Recipe: Banana Nut and Oat Muffins

My Sundays tend to revolve around food: grocery shopping in the a.m., followed by food prep for the week in the afternoon and a yummy, home cooked dinner in the evening. I always look forward to fresh baked muffins during the week, so most Sunday afternoons you can find me mashing ripe bananas to make up a batch of muffins to get me through the week ahead.

This Sunday was no exception. The fiancé and I started our Sunday with brunch and Garfield cartoons on Hulu+ (our newest Sunday ritual), followed by grocery shopping, the weekly food prep and muffin making, obligatory homework, a long walk with the Piper dog and a game of chess before enjoying mahi-mahi and veggies for dinner. We’re not the worlds greatest chess players, but we’re learning as we go and have fun regardless. Even though Sunday is filled with work, we try to throw a little bit of fun in there too … ya know, since it’s supposed to be Sunday Funday after all!

Anyhow, back to those muffins I was telling you about. Banana nut bread has long been one of my favorite treats. To meet my dietary restriction and in an effort to eat a healthy and balanced diet, I make it into single serving muffins that are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free.

141 calories, 3.8g fat, 21.8g carbs, 3.1g fiber, 9.5g sugar3.1g protein, 138.7mg potassium each (without additional pecans)

141 calories, 3.8g fat, 21.8g carbs, 3.1g fiber, 9.5g sugar, 3.1g protein and 138.7mg potassium each (without additional pecans)

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Recipe: Breakfast on the go-go!

Well, it all officially begins tomorrow — my second year of grad school that is! And while on paper my schedule isn’t too hectic, that doesn’t mean things aren’t gonna get crazy, quick. Between classes, my TA position, internship search and home I’m quite sure I will be running around like a chicken with my head cut-off in no time. But then again, I thrive under that kind of craziness! So, to Spring 2013 I say: BRING IT ON! (insert Not Another Teen Movie response here)

Now, despite my enthusiasm at the beginning of every semester, it is all to easy to let my healthy eating habits go by the wayside after a few weeks. To reduce the vending machine lunch temptation, my weekly meal/snack prep will resume this afternoon. And for those mornings when I’m running out the door without having made time for breakfast, I am armed with yummy smoothie recipes to fill me up on the go without having to spend too much time in the kitchen. I know I’m not the only one who finds themselves in this predicament in the mornings, so I’m sharing three of my all-time favorite breakfast smoothie recipes after the jump!

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Recipe: Banana Berry Muffins

At the end of the week, I always seem to be left with a few brown bananas. Sometimes I throw them in to smoothies, but more often than not, I (guiltily) throw them in the trash. Until a few weeks ago …

Bananas in the trash no more! I’ve finally found a super easy, healthy & delish way to turn those brown bananas in to a healthy treat that I can eat for breakfast or dessert!

Recipe makes 10 muffins (at about 160 calories each, with 3 grams of fiber and 90mg of potassium)

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Birth of a Pancake Monster + Recipe

Pancakes are my new favorite breakfast item …

They’re good with strawberries & sun butter …

And with blueberries inside …

Or with bananas, sun butter & local honey …

However you top ’em, pancakes make every day better!

Recipe …

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Product Review: Annie’s Gluten Free Bunny Cookies

I have not found many gluten free cookies that I care for. I have tried several brands (and will allow them to remain nameless), but none of them compared to the gluten filled cookies of yesteryear … Until I found these delicious new bunny cookies from Annie’s HomegrownThey are available in three flavors: Cocoa & Vanilla, SnickerDoodle and Ginger Snap. I started off trying the SnickerDoodle flavor and boy, oh boy are they yummy! So good in fact that my non-gluten free Father helped me devour a quarter of the box. Call us crazy, but we both thought that the SnickerDoodle cookies would be great eaten as cereal — they taste a lot like cinnamon toast crunch! Yesterday I went back to the grocery store and picked up a second box — this time in the Ginger Snap flavor and they are just as yummy! I have not been able to find the Cocoa & Vanilla cookies at any of my local grocery stores, but I will certainly be trying them in the future … because I am always up for a little on-line gluten free food shopping!

Here is what Annie’s Homegrown has to say about their cookies:

Made with white and brown rice flour and yellow corn flour, these bunny-shaped cookies are a great addition to lunch boxes or after school snacks. SnickerDoodle flavor offers the sweet taste of cinnamon and vanilla.

