banana, date, and almond butter smoothies

banana date almond butter smoothies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
i seriously have no clue where march went.
we have been traveling a lot and have had so much on our plates during the last several weeks, i feel like it came and went before we knew it. because of all of the traveling i confess i haven’t cooked much at all lately, making me miss time in the kitchen both on my own and with the little she.

during those months when we are stuck inside so much because of the cold outside, we often find ourselves making smoothies to go with nearly every lunch, the kind that are super thick and creamy. this one was our favorite of all our new concoctions this year, and pretty good for you too. dates have high levels of folate and vitamin A, while almond butter is rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

if you have a high-speed blender, like a blend-tec or vitamix, A} i am super jealous of you, and B} they’re perfect for this smoothie because of the chopped dates. if you are able to completely puree them, all the better. if you don’t have a high-speed blender, you’ll have little bits of dates in the bottom of your smoothie, which i still kind of love.

banana, date, and almond butter smoothie
makes 2 smoothies

ingredients

1.5 cups milk (whole, 2%, almond, or soy)

1 frozen banana, halved

3 tbsp almond butter

2 pitted dates, chopped

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 cup ice

directions

1. blend all ingredients completely in a blender, until ice and dates are completely blended.

enjoy!

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fresh homemade banana bread

this past summer i posted a lovely spiced banana bread recipe – it is a fantastic recipe, very different from your everyday banana bread, with ginger and other spices to change it up a little. the rebel in me (and my mouth) loves that!

now i want to introduce another banana bread recipe.. it is more of a traditional banana bread, and i adore it because it’s the exact kind i crave when i want banana bread. it’s super moist (yeah, i said it) since each loaf is packed with 4 whole mashed bananas. this recipe calls for no other spices, which i think makes this banana bread stand out because of it’s simplicity – the banana flavor really takes center stage.
and i love the pretty cracks on the top. when i take it out of the oven and it’s so pretty, i feel a real sense of empowerment that day, like i could climb everest or solve a really hard algebra problem.

fresh homemade banana bread
adapted from alexandracooks.com

ingredients

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 ripe, mashed bananas

directions
1. preheat oven to 350. butter a loaf pan generously & set aside.
2. in a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. in another large bowl, cream butter and sugar with a stand or hand mixer, until light & fluffy. with the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 10-15 seconds after each addition. add the vanilla, buttermilk, and bananas.
3. add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. pour the batter into prepared loaf pan.
4. bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. turn loaf out onto cooling rack and let cool.
serve warm with butter and enjoy!

spiced banana bread

photo (24)

you know when you go to a restaurant and they have a house wine? or a house sourdough bread? those places have found the best, their favorite variation or recipe that they have adopted as their “house” drink, or their “house” bread. well, i want to start sharing my “house” recipes – basic recipes that are staples in my kitchen and in most people’s kitchens. it will be a new category you will find as you scroll down, on the right. it will include my whipped cream, these blueberry muffins, and coming soon, a chocolate chip cookie recipe that will make you kick off your shoes and do the bernie (my  favorite old school dance move, in case you were looking for some random trivia on she likes to eat).

so for my first house recipe, i give you homemade banana bread. i tried these out first as muffins and wasn’t that crazy about them, but when i made them in the classic bread, i LERVED it. it’s simple in its ingredients and the addition of the ginger adds such a delicious touch. OH and it’s a one-bowl wonder.. meaning my husband jumps for joy when he sees i have made banana bread because it means less dishes for him to do.

thanks to a sweet friend of mine that brought me 6 overripe bananas, knowing that i would be able to get some use out of them, i got to make it a few times to get it just right. this is my favorite banana bread recipe and i hope it becomes yours too.

homemade spiced banana bread
makes 1 loaf

ingredients

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed with a fork

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 stick plus 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled (about 10-15 min)

directions

1. preheat the oven to 325. generously grease a loaf pan with butter, preferably, or non-stick spray.

2. beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until well incorporated. with a spatula or wooden spoon, mix in mashed banana. add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger and mix thoroughly with a spatula until well incorporated. pour in melted butter and mix well.

3. pour into prepared loaf pan. bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. let the bread cool for 15 minutes or so in the pan before cutting & serving warm with butter. (try it with the whipped butter under the cooking tips & tricks page.)

enjoy!

recipe adapted from hummingbird high
photo via food network

banana & yogurt muffins

IMG_0652

the little she loves muffins.
more than snow. more than puppy dawgs. more than chocolate. more than dora. probably more than her own family.
she seriously goes ca-razy (insert pauly shore voice) when i tell her we have muffins, will be making muffins, or will be eating muffins that day.

these are her favorite muffins these days. and mine too.
probably because it means i get to be in the kitchen with her: mixing, testing each banana, stirring the sugar, testing the batter in each muffin cup, whisking the flour, testing it again…

banana & yogurt muffins
adapted from chobani

ingredients

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (regular or greek style)

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

directions

1. preheat oven to 350. lightly spray muffin tins with non-stick spray (i like to use coconut oil spray).

2. in a medium sized bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until combined. in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat mashed bananas, brown sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla, and egg. slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low until combined.

3. scoop batter into muffin tins (or paper cups) and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. cool on a wire rack.

