Tag Archives: bananas

Fun Friday: Three ingredient cookies

10 Mar

I added a fourth ingredient…can you guess what it is?

Good morning and TGIF!

Happy Friday to you all. It’s been a little bit since I did a Fun Friday post, so I thought I’d share a fun one with you this week.

My whole “after school snack” routine has gotten a bit derailed lately, mostly because many days no one is coming right home after school, which makes me really the only one who is home and hungry and means I’m always throwing an extra snack into everyone’s backpack to get them through the day. They eat lunch so early in the morning at school that they are starving by 3:00.

Additionally, since my youngest has had to go gluten free a little more than a year ago, one of the things she often takes for lunch is muffins (gluten free, obviously). That knocks off a good 3/4 of my go-to after school snack ideas. I love muffins and I loved making them to eat after school because then we have them for breakfast the next day, if there are any left. Now, out of convenience, I buy six packs of freshly made muffins, four varieties at a time every couple of weeks, at our local gluten free bakery, A&J’s, and I freeze them. By the time she eats lunch they have thawed.

I try to make my snacks healthy as often as I can, and so in going gluten free, I’ve relied on many dips (like this one from 2012 or this one from 2013), cheese and apples, fruit platters and the like. However, I did find a go-to cookie recipe that is fast, easy, healthy and gluten free, as long as you have gluten free oats, which I always do (thanks Bob’s Red Mill!). I have seen this recipe on several sites, and the one I am sharing today is from Recipe Diaries. I have seen versions of these cooked in the oven and I have even seen some that are microwaved. I have only ever cooked mine in the oven.

This week when I made these, I used 3 bananas and 1 1/2 cups of oats to make more cookies. I am also partial to Craisins over raisins, so I used a box of Craisins that is the lunchbox snack size (mostly because that’s what I had on hand) and it was the perfect amount. I’m also VERY partial to chocolate chips, so I threw some of those in too. In the past I have subbed dried pomegranates for the fruit and they were tasty too. Almost anything goes.

I have always tried to make my kids aware of serving sizes when it comes to food, and they always ask me how many or how much of something they are allowed to have, especially when it comes to something like muffins or cookies. With these, it’s nice to know that although they still can’t have an unlimited amount, at least the ones they are having are really pretty healthy, overall. They make a great snack and they satisfy my craving for a little something sweet.

I encourage you to try out the recipe at Recipe Diaries, and have a great weekend!

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One banana, two banana, three banana, four…..

6 Oct
I think we have at least one too many bananas!

I think we have at least one too many bananas!

At our house, we tend to go through a lot of bananas in a week. We use them by themselves, in shakes, cookies, muffins and breads and we even freeze them for future use. Even still, there’s a limit to just how many bananas one family can eat.

Last week we were out of bananas, so when my husband was in the grocery store, he bought two bunches. The next day as I was in a different grocery store, picking up the remainder of what we needed, I also grabbed a bunch of bananas because I hadn’t yet seen the ones he bought.

I hung my bunch up on the hook in the kitchen, only to have him bring his two bunches up later that day. Suddenly, we had *a lot* of bananas.

We’re already down one bunch since that day, but we have two bunches to go, so I’ve been gathering up some of my most banana-y recipes and putting them on the top of my list.

This week, I had one of my favorite lunches, but it’s one I can’t have every day because it’s not really stellar in the way of being very healthy. It’s got a banana in it though, so that’s good, and peanut butter, so that’s good too. If you decide to wash it down with a glass of milk, that’s a bonus.

I read about this sandwich online somewhere, and whenever I eat it, I imagine it’s the type of sandwich that would be featured on a show like “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” where you see amazing things made into a sandwich or piled on top of a waffle, or some other sort of unusual meal.

Ooey and goey, this sandwich is a twist on the old school lunchbox version.

Ooey and goey, this sandwich is a twist on the old school lunchbox version.

The Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich is a twist on an old favorite lunchbox staple, the peanut butter and banana sandwich. The recipe I saw online actually had cream cheese and honey in it also, but that didn’t appeal to me as much. I have done this sandwich in three different varieties so far: peanut butter and banana, with peanut butter, honey and banana, and with peanut butter, Nutella and banana. I’ve eaten it for breakfast some days or for lunch other days. The added touch of the grilled bread makes the sandwich warm and gooey. I’m sure there are other varieties you could try, including the one with cream cheese and honey if you so desire.

