341. Emergency Scones [Vegan, Flourless, NSA]

Emergency Scones | Vegan, Flourless, NSA | Ann Ning Learning How

This is a variation of my Emergency Cookies because sometimes you just need a scone.  This might be a foreign statement for you.  But I was raised by Baker Smurf – so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

I made scones routinely in Oregon.  I used whole wheat flour and subbed buttermilk for the cream.  I always added cocoa and dried strawberries so mine were chocolate strawberry scones, and I thought they were fantastic until Mommy would come to visit me, make a batch of her classic tender triangles and I’d remember how good the originals were.

This recipe uses no flour or added sugar and I made them orange cranberry since that’s Mommy’s go-to combination.  They are lovely!  They make two small scones, so Mommy and I shared them and she said she liked them and would enjoy them again when I made them next. Poor Tanpo was not invited to the tea party, not that he would have partaken anyway :).

But I’m not sure when the “next time” is going to happen bc I’m going through one of those not-wanting-to-eat phases.  CMD gave me some high-octane herbs to combat the nausea and make me hungrier but I haven’t been up to swallowing them.  The only thing that has helped is more exercise – so I’m going with the work-out route for now as best as I can.  So I might be light on the recipes in the next few weeks.

Emergency Scones – Orange Cranberry (Vegan, Flourless, NSA)
Yields 2 small scones
Preheat toaster oven to 350

  • 2 Tb almond butter
  • 1 Tb unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tb ground flax
  • 2 Tb rolled (GF) oats
  • splash of vanilla
  • handful of craisins
  • handful of slivered almonds (optional)
  • orange zest to taste – I used about ¼ of an orange

Note:  I used a dinner spoon and not an actual measuring spoon. 

Mix everything together.  Form into desired shape on a parchment lined pan.
(I made a square I cut into 2 triangles.) Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

More Scones:

266.  Sun|Almond Butter Scones

266. Sun|Almond Butter Scones


327. Cake Batter Bars [Flourless, Gluten Free, Vegan]

Cake Batter Bars| w beans, GF, vegan | Ann Ning Learning How

These aren’t brownies, promise.  They just look dark bc I made them from beans and the only beans I had were a dark rosy color.  I started feeling better last week and was itching to make something in the kitchen and I was craving cake mix bars.  But after careful combing through both pantries I ascertained that we had no cake mixes in the house.  So I figured I’d Google quick and easy blondies and I happened upon a recipe from one of my favorite sources – Chocolate Covered Katie.

I have long resisted the idea of bean baking.  But I tried it this time since it seemed like the lowest hanging fruit and I adapted the recipe to better suit my measuring, lower sugar, and cake-batter(ish) requirements.  If you want the original chocolate chip blondie (with peanut butter) original recipe go to the source here.

Cake Batter Bars [Vegan, Gluten Free, with beans]

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
Preheat oven to 350.  Grease an 8×8 pan.

  • 1 can (~15 oz) beans, drained and rinsed.  (The color of your beans will influence the color of your bars.  That’s why mine are dark and I cannot call them “blondies” in good conscience.)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (or sub brown if you like)
  • big splash of vanilla
  • small splash of almond extract
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • ¼ c almond butter
  • handful of chocolate chips & palmful of sprinkles

Grind everything (except the chips and sprinkles) in a food processor or high-speed blender until nice and smooth.  Mix in the chips and sprinkles.  Spread into your greased 8×8 pan.  Decorate the top with more chips and  sprinkles if you like.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 350.

J came over later that night to drop off the CSA we’re sharing so I made her sample the goods.  Of course they looked better once my food stylist arranged them for me.


More vegan cake batter fun from CCK:

So Simple:  Cake Batter Ice Cream from CCK || Ann Ning Learning How

297. Flourless Chunky Monkey Emergency Cookies [Gluten Free, Vegan, No Sugar Added]

Chunky Monkey Emergency Cookies |Flourless, GF, Vegan | Ann Ning Learning How

You could have guessed that this was going to happen. I love ice cream, and I love cookies…It doesn’t take a brain surgeon…(pun intended). I haven’t had Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream in years. But when Mom brought it home one day when I was still a teenager I was like, Umm…this is SO good. At that point I didn’t even really like bananas, so maybe it was the name that caught my fancy.

