Tag Archives: banana

Cocoa Tahini Fruit Shake ~*Recipe ReDux*~

22 Feb

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This month’s Recipe ReDux challenge is all about chocolate matches:

Does your chocolate need a friend? What is your favorite chocolate match? Show us your favorite healthy chocolate combo recipe.

(See December’s Recipe ReDux post here. See January’s Recipe ReDux post here.)

My chocolate match for the month is cocoa and tahini! With a few Mediterranean-inspired fruit ingredients (dates and figs), because I am trying to channel warm vibes over here in my cold New York City apartment. Continue reading

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Drink Up! Green Smoothie

2 Jul

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Well I finally gave green smoothies a whirl at home, and…they’re great!

I first started adding just a small handful of baby spinach into a smoothie, but now I’ve expanded to kale and purslane.

A few weeks ago, I got a deal at the farmer’s market: two huge bundles of greens for $5. I bought collards and kale. I cooked the collards, and used some of the kale for salads.  I washed, de-stemmed and tore the remaining kale leaves into pieces and stuck them in a ziplock bag in my freezer (my friend Brianna gave me that genius tip!). Now I have a cold green leafy veggie in my freezer for when the smoothie pangs hit (I would imagine that frozen kale is easy to toss into a soup or pasta recipe, too).

Having frozen smoothie ingredients on hand  (i.e. chopped kale, chopped banana, frozen fruit) is key to keeping things cold. Sometimes I add ice at the very end to get the smoothie extra cold, but it is not always necessary.

If you are wary of the greens, don’t worry because you can’t taste them, especially if you use strong fruits like banana or mango and a nut butter like peanut or almond. The greens just make the smoothie turn, well, green.

Tip: blend the greens with the liquid first. Get it really nice and blended before adding in the remaining fruits and accouterment. This helps decrease the leafiness of the greens. I just use a regular blender.

A half portion of this smoothie fills me up in the morning when I drink it with coffee. I also make the full serving for a light lunch before a workout. Experiment with different greens and fruits and add-ins like chia seeds. Have fun, stay cool, and drink up!

Drink Up! Green Smoothie

Makes 1 large portion, or 2 small snack-size portions

1 cup of greens (I used 3/4 cup frozen kale and 1/4 cup fresh purslane)

1 cup liquid (I used 3/4 cup low-fat milk and 1/4 cup Greek yogurt)

1 heaping cup of fruit (I used about 1 cup frozen banana pieces and 1 poached fig)

1 heaping tablespoon nut/seed butter (I used peanut butter, but almond butter is great in smoothies, too)

optional: Ice

optional: a sprinkle of chia seeds (I didn’t use any in this smoothie because purslane is high in omega-3 fatty acids)

Blend the greens and the liquid in the blender. Get it nice and blended, may take 1-2 minutes. Next, add in the fruit and the nut/seed butter and the chia seeds (if using). Blend again to incorporate. If you want the smoothie extra cold, add in a few ice cubes and blend again. You can top the smoothie with extra chia seeds if you like.

 NOTE: The full recipe, if you use nut butter, could add up to 350-400 calories, making this smoothie more of a mini meal than a snack. 

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

26 Mar

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Do I really need another banana bread recipe? No.

But, when I had some extra lemons on hand from last week’s Earl Grey Spiced Fruit Compote workshop, and when an “accidental” two bunches of bananas were sprawled on the counter that needed to be immediately eaten, frozen, or baked with, my wheels started turning.

Currently, my top three go-to banana bread recipes include Smitten Kitchen’s Jacked-Up Banana Bread, Cookie and Kate’s Honey Whole Wheat Banana Bread, and my Peanut Butter Banana Bread.

My rule of thumb? Always better with chocolate chips/chunks. And, just saying, a little whole wheat flour makes chocolate-studded banana bread okay to eat for breakfast, too. Finally, don’t mash to oblivion; just lightly mush the bananas with a fork so you have some puree and some small pieces.

IMG_2245Classic Figs In My Belly Loaf Shot

I bookmarked Heidi Swanson’s version of Melissa Clark’s Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread a while ago, and this was the perfect opportunity to try a new spin on my obsession with banana bread, and quick breads in general.

The taste is classic banana bread, with a subtle hint of lemon zest and a little zing of olive oil at the end. I love it.

There is an optional glaze that you can whisk up (Swanson uses a mix of confectioners’ and brown sugar [I found the granules of the brown sugar too “crunchy” for my taste] and Clark just uses confectioners’ sugar), but I tried it and found that when it comes to banana bread, I prefer mine naked and de-glazed.

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This Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread is definitely going on my list of favorite go-to banana-breads.

Oh boy, do I love a good loaf.

