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Posts tagged “Banana

Strawberry Banana Kiwi Smoothie

Kiwi Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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.

Kiwi Strawberry Banana 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!

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck and Scrumptious Sunday.


Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

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

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)
For the top:
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons pecans
  • 1/2 Tablespoon or so of raw (Turbinado) sugar
  • A few chocolate chips
  • A few banana slices

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the dish has set. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday, Thursday’s TreasuresTastetastic Thursday, My Sweet Party and Fit & Fabulous Friday.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Chia Smoothie

(a.k.a. “Healthy Muck”)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie ... Health-ified

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.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Chia Smoothie

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 …

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Chia Smoothie

Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Banana-Smoothie-Nutrition-Facts

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.

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridaysWeekend Potluck, Manic Mondays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, and Thursday’s Treasures.


Chocolate Dessert Crostini with Banana & Walnut

Chocolate Dessert Crostini with Banana and Toasted Walnuts

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

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.

Chocolate Dessert Crostini with Banana and Toasted Walnuts

I really need to ditch the purple nail polish from the birthday party sleepover … it’s so distracting …

This recipe was shared at Sweet & Simple Sundays and Newlyweds Recipe Linky.


Tropical Trail Mix Granola

Tropical Trail Mix Granola

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

Tropical Trail Mix Granola

Dry ingredients:

  • 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
Wet ingredients:
  • 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
And then mix in …
  • 2 cups mixed dried tropical fruit pieces (pineapple, coconut, mango, banana chips, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the oats, flax, wheat bran and nuts. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour the hot sweet sticky banana mixture over the nutty oat mixture in the bowl. Stir it all up until it’s well mixed.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 …

Tropical Trail Mix Granola

This recipe was shared on Totally Tasty Tuesdays and Newlyweds Recipe Linky.


Elvis’ Favorite Muffins

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, & Banana Muffins … with a Peanut Butter Filling

Elvis' Favorite Muffins (Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana 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 (Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Banana, with a PB filling)

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
Filling:
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the bananas, sugar, yogurt, canola oil, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is thoroughly mixed.
  4. Mix the filling ingredients together. Add a little more PB or sugar according to your taste.
  5. 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.
  6. Bake at 325° for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the muffins spring back when touched.

Elvis' Favorite Muffins ... Chocolate & Banana Muffins with a Peanut Butter Filling

Now … what should I do with these other three bananas? Hmm …

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic ThursdaysFull Plate Thursdays and Weekend Potluck.


Banana Colada Ice Cream with Spiced Fruit Compote

Banana Colada Ice Cream with Honey Spice Fruit Compote

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 with Honey Spice Fruit Compote

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

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix half & half & sugar. Heat, stirring frequently, until small bubbles form at the edge of the pan.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a whisk or mixer until frothy.
  3. Slowly drizzle a stream of the hot cream mixture (about 1 cup of it) into the egg, whisking or beating constantly.
  4. Gradually add the egg mixture back into the remaining hot cream mixture in the saucepan, whisking as you go.
  5. 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.
  6. Pour the hot mixture into a blender with the vanilla, frozen bananas, pineapple orange juice concentrate and coconut rum. Blend until smooth.
  7. Put the mixture in the fridge until cool. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. 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.

Banana Colada Ice Cream with Honey Spiced Fruit Compote

This recipe was shared on Newlyweds Recipe LinkyMelt in your Mouth MondaysFull Plate Thursdays, A Crafty Cook’s April Link Party, and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Double Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

Double Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

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

Double Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

Adapted from Rock Recipes

Wet ingredients:

  • 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

Dry ingredients:

  • 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

Extras:

  • 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)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mash the bananas with a fork, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Double Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

This recipe was shared at Weekend PotluckMidnight Maniac Meatless MondaysTuesday Talent Shows, and Katherine Martinelli’s Bread Bloghop.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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?

Amazingly, yes.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan or mini loaf pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Mash the bananas in a large bowl, then add the milk, peanut butter, vanilla, yogurt and egg and mix well.
  3. Stir in the dry ingredients, then mix in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into one 4x5x9 inch bread pan or a few smaller loaf pans (I used 3 smaller ones.)
  5. Sprinkle the tops of the batter with raw sugar and place in the oven to bake.
  6. 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.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This recipe was shared at Thursday’s TreasuresFull Plate ThursdayFit & Fabulous Fridays, and Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays.


Quick & Easy Banana Nutella Oatmeal

Quick & Easy Banana Nutella Oatmeal

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.

Quick & Easy Banana Nutella 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

Directions:

  1. Mash the banana in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.
  2. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Take the bowl out and stir everything up again.
  3. 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.

Quick & Easy Banana Nutella Oatmeal

This recipe was shared at Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Old Fashioned Recipe ExchangeCast Party Wednesday, Midweek Fiesta, and Thursday’s Treasures.


