut beauties came to be.


I used smaller patty cases, which yielded around 20 – and the whole batch took only 20 minutes or so to make – from start to finish.


I kept some out for the next few days, and froze the others in bags of two for future lunch-box additions.
IMG_7608 Miss C wolfed down a few as soon as the came out of the oven, without noticing that I’d reduced the sugar content – so I’m calling it a kid snack win!

Coco-Banana Muffins – makes 20 small muffins

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  1. Preheat oven to 180C, and line a couple muffin pans with paper cases.
  2. Sift the flour, bicarb soda and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir through the salt, sugar and coconut.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, milk, honey, eggs, vanilla extract and banana until well combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
  5. Divide between paper cases and bake for 12-15 minutes.

(As I mentioned, I made 20 smaller muffins. If you wanted to make bigger muffins, just allow a little longer cooking time).

What about you? What’s your favourite way to use up  leftover bananas?

ANZAC loaf with coconut icing

IMG_3731 This year, we didn’t manage to get to the Dawn Service for ANZAC day. We were there in spirit, but opted against taking a newborn (and her energetic big sister) out so early in the cold. We did, however, watch some of the commemoration services on, and I also baked a little ANZAC-inspired treat for afternoon tea. IMG_3719 In years past, I’ve made  ANZAC slice and an ANZAC cheesecake. This year, I went even simpler, and made a loaf / cake. Flavoured with the all-important golden syrup, and filled with oats and coconut too. IMG_3720IMG_3721 Topped with a rich coconut buttercream, although you could quite easily eat this loaf without the icing – perhaps warm with a little butter instead? IMG_3726IMG_3729 ANZAC loaf with coconut icing

  • 100g butter
  • 150ml golden syrup
  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 180ml milk


  • 75g butter, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbs golden syrup
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line the base and sides of a loaf tin.
  2. Melt the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
  4. Lightly beat the eggs and milk, and add to the golden syrup mixture. Pour into the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
  5. Pour batter into the lined loaf tin, and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. To make the icing, beat all ingredients except the coconut until light and creamy. Fold in the coconut, then spread icing onto the cake.

What about you? How did you commemorate ANZAC day this year?

Coconut poached chicken salad

IMG_0364 Happy Monday lovely people! Let me start this week off by sharing a rather delightful chicken salad with you. But not just any chicken salad. Nay – a coconut poached chicken salad (inspired by this recipe) IMG_0359 Rather than grill the chicken, as I would usually do, it was poached in coconut cream, chicken stock, sugar, garlic and ginger. Then allowed to cool, before slicing and combining it with coriander, carrots, bamboo shoots and vermicelli noodles. IMG_0361 All together now… IMG_0366 The chicken was beautiful, and the coconut-flavour added a subtle sweetness and creaminess to the dish. IMG_0368 While the carrots and bamboo shoots gave the meal just the right amount of crunch! What about you? Cooked any interesting ‘chicken salads’ recently?

Pineapple cake with malibu cream

IMG_7979 Going through my photo archives, it seems as though I have been on a bit of a sweet treat / caking making kick lately. Although, with quite a few family birthdays falling in the first half of the year, perhaps that could be the reason why? The latest? IMG_7971 Pineapple cake with malibu cream. You can find a link to the recipe here. This ended up being quite a grand cake indeed. Two pineapple infused cakes, topped with a layer of sweet meringue. Baked until golden brown.. IMG_7969 Then filled with a malibu cream. IMG_7990 Sweet and moist from the pineapple… IMG_7982 And deliciously sinful with the addition of the malibu cream. IMG_7983 The recipe made quite a large cake too – enough to serve 10-12 people easily. IMG_8039 Or, as was our case, plenty of leftovers for the next few days! What about you? Do you have a favourite ‘fruit’ cake? I simply loved the pineapple coconut combination of this one!