In any case, I didn’t feel like using only half a banana so I threw a whole (small) very ripe banana in and increased the ground flax seed. I got 8 cookies out of this batch – still small, but gauge the size of your toaster oven and plan accordingly. I tried this with both sun butter and regular peanut butter. Both are delicious, but you should be aware (and I apologize for not telling you this during Sun Butter Week) that sun butter often bakes up green due to the chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds. I Googled it, and as you know, the internet does not lie. The green colored baked goods are safe to eat but I thought they might be rather off-putting in the pictures, so I tried a peanut butter version. Success!! If, however, you want to use sun butter you could try squeezing some lemon juice in there.

The fuzzy monkey you see in the background in the picture above was a gift to me in the hospital from my dear friends (college roomates) who drove up from California to visit me. See (look over Karine’s right shoulder)?


Sadly, I was still asleep, otherwise we would have had a grand old time. 2 seconds after I took the title photo, this happened:


Chunky Monkey Emergency Cookies (GF, Vegan, NSA)

Makes around 8 cookies
Preheat oven to 350

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 small ripe banana (or half of a large banana)
  • 2 Tb ground flax
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • splash of vanilla
  • handful DF chocolate chips
  • handful walnuts

Mix the peanut butter and banana first – I used a fork to mash the banana into the PB. Mix everything else in. Drop by the large spoonful or ice cream scoop onto your greased or lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Store in the freezer. If you don’t devour them immediately, enjoy them straight from freezer, barely defrosted, or reheated in the toaster oven.

for other Emergency Cookie variations: click here.

Target Launch Tues Dec 10| Ann Ning Learning How

Please pray that all goes well logistically and we will get the incorporation and banking issues squared away for the target launch date of Dec 10, or sooner.

291. Chocolate Emergency Cookies

Chocolat Emergency Cookies | Flourless, Eggless, NSA | Ann Ning Learning How

In case you didn’t guess this already, these are my new favorite cookies. To review:  I call them “Emergency” Cookies bc they bake up so fast – seriously, it just takes the laziest of stirring with a dinner spoon or fork, and your’e done.   J and I are sharing a Winter CSA (Yay!) and she came over last week to drop off some produce so I took the opportunity to bake up an Emergency Cookie variation.  Chocolate, my friends!  Chocolate is one of the areas that I give myself (lots of) leeway when it comes to veganism.  These would be vegan except that I couldn’t resist putting in a handful of the white chocolate chips that live on an upper shelf in the pantry. (Side note:  Let’s assume my white cc’s are gluten free.  I’ll go check in a minute.)  But they are still flourless, eggless, made with no added sugar, and yummy for my tummy.  Don’t let the list of dietary attributes deter you from making these – these are delightful.  And I don’t joke about cookies.  If you require true vegan/dairy-free cookies, though, just use the chips you know are sanctioned.

Chocolate Emergency Cookies

Makes 6-7 cookies; these mix up in a flash and bake up in the toaster oven.  Time elapsed from when you start mixing to when you taste one warm from the oven:  15-20 minutes

Preheat toaster oven to 350, grease a small baking sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silpat.

▪   Approx. 2/3 c almond butter

▪   1/3 c unsweetened applesauce

▪   1 Tbsp ground flax

▪   ¼ tsp baking soda

▪   splash of vanilla

▪   2 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder

▪   2 Tb unsweetened shredded coconut (or sub rolled oats)

▪   handful of white chocolate chips

Mix the almond butter and applesauce.  When combined, add everything else in.  Drop by the spoonful or use an ice cream scoop to make cookie dough lumps on a greased or silpat/parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.  Let cool a little before digging in.  Store in the freezer (if you don’t eat them all).  If not warm from the oven, I like mine straight from the freezer or barely defrosted.