Chocolate Mousse, Yogurt, & Banana Bread Trifle

Chocolate Yogurt Banana Bread Parfait

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.

Chocolate Mousse, Yogurt, & Banana Bread Trifle

This recipe was shared at Midnight Maniac Meatless MondaysTotally Tasty TuesdaysCast Party WednesdayNewlyweds Recipe Linky, Old Fashioned Recipe ExchangeMidweek Fiesta, and Tastetastic Thursdays.


Muck Ice Cream (Chocolate, PB & Banana)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

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.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty Tuesdays, the Newlyweds Recipe Linky, Thursdays TreasuresWonka Wednesdays and This Week’s Cravings.


Protein Power Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

Protein Power Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

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.


The Saturday Morning Craze & Peanut Butter Banana Scones

Peanut Butter Banana Scones

This is part of my series of 31 Days of Warmer Connections. Every day in October, I am blogging about connections through food.

Most people get to relax on Saturday mornings, don’t they? Ours are never that way. Well, sometimes in the summer we can have a lazy Saturday, but most of the time it is a crazy rush.

This week it’s testing week at TaeKwonDo. Our instructors are so swamped at testing time that they don’t even have time to grab something to eat and I feel bad for them. You gotta eat! So I try to wake up early on testing days and make scones for them. Usually I make white chocolate mulberry scones, but today I thought I would make something a little different.

So this is how this morning went: (I know you REALLY want to know this, right?)

  • 6:03 wake up. look at my phone (yes, it’s my clock too). Whew, I have time to sleep a little more!
  • 6:23 wake up again. look at phone. oh if I want to make scones I better get up … zzzz
  • 6:55 wake up for REAL, get out of bed, wake my son
  • 7:00 son hops in the shower, I am searching for the scones recipe
  • 7:05 first attempt at waking daughter
  • 7:12 finally I find the recipe! get the bowl out and mush up the banana
  • 7:14 son gets out of shower, wants a back rub
  • 7:17 get son to wake up daughter so I can get going on these scones! running out of time …
  • 7:35 batter done! roll out and cut the scones & throw them in the oven
  • 7:37 run to take a quick shower
  • 7:52 just got out of the shower but I hear the timer ding … run in my towel to take out the scones
  • 7:55 dressed and ready. pack up (most of ) the scones, find daughter’s TKD uniform, grab a coffee mug for me
  • 8:05 out the door with the two kids!
  • 8:23 arrive at TKD. run to the coffee shop next door for some coffee. chat with TKD friends. :)
  • 9:00 testing starts. son is judging and my girl is helping out with sparring. I finally have time to breathe, check facebook and blog a bit.
  • 11:00 first testing is done. Run daughter home so she can eat & get ready for dance. While I’m cooking up chicken nuggets for my girl, she runs out to get “props” to shoot the scones. She plates one for me, adding her pretty props while I’m rushing to do the dishes.
  • 11:30 nuggets are done. Daughter eats while I take photos of the scones.
  • 11:42 where are her dance clothes? ACK! oh here’s a leotard in the laundry basket and she found a pair of tights in her room. She runs off to get dressed.
  • 11:45 out the door, driving to dance.
  • 12:00 drop her off at dance.

That’s the morning so far. Now I just have to pick my girl up from dance, my son up from TaeKwonDo and THEN we can relax. Well after I finish cleaning up the disaster we left in the kitchen. Whew!

Peanut Butter Banana Scones

About the scones: My TaeKwonDo taste testers tell me they are just as good as the other ones I make. My daughter gave me a huge smile and rubbed her tummy when I asked her how she liked them.

I love bringing my TKD friends food.

Peanut Butter Banana Scones

Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen’s Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 t. pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 mashed banana (about 1/2 cup0
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 cup fat free half and half
  • Raw sugar for sprinkling on top

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Stir together the flours, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Add the butter and cut it in using two knives or just dig in with your fingers and mix until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the banana, peanut butter and fat free half and half. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and form the dough into a ball.
  4. This batter is really wet, so make sure you have plenty of flour! On a clean floured, surface with lightly floured hands coat the dough with flour and shape into a round. She says it should be about 8 inches–I used a rolling pin to roll it out so mine was more like 12 inches across. With a sharp knife or pastry cutter, cut the dough into wedges.
  5. Place wedges on the prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 12 to 15 minutes or until the tops of the scones are a light brown.
  6. Drizzle with a peanut butter or a chocolate glaze if you like. I didn’t have time to make a glaze because we were rushing off to TaeKwonDo, but really I don’t think they needed it.

She says it yields 8 scones, but I got at least a dozen from this recipe. I must have cut mine smaller!