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks, Originally adapted from Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now

1 cup / 125g all-purpose flour
1 cup / 140g whole wheat flour
3/4 cup /125 g  dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup / 4 oz / 115 g coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (leave some bigger chunks!)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups / 340 g mashed, VERY ripe bananas (~3 bananas)
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used 2% low-fat yogurt)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F, and place a rack in the center. Grease a 9- by 5- inch loaf pan, or equivalent.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate pieces and combine well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. Swanson says, “You want to get that beautiful color on the cake, but at the same time you don’t want to bake all the moisture out of it. So the minute you’re in that zone, pull it. Erring on the side of under-baking versus over.”

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely.

Oatmeal “Protein Pancake”

22 Dec

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I made a mini batch of (black pepper) ice cream last week that required three egg yolks. But what was I to do with the leftover whites?

Pondering my options, I remembered my friend Amy making this peculiar “protein pancake” for herself in college. I finally decided to investigate.

This is not your typical pancake. There’s no flour; just oats, egg whites, baking powder, and spices. Add some mashed banana (or any other kind of fruit) to the “batter” for a little more body.

I made this twice for breakfast last week. The first time (see the picture below), I did not put any fruit in the batter and cooked it in a tiny dash of coconut oil.

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My first attempt came out a bit pale and dry, but after lubing it up with a hefty amount of maple syrup and sunflower seed butter, I was very happy.

My second attempt…

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…came out just right. I added half of a banana, mashed, to the batter and sautéed it in butter (I used just shy of 1/8 of a teaspoon, so not that much at all). The edges were golden, and the fruit gave the pancake a little more oomph.

This oatmeal “pancake” is full of protein, whole grains, fruit, fiber, and healthy fat. A great way to use up leftover egg whites, but really just a great way to kick off the day.

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Prepare the batter the night before to save time and soften your rolled oats. Or, prepare the batter first thing in the morning, set the water to boil for coffee and get yourself dressed. When you come back, the batter will be ready to cook.

Note that you can change the ratio of ingredients. If you want a smaller portion, use 1/4 cup oats and 1/4 cup egg whites. Or you can go bigger and use 1/2 cup oats and 1/2 cup egg whites. After making the pancake once or twice, you will easily get a feel for portions and you can be looser with the measurements.

Oatmeal “Pancake”

adapted from Kath Eats and Carrots ‘n’ Cake

serves 1

Ingredients

1/3 cup oats, rolled** or quick

1 large or extra-large egg, or 1/3 cup egg whites (from about 1-2 eggs)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

cinnamon, to taste

optional: 1/2 mashed banana, or 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree, or orange zest

optional: 1 teaspoon chia seeds (helps to thicken)

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes or so. **If using rolled oats, you can mix together the night before so the oats soften.

Spread a touch of butter or oil onto a heated skillet, and pour the batter in while shaping it into a large disc “pancake.” When you can shake it around in the pan, it’s time to flip. ++You can also do two mini pancakes instead of one large one. Cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Once cooked through, top with syrup, nut/seed butter, jam, yogurt, or fruit…endless possibilities.

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Oatmeal Protein Pancake, prepared the night before. In the morning, just pop the pancakes in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, place them back into the to-go container, add toppings and fruit, and run out the door! Yum.

Steel Cut Oats

5 Jan

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After a recent visit to California, I got hooked on steel cut oats.

Steel cut oats take longer to cook than old fashioned rolled oats (about 25 minutes versus 5 minutes), but they offer a nice alternative texture and are a healthy way to enjoy breakfast on the weekends. This morning, I got the oats started on the stove, and by the time I brewed my coffee and washed my face, breakfast was basically ready.

You could also make a bigger batch of the oats and save the leftovers in the refrigerator, reheating them when ready to eat again in the next day or two.

I like to eat my oats with a LOT of toppings. Before I take them off the stove, I will add a little banana, some ground flaxseeds, and a lot of cinnamon. Once I transfer it to my bowl, I top with a drizzle of maple syrup, some milk, and walnuts (I often use nut butters like peanut/almond/sunbutter to mix things up).

When I’m really feeling topping crazy, I add in some jam. In California, I made a stop at Kozlowski farms in Forestville to taste some jams. Their pumpkin butter was irresistible. I’ve been putting it on anything and everything since I’ve been home, including this morning’s steel cut oats.

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Steel Cut Oats

makes 2 servings

2 cups water

1/2 cup steel cut oats

1 banana, sliced

1/2 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

2 teaspoons cinnamon

maple syrup, to taste

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted

pumpkin butter

milk

Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add the oats and stir constantly for about 5 minutes over medium heat, they will begin to thicken. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and let the oats cook for about 20 to 30 minutes more, uncovered. Stir occasionally.

Once at desired consistency, add in the sliced banana, ground flaxseeds, and cinnamon. Divide into 2 bowls. Top with a small drizzle of maple syrup, walnuts, pumpkin butter, and a little milk.