Tag Archives: lowfat

Banana Walnut Loaf

If you’ve been following my posts, then you know that I love banana bread. I mean looove it to the point where I purposely buy a bunch of bananas weekly in hopes that they will ripen up (before they get eaten) so that I can make a fresh banana loaf like this one!  This banana loaf is SUPER moist and rich in banana goodness.  Best part-it’s made in one bowl using minimal ingredients you likely have sitting in your pantry right now! I made this while my mother-in-law visited yesterday and it was gone in less than 30 minutes.  My entire apartment smelled so delicious and I can’t wait to make it again! My husband said it reminded him of Trinidadian pone which is a delicious dessert made with cassava…but this banana loaf is naturally sweetened with bananas and no added sugar!  It’s  also #glutenfree #sugarfree and #awesome!  So let’s get to it!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour (I used @bobsredmills)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

3 bananas, mashed well

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, whisked

1/3 cup chopped unsalted walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease one loaf pan with coconut oil (or unsalted butter). In a large bowl mash bananas well with a fork (I also use a potato mashed which works amazingly well!).
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together until completely combined.
  3. Add coconut oil, egg, vanilla and applesauce
  4. Mix ingredients until combined.
  5. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and top with nuts.
  6. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into center of loaf. Turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before cutting (also it tastes delicious slightly warm!).  Enjoy!

Carrot & Oat Yogurt Muffins with Coconut Cream Cheese topping

One of my all-time favorite desserts is carrot cake.  In fact, I have a post for a lightened up version of carrot cake that you must try! But I wanted to create a muffin version as a quick grab-n-go breakfast option.  These are a lifesaver for busy mornings when you have no time to even shove food into your mouth from a plate or bowl!   My kids loved these too and bonus-they were eating veggies at breakfast!  I’m calling my coconut-cream cheese a “topping” versus “frosting” since it has minimal sugar per serving but you still get that perfect combo that just works so well with this carrot muffin! and great for breakfast without spiking blood sugar.

I used plain whole milk yogurt in these and applesauce which help to keep these muffins moist and flavorful!  Not to mention the extra nutrients you get from these simple ingredients such as Vitamin C and protein.  Make these gluten-free by using gluten-free all purpose flour to replace the whole wheat and regular ap flour.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup low fat or whole milk yogurt

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup finely grated carrot, packed (blot well with paper towels to remove excess moisture)

Coconut-cream cheese topping

1 tablespoon agave nectar

4 oz. light cream cheese

3 tablespoons finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Place muffin liners in a muffin tin and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine oats, flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, vanilla, egg and applesauce.
  5. Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until moist.  Do not overmix!
  6. Fold in carrots
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, make the cream cheese topping by adding 4 cream cheese, vanilla, and agave to a blender ( I used my vitamix) and blend on high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Add the coconut and mix for another few seconds until combined.
  9. Scoop cream cheese mixture out into a ziplock bag and cut a hole at the corner so you can easily squeeze it out onto the muffins.

Food Art for Kids!

Struggling to get your kids to try some fruits and veggies?  Well try presenting it in a fun and interesting way!  Recently, I was totally inspired to get more creative with meals for my little guys.  Here are a few ways I’ve taken their typical breakfast or snacks and recreated them to be more appealing and attractive (which also results in better eating for most kids as well!).  So I hope this inspires some of you to get a bit more creative with meals for your kids! My kids really loved these especially the rainbow and grape christmas tree!

Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with White Beans

There is nothing like warm soup on a chilly day.  Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables.  I know it might be intimidating to some with that thick hard outer layer but trust me, it’s super easy to make and can be used in everything from salads to rice and pasta dishes and of course, soup!  I had a craving for some creamy butternut squash soup but also wanted to add in some protein, so I chose some cannellini beans.  Oh and my secret ingredient :::drumroll:: pumpkin pie spice!  The flavors work so well with this soup!!  But you can totally just use nutmeg or a combo I suggest below.  My 4 year old loves any type of beans so I knew this would be a hit with him! I was thrilled to see watch him take the first, then second, then third spoon of this soup…until he finished it all! Now this recipe uses roasted butternut squash and although you will find many recipes out there suggesting you fully peel the squash and cut the flesh into cubes, it isn’t necessery for this soup.  Here is the full recipe! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 (~3 pound) butternut squash
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped                                                                                                                                              1 bay leaf
5 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 t ginger and 1/4 t nutmeg)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste                                                                                         15 oz container of no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained                                                                                      Plain Greek yogurt for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, but if it’s too long to cut that way, simply cut it in 4 quarters.
  3. Place the squash flesh-side up on the baking sheet and either spray with olive oil cooking spray or drizzle a little olive oil on each just to coat them.
  4. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until fork tender.  Set aside and allow to cool.
  5. Peel the skin off and then cut flesh into small chunks and places in a bowl.  Set aside.
  6. Now, heat 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a dutch oven over medium heat and when bubbly, add the onions and garlic.  Allow to brown but not burn! about 6-8 minutes.
  7. Add the bay leaf and sautee about 1-2 minutes.
  8. Now pour in the broth and squash.
  9. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes.
  10. Pour in the beans and continue to heat an additional 15 minutes.  Sprinkle in pumpkin pie spice.
  11. Using a ladle, scoop out some of the soup into a blender and blend on high speed and work in batches until entire soup is rich and creamy.
  12. Garnish with a bit of yogurt or just have it on its own!
  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Like many of us, I’m a very busy mommy.  Even too busy to eat a sensible meal so end up carrying healthy snacks with me through the day.  My typical morning breakfast is oatmeal or overnight oats but wanted my oatmeal in a to-go version! So I created these blueberry oatmeal muffins.  Think just about everything you put in oatmeal, but wrapped up in a little muffin.  These are a lifesaver for busy mornings when you have no time to even shove food into your mouth from a plate or bowl!  Not overly sweet, but has hint of brown sugar.  The primary sweetness comes from luscious blueberries and even though they are no longer in season, they still add a ton of flavor to these muffins!  I do recommend using fresh vs frozen for these, just because the fresh burst open when you bit into these muffins but frozen also works!

I used plain whole milk yogurt in these and applesauce which help to keep these babies moist and flavorful!  Not to mention the extra nutrients you get from these simple ingredients such as Vitamin C and protein.  Make these gluten-free by using gluten-free all purpose flour to replace the whole wheat and regular ap flour.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup low fat or whole milk yogurt

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Place muffin liners in a muffin tin and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine oats, flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, vanilla, egg and applesauce.
  5. Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until moist.  Do not overmix!
  6. Fold in blueberries.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  8. Feel free to spread a little unsalted butter on these muffins without the guilt!

Cranberry Banana Oat Muffins

If you’ve been following my posts, then you know that I love baking muffins, especially with banana.  Truthfully, I take a weekly, if not twice weekly, trip to my local fruit stand to buy a bunch of bananas in hopes that there will be leftover for baking on the weekend!  I love to bake with super ripe bananas…and I mean the black, even slightly mushy ones.  Those produce the most amazing naturally sweet flavor in baking any banana baked good and worked perfectly for these muffins.

Another ingredient that I enjoy baking with is cranberries.  Not only are these tiny gems packed with nutrition, but they provide a burst of flavor to any dish you put them in, especially in baking.  In this case, I used dried cranberries which already have some sugar added to them.  By nature, cranberries are low in sugar and high in acid so they are usually sweetened with added sugars for palatability. Since I did not add any sugar to this recipe, I’ve included the cranberries as dried for that sweet/tart flavor that is just incredible in these banana muffins!

My kids and husband loved these muffins.  Let’s just say I baked one dozen yesterday and have only 2 left!  Those 2 will make the perfect snack for Austin and I during our trip to the playground this morning.

*Oh and here is a tip to making these gluten-free!  Simply replace the whole wheat flour with all-purpose gluten-free flour!

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup quick or rolled oats

1/4 cup finely ground flaxseed

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

3 large banana (or 4 small), very ripe and mashed well

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a muffin tin with liners and lightly spray with cooking spray.  
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and egg white, then add the oil, vanilla extract and applesauce.
  5. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly.
  6. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined. 
  7. Fold in the dried cranberries.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Banana-Berry Muffins

This morning, as I woke super early with my older son (and then realized it was even earlier since the clocks were turned back one hour!), I decided to do some baking.  Luckily I had a few very ripe bananas on hand and decided to make these banana muffins with the addition of blueberries and walnuts, so delicious!  Ah, there is nothing like the smell of freshly baked banana muffins.  The aroma still lingers throughout my entire apartment.  These muffins are made with no added sugar, using only the natural sweetness from ripe bananas and blueberries.  I also added walnuts to a few and I find walnuts enhance the flavor and add the perfect crunch but you can leave them out if you prefer or in the case of any nut allergies.  My 18 month gobbled up 2 of them!  I also used unsweetened applesauce in place of butter BUT these do taste even more amazing cut in half and with a little unsalted butter spread on them.

Ingredients

3 1/2 ripe medium bananas, mashed (the darker, the better!). If the bananas are small, use 4.

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 egg

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a muffin tin with liners.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, applesauce, egg and vanilla extract.
  5. Slowly pour in the flour mixture and whisk until smooth and just combined.
  6. Next, fold in the blueberries and walnuts if using
  7. Pour batter into muffin liners and bake for 18-22 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Serving suggestion: my kids love these as is, but my husband and I really enjoyed them cut in half with a smear of unsalted butter! Enjoy!