Banana Bread Bars

There are very few things that can make me feel as cozy as banana bread. My mom would make it all the time when I was a kid (and would even bring it to my dorm in college sometimes). Saving up all the brown bananas we didn’t eat in time and putting them in the freezer. When she had enough she would make the whole house smell like heaven and it was hard to keep us back long enough for the banana bread to cool so she could cut a slice for my brother and I. My grandmother would cozy up next to me with some tea and her banana bread and on those chilly fall days we would watch infomercials and old movies at my parents house. So when I got a tweet on Twitter the other day from a follower that wanted to use up some Chia seeds I thought what better way than to give out my banana bread bars recipe! The recipe is easy and just requires dumping everything in a bowl and mixing and then placing it in the oven. The weather was cool over the weekend so I made a batch as a breakfast snack for my husband and I this week. They were also snacked on by both my parents yesterday while we continued mounting new things to the walls of my new house.  Note: I bribe family and friends with dinner and snacks for free labor 🙂 


banana bread bars done


Banana Bread Bars



(3) Bananas (overripe and brown is best)

1 1/2 cup Quick Oats

1 tsp tapioca granulated

2 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup of Raw Agave Syrup/Nectar

1/4 cup raw unsalted pistachios

1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup white chocolate chips (I use Lieber’s White Decorative Chips)

Spectrum Coconut Oil Spray for pan


banana bread bars ingredients




  • Place white chips, nuts, seeds, coconut, and tapicoa in a medium mixing bowl and stir until combined.
  • Add quick oats. Stir until combined.
  • Add bananas (i ususally microwave frozen bananas for 1 minute and then add them). Mix until thick adn well combined throughout.
  • Add agave and fold in.

banana bread raw mix 1   banana bread raw mix 2   banana bread raw mix with oats   banana bread raw mix with banana   banana bread raw mix with agave



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a bread pan with coconut oil.
  • Place bar mixture into bread pan and pat flat with spatula.
  • Bake for 30-40minutes until the sides turn brown and the center is firm tot he touch.
  • Cut into 6 bars and serve after cooled about 15-30minutes.
  • Enjoy!


banana bread raw mix patted flat   banana bread raw mix in pan   banana bread bars done



WW Points: 8pts per bar.





The Hippie Gypsy



Two Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies

So to keep the theme of fast recipes with leftovers… I came across this recipe from a former coworker who found it on another site and thought it was too good to be true. It was a 2 ingredient cookie (3 or 4 if you add some good stuff). I had two containers of half used quick oats and a quarter of a bag of vegan chocolate chips because my husband sneaks chocolate when I am not around, and of course at least 5 or 6 frozen brown bananas in my freezer just in case! I always keep them around because my step kids love banana pancakes. So whenever I don’t finish a bunch in the freezer one or two will go! This was the prefect recipe that I will make again and again because it is so easy and dare I say healthy! My husband thinks it needs more sugar. But I just told him to go snack on the fudge from yesterday :). Eat up!

cookies cooled

NOTE: The original recipe was on The Burlap Bag and my friend’s blog is Organic Glory. So take a looksy!


RECIPE: Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

(2) Overripe Brown Bananas

1 cup Quick oats

Optional: Vegan Chocolate Chips, Walnuts, etc.


Mash the bananas into the quick oats and then mix in any optional toppings.


Place on a cookie sheet with either a silpat or parchment, it will stick and be messy otherwise.

cookies on silpat

Bake at 350degrees for 15minutes.

cookies close up

Eat and Enjoy!


XOXOX, The Hippie Gypsy

Happy Birthday Cake Recipes

So Monday will be my birthday. This weekend I will be removing wallpaper from my new house. As you can see I am a party animal. I cannot wait to make a birthday cake for myself however. Cakes are very important in my family. A few reasons have dictated this importance. 1.) My mother never got birthday cakes as a child due to a mixture of it being an extravagance to a single mom with six kids and also the fact that my mom was born on the second anniversary of her sister’s death. 2.) My birthday is the same week as 4 other family members. My cousin was born the 22nd, my grandmother the 24th, I on the 25th, my aunt on the 26th, and my great-grandfather on the 27th. So that week was pretty party ridden. 3.) My birthday tends to fall during blizzards. So we always had to prepare in advance for the cake in case we could not leave the house for ingredients. In High School once, I discovered that I loved cooking when caught in a blizzard on my birthday. I not only figured out how to get myself Chinese food but I also made myself an apple caramel drizzle cake out of things in the pantry and a very weathered version of the Joy of Cooking and a church cookbook were analyzed and ingredients were questioned like “is baking soda and powder different and is there a substitute for canola oil?”

So this year I am going to give you my favorite low ingredient birthday cake recipe that my husband adores despite it being vegan. I will also post links to some of the most delicious looking cakes out there and tell you where I would buy my cake if I wasn’t going to make it this year.

Enjoy my birthday cake extravaganza!


