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Food & life in Puerto rico | Guest post at HeartBeet Kitchen Blog


hello darlings!

I can hardly believe that it's Thursday already! Today I am so thrilled to be over at HeartBeet Kitchen with a guest post about our life in Puerto Rico through the lens of our taste buds. Amanda was so kind to invite me to be interviewed in her beautiful blog and talk about my favorite Boricua food and eating habits since I've been living in Puerto Rico. 

"Sparkling waves, salty breeze, a serenade by the Coquí every night, delicious fresh fruit, tasty spices (sazón) and much more are part of our everyday life on the enchanted Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico. I am Valerie and I am the author of Nuance and Bubbles Blog and for the past year and a half I have been living in San Juan, Puerto Rico with my husband, the person I describe as the one who is better than the man of my dreams. The way we ended up here is an interesting story but we are glad Providence led us this way. Something we felt was a detour led us to what has been a caribbean newlywed bliss, full of exploring (see pictures here), self-discovery and the acquiring of many new skills that I never imagined I’d have the time to learn.

Amanda and I are still not sure how we started our social media interactions, all we know is that it has quickly turned into a great online friendship. You more than anyone know how wonderful her blog is with all those delicious yet easy to follow recipes. She is one of the few bloggers that has really inspired me to actually try her tasty recipes. I love her simplistic approach to food and how she can make a classic staple look exceptional. She has really encouraged a food blog lover like me to not only limit my food love to the pages of the internet, but to also bring it to life in our kitchen.
I hope you will head over to her blog and read the rest of the post and while you are there enjoy this blogger's amazing recipes and maybe been get her new book called "Smitten with squash".  

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Guest Post from HeartBeet Kitchen | Coco-Banana Chocolate Chip Blondies (gluten-free & dairy free)


Hello Darlings,
I could hardly contain my excitement, I am so glad today to introduce to you author and new amazing blogger friend Amanda with such a delightful recipe and with some nutrition words of wisdom. Enjoy! 

"There have been several instances in my lifetime where someone has stumbled into my life whom I had no idea would turn out to be such a great supporter and friend. Valerie and I met through Twitter, the exact occurrence I can’t even remember because once we started chatting we never stopped! When I hopped on over to her blog and saw the inspiring work she does, to lift up women and bring us all a spot where we can feel loved, I knew I had found something special. 

We connected over all things that nourish a strong woman – mind, body and soul. I write about fresh & seasonal cooking over on my blog Heartbeet Kitchen, and feel strongly about how a healthy relationship with food can bring more than just nutrition. I also just published the cookbook “Smitten with Squash”, which celebrates this wonderful vegetable and all its different varieties, plus endless ways to use it in your kitchen. By cooking more for myself, I’ve found creativity that I never knew I had, as well as a better body image knowing that food is beautiful fuel. All the recipes on my blog are gluten-free, most of the time naturally because they’re made with real food that is plant focused. And when it comes to sweet treats, which every girl needs in her life, they’re made with love and quality ingredients.  




I couldn’t wait to share these Coco-Banana Chocolate Blondies with you after swooning over their deliciousness. These bars are quick and easy to make, using only one bowl and just a few ingredients. I used coconut & oat flours as the base, plus coconut oil. The result was super soft and chewy bars packed with healthy vitamins and minerals. I love the flavor combination weaved into them with the bananas, chocolate, and coconut!

On a side note, have you baked with coconut flour yet? It’s incredibly healthy, rich in dietary fiber, and essential fats that our bodies crave. These benefits also mean that it works a little differently in baking, where it absorbs far more liquid than grain flours which is why the bananas and eggs are essential parts of these bars. But not to worry, that’s why I did the work for beforehand in order for you to get this recipe just right! These incredible treats are as healthy as they come, incredibly easy, and both gluten-free and dairy-free.




♥ Coco-Banana Chocolate Chip Blondies (gluten-free, dairy free)
Makes an 8x8 inch pan
Adapted from this recipe

I know it’ll be hard to resist taking a bite of these bars when they’re just warm out of the oven, but they do benefit from cooling completely. You’ll get a fudgey texture that holds together perfectly.  Enjoy!

3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed (mash should weigh 210 grams)
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar (110 grams)
2 large eggs (130 grams)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil, cooled
1/4 cup oat flour (15 grams)
1/3 cup coconut flour (45 grams)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chocolate chunks, chopped (80 grams, use dairy free if needed) 




Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Place the banana and brown sugar in the large bowl of a stand mixer. (Or you can use a hand blender.) Mix medium speed until the banana and sugar are creamy and mostly smooth.  It doesn’t have to be 100% smooth, a little banana texture is okay. Add the eggs and mix until smooth.  

Add the coconut oil, coconut flour, oat flour, vanilla, baking powder and salt.  Mix until smooth. Finally add 1/2 cup chocolate chunks and fold them in. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out. Bake for 25 minutes, until just golden and set.  The blondies should still be soft but just cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate in the microwave, then drizzle on top of the bars. To store, keep in refrigerator for up to 4 days. 




It’s been fun saying hi to all of you and I’d love to connect with more lovely ladies, just as I connected with Valerie. Besides my blog, you can catch up with me on TwitterInstagramPinterest, or Facebook. Hope you have a wonderful week and happy baking! "

Hope you enjoyed this amazing post by Amanda from Heartbeet Kitchen. Be sure to let us know (by tagging us on social media) when you try it!


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