The other day I could feel my body needed something packed full of good nutrients and protein … I didn’t have much time to cook, so I quickly whipped up this delicious smoothie. I like how the kiwi adds a little “zing” to the taste, along with being a nutrient powerhouse. According to a study at Rutgers University, the kiwi is the most nutrient dense fruit, ounce for ounce. It’s high in vitamin C and one study showed that eating 2-3 kiwi fruits a day can reduce the potential for blood clots and decrease triglycerides. Yet another study cited the kiwi’s ability to protect and repair the body from DNA damage, which could protect against cancer. (Source: Super Kids Nutrition)
All of that, plus it makes a really yummy smoothie.
Strawberry Banana Kiwi Smoothie
- 2 small kiwi fruit
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 of a frozen banana
- 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
- 1/4 cup lowfat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- A few fresh mint leaves
Cut the kiwi in half and scoop out the fruit from the fuzzy skin. Put the flesh of the kiwi along with the rest of the ingredients in your blender and blend everything till smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Since my first baked oatmeal turned out so good, I wanted to try another version. I meant to make this one banana pecan, but once I got into the kitchen, well, I couldn’t help but add chocolate. In the end, I’m glad I did … this oatmeal is SO deep dark chocolate decadent. I almost want to try making it again without the banana … or maybe use berries instead? Yeah, it’ll happen.
This could be breakfast or dessert. Mid-afternoon snack. After dinner treat. Whenever you eat it, it’s delightful.
Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1 cup (100g) old fashioned oats (not instant oats)
- 1/3 cup (30g) pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup (60g) brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened quality dark cocoa powder (such as Ghirardelli)
- 1 cup (250ml) milk
- 2 Tablespoons of Chocolate Chia Pudding or 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon Frangelico (optional)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons pecans
- 1/2 Tablespoon or so of raw (Turbinado) sugar
- A few chocolate chips
- A few banana slices
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Spray a small casserole dish or 8×8 inch square baking dish with cooking spray and make a layer of banana slices on the bottom.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together the oats, chopped pecans, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle half the oat mixture over the bananas, then add another layer of bananas and cover with the remaining oats.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, chia pudding (or egg white), vanilla, and Frangelico. Pour this liquid mixture over the oats, trying to coat all the oats with liquid. Sprinkle the top with the toppings, then set in the oven.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the dish has set. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
(a.k.a. “Healthy Muck”)
So far, I have a total of one smoothie on this blog. One. I guess if you count this one, that’s two, but it’s really the same smoothie (this one is a health-ified version of the other one), so does that count? I think it’s still just one.
I do really love smoothies … but I realized a while ago that many smoothies are packed with enough calories for a meal for a petite little middle-aged person like me. I like to maximize the enjoyment of my limited number of calories, and I tend to drink fast … so smoothies are not normally such a good dietary choice for me. I would much rather have a salad I can munch on for a long time … it satisfies my palate much better than a quickly-downed smoothie. For my son on the other hand, he is well over six feet tall and still growing … he loves smoothies and I’m quite glad to oblige him.
Anyway, the ONE smoothie that I do have on my blog is the cream of the crop. It’s my son’s favorite smoothie … AND the only smoothie I would choose to have to replace a meal, and I would enjoy every drop of it. My dad invented it. We used to call it “Grampa smoothies” up until my son’s friend said it looks like muck. So it was re-named “Muck”.
Anyway, I got a couple new ingredients to try out. First I won a bag of chia seeds from Lauren at Nutri-Savvy and Ruth’s Foods. I had never used chia seeds before, but I’ve heard they are a nutritional powerhouse: packed with Omega-3s, plus protein and fiber, they are even better than flax seed or quinoa. AND then a friend was telling me how wonderful PB2 is. It’s powdered peanut butter with most of the fat removed. I used to think that sounded just totally gross, but after talking to my friend, I thought what they heck: I’ll give it a shot. And did you know they have a CHOCOLATE version of PB2? Who can resist chocolate and peanut butter? Only 45 calories in two tablespoons? Um, yeah. I’m in. I found it in the health food section at our grocery store, but if you can’t find it there, it is available on Amazon.
