Healthier Banana Split

CC Pics 036

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.

 

Advertisements

Skinny Monkey Cookies

I made you a big breakfast cookie recipe this morning.

Why?

With all the healthful ingredients in this recipe, you don’t have to feel bad about eating the whole recipe. I mean, this is a low-calorie, nutritious recipe, so indulge yourself a bit! Make a batch of little cookies (8-10) or one or two giant cookies.

I have a feeling you’re going to like this one–even my picky little sister did–and I bet it will keep your sweet tooth satiated for the rest of the day.

Ingredients

1 banana, somewhat ripe

1/3 cup + 1 T rolled oats

1 T whole-wheat flour

1 T + 1 t cocoa powder

dash of cinnamon

scantest pinch of salt

1.5 heaping T applesauce

splash of vanilla

Optional: 1 T nut butter

Directions

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

-In a small bowl, mash up banana. If the banana is still too ripe to mash easily, you can ripen it quickly by popping it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.

-Once banana is well mashed, start working on dry ingredients in another, slightly larger bowl. Mix well. Then add in mashed banana, applesauce, vanilla, and nut butter. Again, mix all ingredients well, trying to make sure that most of the chunks of banana are no longer visible.

-Bake for about 9-10 minutes. Per usual, the longer you bake, the crispier they’ll be.

I think these taste so good super soft, but then again, I’m not a crispy-cookie kind of gal. You’ll just have to try it out and see for yourself!

Mint-Chip Ice Cream

Turning green with envy?

Or green with disgust?

Hopefully, it’s the former. This pretty little green ice cream–pretty by my standards, at least–might turn some away in disgust, but true lovers of the mint-chocolate combo will crave.

And feel free to crave away, because your craving need not be accompanied by guilt. Why?

It’s made with bananas! And the green coloring doesn’t require food dye, although you’re welcome to use that if you like.

Makes one big serving of mint-chip ice cream

Ingredients

1 large, frozen banana, chopped into small rounds

1/4 cup frozen spinach (or food coloring)

2-3 drops peppermint extract

splash of vanilla

dash of stevia

1-2 T dark chocolate chips

Directions

In a small blender, mix banana rounds, spinach, extract, vanilla, and stevia ’til smooth cream forms.

Remove from blender. Shape into ice cream if need be and top with chips.

If any of the banana melts down or gets too runny, simply freeze for a few minutes.

Would you have ever guessed those were bananas just by looking at them? I certainly wouldn’t.

Hope you think this recipe is as cool as I do… and find it as tasty, too!

Banana-Berry Smoothie Pies

Need a frozen treat fix?

This recipe can satisfy so many sweet cravings. It starts with a super sweet bottom crust, moves up to a sugary-blueberry filling in the middle, and is topped with a little banana froyo.

So if you want ice cream, pie, frozen fruit, whatever, really. This dessert delivers.

Makes four mini treats.

Ingredients

Layer one: 5-6 dates, 2 t rolled oats, 1 t applesauce

Layer two: 30-35 blueberries, 1 t stevia or honey

Layer three: frozen banana slices (about 1/3-1/2 of a banana), optional: dash of stevia and vanilla

Directions

-In a good food processor, pulse dates and oats. Add in applesauce. Pulse once more. Press into a mini muffin tin (or all into one large muffin slot). Set in freezer ’til next layer is ready.

-Blend ingredients for layer two. Spoon onto the top of layer one. Return to freezer.

-Blend layer three ingredients until smooth, ice-cream-like texture forms. Use this layer as the topping.

-Freeze until solid. Serve as soon as you pull out of the freezer because they will melt after a few minutes of exposure to room temperature.

So healthy? All fruit? You could easily get an ice cream fix for breakfast with this recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Banana Breakfast Popsicles

If any type of ice cream had the “best summer ever,” it had to have been banana ice cream. This very healthful option was featured in every magazine I read and every e-newsletter I subscribe to. If you haven’t heard of it, you might live under a rock. I’m teasing, of course, but seriously if you haven’t tried it, check out this recipe from Yummly.

Interestingly, toward the end of the summer this banana pop recipe started popping up more and more. I tried it. Loved it, too.

I especially love this one because you can roll it in whatever healthful ingredients you want. I opted for granola and dried blueberries, rolled in organic, Greek vanilla yogurt.

I also think these would make an adorable treat surprise for kids, either before school or on a weekend morning. Who wouldn’t love a breakfast popsicle?

Breakfast Banana Pops

  • 1/2 bananas
  • yogurt of choice
  • granola of choice or even crumbled s’mores
  • add-on ideas: mini chocolate chips, coconut shreds, cinnamon-stevia mix, raisins, etc.
  • popsicle stick or silverware to insert into the banana

Directions

-In a small bowl, sprinkle out the granola and toppings you’ve selected.

