Banana “ice-cream”

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I LOVE bananas…there are just so many delicious things you can do with them!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/delicious-ways-to-use-up-old-bananas

I personally use them for muffins, oatmeal, cookies, pancakes, waffles, ice cream – the list goes on and on.  I love the versatility of bananas as a substitute in many recipes! 

So before Pinterest became the biggest thing since sliced bread I would randomly type ingredients or cuisines into a search engine and look up recipes! I fell upon the beloved “one ingredient ice cream”.  I thought to myself how can this be?! A banana can do that!?!!? Well I’m so happy I tried it out because the flavor and texture IS JUST LIKE ice cream. I’ll even eat this for breakfast! Breakfast is another true love of mine and if peanut butter and bananas are involved you better believe I’m making time to make this! If you are looking for a healthier alternative to ice cream, lactose intolerant, or trying to become a vegan… this is a good start! 🙂 

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Banana “ice cream”

1 medium sized banana

2 tablespoons of peanut butter 

1 teaspoon mini chocolate chips

1 tablespoon fluff

2nd option

1 medium sized banana

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa

2 teaspoons honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup 

nuts and fresh fruit

 

 

 

Peel and chop banana. Place chopped up banana in small freezer bag and freeze for at least 12 hours. Once frozen, place chopped banana in food processor along with peanut butter and/or cocoa.  Blend banana on high until smooth and creamy. It will first look like little pellets, but the longer it goes the smoother it gets. Scoop into a bowl and top with desired toppings and enjoy! 🙂

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Ginger cookies

ImageI love these cookies. Every time I make them they always have that perfect soft and chewy texture that every cookie should have.  My mom found this recipe years ago in one of those gold medal flour recipe books from the grocery store that they use to sell for a dollar – I grew up baking from those little cookbooks. This is probably one of the first recipes I started baking in middle school.  Those recipe books remind me so much of childhood. We used to have a HUGE old black bookshelf with a million different cook books of all colors and sizes.  Those cook books had some great recipes I grew up on and this was one of them. I know some people think of ginger cookies as Christmas time cookies, but these are too perfect to just eat around the holidays.  The ginger flavor is very light while the cinnamon and molasses shine.

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Ginger Cookies

Image3/4 cup butter (room temperature)

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

granulated sugar for rolling cookie dough

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and brown sugar together in a stand or handheld mixer until smooth. Add in egg and molasses until combined. In a separate bowl combine flour, ginger, salt, cinnamon and baking soda.  Mix until combined. Pour flour mixture into your wet mixture until just combined.

Make cookie dough balls with 2 tablespoons of dough and roll in granulated sugar. Place on un-greased cookie sheet and bake for ten minutes. Quickly transfer cookies to cooling rack.

Imagequick tip- for room temperature butter, microwave for ten seconds

 

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Peanut butter oatmeal balls

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So anyone who knows me pretty well should know I am a little obsessed with peanut butter….ok ALOT obsessed. I started really loving it around last year when I changed my eating habits to eating much healthier. It feels like a delicious treat but actually quite good for you (in moderation that is). I try to only eat it every other day so I can cherish and savor every creamy, nutty, stick- to -the- roof- of your mouth bite…..see OBSESSED. I found this recipe awhile back when I was looking for something a little healthier than a cookie.  I love to cook, eat, and bake with oatmeal so these no bake peanut butter oatmeal balls are just as amazing as cookies to me! Alex doesn’t like sweets and even HE likes them, that should tell you something 😉 I try to make things with a healthy twist so I feel better about eating it and when I am the only one eating these things (I don’t want to eat the whole batch by myself!) I like to give it away to friends and co workers and they can enjoy this healthier snack as well.

ImageThis recipe is adapted from

 http://www.nutritiouseats.com/the-perfect-snack-oatmeal-peanut-butter-balls/

 

Peanut butter Oatmeal balls

1 cup rolled oats

2 whole chocolate graham cracker “sheets”, crushed 

1/4 cup honey

2/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla 

Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Stir with spoon until all ingredients are mixed. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls with hands. It makes anywhere from 8-12 depending on how large you make them. Wetting or oiling your hands will help with all the sticky ingredients. Place balls on a plate or in a container in refrigerator until firmed up and enjoy! Keep stored in fridge. 

 

 

 

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The first post: Granola

ImageGrowing up my Dad had a lot of jobs and one of them was working at a bakery.  I watched him test recipes, try new ingredients, and bake for people he loved.  He taught me it’s ok get angry at inanimate objects if your final product didn’t turn out like you thought it would…all you baker’s know what I’m talking about! My Dad taught me how to bake and follow a recipe and I am so glad he did. This is a simple granola recipe I came up with a couple years ago, you can add in nuts, seeds, or dried fruit. I added coconut to this one but that can be left out.

 

Granola

2 cups rolled oats

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

3 tablespoons canola or coconut oil

Optional add ins- coconut, nuts, dried fruit 

Preheat oven to 325. Mix oats, cinnamon, and salt and set aside

In another bowl mix brown sugar, oil, extract and honey until oil is no longer separated. 

 

Combine oat mixture and brown sugar mixture. Pour oats over a parchment covered or greased pan. Toss in coconut or nuts if desired. Bake at 325 for 11 minutes for a chewy granola. Bake 5 more minutes for a crunchier granola.  Store in an airtight container up to one week.

Side note: If you do not have brown sugar all you need to do is mix 1 cup of granulated sugar to 1 tablespoon of molasses and voila brown sugar!

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