Emergency Cookie Variations:

Flourless Emergency Cookies | GF, Vegan, NSA| Ann Ning Learning How


281. Flourless Maple Pecan Brownies (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Flourless Maple Pecan Brownies | GF, Vegan | Ann Ning Learning How

I got thrown a curve-ball yesterday:  Dr. G (Dad’s ENT)’s office called yesterday to say that she’s moving, but that I could see her yesterday afternoon.  WAH!  My plans for getting treated by her have been foiled.  But happily, I did see her yesterday, got scoped twice, and she explained everything in detail to me and was very thorough.  I also met the speech therapist (Dad has also been her patient, too), since the current verdict is more ST (specifically for voice and swallowing), and then I’ll check in with the ENT in 2-3 months.  Ed snuck in to the office.  (Mommy didn’t notice that I had him (riding on my purse) until we were in the elevator.  So Ed was there for moral support, I got my questions answered and I know what to do next (sign up for ST) – a successful appointment, I’d say!

Moving on, let me share these flourless brownies with you.  I know, you must be like – how many treats can one girl eat?!?!?  Well, I don’t eat ALL of them…Okay, I eat many of them, I admit it – but not all at once.  I put many in the freezer as soon as I can.  I made these this summer at Tim and Ai Ai’s when I was on my maple kick.  I haven’t quite gotten past the maple thing yet, mind you – it’s so good!

Flourless Maple Pecan Brownies [GF, Vegan]
Preheat oven to 350, grease a loaf tin (you’re not making a brownie loaf , this just makes a nice bar in a loaf pan)

▪          3 flax eggs – room temperature.  I just put 3 Tbsp of flax seed in a bowl, added 9 Tbsp of water, mixed it up and let it sit and thicken for about 15-20 minutes.
▪          1 c cocoa
▪          3/4 c maple syrup
▪          3 Tbsp coconut oil
▪          generous splash of vanilla
▪          generous splash of natural maple flavor
▪          a handful of chopped pecans for sprinkling on the top
▪          optional – pecan cream for serving – pretend like you’re making cashew cream, but use pecans.  Sweeten with maple syrup.

Mix everything, pour into loaf pan, bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.


279. Timmy’s Monster Cookie [Single Serving, GF, Flourless, Egg-Free, No Sugar Added)

Monster Cookie | Single Serving, GF, Egg Free, No Added Sugar | Ann Ning Learning How

I love how easy this cookie recipe is.  My posts have been a little heavier this week, so I wanted to send you of to enjoy your weekend with something light and fun.  Boo Boo asked last week if the Emergency Cookies worked with peanut butter.  (Timmy likes PB.)  Based on the success of this recipe, I’m going with “YES.”

Flourless Emergency Cookies | GF, Vegan, NSA| Ann Ning Learning HowLast weekend Ruthie asked me if I called them “Emergency Cookies” bc I was having last-minute company and I wanted to make something for my guests.  No-no, I assured her.  The fact that I wanted a cookie and had nothing suitable on hand constituted an emergency for me.  All 3 times.  Glad we cleared that up.

But I wanted to try a peanut butter cookie recipe for Timmy (side note: no one else calls him “Timmy” apart from our family.  Ai Ai says I started it a long time ago, but I have no recollection of this – which isn’t to say that it’s not true), and this is also a good cookie option for MMN/Mrs. T – I can’t wait to tell her about it.  Peanut Butter lovers UNITE!

PS.  I tried this twice.  The first time I used more applesauce, and the cookie was a little soft – still delicious – but soft.  This might have been influenced by my inability to wait for the cookie to cool before consuming it, though.  Tip:  if you are like me, and can’t wait to eat the cookie, use a fork and be happy.  On the second round (the recipe I’m going with below) I used less applesauce, plus I let it cool and the texture was suitable for hand-eating.

