Baked Banana Oat Cups

Check out these BAKED BANANA OAT CUPS!! 😋🍌 This recipe is by Ellie Krieger who is a Registered Dietitian and host and executive producer of “Ellie’s Real Good Food”.  I’m so glad I found this recipe.  It’s seriously like eating oatmeal in muffin form, packed with heart healthy oats (I used gluten free) and made perfectly sweet with maple syrup and ripe bananas.  My 2-year old refuses oatmeal these days and he loved these oat cups which make a great option for him to enjoy the health benefits of oats in a different way! Also a perfect grab-and-go breakfast for mommy too 😀 Sprinkled chopped walnuts on top for me and nut-free for my kids.  Here is the link to the recipe and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Baked Banana Oat Cups

Healthy Chocolate Waffles

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE WAFFLES! Valentine’s day may be over but our love for all things chocolate with strawberries is never ending (am I right?!)  This recipe only uses gluten-free oat flour, which is a good source of protein and fiber!  We each love our waffles with different toppings-Ethan usually loves his with mini chocolate chips; Austin’s fav topping is cream cheese (although I saw him eating these plain and loving it!)  and my husband keeps it simple with maple syrup while I love them topped with fresh fruit.  So I decided to switch things up from my regular oat waffle recipe and added some cacao powder and maple syrup and they came out great!!  Just a hint of chocolate flavor which you can make more intense by adding a bit more maple syrup/cacao powder *see my note below!  I paired it here with some cottage cheese mixed with a bit of strawberry preserves (my personal favorite! and also makes a great waffle topping!).  If you want to try them minus the chocolate, simply leave out the cacao powder and maple syrup and they still come out delicious!  HOW DO YOU TOP YOUR WAFFLES?

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups oat flour

2 tablespoons cacao powder*

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup*

¾ cup milk of choice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs, separated

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (or use coconut oil)

3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

*for a more intense chocolate flavor, add an additional tablespoon of each maple syrup + cacao powder

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
  2. Separate the eggs, placing whites in a separate bowl and egg yolks in another bowl and whisk the yolks well.
  3. Add applesauce, milk, vanilla and melted butter to the yolks.
  4. Now add the applesauce/milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
  5. Beat whites on high speed until stiff peaks are formed and fold into the mixture.
  6. Ladle mixture into hot waffle iron and cook until golden brown.

 

 

Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treat!  I’m always searching for ways to re-create my own childhood favorites to healthier versions to share with my kids and the rice krispies treat was one of them.  This recipe contains only 6 simple ingredients including brown rice crisps, honey and peanut butter…oh and chocolate because they are “treats” after all.  My family really loved this version and I personally find them super satisfying straight from the freezer!   I hope you enjoy them.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups crispy brown rice cereal (I used One Degree Organics brand)
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter (peanuts should be the only ingredient)
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

Directions:

  • Line an 8×8-inch baking tin with parchment paper, leaving the side of the paper sticking out like handles.
  • Place cereal in a large bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, honey and vanilla. Heat gently and stir until thoroughly combined and melted.
  • Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal and stir until all the cereal is coated.
  • Transfer the cereal mixture l to the prepared tin and spread out evenly. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the cereal and use your hands to flatten the top.
  • Place in the refrigerator to set for around 30 minutes.
  • Close to the end of the 30 minutes, place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a bowl and stir to coat the chips.  Microwave at 20 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted and smooth (about 1 minute 20 seconds total).
  • Take the tin from the refrigerator, pour the melted chocolate on top of the cereal mixture and smooth over the entire area.
  • Now place in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.
  • Pull bars out with parchment paper and place on a cutting board.  Cut into squares with a sharp knife, cleaning the knife after each cut.
  • Store in an air-tight container in the freezer and if desired, warm up to room temperature to soften serving.

Protein-packed Strawberry Pancakes

I’m a lover of breakfast food.  I can live off of pancakes, scrambled eggs, waffles and french toast! Are you with me?  Well lucky for me, my kids love anything breakfast too! and we often make breakfast for dinner which is a ton of fun but I often find that my kids gear toward the carb-rich foods and barely eat much protein.  So I created these PROTEIN-PACKED STRAWBERRY pancakes, made with strawberries, cottage cheese, oats and banana!  Oh and BEST part, they are made in a blender!  with strawberries folded in at the end.  Totally fluffy, moist and gluten free!  I just cooked up a batch today and they came and went as quickly as I took to make them!  You can use blueberries in place of strawberries if you prefer or leave out the added fruit altogether and they are just as delicious.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

1 medium banana

2 eggs

3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1 cup cottage cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until well incorporated and batter is smooth.
  2. Fold strawberries right into the batter.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake and cook until golden on each side.

Cinnamon-Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Hello Sweet Potato!  Before I dive into this dish, I have a confession.  There have been one too many times where I’ve purchased sweet potatoes and never used them.  Let’s just say I’m extremely late to the sweet potato toast game-as in maybe made it once.  This morning, I saw these two beautiful sweet potatoes on my counter and knew I had to make something with them and wanted to liven them up to be more than a simple roasted or mashed potato.  These sweet potatoes are dressed with pure maple syrup, a touch of butter and cinnamon..making them a lil sweet and a lil savory.  Here are a few nutritional facts about sweet potatoes and why we should all be eating them more often (including your truly!).  Oh and don’t confuse yams with sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes are nutritionally superior.