I expected that my health-ified version wouldn’t really be as good. And really, I can’t say it has the same rich decadence as the original, but it was pretty darn close. The chia seeds added a slight bit of crunch … but they didn’t change the wonderful chocolate peanut butter banana taste. And the Chocolate PB2 did EXACTLY what I wanted it to do: gave it all the chocolate peanut butter taste without all the fat, sugar and calories of peanut butter and chocolate syrup.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Chia Smoothie (a.k.a., “Healthy Muck”)
- 1 1/2 bananas, frozen
- 1 cup lowfat milk (I used 1% milk, but you can use skim or I am sure almond or soy milk would work well too)
- 2 Tablespoons Chocolate PB2
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Put all ingredients in blender and blend till smooth. Pour into a nice tall glass (or two smaller ones) and enjoy! Drizzle with a tiny bit of real chocolate syrup if you like …
Just for fun, I put it in the Calorie Count Recipe Analyzer on About.com and it gets an “A” for a Nutrition Grade!
With 10.6 grams of fiber and 17.1 grams of protein, not to mention 39% of your day’s needs for calcium and 26% of your vitamin C, it’s a fantastic way to start your day.
I was in dire need of some sumptuous chocolate today … and didn’t have much time … so I whipped up some chocolate crostini … so yes I confess, I did just make up a fancy name for “chocolate ganache frosting on toast” … but we’re talking about that dreamy whipped chocolate ganache I made for my daughter’s cake … oh my it is so good. Rich, decadent, creamy chocolate taste. And it’s really pretty healthy when you think about it … there are only 2 tablespoons of butter in the whole recipe. And a whole bunch of egg whites. Excellent source of protein!
You see, there was some ganache left after I frosted the cake and I just couldn’t let it go to waste … and this ganache really does elevate toast to fancy dessert status. Besides, having it on toast has to be healthier than cake, right? I added a little extra healthy goodness by adding bananas and walnuts. That counts, right?
Okay, so it’s not total health food, but it’s not THAT bad for you. And it satisfied my chocolate craving. That’s the important part. Because who knows what I would have eaten if I hadn’t made that nasty craving go away … see that’s the trick to staying skinny. Not avoiding your cravings, but satisfying them without over-indulging. To satisfy a craving, you need something that TASTES totally decadent. (It doesn’t have to actually BE totally decadent, but it has to TASTE totally decadent.) Don’t settle for anything less. That cheap chocolate will just leave you longing for more. And you know where THAT goes …
Chocolate Dessert Crostini with Banana and Toasted Walnuts
- French bread, sliced thin
- Whipped Chocolate Ganache (recipe here)
- Banana slices
- Toasted walnuts
Toast the french bread lightly, and spread each little toast with a good thick layer of ganache. Top with banana slices and a few toasted walnuts. Serve immediately. Seriously, this is so simple, but it works! The crunchy toast with the creamy decadent chocolate and then the sweet bananas and toasty walnuts on top … mmmm.
I really need to ditch the purple nail polish from the birthday party sleepover … it’s so distracting …
I am SOoooo into homemade granola! I love love love love LOVE it! Ideas for different granola flavors are bouncing around in my head like crazy. The idea for this tropical granola sprung from a peanut butter trail mix cookie I used to make with tropical trail mix (come to think of it, I need to make those cookies again sometime for the blog …)
But not today … nope no siree bob … Today it’s time for GRANOLA! The perfect sweet healthy snack to munch on when you need a little boost of energy. That wonderful crunchy mix that is so welcome sprinkled on yogurt … or in a bowl with fruit and milk. This granola is chock full of tropical fruits, so you don’t need to even add any more fruit … unless, of course, you want to. It is awfully good with a couple fresh strawberries tossed in.
You are going to love this stuff. I just know it.
Tropical Trail Mix Granola
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 3/4 cup peanuts
- 3/4 pecans
- 4 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup flaxmeal or flax seeds
- 1/4 cup wheat bran or wheat germ
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (optional … you can lower the amount of salt or leave it out for a low-sodium granola)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cups mixed dried tropical fruit pieces (pineapple, coconut, mango, banana chips, etc.)
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the oats, flax, wheat bran and nuts. Set aside.
- In a separate small bowl, mash the banana very well until it’s smooth (not too lumpy). Put the banana in a small saucepan with the maple syrup, and other wet ingredients. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is hot and bubbly. Stir in the honey and remove from heat.
