Posts tagged ‘banana’

October 13, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

If you are looking for a quick, fast, easy, tasty, and ‘healthy’ breakfast muffin – than you’ve come to the right place! Now, these are not “the healthiest ever” because they still do have white flour and sugars but they do have peanut butter and banana and whole wheat and wheat germ SO they do qualify (in my book) for healthy.

I work with an amazing group of people at my Elementary School who are diving full force into Steven Covey’s Leader in Me program. Our kids are doing so well with this program and I cannot wait to see how much these leadership lessons and skills that they are learning is going to help them. As an adult I am learning so much by teaching these Habits to our kids and its making me a better person.

Part of being a better person is making those around me better as well. To make “deposits” into my co-workers “emotional bank accounts” I made some goodies for our Leader in Me Training Day. These tasty treats were a perfect breakfast snack as well as a mid-day pick-me-up!

Make these for someone you love, or show yourself how much you love you.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Mini Muffins

(adapted from Liv Life)


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 T ground flax meal/wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 banana small diced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water/more milk (or more if too dry)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (mini chips work great too!)

Preheat oven to 350º.  Spray mini muffin tins (48 muffins) with cooking spray. In a large bowl stir together the flour, flax meal, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  In another bowl mix the milk and water with the sugars, mashed banana, peanut butter, vanilla and egg.

Add the chocolate chips & diced banana to the dry ingredients and stir to evenly distribute.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined, making sure not to over-mix.

Spoon the batter into the mini muffin tins and bake for about 15 minutes, or until muffins are browned (don’t over-bake or they become too dry). Remove to a wire rack and cool.  Enjoy!

And I leave you with this, today’s Question of the Day… What “Emotional Bank Account” deposits do you like making to those around you to show them how much you care?

October 12, 2011

Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting

One of my Best Friends (Miss J.W.) loves Nutella. For the past three (I think) years I have given her Nutella for her birthday (and possibly even some as Christmas gifts in there too). I think she has come to expect it (when she opened her present this year she said “yes, I almost bought some at the store the other day”).

For her birthday recently I knew I wanted to make Nutella something! I was running out of time as it got closer and couldn’t go all-out like I really wanted to. BUT, I knew that I still wanted to make her something special (in addition to the brunch I was making to celebrate the awesome person that she is, her requests of a veggie frittata & bagels with lox – a friend with the same taste in food as you, is the best kind of friend) to celebrate her day. (P.S after brunch we headed to an awesome tasting & tour of Franklin Hills Vineyards – check it out)

So I asked myself – what goes best with Nutella (besides more Nutella)? I decided that Double Nutella might be too much, but that BANANAS are the perfect match for Nutella!! AND since I was short on time, I even cheated and used a doctored up box mix to make her cake and cupcakes.

The cake wasn’t too fancy looking and the cupcakes were just classic simple decorated cupcakes, perfect for a simple birthday celebration… Happy Birthday Jess & we can celebrate any day!

Banana Cake

  • 1 package yellow cake mix (and all required elements for that)
  • 2 ripe, mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 Hershey Kiss per cupcake

Make cake mix according to package directions. Once your liquid is mixed in, add your mashed bananas and continue to mix until smooth(2 minutes) Mix in your chocolate chips (if using). I made one 9×9 cake and 10 cupcakes – but feel free to make whatever you want. With the cupcakes – feel free to add a Hershey Kiss into the batter before frosting and then just follow baking instructions on your box. Let cool & then frost

Nutella Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup nutella
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (or more)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp cream (if needed)

In the bowl of a large mixer, whip butter and nutella until creamy. Gradually add in icing sugar until desired consistency is reached. Add cream if needed. Frost cake/cupcakes & ENJOY (I needed to make slightly more in order to frost everything, so feel free to double the recipe)

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… What is your favorite flavor to go with Nutella (or are you one of those Nutella haters)!?

July 1, 2011

Banana Carrot Whole Wheat Muffins

I decided to round out “breakfast sweets” week with just one more recipe of another tasty breakfast goody that traveled to the shore with us last weekend! This one is in the HEALTHY breakfast goodies category and will be making a repeat in our kitchen at home (as in: I will feel good about eating this in the morning).

carrot banana bran muffins!

I love having something sweet in the morning (lets be honest – who doesn’t!?). I think even those heathy-type-people love their sweets (I know, you say that you enjoy your egg whites and spinach and oats every morning but there has to be some time that you just crave something sweet!) This has the best of both worlds! The original recipe from Love Food Eat suggests you can reduce your sugar down to make it less sweet, I would have no problem adding less (although it is PERFECT as written). I also was out of almonds, so skipped those. I love raisins so next time might add less sugar, but more raisins (I also only had white flour & can not wait to make it even more healthy with the whole wheat & I think even adding in some more oats).

I wonder if I add some wheat germ or flax seed if that will change the texture or just add more healthy goodness…. I guess it is worth a try (I will come back and update once that happens).