IMG_0653

enjoy!

banana oatmeal coffee cake with cinnamon streusel


in my humble opinion, for breakfast or brunch you really can’t beat a good coffee cake. i grew up going to a summer camp that served the most amazing coffee cake every sunday. ever since i have been in love with and searching for the perfect coffee cake.
recently, i had a random thought that coffee cake with bananas would be THE most perfect thing that day. so i scoured a few places to find a little assistance, and LO i have created a glorious coffee cake WITH bananas (the crowd wildly cheers).
i tested it out on one of my besties and her little one, totaling 2 big kids and 2 toddlers who loved it. victory.

banana oatmeal coffee cake with cinnamon streusel 

ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup oats

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup buttermilk (or see this tip for making your own in a pinch)

for the streusel:

4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 cups flour

directions

1. preheat the oven to 375.

2. to make the coffee cake: in a large bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. add in the eggs & vanilla. beat in the mashed bananas, flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and sour milk. pour into a greased 10 inch square pan or pie dish.

3. to make the streusel: in a medium-sized bowl, combine 4 tbsp butter, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt with a large fork. then add in the flour and mix with your fingers until crumbly.

4. top the cake with the streusel topping and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

recipe assistance pulled from here & here


fluffy healthy banana oat pancakes

fluffy healthy banana oat pancakes
it’s saturday, so i figured i’d post about everyone’s favorite weekend morning breakfast… PANCAKES.

there isn’t always time to make them on weekdays and we’ve kind of made it a saturday morning tradition around our house. this morning was the first time the little she helped me make them. i pulled up a chair for her to stand on and she helped me mash the bananas and stir the batter. i have now hopefully started her own little obsession with The Spatula. just like mommy.



not only are these pancakes the fluffiest i have ever made, they are also healthy. they’re made with whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, honey, yogurt… lotso good stuff. it’s so great to be able to give these delicious pancakes to my family (as the little she chants “pancakes! pancakes!”) and know that they are good for her.

WIN for mommy.

note: this recipe makes a lot of pancakes, so i finished off all of the batter and froze the leftovers. see below for instructions.


fluffy banana oat pancakes
recipe adapted from simple bites
(makes about 25-30 small pancakes)

ingredients

1 cup oat flour (or old-fashioned oats)

3 cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tbsp wheat germ

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups milk (you can use low-fat or whole milk)

1 cup vanilla yogurt

3 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil

1/3 cup honey

1 1/3 cups ripe, mashed or pureed bananas (3-4 medium sized)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
directions
1. if you’re using oats and not oat flour, put the oats into a food processor and process until the mixture is very fine. in a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, ground oats, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. set aside.
2. in a second large bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, oil, honey, mashed bananas, and eggs. hand whisk until thoroughly combined, but do not beat.
3. make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated. again, do not beat mixture. just stir until moist & combined.
4. turn your griddle or pan up to medium-low. grease with cooking spray, oil or butter (the flavor that the butter adds is amazing & it makes the edges a little crispy) – this is key, otherwise the pancakes will blacken on the outside. add batter to the griddle using a 1/4 cup scoops (don’t make them too big or they can blacken easier). cook until they are browning on the bottom and the tops have just begun to bubble before flipping.
5. pancakes can be kept warm in a 150 degree oven on a cookie sheet while you are making the rest. serve with your favorite maple syrup or honey (but these pancakes are so gloriously delicious, i think they can be eaten with no syrup at all).
*to freeze leftovers:
cool completely. place pancakes in freezer bags (i like to use the freezer press-n-seal wrap) in twos. to reheat, warm in a toaster, toaster oven, or microwave.
enjoy!

sweet potato tart

this recipe is one of my favorite holiday desserts.
it’s a play on the original sweet potato pie, but with a twist. it has mashed bananas in it, giving it a sweet second dimension and creamy texture. the recipe was created by a chef’s wife, who likes to serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (if you’re asking me, use blue bell homemade vanilla), a sprinkle of crumbled shortbread cookies and a drizzle of maple syrup. YUM.

fleur’s sweet potato tart

ingredients

one 9-inch refrigerated piecrust

1 large sweet potato (10 to 12 ounces) – peeled, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 ripe banana, sliced

2 tsp dark brown sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup raw sugar

3 tbsp light brown sugar

3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp salt


directions

1. preheat the oven to 375. roll out the dough and press into a 4×14 inch rectangular or 9 inch round tart pan with removable bottom; trim the top edge. set the pan on a baking sheet. prick the dough several times with a fork and bake until lightly golden, 15 minutes. (prick the tart shell if the dough puffs up during baking.)

2. meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover the sweet potato slices with water and bring to a boil. cook until tender, about 15 minutes. strain and mash until smooth. transfer one cup to a bowl.

3. in a small, nonstick skillet, cook the sliced banana with the dark brown sugar over medium heat, turning once, until caramelized, about 5 minutes. mash the banana into the sweet potato, then stir in the eggs, cream, raw sugar, light brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

4. pour the mixture into the pre-baked tart shell and bake until slightly puffed and set, about 35 minutes. let cool on a rack, or refrigerate overnight.

recipe & photo via