My Favorite Birthday Cake Recipe:

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake with Guava Filling

1 Box of Dark Chocolate Cake Mix (most mixes are vegan just look)
3/4 bag of vegan chocolate chips
1 can of pumpkin
Earth Balance to butter the cake pans
Parchment to line the bottom of the cake pans

1/4 bag of vegan chocolate chips
1 thin large can of guava paste (I like Goya)
Vanilla Sugar (I like Penzey’s)

Chocolate Frosting (You can make it or buy it, I like to make a ganache style frosting)
Vanilla Sugar

Take all cake ingredients place in a large mixing bowl. Mix until combined. Add Cinnamon to taste. I always add 1-3 tbsp so that I can taste the cinnamon over the chocolate flavor. I test as I add it. Place in two round cake pans evenly lining the bottoms with parchment and buttering them with Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.

Bake according to the box directions. Take out when you can remove a toothpick cleanly.

Next in a medium mixing bowl warm your guava paste so you can spread it in between the cake layers. On top of the cake you will sprinkle cinnamon, spread the guava paste, and then sprinkle chocolate chips and vanilla sugar. Top with warm second cake layer.

Next, warm the frosting so you can drizzle it over the top of the cake. Wait until the cake is cooled. THen drizzle the frosting over the top. Sprinkle liberally with vanilla sugar.

Serve with homemade ice cream.



Banana Split Cake: This looks and sounds amazing.

Lemon Birthday Cake: THis sounds so light and delicious. I would even use this cake as a base for my July 4th Trifle!

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake: Chef Chloe is always a no brainer when it comes to cooking. Her cookbook also has a birthday cake recipe that looks divine! I had a banana cake layer at my wedding by Red Velvet Cafe in Las Vegas, NV and I am a convert!

Strawberry Vanilla Cake: This recipe has quite a few ingredients but I have all of them in my home so I figure so will most vegans. This looks and sounds fresh and delicious and looks amazing like a giant strawberry shortcake. Yum!

Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake: Something more decadent and raw for my raw fans! This looks so sinful I can feel a toothache coming on and the drool pooling on the side of my mouth!


Top Places to buy a Vegan Cake in New England:

1. Veggie Planet in Cambridge, MA: I cannot say enough about the restaurant or the all vegan bakery. It is amazing. Get the cheesecake with strawberries or the Coconut Lemon Passionfruit Layer Cake. I live for these two cakes and served the Coconut at my Bridal Shower last February.

2. Cafe Indigo in Concord, NH and MA Whole Foods: You can get their cakes onsite or at local Whole Foods throughout Massachusetts. The Carrot Cake changes lives. You will never want another carrot cake ever again. I served that cake at my engagement party and I buy slices of it at Whole Foods more than I probably should. My omni husband does as well and sometimes eats mine.

3. Moo-Cluck Corp. : You can buy these at various whole foods and natural foods stores in the cold section. I have bought all of their items at some point but truly love the vanilla strawberry cake when I need to buy something to run to a party in a pinch. It is yummy and the strawberries are fresh and not just some syrup.

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins: The Joy of Vegan Baking Adaptation

So I love muffins and chocolate and bananas and my “Joy of Vegan Baking” Cookbook so when I saw a recipe for Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins I passed out in a heavenly rush on my kitchen floor! All jokes aside the recipe was easy and yummy and hit the spot. I could make a ton of them for a work related early morning meeting or just to snack away at throughout the week for the whole family. I even brought some to my neighbor’s house last night for the kids and they became the “best muffin I ever ate” by the 8year old omnivore at the house. So that being said, I knew I had to throw the adapted recipe up. The “Joy of Vegan Baking” calls for more chocolate chips which I am usually game for but in this case they were crumbling apart from the chips so I cut them in half and it was perfect. I also added a little more vanilla and some flaxseed powder. The muffins keep well and are pretty good ingredient wise with nuts, seeds, and 4 bananas. Can’t beat a semi-healthy muffin! Enjoy!



2cups All Purpose Flour (I use unbleached from Trader Joe’s)

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda

Pinch of Kosher Salt

1 Cup Vegan Sugar (Whole Foods has a good one)

1/3cup Canola Oil (Vegetable will work but Canola is better)

4 Bananas ripe or brown (deep yellow work best although brown are a little sweeter)

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp Mexican Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Vegan Semisweet Chocolate Chips (green package at whole foods)

1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts

OPTIONAL: Add 2 tbsp powdered flaxseed for a little extra goodness, it won’t effect the flavor or texture!



Place paper in muffin tins. You can use folded parchment or just any good old cupcake paper wrapper. I have tons of old Christmas ones so red and green it is!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Get two bowls to mix in. One for wet ingredients one for dry. The larger one for the wet ingredients as you will add the dry to this mixture later.

Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt in on bowl (optional flaxseed powder). Lightly whisk to combine everything well.

Next, in the larger bowl or the “wet” bowl mix the oil and sugar until it looks like a yellow slushy.

Mash in the bananas to the “slushy” mix. Then add water and vanilla. Combine well.

Now sift the dry mix into the wet mix slowly. I would add about 1/8 at a time then stir in completely and sift in the next bunch to avoid those bubbles of lumpy dry mixture.