Banana Carrot Whole Wheat Muffins


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups finely chopped/grated carrot
  • ½ cup almonds roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup quick cooking oats
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp cinnamon powder


  • 2 ripe bananas mashed into a paste
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

In a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix till combines. The mixtures will be quite hard. If it looks too dry add a little more yogurt. Don’t be tempted to make it too watery.

Scoop the batter into the greased muffin tray. And bake till done. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes, until your toothpick comes out clean (these are dense, so they will also bake a little as they cool)

And I leave you with this….

A Question:

  1. DIET CHALLENGED: What food(s) would you never be able to give up
  2. HEALTHY: What foods do you swear by in your “good-for-you” daily life
March 1, 2011

[Banana] Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

Cupcakes = Good

Banana Bread = Comfort ‘healthy’ Dessert

Peanut Butter & Jelly = Childhood Classic

Banana Cupcakes filled with Jelly & topped with Peanut Butter Frosting… oh yeah!

As I was getting ready to make cupcakes for my “kids” & co-workers at Big Boulder last week, I was also watching Food Network and browsing FoodGawker (honestly, in the evening – when does this not happen!?). The Neelys were making Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes and Evil Shenanigans had posted jelly filled banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting… it was a sign: I had to create these treats as soon as possible!

These cupcakes bring back memories of everything childhood (just don’t make them for most kids now since 1/2 the places you look are now peanut free – grr). Add a bit more jelly if you like (I wanted more) and feel free to make any cupcake to hold this childhood treat (a cinnamon swirled vanilla would probably be awesome).

Peanut Butter & Jelly (Banana) Cupcakes

  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (to make buttermilk take your regular milk & add about 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup strawberry jam, or preferred flavor (I got the fancy Smuckers stuff since it was on sale & I had a coupon and I have to say that this is the best I’ve ever tasted, just like homemade – splurge here or wait for sales!)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus more if needed

Heat the oven to 350 F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl combine the mashed bananas and buttermilk until smooth.   Add the butter, egg, and vanilla and mix until well combined. In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well mixed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until no large lumps of flour remain. [These are a more dense cupcake – so feel free to play with this as needed – but they held up well to the jelly & peanut butter as they currently are!]

Scoop the batter evenly between the paper liners and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when gently pressed in the center.  Cool in the pan for three minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cakes are cooled completely take a small paring knife and poke it into the center of the cupcake in a cross pattern about 1 inch deep.  Take a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip and fill it with the jam.  Press the tip into the cross and pipe in about one tablespoon of jelly.  Clean off the tops of the cupcakes before frosting. I don’t really think there was enough jelly when I did this, next time I’ll scoop out a hole to fill with the jelly.

To prepare the frosting cream together the butter and peanut butter until well combined.  Add in the powdered sugar and half the milk and mix until smooth, fluffy and your desired piping consistency.  (I used more than the full 1/4 cup of milk.)


Your thought of the day…. Peter Pan & the Lost Boys had it right when they said “I won’t grow up”. So remember to grow older & more mature, but don’t ever truly grow up (don’t ever lose that inner child!)

February 3, 2011

Spinach breakfast muffins

I keep finding some really cool GREEN recipes (look forward to reading about chocolate green shakes in the near future). I guess this is my way of thinking healthy (or not having snow days every other day even though I love the beauty of winter and snow) So these green beauties may look savory, but they are indeed a great breakfast muffin! These  also introduced me to the world of quinoa – so I will try to experiment and learn more about that now too… I’m going to try to experiment with one new thing each month 🙂

These muffins have a slightly sweet taste to them, but are dense and tasty enough to not be overly gross BUT not so “spinach-y” that you don’t want to enjoy them for breakfast. I’m telling you – the only way to truly enjoy these is to make them and try them yourself!

Spinach Quinoa Muffins (from Dandy Sugar)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (50/50 mix of white & wheat works)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • (1/2 tsp) fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar (or 1/4 cup white & 1/4 cup brown)
  • 1 medium mashed banana (or even more!)
  • 2 cups of dry spinach leaves (should amount to about 1 cup processed)
  • 2 tbsp [canola] oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • chopped walnuts or almonds


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 12 cup muffin tin OR for a breakfast at school – prepare a 24 cup muffin tin. Put 2 cups of dry baby spinach leaves into the food processor and pulse until the leaves resemble a puree. You should have about 1 cup of  chopped spinach total.

Combine dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk. In another bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until incorporated and light in texture. Add remaining wet ingredients and whisk. Pour dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir just to combine – do not over-mix. Gently fold quinoa into the mixture.  Pour (mine was really thick… more like ‘dump’) batter into muffin tin to about 3/4 full each. Top each muffin with chopped nuts of your choice.

Bake for 15-19 minutes for the regular muffins (or about 12 – 15 minute for mini muffins) until centers set or a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Enjoy while warm!

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Kermit the Frog always said “Its not easy being green” – but I think its easier than we all thought, so – GO GREEN… its good for your health, the environment, & all of our futures!

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