Cooking With Laura Lea Bryant

"Food makes me feel good." - Laura Lea Bryant

Cooking With Laura Lea Bryant of the food blog LL Balanced
Cooking With Laura Lea Bryant of the food blog LL Balanced

We first fell for Laura Lea Bryant drooling over her food blog, LL Balanced, which promises comfort food inspired dishes that are delicious, yet nutritious and easy, to which we said no way! But after spending time with Laura Lea for our Modern Day Hobo X Nashville cast, we quickly became believers. Born and raised in Nashville and oozing with southern charm, Laura was kind enough to share two of her new recipes with us before they hit her new cookbook which she is currently working on.

"If I were trapped on a desert island, I would have to have peanut butter." -Laura Lea Bryant

Cooking Mini Peanut Butter & Banana Cheesecakes With  Laura Lea Bryant
Cooking Mini Peanut Butter & Banana Cheesecakes with Laura Lea

Mini Peanut Butter & Banana Cheesecakes

Fun fact: Banana pudding is the only dessert that I simply CANNOT put down. As in, I have to squirt dish soap on it so that I don’t mow down the entire quart container! Combine this with my all-time favorite food, peanut butter, and you have trouble in the best kind of way! The good news is, these mini cheesecakes are made from real food ingredients, so they’re actually quite satisfying and filling. I can enjoy one (ok, maybe two) and stop...with a big ole’ smile on my face! Feel free to sub peanut butter with almond or cashew butter; it will still create same the creamy, dreamy texture!


Crust Ingredients:

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 ½ cup Quick 1-minute oats
¼ cup peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup medjool dates, pits removed (approximately 3)

Pie Ingredients:

1/2 cup medjool dates, pits removed (approximately 6)
2 medium-sized ripe bananas (some spots but not mushy)
½ cup coconut softened coconut oil
½ cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted unsweetened peanut butter

Coconut whipped cream for garnish!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cupcake tin with liners.

Add oats to a food processor and pulse until it forms a flour, approximately 1 minute. Add remaining crust ingredients and pulse again until it forms a sticky crumble-consistency. Evenly distribute into each cupcake liner, approximately 1 ½ tablespoons. Press each into a firm even layer.

Bake crusts for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool.

While crusts are baking, add dates to a mixing bowl and cover with hot tap water. Allow to sit 10 minutes. In the meantime, add 1 banana, coconut milk, vanilla and peanut butter to a high powered blender. Puree until smooth and creamy.

When dates are finished soaking, drain and pat dry of excess liquid and add to the blender. Puree again until smooth and creamy.

Slice remaining banana into 1/4" thick rounds and place 1 slice at the bottom of each liner. Top with an even layer of the banana peanut butter filling--it should come almost all the way to the top of each. Add any remaining banana slices as garnish, if you like.

Refrigerate mini pies for at least 4 hours before serving. I suggest topping with whipped cream (my coconut whipped cream or store bought). You could also top with chocolate shavings, sliced banana, chopped peanuts, or whatever else you like!

Pies will keep tightly sealed in the refrigerator up to 5 days.


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