Timmy’s Monster Cookie [GF, Flourless, Egg-Free, NSA]

Single Serving
Preheat toaster oven to 350 

  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp GF rolled oats, or sub coconut
  • ½ Tbsp ground flax
  • ½ Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • a few M&M’s (as many as you feel comfortable with)

Mix well.  Form a cookie on a piece of parchment paper on a small tray.  I also tried a silicon muffin thing – that’s why the cookie in my picture is small (it’s tall).  Depending on your method, the cookie could be plenty big.  If there are two of you, double the recipe.  Dot the top with M&M’s if you like.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

274. Flourless Emergency Cookies [Gluten Free, Vegan, No Sugar Added]

Flourless Emergency Cookies | GF, Vegan, NSA| Ann Ning Learning How

I had an emergency on Monday.  A cookie emergency.

And then I had an emergency on Wednesday.


These flourless cookies saved the day (all three times).  You can make them oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip, depending on your mood.  If you are truly allergic to gluten/dairy, use certified GF oats and DF chocolate chips.  If you’re just pretending like I am, you can play it loosey-goosey.

Emergency Cookies [GF, Vegan, NSA]

Makes 6-7 cookies; these mix up in a flash and bake up in the toaster oven.  Time elapsed from when you start mixing to when you taste one warm from the oven:  15-20 minutes

Preheat toaster oven to 350, grease a small baking sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silpat.

  • Approx. 2/3 c almond butter
  • 1/3 c applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • splash of vanilla

for oatmeal raisin:

  • 2 Tbsp rolled oats
  • handful of raisins
  • dash of cinnamon

for chocolate chip:

  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut (you could sub oats or do 1 Tbsp coconut and 1 Tbsp arrowroot)
  • handful of chocolate chips


Mix the almond butter and applesauce.  When combined, add everything else in and stir well.  Mine fit in a 2-cup measuring cup with lots of room to spare.  Drop by the spoonful or a mini ice cream scoop onto your baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.


Me want COOKIE

34.  (Tough) Cookie Monster

34. (Tough) Cookie Monster



242. Land and Pool PT Pie [Gluten Free and Vegan]

I <3 PT Pie |Flourless Almond Coconut Blondie + Brownie Swirl |GF, Vegan | Ann Ning Learning How

I thought this was going to get easier, but it isn’t.  I’m not going back to Planet Rehab.  I didn’t know I wasn’t returning when I left NRH in June, but it turns out that my health insurance is changing and I’m going to let it take me (for a variety of reasons) somewhere closer to home.  When I came to this realization recently I was sad.  Ed broke out in hives.  The only thing I could think to do was bake something – this is a flourless almond butter coconut blondie with a brownie swirl.  I practiced on the one in the picture, and I’ll bake another and bring it in to the nice peeps at NRH on Friday.  Thanks for everything xoxo.

I’ve always just called my sessions, “PT” and “Pool Therapy,” but I’ve often heard staffers distinguish the two by saying, “Land” vs. “Pool” Therapy.  The contrast between the two is why I wanted to bake something with two distinct entities in it.  The almond coconut blondie is fantastic, even if I do say so myself.  Technically, the brownie swirl is optional, but I highly recommend it.  I could barely wait to snap the picture above before I sampled the pie on the blue plate.  As I was chewing I decided that I really enjoyed the chocolatey edge the brownie swirl gives to the sweet fudgy blondie.  I used almond butter this time, and tried making my own in the Vitamix.  It was 90% successful, I’d say – I think the fact that there’s one ingredient (almonds) and the homemade texture might influence the gooeyness of the pie, but I’m not sure since I’ve never bought almond butter from the store.  The coconut adds a lovely bit of texture, and it’s yummy, too!

My sister made a chocolate chip pie a couple of times this summer and served it with ice cream to some very happy guests.  I looked longingly at that pie, sad that I had decided to go grain free.  Well, this is a delicious compromise.  Ai Ai, I need you to make this and see if my children like it.  I’m sure Timmy will, since he’s so obliging like that.  But if you want to omit the coconut just throw some oatmeal in there.