  • Sweet potatoes are rich in calcium, potassium and Vitamins A & C
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits
  • contain about 140 calories and 2 grams dietary fiber per 3 1/2 oz portion, uncooked
  • sweet potatoes are satiating, meaning they help to keep you feeling fuller longer
  • eating sweet potatoes can help to satisfy your sweet tooth without the addition of refined sugar as they are naturally sweet, delicious and good for you!

How to use them:

  • add cooked sweet potato to smoothies
  • blended as a base for soup
  • add to stews
  • sweet potato toast-which I now have a simple recipe for (slice sweet potato thinly and bake at 350 for about 15-18 minutes until tender but not fully cooked.  Then stick them in the toaster to get crispy or allow to cool and place in a container with tight fitting lid and keep in the fridge until ready to use.  When ready, place in the toaster or toaster oven and toast until crispy).
  • as a vehicle for another dish like ground turkey chili or a vegetarian dish.  Simply cut the sweet potato in half, roast until tender, scoop it out and fill it!

Ingredients:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1  teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. Arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer in the lined dish.
  4. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  5. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes; toss to coat.
  6. Cover and bake the sweet potatoes for 40-45 minutes or until tender.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.   When ready to serve, reheat at 350°F until hot, about 15-18 minutes.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Quesadillas

I think quesadillas are totally underrated.  They can be filled with much more than chicken and cheese.  Since a quesadilla is basically a grilled sandwich-it’s perfect for using with leftovers or anything you would typically include in a sandwich. Oh and kids love them! It’s a fun a different way of serving food.  If you find your little one is no longer eating their beloved sandwich or unwilling to move past peanut butter & jelly, try making it in a quesadilla form!  My older son loves them with veggies (peppers, mushrooms, broccoli) and cheese but I also make these strawberry-cream cheese quesadillas which they love and are super delicious!  It’s actually one of my personal favorites too 🍓🍓

Easy instructions:

  1. simply spread lowfat cream cheese on a whole wheat quesadilla.
  2. top with chopped strawberries.
  3. fold the quesadilla in half and grill over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until golden and flip.
  4. Continue grilling for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Also, if you choose other fillings, simply grill the same way until cheese melts (which may require an additional few minutes on each side). Enjoy!

No Bake Choconut Banana Bites

Have you ever baked with banana flour?  Maybe the better question is, have you ever heard of it?  I was recently asked to provide a list of high satiety foods for a Prevention magazine article and started to do research on unripe bananas, specifically green banana flour.  The nutritional profile is pretty incredible and I’ll be the first to admit that even as a dietitian, I really wasn’t fully aware of the potential health benefits of underripe bananas until recently.    Here is what I’ve learned about banana flour that is backed by research.  But first, what exactly is banana flour?

Yes, it’s made from bananas but if you’re like me, I had many questions about how it’s made.  In a nutshell, young, green bananas are picked and peeled before most of their starch has had a chance to ripen into sugar.  Next, the bananas are dried slow enough to maintains vitamins, nutrients and resistant starch (which I’ll talk about below) and ground into flour.  That’s about it!

In general, underripe bananas are naturally high in resistant starch (which they start to lose as they ripen), a type of starch that resists digestion in the small intestine, which has been shown to increase satiety, reduce feelings of hunger and may lead to lower energy intake in subsequent meals.  A 2016 Journal of Functional Foods study showed that adding unripe banana flour (5g resistant starch/serving) to non-daily consumption of soup for 6 weeks promoted higher satiety, lower ghrelin (hunger hormone) and high peptide YY release (a hormone which helps to reduce appetite and limit food intake).  How’s that for some gluten-free flour?!  I was quite impressed with the previous and even more recent research on banana flour.  In fact, back in 2011, banana flour was touted as one of the most exciting nutritional breakthroughs.  Resistant starch has been suggested to help your body’s ability to burn fat while keeping you fuller, longer.  Studies have also shown that it improves blood sugar control, boosts immunity, and may even reduce your cancer risk.   This is an excellent option for just about anyone to try especially those with a gluten allergy or intolerance or anyone who is avoiding grains. 

According to Let’s Do…Organic, when replacing grain flour with banana flour in baking, use 25% less green banana flour (example: your recipe calls for 1 cup of wheat flour, so use 3/4 cup of green banana flour). No extra eggs or liquid ingredients are needed.

This recipe is adapted from Alison’s No Bake Banana Flour Banana Balls by Let’s Do…Organic.  When I first saw this recipe, I had to make it, especially since it included two of my favorite words “NO BAKE”!!  The main difference in my recipe is that I added in rolled oats for a boost of fiber and texture and vanilla extract for flavor.  With the addition of cocoa powder,  no refined sugar and solely sweetened with maple syrup, these balls of goodness will satisfy your sweet tooth without giving you a toothache!   This is a treat you can totally feel good about giving your kids too.  My boys (and husband) gobbled these up and asked for seconds! Let’s just say they didn’t last more than one day.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons Let’s Do…Organic banana flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 3 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Let’s Do…Organic shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Line a plate with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (except coconut and oats) and mix well.
  3. Slowly add in the oats and continue mixing until texture thickens enough to form balls.
  4. Take about one tablespoon of the batter and roll into balls, then roll in the shredded coconut and place on the parchment lined plate.
  5. Place the plate in the freezer and freeze for about 20 minutes and enjoy!

 

 

 

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