- Pour the hot sweet sticky banana mixture over the nutty oat mixture in the bowl. Stir it all up until it’s well mixed.
- Spread all this wonderful stuff out into a thin layer on a large jellyroll pan (or other big flat baking pan with an edge to it). Set it in the oven and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. It should be browned to a lovely brown color and smelling fantastic. You can taste a little sample to see if it’s crunchy enough. If it’s not, bake it a little longer.
- Let the granola cool for a bit before stirring in the fruit. Store in an airtight container. It will keep for about a month or so. There’s NO way mine is going to last that long …
Chocolate, Peanut Butter, & Banana Muffins … with a Peanut Butter Filling
Okay, Elvis never really tried these muffins. But he should have! He would have loved them.
But then again, who wouldn’t love chocolate banana muffins with a peanut butter filling? Maybe my mother. She’s not into chocolate. I will never ever in a million years understand that. (But I still love you, Mom!)
Elvis’ Favorite Muffins
Chocolate, Peanut Butter, & Banana … with a Peanut Butter Filling
Makes 18 muffins
- 3 mashed ripe bananas (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup lowfat milk (I used 1%)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (add more or less, depending on how chocolatey you want your muffins)
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the bananas, sugar, yogurt, canola oil, egg and vanilla until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is thoroughly mixed.
- Mix the filling ingredients together. Add a little more PB or sugar according to your taste.
- Spray your muffin pans with cooking spray. Spoon a spoonful of batter into the bottom of each muffin pan to cover the bottom of the muffin. Top with a small spoonful (about a teaspoon) of the peanut butter filling, then cover the filling up with another spoonful of the chocolate batter.
- Bake at 325° for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the muffins spring back when touched.
Now … what should I do with these other three bananas? Hmm …
The other day I was cruising around the blogosphere when I saw some coconut ice cream … I’m not much of a fan of that dried shredded coconut, but I love the flavor of coconut … and I thought: wouldn’t coconut ice cream be dreamy? Or better yet, coconut RUM ice cream? Oh and then you could go a step further and make it pina colada ice cream.
I didn’t want all the fat and sugar from the recipe I saw so I made up my own. It’s fruity with that creamy coconut taste and an underlying hint of banana … because frozen bananas have a luscious creaminess to them that no other fruit can quite attain.
And just for good measure (and a little color!) I added some more fruit on top.
Banana Colada Ice Cream
- 2 cups fat free half and half
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1/2 of a can of light coconut juice
- 1/4 cup pineapple orange juice concentrate
- 3 Tablespoons of coconut rum
- In a medium saucepan, mix half & half & sugar. Heat, stirring frequently, until small bubbles form at the edge of the pan.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a whisk or mixer until frothy.
- Slowly drizzle a stream of the hot cream mixture (about 1 cup of it) into the egg, whisking or beating constantly.
- Gradually add the egg mixture back into the remaining hot cream mixture in the saucepan, whisking as you go.
- Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon–roughly 5 minutes.
- Pour the hot mixture into a blender with the vanilla, frozen bananas, pineapple orange juice concentrate and coconut rum. Blend until smooth.
- Put the mixture in the fridge until cool. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Serve topped with the honey spiced fruit compote
Honey Spiced Fruit Compote
This makes a small batch of fruit compote, just enough for about 2-3 servings, depending on how much fruit you pile on and how big your servings are. Mix up the fruits if you like — pineapple or mango would be wonderful too.
- 1 kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
- 5 – 7 strawberries, tops removed and chopped
- 1/2 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- A dash of each: nutmeg and ground ginger
- 1 banana, peeled and sliced
Mix all the ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes or so or until the fruits start juicing a bit. Pour over the frozen ice cream.
I was having a serious chocolate craving and nothing I had on hand was going to cut it. I was tempted to make something like a chocolate pudding cake until I saw this recipe from Rock Recipes for Chocolate Pecan Banana Bread. I couldn’t help but fiddle with the recipe, though. I reduced the fat, increased the amount of cocoa, reduced the sugar and then added honey and Nutella and substituted hazelnuts for the pecans (to go with the Nutella!).
It was just what I needed to satisfy that intense chocolate craving. Yes this is DARK, decadent chocolate. My favorite. Mmmm.