I ❤ Land & Pool PT Pie [Gluten Free and Vegan]
Flourless Almond Coconut Blondie Pie with a Brownie Swirl
Preheat oven to 350, Grease a pie plate

For the Blondie:

  • 1 c almond butter (I used homemade)
  • ½ c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 flax egg
  • ¼ c maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • splash of vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Mix everything in a bowl and pour it into your pie plate

For the Brownie Swirl:

  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ Tbsp ground flax
  • ½ Tbsp maple syrup
  • splash of almond milk – or enough to facilitate mixing

Stir everything together.  I used the same mug I had used to make the flax egg for the pie.  Mine was very powdery, but when I let it sit for a minute as I wiped up a spill (oops, my bad), it settled down perfectly.  This quantity will make more than you need, but I needed enough to hold on to while I made the swirl.  It doesn’t have to be a swirl, BTW, you can make the design anything you wish.  Pour the chocolate batter into a Ziploc sandwich or snack size bag, leaving one corner clean (lean the bag to one side).  Snip the corner so you can use the hole to squeeze the batter out on top of the pie in the pattern of your choice.

Bake for around 17 minutes.  (That’s how long it took me – just keep an eye on it.  Ovens are different!)

This is what happened when I got discharged from Therapy last time:

69.  Williamsburg - Taliaferro-Cole Summer Garden by NH

69. Williamsburg –  Taliaferro-Cole Summer Garden
by NH


240. Flourless Dark Chocolate Sun Butter Brownies [Gluten Free and Vegan]

Flourless Sun Butter Brownies |Gluten Free, Vegan | Ann Ning Learning How

Surprise, surprise – I had one of those floppy brain moments again.  I was so busy patting myself on the back last week for pre-loading my posts through Tuesday that I failed to observe that I had counted the days/dates wrong and posted TWO on Monday.  Oops, my bad.  Welcome to my world.   Happily, however, I have no shortage of things to tell you about so after we got home yesterday (we spent a wonderful weekend with my siblings and their progeny at the Labor Day Conference) I opened the fridge, got my snack out, soaked some nuts, made some milk, and snapped a picture.  I have been plotting a “Sun Butter” week out of deference to the nut allergic among us (I’m so sorry you can’t eat PB) – in particular, Sgirl and CEF’s eldest.  You should still totally read about PB bread/PBJ bars, too, so I’m including them on the bottom of this post.  These and the Sun Butter Brownies are both so simple it’s astonishing.  I have to restrain myself from making them daily.

These brownies are heavy on the dark chocolate note, lighter on the sun butter note.  You can taste something nut/seed butter ish, but probably can’t put your finger on it – but I like the delicate sun butter fragrance, plus, using it eliminated the need for any other butter or oil. I didn’t sweeten this batch quite as much, and the chocolate note is richer :).  I used a loaf pan this time, and they turned out great – none of that weird, baking forever business as with the Thin Mint Brownie Pie.   I don’t think these are overly pretty, but I wasn’t planning to serve them to company.  I would have made a fabulous parfait or trifle with them, but I couldn’t bc I ate them all.

Flourless Dark Chocolate Sun Butter Brownies
inspired by Thin Mint Brownie Pie and Our Fifth House’s Paleo Brownie Pie
preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan – but you’re  not making a loaf, you’re making brownies that turn out to be around an inch (or less) thick

  • 3 flax eggs – room temperature.  I just put 3 Tbsp of flax seed in a bowl, added 9 Tbsp of water, mixed it up and let it sit and thicken for about 15-20 minutes.
  • 1 c cocoa
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c sun butter (I used homemade)
  • generous splash of vanilla
  • 1/2 c DF chocolate chips

Mix everything and then pour into your loaf pan.  Bake for around 35-40 minutes.