Enjoy today’s banana recipe, and feel free to share with me some of your favorite banana recipes in the comments below!

After School Snack: Strawberry Banana Yogurt Smoothies

11 Apr

Great for sore throats, warm weather, a healthy snack!

We had an unusually warm, hot actually, March this year. The weather broke all kinds of records and we loved the taste of summer that came during spring. It meant a couple of things for us though: First it meant that springtime allergies kicked in early, so everyone started with sore throats and runny noses in March instead of April. Second, it meant that the daily “can we get ice cream” and “can we get frozen lemonade” questions started early as well.

When I pick my kids up at school we drive by one of our city’s popular ice cream drive ups as well as past our favorite frozen lemonade stand. On occasion, on super hot summer days we’ll stop there after school as a treat, but I wasn’t really ready to start that in March. Not yet. It’s an expensive treat, one we don’t do too often.

One particularly hot afternoon, as an answer to their pleas, I decided to make smoothies, something I often do as an after school snack, but not usually in March. On this particular afternoon though, I had fresh strawberries in my fridge, (frozen works well too) and I had bananas in my freezer, which I often use for banana bread, but they work well for smoothies too. I had some vanilla yogurt in my fridge, so I felt I could easily pull off some smoothies for an after school snack.

A blender doesn't have to be expensive to make a delicious treat!

My “recipe” isn’t exact, but into my blender I threw: a bunch of strawberries, two frozen bananas, milk, about a cup of vanilla yogurt, and some ice to make it have a frozen feel, like a milkshake, but healthier.

I added a dollop of whipped cream and a straw and I had a restaurant-quality summer beverage for my kids for after school. Not bad! Everyone was happy and I was glad there was even enough for me to have some!

Did you survive February Vacation Week? Reward yourself!

24 Feb
Vanilla pudding dessert with vanilla wafers, strawberries and bananas

A perfect treat for the end of the week!

It’s Friday!

Did you survive the week?

If so, treat yourself to a super-simple dessert that I found on Pinterest (been on there yet??) and just had to pin for future use. The future came sooner than later! If you click on the underlined words above, it’ll take you right to the blog post where I got the recipe from.

In the past, I’ve mixed vanilla wafers, vanilla pudding and bananas for a treat before, but this recipe just looked so much better because she served it in mason jars, and I just so happened to have mason jars downstairs, sitting there doing nothing.

I also happened to have both bananas and strawberries, which in my opinion go so well together, so I figured I’d throw some of those in as well.

I got my ingredients at Aldi's, including the bananas, the strawberries and the milk.

To make this, I used two small packages of instant vanilla pudding, just as I would to make pudding for my family usually, plus three bananas and almost the entire package of strawberries. I don’t have a specific number of vanilla wafers to tel you that I used, but I made six mason jars worth of dessert, so I used almost the whole package of vanilla wafers. I just threw them into a gallon-sized ziploc bag and used my rolling pin to crush them up.

You have to let the pudding chill once it’s mixed, so I mixed it first and did the other ingredients next. Once it was sufficiently solid, I started my assembly line of layering the ingredients in the jars.

mason jars

Assembly line layering worked best for creating this dessert.

The layering was easy. I simply layered the vanilla wafers first, then the pudding and the fruit. I did another layer of wafers, a little more pudding and fruit and then whipped cream on top with a couple of strawberries for a garnish. If you have any of those nice long iced tea spoons, they are the perfect utensil to use for eating this type of dessert.

This is also the kind of thing that doesn’t keep well, so once you make it, you have to eat it right away or else the vanilla wafers get soggy inside the jars and obviously you can’t refrigerate it with the cream and strawberries on top either!

I think it’s a perfect dessert for company, for summertime, or….for the last day of February Vacation!! I also saw a comment on the original post that said someone put in mini chocolate chips too! Wouldn’t *that* be yummy?! I didn’t have any, but it’s on the list for next time!

I bet your mouth is watering right now!

Enjoy!