Friday, April 26, 2013

Review - Live. Learn. Love. Eat and Mocha Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe

When I first considered the idea of switching to a plant-based diet, I envisioned a life of rabbit food ... raw carrots and celery ... morning, noon and night. Yes, I knew that it would be healthy and understood that it was better for the planet but ... the adventure didn't sound all that exciting.

In truth, it was difficult to know what to eat. Searching the Internet garnered recipes containing weird-sounding ingredients and as for nutritional advice ... well, it was available but made me feel like I was "cramming" for a college course instead of cooking.

Oh to have had a copy of Live. Learn. Love. Eat. by author, blogger and a Reduce Footprints guest chef, Tiffany Pidruchny.

The first few chapters offer readers information about getting started. There's a section on Protein and another about natural sweeteners. One of my favorite chapters is how to make any meal vegan ... chili, stir-fry, pizza ... you'll find advice on how to create dishes your family will love. Wondering how to stock your plant-based kitchen? Check out Ingredients and A Well-Stocked Vegan Kitchen.

If you have children, you'll definitely want to read How To Get Kids To Eat Healthy and 25 Nutritious Vegan Snack Ideas (Granola bars, muffins and cookies ... oh my).

The recipes are well organized, both by meal and categories such as pasta, salads, etc. I was thrilled with the breakfast chapter because, for me, it is the hardest meal to "switch over". I found delicious offerings such as Green "Eggs" on Toast, Chocolate Cherry Almond Granola and Berry Peach Baked Oatmeal.

Ingredients include whole foods and products that can be found on grocery store shelves. While you might find a meat substitute, they are used sparingly. The majority of dishes are made from "scratch". But don't let that scare you ... the instructions are clear and easy to follow.

The proof of any cookbook is, as they say, in the pudding. I have tried many of Tiffany's recipes and can tell you ... they are delicious! I highly recommend this book!

Ready to test one out for yourself? Tiffany has graciously agreed to let me share one from the book ... I hope you'll enjoy it!

Mocha Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Makes one 9 x 5 loaf


3 overripe bananas
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
1/4 cup sunflower oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup instant coffee (I used decaf)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup vegan chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas then add the maple syrup, milk, oil, and vanilla, whisking until combined.
  • Add the instant coffee and cocoa powder and whisk again until combined.
  • In a separate small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and chocolate chips.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, careful not to over mix the batter.
  • Pour the batter into a 9 x 5 loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  • Loaf is ready when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of Live. Learn. Love. Eat. for yourself, send a request to Tiffany here:

I received a copy of Live. Learn. Love. Eat. as a gift. I loved it so much that I asked the author if I could write a review. I received no compensation. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and reflect my honest opinion of the book.