A couple of notes:

(1) I call these “Flourless” even though my computer keeps on telling me that’s not a real word bc although I do not use flour in these I don’t want to call them “Grain Free.”  The tag, “Grain Free” is associated in my mind with Paleo eating, and I’m just going with gluten free + flourless since I’m still on my vegan kick and use flax eggs.  Flax isn’t a grain, it’s a seed – but I’ve read (I’m reading – thank you, VT!) that some Paleos frown upon eating flax.  So I’m playing it safe.

(2) As part of my effort to build better health habits in my life, e.g. my transition to no-sulfate shampoo, and now baking soda/ACV since I found out I’m allergic to that thing, I hereby rescind my recommendation to microwave your almonds etc. before making milk.  Now I’m going with the soak-for-real, method, or my soak in really hot water for an hour shortcut (although some might frown upon this, too).   I tried to research this, but my eyeballs got tired, so I’m just going with an extremely general explanation- there’s something that’s supposed to happen when you soak nuts, something that makes them more digestible and possibly enhances their nutritional value.  I know some people abhor the microwave.  Personally, I love mine.  But I would not want to mess with the process of soaking with my microwave technique.  I guess this is good, though, since it cultivates both forethought and patience in my life.

PS.  I need about another week to make sure I really do love the baking soda/ACV thing, and I’ll tell you about it.

239.  Flourless PB Bread and PBJ Bars [Grain Free, Dairy Free]

Flourless PB Bread | Grain & Dairy Free, NSA |Ann Ning Learning How

130.  Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins

130. Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins

This is actually an update of the popular “Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins” I posted a long time ago.  It was one of the first recipes I shared and it was clear from how I was throwing things in the blender that cooking/baking with me is not an exact science.  I’ve heard that you should be more precise when baking, but I’m sorry, I can’t.  However, I did manage to make the muffins more replicable by simplifying the recipe.   I took out the chestnuts, agave, and Greek yogurt!  Plus, this time you just need a bowl and a spoon, and I’ve updated the old post accordingly.

My compliments to The Detoxinista – I tried baking with just nut butter after looking at her recipe for PBCC blondies.  She used natural/thinner/oily peanut butter for her blondies, but I used “regular” (like Skippy or JIF) for all of my baking.  I think this resulted in a fluffier (not fudgey) result.  So go for the regular PB.

I baked flourless peanut butter things quite a few times this summer.  Here are two instances:

Flourless Peanut Butter Bread
(pictured at the top of this post)
Grain Free, Dairy Free, No Sugar Added | Preheat oven to 350, Grease an 8×8 square

I made these for Mrs. T, who is trying to avoid flour and sugar for health reasons.  After some coffee-break recon one Sunday I learned that she’s partial to peanut butter.  I did a “practice” batch for our family, and those among us who quite enjoy sugar liked these sugarless squares.  Personally, I liked them with some jam smeared on top, like in the picture.  I used a fruit-sweetened strawberry spread.

  • 1 c peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • splash of vanilla

Combine everything in a bowl.  Pour into your square.  Bake at 350 for around 20 minutes.  I’m sorry, I honestly can’t remember how long I baked them – just start checking at 20, and let them go a few minutes longer if they don’t look done.

Flourless PBJ Bars |Grain Free, Dairy Free | Ann Ning Learning How

Flourless PBJ Bars
Grain Free, Dairy Free | Preheat oven to 350, Grease an 8×8 square

229.  Flourless "Nutella" Bars

229. Flourless “Nutella” Bars

These were the treats I made originally to take to The Gym.  I had a batch in the oven before breakfast that morning.  I found out later, though, that peanuts are on the allergen list, so I switched gears and tried the Flourless “Nutella” Bars.  Thankfully my parents arrived that day so Baker Smurf could advise me when my test batch turned out too soft.  Basically, these are similar to the bread, but this is a thicker, double batch, and the jam is swirled on top so it’s baked into the bar.  Yay!!  Fun times.  My swirl would have been prettier, but Mommy hadn’t arrived yet.  Also, I sweetened these bars so they are more in the “PB Cookie” category than the “bread” category.