… Warm and spicy ginger makes these little bunnies extra delicious.

… Chocolate and Vanilla bunnies are delicious by the handful!

You can buy Annie’s products straight from their website. While you are there, check out the ‘Doing Good’ tab and learn about the many ways that Annie’s gives back to the community and how you can help! Also, be sure to sign up for their free e-Newsletter to get product information, recipes and coupons delivered straight to your inbox!

Annie’s makes many other gluten free products. I am a big fan of their gluten free mac & cheese, fruit snacks, salad dressing and organic BBQ sauce!

What is your favorite Annie’s Homegrown product? Share it with me in the comments section!!

Product Review: EnviroKidz Leapin’ Lemurs Cereal

Yesterday the fiancé and I went to the store in search of snacks for our lazy Friday night on the couch/24 marathon. I was on the hunt for something different, something crunchy and maybe a little sweet … but I was not really sure what I was looking for until I found Leapin’ Lemurs peanut butter and chocolate cereal.

Have you tried ’em? They are like peanut butter Captain Crunch met Cocoa Puffs, gluten free style! And they really hit the spot. Last night I ate them dry, but I had them again this morning with a little Silk soy milk — they maintained their crunch until the last spoonful!!

One serving of Leapin’ Lemurs has 8g of whole grain, plus they are low in fat and sodium. EnviroKidz even donates 1% of all sales to species and habitat conservation & environmental education programs! Their brand of products are USDA certified organic and use 10% less packaging, saving 1,300,000 gallons of water, 940,00KWh of energy & 144 tons of paperboard per year! Making them good for you and the planet!! (:

In addition to this yummy cereal, they have several other varieties & cereal bars too!

Have you tried any other EnviroKidz products? Which is your favorite?

Product Review: Mrs. May’s Naturals

This morning I got to my office & poured the second half of a bottle of Mango Veggie Naked juice into a cup for breakfast. I almost always split a bottle of Naked into two servings. I enjoyed the first half of this particular bottle as an afternoon snack on Tuesday. I thought these lasted 3 to 5 days after opening, but it tasted slightly off this morning so I decided to forgo the remainder it … Sitting in class with my tummy rumbling, I decided to step out for a moment & run to the store in the next building over in search of a snack. Gluten free options are scarce on the University of Houston campus (if you follow me on twitter you probably saw the pic of the nearly bare allergy friendly vending machine), so I was pleasantly surprised to find something quick & convenient to enjoy. I came across Ms. May’s Natural Cashew Crunch in the campus convenience store. I have not seen this product in my local grocery stores, so I thought I would give it a try. The bag boasts that they are all natural, vegan, certified gluten free, dairy free & preservative free … and delish! I tried the Cashew Crunch, but they have loads of other varieties, including: almond crunch, walnut crunch, cran-tropical crunch, strawberry pineapple crunch & many more!

Dry roasted, packing the perfect crunch & slightly sweetened with cane juice, these make for a tasty snack (or in my case, a substitute breakfast).

This bag has 2 servings with 150 calories, 11g fat, 4g protein & 11g carbs each … Hesitantly, I admit that I ate the entire bag before class was over! I look forward to trying other Mrs. May’s varieties (:

Have you tried any Mrs. May’s products? Which is your favorite?

Recipe: Berry Delicious Smoothie

I wanted something different for breakfast yesterday. Going between my fridge & pantry, I took inventory of what I had on hand: 1/2 Naked Berry Blast, a handful of blackberries, bananas, greek yogurt, eggs, oatmeal, protein powder … The half bottle of Naked was nearing its expiration date, as were the blackberries so I decided a smoothie was in order. I put the following in my blender:

  • 1/2 bottle Naked Berry Blast
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup ice

then blended until smooth … I meant to add in 1/2 of a banana, but forgot — it was ok though because as is, this made up a big glassful of red deliciousness! The greek yogurt gave it just the right amount of creaminess & the Naked made it perfectly sweet!

Berry delicious & nutritious and only 225 calories!

I LOVE Naked Juices … except the protein ones (I find them a tad too gritty for my tastes), but the fruit ones are great. Even the new veggie blends are good, two servings of veggies per bottle & you would not even know it by the taste! I usually have them for breakfast, but they also make a great snack — especially for those days when I feel like I have not nourished my body enough! I will definitely be adding them to future smoothie recipes!

Do you love Naked Juices as much as I do? What is your favorite flavor?