Once all is combined well stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

I did not add walnuts to one batch at the request of my neighbors kids the other day and the muffins were still deemed the “best muffin she has ever had”. 8 year old approval is a good thing especially an 8 year old omnivore! So nuts or no nuts they are A-OK. Moving on…

Scoop mixture into cupcake pan/cups. I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup if my Ice cream scoop is unavailable.

Back for 25minutes in a gas oven it may take closer to 30 in an electric oven.

Take out, cool, and eat.

Traveling Vegan: Snacking your Way to Athleticism

I was athletic prior to my vegan days. I ran a half marathon just months before being given, what I felt at the time was, a life sentence of veggies. My life has turned around for the better since that event over a year ago and it is about to change again! This week I will be allowed to begin my athletic streak again! The doctors gave me the A-OK to start running or cycling or whatver-ing! I was so excited I joined a gym with free spin classes and yoga! Then I got a call from my new trainer and her question about my diet hit home. I have never been an athlete while vegan. No more lean chicken breast or broiled fish or hard boiled eggs. What should I be eating before my Saturday training session?

So I started first by cutting my calories this month. I was consuming far too many. I use the Calorie Count app on my phone and it is great, Weight Watchers is another great option but costs about $15 a month for their online food logging service. I prefer the free  calorie count online or app service, it even gives you a letter grade on your eating habits. Now the tough part is what calories are good for this new athletic lifestyle? I have talked to some friends, fellow runners, my old trainer, and referenced some sites. The best advice I was given: more protein less oil. So I went on a hunt for a new protein shake and since I tried one I liked at “The Seed” conference in NYC, I am going to start there and itemize how my training goes or adapts with it. So here is my recipe for the protein smoothie that will start of my travels to the gym, pre-run, and anywhere else I go!

1 packet or serving Vega Vanilla Chai Protein Powder (available at Whole Foods or online)
1 serving frozen tropical fruit blend (again whole foods has a banana, strawberry, mango mix I love)
1 banana
1-2 cups of milk (the suggestion was Rice but I only had unsweetened almond milk or vanilla coconut)
1 tbsp freshly ground flaxseed powder

I place it in the blender with the milk, powder, flax, and banana on the bottom and the frozen fruit is like ice on top. I like a little more milk because it is not as thick but my friend likes it thick so it melts over a period of time in the morning. This is a dense treat so remember it is a whole meal not just a snack! Enjoy!

PS I will keep you updated on how this works at Saturday’s training session!

Busy Weeks Call for Pancakes… Banana Pancakes!

When I was a kid my father would travel on business a great deal. My mother got in the habitof giving us pancakes for dinner one of those nights when he was away. Usually the night he left. It was about comfort and fun. My brother and I were always beyond excited. She made these enormous, fluffy, bisquick pancakes with a big glass of milk ororange juice and it was like heaven. Since I have been out on my own I realize that when stuff isn’t so fun and life is stressful or when a friend comes in to visit and they arrive late at night, I make pancakes. Then the vegan thing happened and I did not know what to eat. Pancakes were butter, milk, and eggs in my head. Then I went online and googled my life away. PETA has agreat site helper called “accidentally vegan” that lists foods you can eat that already happen to be vegan. They have a standard one and teen site with this. And guess what is on it? BISQUICK!

That being said after a long stressful week I am looking forward to pancakesand not just any pancakes I am going all out and making banana pancakes. My non-vegan stepkids love them and occassionally right before I flip them over I will add a few vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips!


2 cups Bisquick

1/2 cup Almond Milk (plain unsweetened)

1/2 cup Vanilla Coconut Milk (or vanilla soy milk) + 1/4 cup

2tbs flaxseed (ground fresh in coffee grinder)

2 brown frozen bananas

Optional: vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Note: To double the recipe you do not need to double the bananas, I usually just add one more.



First thing, place the 2tbsp whole flaxseed into the coffee grinder, grind until a fine powder.

In a large mising bowl mix 2 cups of bisquick and the ground flaxseed together until blended.

Add the 1/2 cup of both milks to the pancake powder.

Stir until thick and sticky. It will be very tough to mix and look more like bread dough than traditional pancake mixture.

Place browned frozen bananas in microwave for 30secs and then flip and do another 30secs. They will be liquidy so do not remove right away.

Add extra 1/4 cup of milk now into the pancake dough.

Last add the hot bananas. I rip them down the side over the mixing bowl holding them with a potholder and dump them into the bowl. They will be soupy but this is a good thing!

Mash them into the mixture until well blended.

Heat the griddle or pan until a bead of water dances on the griddle or pan.

Then spray or oil the pan.

Scoop pancake mix onto the pan and seperate it using a utensil or you fingers if you are feeling brave until a flattened circle is formed. This may take some practice. If the dough is took thick when you flip it over just press down and flip back after the second side is down to ensure it is cooked through. You won’t die if its not but because there is no worry of food poinsoning but it gets a weird texture.

Flip when you see bubbles start to form around the edges. This is the “flip me” signal for those that may not cook alot.

Last place them in the oven on warm or about 200-250 degrees until you are ready to serve them all.

I top with nuts, berries, heated rice syrup mixed with earth butter and cinnamon, margarine and maple syrup, shredded coconut and sliced bananas, etc.