healthy

Healthy Banana Bread Muffins

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I’m convinced that certain things aren’t supposed to be “healthy,” like brownies. I’ve tried and failed twice to make those and it was a disaster. Recently, though, I found a recipe for banana bread muffins and I had to give them a try, if only for the sake of not going down without a fight. Chocolate treats may not be my strong suit at the moment, but these baked goods were worth my time. I will say that they’re not the sweetest (note no artificial sugar is involved) but the bread-type consistency is a-ma-zing.

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):

  • whole wheat flour — 1 cup
  • Oats –1/2 cup
  • Applesauce — 1/2 cup
    * Try to make sure the ingredients are nothing but apples, as many brands use unnecessary sweeteners
  • Plain, non-fat greek yogurt — 3/4 cup
  • Almond milk — 1/4 cup
  • Cinnamon — 1/2 teaspoon
  • Baking powder — 1 teaspoon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 bananas
    * I suggest overripe bananas!

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Gathering the ingredients is pretty much the most difficult part of this recipe, as the process is as simple as…

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Combine dry ingredients (oats, flour, cinnamon, and baking powder) in one bowl
  • Whisk egg then combine it with other wet ingredients (yogurt, applesauce, and almond milk) in another bowl

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  • Combine wet and dry ingredients
  • Mash up bananas, leaving them smooth with just a few small chunks
  • Fold bananas in mixture
    * I actually had to look up “folding.” It’s essentially mixing in the bananas by using a spatula/wood spoon and “folding” it instead of stirring or mixing.

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  • Line muffin tin and place batter in each of the 12 muffin liners. The batter shouldn’t overfill any of the muffin liners.

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  • Place in oven for 20 mintes.
  • Let cool and enjoy!

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Natural No Bake Nut Bars

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This blog post is brought to you by an overheated kitchen, anger (due to the heat of course), and deliciousness. I guarantee you the heat and the kitchen are totally my fault, and I hope you don’t encounter it, but the deliciousness is completely credited to a recipe that I recently stumbled upon on the blog by Poppy Deyes. Essentially, my process is practically identical, though I have added a few notes (such as don’t try mixing fresh-out-of-the-oven oats with your bare hands) that a person like me would need.

You’ll Need:

  • Pitted Dates —- 1 cup
  • Honey —- 1/4 cup
  • Almond butter —- 1/4 cup
  • Unsalted almonds (roasted optional), chopped —- 1 cup
  • Rolled oats —- 1 1/2 cups
  • Raisins OR dried cranberries —- 1 handful

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Process:

**IF you prefer to roast the almonds and oats, start by setting your oven to 355 degrees fahrenheit so it can preheat.

The original recipe calls for throwing the dates into a food processor, but I threw them in a blender instead (and had no issue doing this). They end up looking as you’d expect: a squishy, easy to mold type thing.

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Toasting the almonds and oats is an optional step, though I do recommend it. It’s also why I mentioned in the ingredients list that having roasted almonds is optional as I eventually put them in the oven anyway. Beforehand, I had whole almonds and had to mash them into smaller pieces. And yes, I said mash because my patience was not about to be tested by sitting there and individually chopping every almond. I mashed them by placing them in a Ziploc plastic bag, then mashing that bag with the end of a can opener. Not the fanciest option, but it definitely works. Place oats and almonds in the oven until they’re golden on the top, for about 10 minutes.

Afterwards, WAIT FOR IT TO COOL if you want to use your hands to mix ingredients together later. I didn’t think about this and wasn’t able to use my hands because, you know, I don’t have supernatural hands that can withstand an unnatural amount of heat.

Combine the honey and almond butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Mix together. Again, I let it overheat which made the mixture even hotter, so just allow for a warm temperate and remove from heat as soon as the ingredients are properly mixed. Pour that over the nutty mixture in the bowl.

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Stir all the ingredients together and mix mix mix. This is the part I missed out and couldn’t use my hand, but I stirred for a long while before everything was properly combined.

Place mixture in a baking pan, tin, whatever suits your fancy. I lined the pan with foil to make it easier later on. Press mixture down until it’s flat and as even as can be. Obviously, it’s up to you how thin you’d prefer the bars to be.

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Let mixture rest in fridge for about 20 minutes. Then, cut it into bars and you are done!

For storage, I wrapped them in baking paper and placed them in a container so they could sit in the fridge. The paper may not be necessary, but I was afraid they would stick and I figured it would make it easier to grab-and-go.

Enjoy!

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Easy & Healthy “Ice Cream”

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Please, please, please don’t be fooled by the lack of color in the picture above; this really is about the most cheerful dessert you can make in less than 5 minutes! So easy anyone could’ve thought this up (as I’m sure they have) but go ahead and take the credit while you’re putting this together in the blender. All you’ll need is:

  • 1 frozen banana (I recommend an overripe one for it to be sweeter)
  • Nut butter (I used almond)
  • Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Nibs (the secret ingredient!)

The measurements for these ingredients is really up to you. If you’re wondering, I used about 1 generous tablespoon of almond butter and about half the container of the Dark Chocolate Nibs. Just mix all these ingredients in a blender and voila! You may want to only do half the banana first with the full measurements of the other ingredients, then blend in the other half once it’s mushier. Wow. Never though I’d use “mushier” in a sentence. The Dark Chocolate Nibs really do make all the difference! Of course the dessert is still good without them, but they do help. If there isn’t a Trader Joe’s in your area, you could use a dark chocolate chip alternative, though these are a lot closer to actual cocoa versus the store candy, so get it as natural as it can be with none of that milk chocolate stuff. Happy blending!

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