15 minute meal – Chicken Dim Sum

IMG_6806 I think I may have mentioned it once or twice before, but I am a HUGE fan of Jamie Oliver. I love his love of fresh produce, and his passion for showing the world that home cooking doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. IMG_6790 I received his 15 minute meals cookbook for Christmas, I wasted no time in flicking through to see what recipes I would try.  But when I realised that I loved the sound of almost all of the recipes inside,  I figured that I might as well just cook my way through the entire book! Starting with…..Chicken Dim Sum! IMG_6791 Beautifully marinated chicken and mushrooms, served with an array of other goodies on the side. IMG_6793 Including these beauties – coconut dumplings… IMG_6795 My steamer baskets are smaller than the ones called for in the recipe, so while I steamed the buns, I opted to stir-fry the chicken, mushrooms and broccolini instead. IMG_6801 And when it all came together, it was quite a delicious mid-week feast! Served communal style… IMG_6798 Chicken, mushrooms, broccolini, toasted sesame seeds, red chilli, pickled ginger, pickled cucumbers / coriander, extra hoi sin sauce, and some fresh limes. IMG_6799 And of course – those lovely steamed buns! IMG_6803 I cannot express how much flavour this dinner had. The pickled ginger was a delightful addition, while the lime juice added an extra zing that made it hard to push my plate away even though I was full to the brim! IMG_6807 As for the “15 minute” element to the recipe, this took me more like 30 minutes (which, in all honesty, is still a speedy dinner). I am sure I could have rushed it and finished in 15 minutes, but stopping to check the recipe along the way, and cleaning up the dishes as I went, prevented that. Either way – I am already excited for the other dishes we will be trying over the next few months! What about you? Are you a speedy cook?

Feelin’ Frenchy

Happy Saturday lovely people! After a few crazy hectic days, things are starting to slow down in the BBB household – a welcomed relief indeed. My Mum arrived from Melbourne last night, and was a wonderful help in getting our house ready for 20 of my nearest and dearest to arrive this afternoon for my baby shower. And, while I am shortly being kicked out of the house so they can finish setting up (in secret?!), I made sure that we started the day off right. aka. French toast. IMG_4636 Oat sourdough, soaked in egg, and then cooked to perfection by Mr BBB – the French toast king! IMG_4637 Then topped with whatever caught my eye when I opened the pantry. IMG_4638 Peaches, coconut… IMG_4639 And a drizzle of maple syrup. A delicious start to what is going to be a fun day indeed! What about you? What is your favourite French toast topping?

Homemade holiday treats – Apricot & coconut biscuits

Happy Christmas Eve Eve Smile  I hope that you have all made it to the end of the working year safely. I for one, was most happy when the clock struck 1pm (yay for half work days), and it was time to head home and finish packing for our trip to Melbourne. Which included packing up the final treat in my homemade holiday treats seriesholidaytreats On the menu today… biscuits Apricot and coconut biscuits (cookies)! aka. a break from chocolate overload that was occasioned by yesterday’s chocolate bark. IMG_4031 Oats, spelt, brown sugar coconut, apricots and nuts. IMG_4032 Mixed with eggs, vanilla and butter to form a sticky biscuit mix. IMG_4033 Rolled into balls, flattened… IMG_4035 And baked for 15 minutes until golden. IMG_4036 These biscuits turned out nice and light, but also rather chewy… IMG_4047 Quite reminding me of ANZAC biscuits actually. IMG_4056 And, once they had cooled sufficiently, I wasted no time in filling a Christmas tin and leaving half of the batch on my neighbour’s front door step by way of a little Christmas gift. IMG_4051 The rest, however, will be coming with us as we make our way down South for the Christmas holiday. IMG_4052 Delish! IMG_4054 Apricot & Coconut Biscuits (makes 16-18 large biscuits) (adapted from here)

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1cup desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 cup diced dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C, and line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour and sugar into a large bowl. Add the oats, coconut, apricot and almonds and stir until well combined. Make a well in the centre.
  3. Whisk together the melted butter, eggs and vanilla in a small bowl. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Use your hands to roll heaped tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Place balls onto the prepared trays (leaving room to spread) and flatten slightly.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and set aside to cool completely

I hope that you have enjoyed this 5 days of Homemade Holiday treats. You can find links to all the treats below… gingerbread Day 1 – Gingerbread doughnuts fudge Day 2 – Salted caramel fudge chilli Day 3 – Chilli lime nut mix bark Day 4 – Chocolate bark biscuits Day 5 – Apricot and coconut biscuits But enough ‘sweet talk,  its time to get this BBB show on the road! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas Eve Eve, safe travels if you are travelling and happy eating if you are eating! What about you? What are your plans for the festive season?