Peanut Butter Banana Scones

I didn’t have time to make any glaze, but I did drizzle one with chocolate for you. The flower really wanted to be dipped in chocolate. It kept falling into the chocolate!


Rich & Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Dream Bars

Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Banana-Bars

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.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Dream Bars

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
Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9″ or 8″ square baking pan with cooking spray  and set aside.
  2. 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 …
  3. In a small bowl, mash the bananas, then add the eggs, yogurt, sugar and vanilla extract.
  4. Add this lovely mixture to the chocolate/peanut butter in the saucepan.
  5. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, then stir into the wet batter until everything is mixed up well.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Dream Bars

Mom’s Chocolatey Banana Bread

Mom's Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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

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.

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients

  • 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)
Dry ingredients
  • 1 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c. flax meal
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
Add-ins
  • 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
Making banana bread

Directions:

  1. Mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix them all together.
  2. Measure in the dry ingredients. Stir it all together.
  3. 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.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees until the loaf is golden brown and springs back when you touch it in the middle. You can also test it with a knife–if the knife comes out clean (besides the melted chocolate chips), it’s done. One loaf will take about 1 hour 10 minutes. Mini-loaves don’t take as long. Test them after 20 – 30 minutes.
Mom's Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Here’s the Nutella Swirl version:
Nutella Swirl Banana Bread

Here are a few of my other favorite banana bread recipes:

What’s your favorite recipe for banana bread?


Peach Banana Coconut Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches made with Peach Banana Coconut Rum Ice Cream

It’s National Ice Cream Sandwich Day today … what food screams summer fun better than that!

So I made some ice cream sandwiches for you for the occasion. And an ice cream that can be made either in either the regular version or lactose-free. Both are low in fat and sugar and full of good juicy fruit. With a little bit of rum.

The taste of this ice cream is a mild creamy tropical flavor.

Peach Banana Coconut Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. Silk Vanilla creamer (made with soy milk for a lactose-free ice cream) … OR … 2 c. fat-free half & half + 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 big ripe, juicy fresh peach
  • 1 over-ripe banana that’s turning mushy
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 t. ginger
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/8 c. coconut rum (such as Malibu) … or if you want to make it alcohol free, use 1 t. coconut extract.  (If you choose to leave out the alcohol, the ice cream will get much harder in the freezer. The alcohol keeps it from freezing too hard.)

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix half & half & sugar or just add the vanilla Silk creamer. Heat, stirring frequently, until small bubbles form at the edge of the pan.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a whisk or mixer until frothy.
  3. Slowly drizzle a stream of the hot cream mixture (about 1 cup of it) into the egg, whisking or beating constantly.
  4. Gradually add the egg mixture back into the remaining hot cream mixture in the saucepan, whisking as you go.
  5. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens slightly and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon–roughly 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, transfer into a glass jar and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled–at least 2 hours.
  7. Meanwhile, peel the peach and banana and blend in a handy chopper or food processor till smooth. Add the ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, and coconut rum. If you want some hunks of peach or banana in the ice cream, leave a bit of the fruit out when you are puree-ing, or you can always add a bit of extra chopped peach and/or banana!
  8. Add the pureed fruit mixture to the cooled cream mixture and shake well to mix.
  9. Freeze in your ice cream maker till good and frozen. With my little Cuisinart ice cream maker, it takes about 20 minutes but the ice cream is still soft-serve texture, which is great for eating, but not quite hard enough for sandwiches.
Peach Coconut Banana Ice Cream

To make the ice cream sandwiches:

Ingredients:

  • Soft snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, or nilla wafers
  • Peach Banana Coconut Ice Cream
  • Sprinkles for the sides, if desired

Directions:

  1. Freeze the ice cream in the freezer a couple hours till it’s fairly hard. Once the ice cream is the perfect texture, call in the guests or kids so they can join in the fun of putting the sandwiches together!
  2. Put a scoop of ice cream on a cookie, then flatten with another cookie. Roll or sprinkle on the sprinkles and serve immediately.
Ice Cream Sandwiches with Peach Banana Coconut Ice Cream
Nutrition information for the ice cream:
with one recipe = 6 servings made with the fat-free half and half. This does NOT include the cookies!

peach-banana-coconut ice cream nutrition facts Nutrition facts generated at http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php

This is a Family Fresh Cooking Happy Post. This post was also shared at Katherine Martinelli’s Coconut Bloghop.


Magnificent “Muck”

"Muck" = chocolate, peanut butter, and banana smoothie

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.

Magnificent Muck

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. 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.)
  2. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth. Add more milk if it’s too thick to blend.
  3. 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.

Nutrition Information:

I’m assuming you’ll share this smoothie with someone–and you use 1% milk.

Nutrition Information for Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Smoothie
This recipe was shared at Katherine Martinelli’s Family Recipes.

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