Double Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread
Adapted from Rock Recipes
- 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons applesauce
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup milk
- 1/4 cup Nutella
- 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup flax meal
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons dark cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup good quality chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- Raw sugar, extra chocolate chips, and/or toasted chopped nuts (for topping)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mash the bananas with a fork, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
- Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with raw sugar, toasted chopped nuts, and chocolate chips, if desired.
- Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Some days I feel overwhelmed … and I wonder why. I mean, things are so much easier now than they were just a couple years ago. I listen to my friends’ problems and I feel like I have it so easy. I’m really okay. There aren’t any big tragedies in my life. My kids and I are healthy, I have a good job, a good home, good food, great friends and family.
But still some days everything in my life feels like just too much. I don’t know what it is. There just is too much to be done, too many things pulling at me, and I get to the point where I just don’t know how to respond, how to deal with anything. I can’t make a decision, I can’t even answer my kids’ questions. I just have to tell them to wait a bit. It’s times like this when I turn to the kitchen … the preparation of food soothes me, comforts me, makes things feel a little better.
And then I get a big hug from my daughter for making banana bread and everything is all right again. Is life really that simple? Can everything be turned around in an instant with one little hug?
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Adapted from Taste & Tell. This is a soft, moist banana bread with a subtle hint of peanut butter. For more peanut flavor, add some chopped peanuts. If you toast the nuts before adding them, it will bring out the peanut flavor even more.
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
- 1/3 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup flaxmeal
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- For the top: a couple tablespoons of raw sugar (turbinado sugar)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan or mini loaf pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Mash the bananas in a large bowl, then add the milk, peanut butter, vanilla, yogurt and egg and mix well.
- Stir in the dry ingredients, then mix in the chocolate chips.
- Pour into one 4x5x9 inch bread pan or a few smaller loaf pans (I used 3 smaller ones.)
- Sprinkle the tops of the batter with raw sugar and place in the oven to bake.
- Bake smaller loaves for 30 – 45 minutes or larger loaf for 50 – 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread rest in the pan for a few minutes before removing.
I dreamt of this oatmeal last night. And woke up from my dream and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Seriously, what kind of weirdo dreams about OATMEAL? Me, I guess. Because when I have a flash of foodie inspiration, it won’t leave me alone. It nags at me and churns around in my mind until I MAKE it.
So I had to have this for breakfast. Which is quite handy, because I have several bananas starting to get spotty on my counter. Not to mention that it’s chocolate. and quick. and healthy. and quite yummy. I totally love this oatmeal.
Banana Nutella Oatmeal
Makes 1 serving for a small person like me. If you’re a big person with a hefty appetite, you probably want to double this recipe.
- 1 over-ripe banana
- 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup milk (I used 1% … substitute whatever milk you like. I bet almond or coconut milk would be good in this!)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Nutella
- 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder
- a pinch of salt
- Mash the banana in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.
- Microwave on high for 1 minute. Take the bowl out and stir everything up again.
- Microwave for another minute. Take it out and stir. If the oatmeal is done, eat it. If it’s not quite done, put it back in there and microwave for another 30 seconds or so.
It snowed outside today. My banana bread (which is lowfat and part-whole wheat) was so delicious when it was fresh, but now it is a couple days old. And I had some extra chocolate mousse on hand that I had made for my Midnight Sin cake. So I put the two in a bowl, added some plain nonfat yogurt, and a squirt of whipped cream on top and that was my breakfast.
I was kind of wishing I had some fresh bananas on hand because some banana slices would have been nice on this. After my parfait was all gone, I was thinking I could have added some toasted nuts. Oh well, it was good just like this. Add the extras if you so desire.
Chocolate Mousse, Yogurt, and Banana Bread Trifle
- Lowfat chocolate mousse (I recommend the mousse recipe at the bottom of this post) … or I think some chocolate mousse yogurt would work well here too
- Banana bread, sliced and cut into small cubes (here is the recipe I used)
- Plain nonfat (or lowfat) yogurt … or vanilla-flavored yogurt if you prefer
- Add-ins/extras: banana slices, toasted nuts, or even a few chocolate chips
- Light whipped cream, for the top
Layer the ingredients in a glass bowl or a pretty glass. I started with a layer of chocolate mousse, added the banana bread, then the plain yogurt, then a bit more chocolate mousse, and topped with a little swirl of whipped cream.
