09/19/14
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healthy peanut butter banana soft serve

It’s been an oddly hot summer here in Washington.  Although we have 90 degrees predicted for this weekend, fall is definitely in the air.  I can start to feel a change in season.   I want to do yard work again, yay!  While browsing through some pictures from a few months ago I came across our little ice cream social I had with the kiddos one afternoon.  Hunter had woken up early from his nap so a snack was in order to tide him over until dinner.  Ice cream it was.  Because who isn’t down for a little ice cream on a hot summer afternoon?

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Gosh both kiddos look so different just 3 months ago…

I am all for real ice cream.  Yum.  But it’s not an every day thing, and especially for my little 2 year old.  He is energized enough without a sugar high.  Banana soft serve makes you think you’re eating (banana flavored) ice cream, but without the extra sugar.  Just extra deliciousness.

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Let’s talk about peanut butter.   Anyone else love PB and banana like me?  All you do is add a spoonful in as you’re whipping up your soft serve and that awesome PB-banana flavor combo is made.  If you’ve never made banana soft serve before here’s a little lesson for ya.  If you have, then you know the greatness and totally need to try adding some PB in.

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Peanut Butter Banana Soft Serve

Ingredients

  • ripe bananas (frozen into chunks) – about 1 banana per person
  • spoonful of natural peanut butter

Directions

  1. Add your frozen bananas chunks into a food processor.  Process until the bananas begin to break down into small chunks.IMG_5151
  2. Add your peanut butter in.IMG_5152
  3. Continue to process the bananas and PB until smooth and soft serve like.
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What was your favorite summer treat?  Have you tried banana soft serve before?

Heather

09/7/14
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whole wheat blueberry breakfast bread

It’s secret recipe club time again! My assigned blog for the month was Hun… What’s for dinner?  Cindy cooks for her husband and 2 kiddos, and shares tons of dinner ideas.  In fact, on my dinner menu this week are her spicy avocado and caramelized onion quesadillas. Yum, right? I can’t wait to try them.

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What I baked up were her wild blueberry muffins. Although my blueberries were not wild, nor did I make muffins (a loaf instead), the recipe still rocked. I subbed in whole wheat pastry flour which is light and great for baked items, but gives you the goodness of whole grains. I also cut the sugar down by almost half. I figured the blueberries would add sweetness, and then I’d also feel better about munching on it for breakfast, which is what we did.

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The result? Deeeelicious! The extra sugar was not missed one bit.

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For breakfast one morning I paired a couple of small slices with scrambled eggs and banana. Hunter and I loved it and my hungry 2 year old asked for a couple more pieces, which I was happy to give him.

Now you can too, enjoy the recipe!

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Breakfast Bread

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I subbed in 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 plain yogurt and a splash of lemon juice)
  • 2 cups + 1 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbsp natural cane sugar – set aside for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp rolled oats – set aside for spinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a loaf pan with oil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar; until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, lemon extract, oil and buttermilk; stir to combine.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until just about combined. Toss the blueberries with the remaining 1 tbsp of flour and add to the batter, mixing until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp rolled oats. Bake for 50-60 minutes; or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.

We spent this past weekend in Seattle for our second annual canning weekend (read about the first one here). More to come on that soon!

What did you do over the weekend?  Bake anything wonderful and delicious?  Please share!

Heather

08/10/14
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spicy chickpea balls

Hey hey! Hope all is going great in your world. We’ve had a nice at home weekend. We got outside when we could bare the heat, hung out with friends, celebrated a wedding and I got some canning done as well (dilly beans and pickled carrots). Pretty great!

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And now it’s secret recipe club time again! When I was assigned my secret blog Searching for Spice I went on the hunt for a protein filled snack.  Corina’s recipe index is spectacular and extensive so I had a lot of options to choose from.  You see, when the afternoons come around I definitely feel my energy level plummeting and hunger picking up. Normally I reach for something bready or sweet for instant energy, but I find if I eat something more savory I’m more likely to pair it with some veggies.  Like the mounds of tomatoes we’ve been harvesting.  Daily.

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This snack goes great with them.

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These chickpea balls, paired with some plain yogurt for dipping are the perfect pick me up. They’re not super spicy (although you could make them spicier by using chillies), which is good for me since I can’t handle much heat. If I had added extra spice in the cooling yogurt would help calm the heat down perfectly.

You could easily make these into patties to stuff inside some pita too. Or as a veggie burger.

Both my husband and toddler were not too excited about them, but hey, that means more for me!  I especially liked them chilled out of the fridge.

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Spicy Chickpea Balls

Slightly adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 green onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 egg
  • scant 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Put all the ingredients (except the oil) in a food processor.   Pulse until smooth.
  2. Roll into balls (about 1-2 tbsp each).
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Fry the balls for about 2-3 minutes per side.  I turned each ball about two times.  You want them to look golden and slightly crispy around.

How was your weekend?  What’s been your go to snack lately?

Heather