A work in progress Cherry Ripe Slice

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently had a craving for cherry ripes. Sadly, however, cherry ripes contain wheat, so I had look to get my cherry/chocolate/coconut elsewhere. Hence this cherry ripe slice came to be. cherry Normally when I am trying a new recipe or idea, I will spend a fair bit of time researching and modifying the recipe, until it has been sufficiently messed around with BBB-fied. However, on this occasion, the idea of making a cherry ripe slice came to me while already out and about, so I only had time to do a quick search on my iphone to pick up some key ingredients. Given the lack of baking time available, I also opted for a no-bake version. IMG_2713 Changed up to make it wheat free, of course. biscuits And, although the results were certainly tasty, they were just not as tasty as I am sure they could be. IMG_2717 I think that was due to the inclusion of too much copha, but I am sure I can create an even better version next time that uses nowhere near that amount (if any at all). IMG_2734 So, while I love the vibrant colours of this slice, and it was certainly an easy slice to prepare, I am labelling it a work in progress. IMG_2733 Oh and did I mention that this certainly a slice to eat in moderation! I believe the nutritional statistics would be rather questionable lol. IMG_2739 But, copha overload and nutritional statistics aside, did this slice cure my cherry ripe craving? IMG_2736   It sure did! But then again, how could the cherry/coconut/chocolate combination not! Cherry Ripe Slice – GF (a work in progress) –(adapted from here)

  • 100g Copha
  • 400g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 220g GF biscuits, processed into fine crumbs
  • Couple drops of pink food colouring
  • 100g pkt glace cherries, chopped
  • 2/3 cups desiccated coconut
  • 80g copha
  • 250g milk chocolate, broken into bits
  1. Grease and line a small slice pan with baking paper (allowing the edges to overhang)
  2. Heat copha in a small saucepan over a low heat, until melted. Remove from heat and stir in condensed milk.
  3. Place biscuit crumbs into a medium bowl. Add copha/condensed milk mixture and food colouring, stirring until well combined. Fold in coconut and chopped cherries.
  4. Press the biscuit mixture into the lined slice pan and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, melt the remaining copha in a small saucepan. Add the chocolate, and stir until melted and well combined.
  6. Pour the chocolate over the slice, and place in the refrigerator to set.
  7. Once set, slice into pieces using a sharp knife and serve.

What about you? Do you ever cook with copha? I know it is good for "setting", but its composition and taste is a little weird for me….

Coconut and pineapple friands (gluten free)

Happy Tuesday – and boy did today fly! IMG_8645 I actually enjoyed a little sleep in this morning (to 6.30am *gasp*) as I had a ‘different’ form of cardio on the agenda after work. Any guesses? Body Step! Oh how I have missed you my old friend. Heading to the class after work, I was so happy to find out that Body Step is still amazing in all its heart pumping / leg smashing awesomeness. This class is definitely my favourite ‘cardio’ group fitness class (you can keep your Attack and Zumba…thanks x) although sadly it is only on at my gym once or twice a week (and at times that don’t really suit). However, tonight Mr BBB was not available for a run so Body Step it was. And to say I loved would be an understatement!! But now – from one sweet to another… While my batch of macarons failed dismally over the weekend, I am pleased to report that the friands I made for mother’s day worked just fine. IMG_8643 Actually, now I think about it, they were probably my favourite part of the lunch all together. But when there is coconut and pineapple involved, how can you really go wrong? The inspiration for these friands came from none other than my trusty Mystery BoxIMG_8681 Coconut! IMG_8578 Did you know? The coconut palm is known as the ‘tree of life’ in many cultures perhaps owing to the fact that it is useful in so many ways. From milk, to water to coconut meat, coconut itself is nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Some people believe that coconuts are so called due to early Spanish explorers calling them ‘coco’, which means "monkey face", as the three indentations on the hairy nut resembles the head and face of a monkey. When I drew out this ingredient, I immediately decided that I wanted to make something sweet to serve at our Mother’s Day lunch. Then, when I wandered past a local cafe and saw a display case filled with various friands, I was inspired. IMG_8640 And, while I probably should have gone in search of a whole coconut to properly embrace the spirit of the Mystery Box, I had a bag of shredded coconut in the pantry that needed to be used. So shredded coconut it was. And so these coconut and pineapple friands came to be.  IMG_8645 What I loved about this recipe was that it was very ‘one bowl’. Just mix… IMG_8580 Spoon…     IMG_8583  And bake…  IMG_8612   Then dust with a little icing sugar and you have the perfect sweet treat for afternoon tea.   IMG_8648 Fluffy yet moist… IMG_8647  Delish! Now I wonder what my next friand flavour should be???? Coconut and pineapple friands (gluten free) These friands are the perfect sweet treat to serve for morning or afternoon tea. Gluten free, and packed with flavour, they can also be made in advance and stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