This recipe was shared at Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Newlyweds Recipe Linky, Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange, Midweek Fiesta, and Tastetastic Thursdays.
Creamy. Chocolatey. Peanut-buttery. Ice cream. Oh yes, and banana.
This is my son’s creation, his brain-child, his idea. I wanted to give it a fancier name, but he wasn’t having any of that. NO, it’s Muck Ice Cream. I asked him what Ben & Jerry’s would name it and he said, “Muck Ice Cream.” I get the feeling there just isn’t going to be any arguing with him on this one.
He has made this scrumptious ice cream recipe twice now. The first time he didn’t measure anything, so I asked him if he would please measure it next time and he did!
So that means I get to share it with you. I am so excited to share this one! This ice cream takes about 5 minutes to make, 20 minutes to freeze — you will have ice cream before you could even think about running to Dairy Queen. And Dairy Queen doesn’t have ice cream anywhere near as good as this.
It’s so good, we had it for breakfast today.
Muck Ice Cream
- 2 bananas
- 1/2 cup chocolate syrup
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- 2 cups fat-free half and half (milk works well too, but using half and half makes it so oooh so extra-creamy good)
Directions: Mix up all the ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Freeze in your ice cream maker.
I highly recommend getting one of those speedy Cuisinart ice cream makers. They make life SO much better if you’re anywhere near as much of an ice cream freak as I am.
Here’s a little something to keep you going through your power shopping trip this Black Friday.
Protein Power Pumpkin Banana Smoothie
- 1 1/2 cups cold milk (can use regular, soy or almond milk)
- 1/2 cup partly frozen pumpkin puree (it’s hard to measure frozen pumpkin, so thaw it partially in the microwave … or just add a hunk of frozen)
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice syrup (use store-bought or make your own: recipe here)
- 1/2 of a frozen banana
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. This makes enough for two smoothies, but I drank it all myself.
These are so dense and moist and rich, I don’t know that I can quite call it a cake. In fact, it is so dense, it almost tends towards fudge. But go look at the recipe. Oh yes, of course there is chocolate. I promised you chocolate. Very rich and intense chocolate. And yes, peanut butter because what goes better with chocolate than peanut butter? But look after that … see! There’s fruit! and whole grains. And even flaxseed meal, which is full of fiber and those super-powerful Omega 3’s.
About.com says this about flax seed:
“It may be tiny, but it’s mighty: The flax seed carries one of the biggest nutrient payloads on the planet. And while it’s not technically a grain, it has a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains, while the amount of fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids in flax leaves grains in the dust.”
So see? When you eat these little chocolate peanut butter dream bars, you don’t have to feel guilty at all.
I can’t take credit for this recipe. I just put a little flaxmeal/yogurt twist on it. This is Alejandra’s recipe. She is the genius that invented this delicacy. She happened to post it on facebook right when I had some bananas growing ever-riper (and I had banana bread already made!), so I really needed something really good to make. And there were these oh-so-yummy-looking chocolate and peanut butter banana bars staring at me.
I went right into the kitchen and got started baking.
Rich & Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Dream Bars
- 1/2 c. dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 squares of unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
- 3 small bananas, mashed
- 2 T. fat-free half and half
- 1/3 c. plain lowfat or nonfat yogurt
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 T. vanilla extract
- 1 c. white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c. flax meal
- 3/4 t. salt
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9″ or 8″ square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine the chocolate, chocolate chips, and peanut butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir until the chocolate and peanut butter is melted and evenly combined. Remove from heat and let it cool for a moment while you continue on …
- In a small bowl, mash the bananas, then add the eggs, yogurt, sugar and vanilla extract.
- Add this lovely mixture to the chocolate/peanut butter in the saucepan.
- Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, then stir into the wet batter until everything is mixed up well.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top.
- Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until just set. A tester inserted into the center should come out a little bit fudgy, but not wet.
- Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Set it in the refrigerator to set. Once firm (about 20 minutes), cut into bars and serve.
Whenever we have over-ripe bananas, I make banana bread. Which means we eat it a lot. Banana bread is one of our most-often breakfast foods.