-Carefully (and securely) insert the stick into the halved banana.

-Holding the banana over another small bowl, coat one side with yogurt.

-Sprinkle granola over the freshly-coated side. If it doesn’t stick as well, simple roll or press the yogurt-coated side in the granola mix.

-Repeat ’til banana is coated all the way around.

-When finished coating, place the pop on wax paper and freeze.

You can store in the freezer for a while, but I wouldn’t recommend longer than one day.

And why would you want to wait 🙂

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Pops

It’s hardly sophisticated culinary, but it’s a sweet classic. Strawberry-banana is (by far) my favorite smoothie combination. Always has been. Always will be.

So when I found myself with a few handfuls of strawberries that were overly ripe, I fell back on an old standby.

I adapted this recipe from Eating Well’s Strawnana Pops recipe. I changed things up a bit, but the outcome was berry-licious (buh-nuh-nuh-nuh!).

Makes 5-6 pops

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup strawberries

1/2 medium banana

1/2 cup organic vanilla yogurt

2 T almond milk

1 T stevia

pinch of cinnamon

scantest pinch of salt

Directions

-Liquefy or puree all ingredients in a blender on high ’til well mixed and no fruit lumps remain. Alternatively, if you’d like a lump here, it might make for a pretty pattern in your pops.

-Use the spout on your blender to evenly distribute puree into popsicle molds.

-Freeze for approximately 3-4 hours.

To remove, slowly tug the pop stick back and forth. If it doesn’t remove easily, run the mold under lukewarm water for 10-15 seconds. It should be removed gently so the stick doesn’t slide out.

And if you wanted an actual smoothie, all you would need to do is quickly blend a few pops up! How easy is that? It’s nice having sweet-treat options on hand, I think.

Yum!

Banana Breakfast Sushi

Are those chopsticks?

Yes, they are. My love for banana recipes led me to this idea, found on Pinterest. Just slice bananas, roll in nut butter, and then roll in rice crispies.

 

Ingredients

1 banana, sliced

2 T all-natural peanut butter

1/2 cup all-natural cocoa crisp rice

Directions

-Spread a thin layer of room temperature peanut butter around the outer edges of each banana slice, and then roll in the crispies.

-I rolled each sushi one at a time, so that way the peanut butter didn’t melt off and create a big sticky mess.

Creative Alternatives

You could also roll these in regular crisp rice if you don’t like cocoa, but you could be really adventurous with this recipe! What other nut butters or “rice” options could you roll the bananas in? I’m thinking dark chocolate chips, other cereals (crushed if large in size), shredded coconut, raisins, cinnamon-stevia mix.

Oh, yes. Will definitely be trying this sushi recipe again in a different way. Plus, it’s fun to dine with chopsticks in the early morning hours.

Plus, it’s so easy to make that I barely strayed from my breakfast routine. Normally, I have a big bowl of whole wheat cereal, organic peanut butter, sliced bananas, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and almond milk. 

Coincidentally, though, I’ve been mixing half a cup of these all-natural Choco Champ Crispies by Bear River Valley with half a cup of plain puffed rice because although they’re tasty, they’re a a little high in sugar. I like the mix very much, though. I highly recommend it.

Frosty Banana-Cream Pie Cup

Like banana cream pie? Like chocolate pie crust? Like fitting into your skinny jeans, too?

Eating well doesn’t have to be a sacrifice. Take this healthy dessert, for example. A little healthy banana, medium-chain fatty acids from coconut (yes, those are good fats), digestive benefits of pitted dates, and a little cocoa powder for antioxidant power.

It shouts, “You can have it all!”

So try it. If you like banana and coconut and pie, you’ll love it.

Ingredients

Chocolate base

  • 1 T milled flax seed
  • 3 T rolled oats
  • 2 T raisins soaked in 2 T water for 40 minutes or 2 pitted dates
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1/4 t pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Banana cream

  • 1 banana
  • 2 T full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 t pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions

In a small bowl, mix the flax, oats, salt, and cocoa powder.

-In food processor, process softened raisins or dates. Mix in with dry base mix. Add in vanilla and press ’til wet. Remove and press into the bottom of your custard cup to form a chocolate crust. Set aside.

-Clean the food processor or use a clean blender to mix the four cream ingredients. Blend ’til smooth–it should be liquidly.

-Neatly pour cream mixture over the top of the crust. Chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours. For faster chilling or for a thicker, more ice-cream-like texture, freeze for an hour or so.

-Garnish as you like. I topped mine with Soyatoo whipped cream and some chocolate chips, but walnuts, banana slices, or shredded coconut flakes would also be very tasty mix-ins.

Note: the outer edges of the banana cream may start to turn in color. This is normal. The banana is just ripening. It will still taste fabulous!