  • 6 egg whites
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup GF plain flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 150g dried pineapple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut plus extra
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease a friand pan.
  2. Whisk egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. Add butter, almond meal, icing sugar and flours, pineapple and coconut, and stir until well combined.
  3. Divide among friand pan, top with a little extra shredded coconut.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Allow friands to stand in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool.

______________________ Day 20 – MOVE it, TONE it, DRINK it *20 days down – and 10 to go! Still going strong, although getting enough water in each day is continuing to be a struggle for me?!

  • MOVE it – Body Step (1hr)
  • TONE it – Sit ups 150
  • DRINK it – 1.5L

_____________________ What about you? Do you have a favourite group fitness class? What about a favourite friand flavour? Happy Baking 🙂

Sweet potato & coconut nuggets

Training: Body Pump / Run 2km IMG_7278    Today was very much a “grown- up” day. An early start, back to back meetings, telephone conferences, various telephone calls to service providers. You get the drift… So, by the time I got home, to say that I wanted to step away from it all is an understatement. Step away from meetings, and replace them with kitty cuddles. IMG_3858 Step away from paperwork, and replace it with trash TV. Step away from ‘grown up’ responsibilities, and jump into the kitchen. IMG_7263 Ok – so that last one is perhaps still a little ‘grown up’.  But perhaps not so much when you are making one of your favourite childhood treats for dinner… IMG_7277 chicken nuggets! IMG_7294 Only these chicken nuggets have no chicken! IMG_7246 Rather, they are packed with sweet potato! Unusual – yes – but super easy to make. IMG_7243 (2) Flaxmeal, chia seeds, coconut butter, cumin, cinnamon and an egg, combined with the softened sweet potato. IMG_7247 (2) Shaped into ‘nuggets’… IMG_7249 Dipped into egg white…   IMG_7244 and rolled in corn crumbs. IMG_7241 (2) IMG_7252 Until well coated. IMG_7254 Placed on a lined baking tray and lightly sprayed with a little olive oil spray… IMG_7256 IMG_7258 Baked for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through. IMG_7274 The result? IMG_7275 Crispy golden brown nuggets! IMG_7276 Crunchy on the outside, yet soft and sweet on the inside. IMG_7283 And, best of all,  packed with flavour despite the short ingredient list! IMG_7280  I was so excited how these turned out. The cinnamon added a nice hint of sweetness, that worked wonderfully with the subtle coconut flavour. IMG_7287IMG_7285 But then again, you cant really go wrong when it comes to the sweet potato, coconut and cinnamon flavour combination! I think they would also make a really nice party appetiser and I am already thinking up other flavour combinations….sundried tomato perhaps? Tonight, I served these with a side of vegetables for dinner, but not before sneaking a few off the plate…you know…for quality assurance purposes 😉 Eaten how all good nuggets should be. IMG_7289 With a good ‘dip’ into the tomato sauce bowl 🙂   IMG_7295 Yep….its official! IMG_6749 I am 100% sure the ‘not so grown up’ me would also have approved! Sweet Potato & Coconut Nuggets (makes 12-14) – gluten free These nuggets, a healthy take on a childhood favourite, are packed with REAL ingredients. Vegetarian, gluten free, and super easy to make, you’ll find that you will not be able to stop at one…or two….or three. You’ve been warned 😉

  • 600g sweet potato, steamed and mashed
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 tbs flaxmeal
  • 1 tbs coconut butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 0.5 to 1 cup corn crumbs
  • olive oil spray
  1. Preheat oven to 190C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine mashed potato, chia seeds, flaxmeal, coconut butter, spices and egg until well combined.
  3. Divide into 12 – 14 portions, then flatten slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, place egg whites in one bowl, and the corn crumbs in another.
  5. One at a time, dip the nugget into the egg white, then roll in the corn crumbs until well covered. Place on the lined baking tray. Repeat. Spray lightly with olive oil spray.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway through.

What about you? What was your favourite childhood snack? Happy Baking 🙂