My mom made banana bread a lot too when we were growing up and I always loved it. I have tried many, many banana bread recipes. Some of my very favorites come from Cooking Light. Today my daughter asked me to make that one “I used to make” … but I wanted to try this Nutella Swirled Banana Bread recipe I’d seen, so we compromised. We made the old original recipe I had cut from a Cooking Light magazine ages ago and put in my “clipped recipe” book (an old magnetic photo album transformed into a recipe book) and we got out lots of mini bread pans, two of which got the Nutella swirl, and the rest got chocolate chips. Because we ALWAYS put chocolate chips in our banana bread.
Mom’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Adapted from Cooking Light. I find the original recipe a little too sweet and a little dry. Plus I like to use whole wheat flour and flax meal in my banana bread to give it more fiber and omega-3’s. I also find the whole wheat flour makes baked goods moister and more flavorful.
- 3 – 4 over-ripe bananas (about 1 2/3 c., if you’re measuring … I never do)
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. light butter
- 1/4 c. skim milk
- 6 T. lowfat sour cream
- 2 egg whites (or 1 egg)
- 1 c. flour
- 3/4 c. white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 c. flax meal
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. salt
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips (use a really good quality chip like Ghirardelli … trust me, it’s SO worth it!)
- Walnuts, toasted and chopped (toasting brings out the flavor of the nut so you can use fewer nuts but still get the flavor
- Nutella if you are going to make the Nutella-swirl version
- Mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix them all together.
- Measure in the dry ingredients. Stir it all together.
- Coat your bread pan(s) with cooking spray. This recipe makes one regular-sized loaf or several mini-loaves.
- If you want chocolate chip banana bread, stir the chips (and nuts, if you’re using them) into the batter, then pour into the pan(s).
- For Nutella swirl bread, put some of the batter into a separate bowl and mix in some Nutella till you’ve got a good chocolatey looking batter. Pour the regular banana bread batter into the pan, then pour in the Nutella-infused batter on top. Swirl with a knife.
Here are a few of my other favorite banana bread recipes:
- Eileen’s Best Banana Bread
- Peanut Butter Banana Bread (I make it without the glaze … DON’T add chocolate chips to this one! You would think chocolate chips would be perfect with it, but I found they just didn’t go …)
- Marbled Banana Bread (no need for chocolate chips here, there’s a lovely chocolate swirl)
What’s your favorite recipe for banana bread?
My dad invented this wonderful creation. It’s a smoothie. A smoothie with all the things I crave all together in one. Chocolate, peanut butter, banana all blended together in a cold, creamy sensation. We have for years called it a “Grampa Smoothie” since Grampa created it. But then one of my son’s friends tried it and renamed it … he said it looks like Muck and he was going to call it Muck.
So now it is Muck. It’s really not very pretty. A blah brownish color … I tried to dress it up with some whipped cream and chocolate syrup for the blog, still it’s kind of ugly, don’t you think? But the taste … ah now that is something entirely different! And it is a great way to use up those bananas which have gone over-ripe on you when you have tired of banana bread.
Some things really aren’t all that pretty, but then you just close your eyes and sip the deliciousness. If you make it really thick, it will taste like a milkshake. You would never guess there is no ice cream in it. The frozen bananas make it sooo smooooooth.
By the way, that is a stainless steel straw in the glass. These straws are so awesome! They turn all cold when you drink something cold. But best of all they are reuseable. I love that. I bought ours at Reuseit.com.
- 2 – 3 over-ripe bananas
- About 2 c. of milk (use your preference–we use skim, sometimes 1%, sometimes 2%, but you could even substitute soy or almond milk)
- About 2 T. chocolate syrup
- A large heaping tablespoon or two of peanut butter
- Peel the bananas, break them into chunks, and freeze them on a tray until they are completely frozen. (Once they are frozen, you can put them in a bag for future smoothies and it will be easy to break them apart.)
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth. Add more milk if it’s too thick to blend.
- Test taste the smoothie. Does it have the right blend of banana, peanut butter, and chocolate for your tastes? Is it the thickness you want? If not, add a little more chocolate or peanut butter–or a bit more banana for a thicker shake-style smoothie.
I’m assuming you’ll share this smoothie with someone–and you use 1% milk.