Healthier Banana Split

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Happy Monday! The day that follows the best day of the week, in my opinion, Sunday, when we recognize the importance of relaxation. No work is to be had on Sunday. I wish I could say I was better about obeying that commandment, but I’m not.CC Pics 035

What I am good at doing on Sundays is caring for myself however I see fit. Usually, this means some time spent talking to my higher power in church or alone, watching 60 minutes, relaxing before the week to come, and spoiling myself with something really delicious for dinner and dessert.

People like the cute “Sundaes on Sunday” idea. Me, too. But I like mine wholesome and nutritious. I’m not saying that’s for everyone, but let me send a little divinely delicious inspiration your way.

You’ve probably heard by now that frozen banana chunks are so sweet and smooth it’s like biting into ice cream. If you follow this blog, you’ve read about my successful experimentation with this and with freezing yogurt for homemade froyo. Both have major yum factor.

So I started putting them together.

With some fresh strawberries, of course–and in another instance, dark chocolate chips–and just made an all frozen, holistic banana split I like quite well.

IngredientsCC Pics 037

1 banana

2-3 T chopped strawberries

1/4 cup yogurt of choice ( I like vanilla coconut)

optional: chocolate chips, nuts, etc.

Directions

Slice the banana to your likely. For a split classic, I split mine down the middle and then in halves to fit in my dish. You might also chop or chunk them and layer your yogurt on top.

Next comes the yogurt. Top or drop as you like on your banana split slices or chunks.

Last is the berries. Sprinkle as desired.

 

Mini-Pancake Appetizers

Throwing a brunch party anytime soon? This weekend?

If so, I hope you remember my Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes.

They were so good that I decided they needed to be shared.

I mean, dress-up-and-go-to-a-party-kind of shared…

Sort of 🙂

They’ve become appetizers for a breakfast party.

Just follow the same recipe (posted below), but make the pancakes much smaller– about the size of a silver dollar. Stack on top of one another and spear with a fancy toothpick and whatever fresh fruit you have on hand.

You know with me, that fresh fruit is always going to be blueberries.

Try bringing these to brunch for an easy, fun twist on breakfast.

Ingredients (10-12 small or two large pancakes, 1 serving)

Dry

  • 1 T coconut flour
  • 3 T whole wheat flour
  • 1 T oats
  • 1 tcornmeal
  • 1/2 t gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 t ground nutmeg
  • pinch sea salt

Wet

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup water
  •  1 t powdered stevia
  • 2 Tunsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • Drizzle with Maple Cream

Directions

-Warm a flat skillet on medium-low.

-In one bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In another small bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Make sure banana is well mashed, unless of course you like to sink your teeth into a banana chunk every once in a while. If so, leave a few lumps. For thicker pancakes, omit 1 T water.

-Combine the two bowls of ingredients together. Blend well, but be careful not to overmix. For easy pouring (or pancake formation, really), you can transfer the batter to a small measuring cup with a pouring spout.

-Spritz the warmed pan with cooking oil. Pour pancakes into 4- or 6-inch rounds. Let the pancakes cook all the way through on one side before flipping. You’ll know they’re ready once you start to see bubbles forming on top, and when you can slide your spatula underneath without the cake falling apart. They should be golden brown in color. Each side takes about 3-5 minutes at a stable heat, but watch yours carefully.

-As each pancake finishes, remove the pancake and place on plate. I like to keep mine warm, so I’ll place another plate on top of the bottom plate. Don’t do this when they’re stacked, though, otherwise they’ll get smashed and you won’t have a fluffy stack to cut into later.

Pumpkin Dessert Parfait

I just can’t get over pumpkin, can I? 

This parfait recipe features a sweetened vanilla yogurt, pumpkin, and my healthified gingerbread cookie recipe. All are wholesome, good for you, and every time I lick the bowl I make the cookie dough in, I practically melt with delight. Seriously, that recipe is unbelievable, make-it-even-in-summertime good.

You could mix it up a bit and try a cream-cheese frosting layer, too! Or opt for a graham-cracker crumble instead of gingerbread. What’s not to love about those possibilities?

Ingredients

1 container plain organic yogurt (you can buy vanilla or sweetened, but I prefer to lower the sugar a bit by mixing in a lower lgi alternative)

1 T stevia

pumpkin

pumpkin (Photo credit: meerkatbaby)

.5 t vanilla

4 T pumpkin puree

heaping dash of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice

optional: gingerbread or graham cracker crumbles

Directions

Open the yogurt container. Mix in stevia and vanilla. Set aside.

-In a small bowl, add puree and spices. Mix in about half of prepared yogurt.

-In a parfait glass, layer the pumpkin yogurt with the vanilla yogurt as you like. You can also use the crumbles to make layers or top like I did.

For a special ice cream consistency, freeze the parfait for about one hour and mix up slightly. Freeze another 10 minutes or so. It’s delicious!

Party Idea: Parfait Bar

 

So it was my new friend Sareena’s 23rd birthday.

Sareena’s a doll. She’s new to Ames, about to have a baby in less than a month (so no libations allowed), and loves fun-themed parties at home, just like yours truly.

What did Sareena choose to celebrate her birthday? A small breakfast-themed party at night.

We had a great time. Sareena brought homemade Belgian waffles and bacon. Our other friend, Miss Sara Parks, brought a delicious egg bake (served cold!) that I might have to snag soon, and I might add that she made it almost 100% from locally-grown produce. it was delicious. I should have taken a picture!

I’ve been really into Make-Your-Own food bar parties, like the one Sareena hosted a few weeks ago (a pizza bar! details to come…). So I wanted to try a cute little parfait bar.

My friends really liked it. They said it was a nice, light dessert to top off a very filling meal.

Sareena blowing out the candle on her birthday parfait.

Plus, I’m convinced that everyone loves customizing what they eat. It’s one thing to put a lot of work into preparing and presenting a delicious food, but for some reason people seem to get a kick out of making their own more than anything.

We had organic yogurt, honey, cinnamon, blueberries from our favorite berry farm in Nevada, IA, strawberries, granola, and much more.

Pretty fun, right?

And to top it all off, we managed to get a sweet little candle on top of Sareena’s parfait. She loved it.

What did we do with the rest of the evening? Crafted adorable sun catchers. They’re called “Makit Bakits,” and making them brought me back to the good old days when I used to craft a lot during childhood.

And we got to watch the beads used to make the colors melt, which was pretty neat, too.

 

 

 

All in all, the breakfast party was a blast and a nice break from the more common, go-out-and-drink-heavily-to-deny-age-reality approach to birthdays that I loath.

More healthy recipes to come out tomorrow!

-Jackie