  • 1 c smooth peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 1 c chunky peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 2 eggs…I think I used flax eggs
  • pinch off salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ c honey or agave
  • splash of vanilla
  • 2 Tb jam of choice (for the top)

Combine everything except the jam.  Of course you can use all smooth or all chunky PB if you like.  Pour into your square.  Gently warm the jam (I put mine in a small dish) in the microwave.  Dot the top of your batter with the jam.  I made 9 globs.  Drag a toothpick or butter knife through the jam and batter to achieve a feathered effect.  Bake at 350 for around 25-30 minutes.

136. Springtime Snacks

Springtime Snacks

In case you haven’t noticed, I love peanut butter.  Chocolate + PB is one of my faves, but some people (inexplicably) prefer other flavor combinations.  My sister and Josh, for instance, like chocolate-mint treats while Timmy and Hannah are in the chocolate/PB camp with me.  So today I wanted to be more flavor tolerant and am sharing two of my favorite springtime snacks – a Shamrock coffee shake and Grasshopper Cookies.  Both of these were inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie’s Healthy Shamrock Shake.   My favorite part of the CCK method is that she uses spinach to achieve a green color.  Spinach is good for you, FYI – didn’t you watch Popeye growing up?  And you don’t taste it since the banana and mint flavors are strong.  If you are opposed to putting spinach in your treats, though, try it without.

Mint Java Chip Shake, Chocolat Covered Katie Shamrock, Ann Ning Learning How AVM Rupture Stroke

Mint Java Chip Shake

1)   At least ½ of a CCK Shamrock Shake (I use frozen leftovers) To make a faux shamrock shake a la CCK:  I usually blend 1 frozen banana, ¼ cup or less  frozen spinach, a bit of almond milk and a few drops of peppermint extract.  Drink what you want and freeze the rest (e.g. in ice cube trays or I use silicon muffin liners)

2)   ½ c milk of choice

3)   espresso shot or strong coffee, cooled

4)   handful of chocolate chips

  • Drop the rest of your frozen shake (I usually use around ½ a cup of the frozen leftovers), ½ c milk of choice, and a cooled shot of espresso or strong coffee into the blender (I use my Vitamix).  Blend blend blend.
  • At the end, drop in a handful of chocolate chips and blend very gently – you just want to cut them up a bit, not puree them.
  • Enjoy!  It was my friend F who introduced me to the world of caffeinated convenience offered by a Starbucks drive-thru.  She also educated me about java chip Frappuccinos – I haven’t had one in a long time so I’m not sure if they’re still offered, but at the time I thought the little bits of chocolate (big enough to chew but small enough to get through the straw) were wonderful.

 Oatmeal Grasshopper Cookies, Mint Choclate, Flourless, No Added Sugar,

Grasshopper Cookies

I saw a Pin that said you could make cookies by just mashing ripe banana with oats.  I tried it, with some modifications.  It worked!

Preheat Oven to 350

**This is a small batch – about 7-8 cookies.  I like small batches since I experiment a lot and my mobility issues require that my food fits in the toaster oven.  Small batches are good for regular people too, though, since you can whip up a batch with minimal effort and share it with a loved one for a teatime or any time treat.


  1. 1/2 banana
  2.  scant 1/8 c frozen spinach, thawed (You could try more or less – I just used the chunk that fell out of the bag first. )
  3. splash of peppermint extract
  4. 1/4 cup of sliced almonds
  5. splash of milk for blending (I used coconut bc that’s what was in the fridge)
  6. Handful of shredded coconut
  7. Handful of chocolate chips  (I considered using cacao nibs but then I was like, Seriously?  I just put spinach in my cookies.  So I went with cc’s.)
  • Blend ingredients 1-5.  I used my Vitamix – you could try the food processor or reglar blender.  I just wanted the batter to be smooth so I pulverized it.
  • Mix in the coconut and handful of chocolate chips by hand.
  • Scoop onto baking sheet (greased or w. parchment paper) and bake for 15 minutes at 350.

Other Recipes are here.  Yes, I seriously eat like this.