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

07/13/14
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chocolate orange banana bread

Thanks for your sweet comments on my last post.  Sometimes my mama heart likes to shine :)

Today is about FOOD.  It’s been quite hot here lately and I find my bananas turning brown more quickly than normal.  And more quickly than I like.  Does anyone else notice that happening with heat? Most of the time I’ll toss them into the freezer for later use, but this week I made some banana bread.  It’s flavored with cocoa and orange, which instantly brings me back to the hearth (or favorite restaurant).  They have a warm chocolate orange cake that is sinfully delicious.  The banana bread is healthed up a bit and the sweetness is taken down a notch.  We’ve been enjoying it as a dessert after dinner, and an afternoon pick me up.

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The recipe came from this month’s Secret Recipe Club blog An Affair from the Heart.  The author, Michaela write a beautiful blog and shares so many tasty looking recipes.  She’s a busy stay at home mom to four.  One of my favorite things I read in her about me page is that her family sits down together for dinner, no electronics allowed.  That’s been a new rule of mine I’ve been enforcing (on myself too) lately.  The family dinner is so important!

Anyways, I found her chocolate orange banana bread recipe.  To make it a little less dessert like (but still treat like!) I skipped out on the chocolate chips, cut the sugar down and used whole wheat flour.  The bread came out perfectly after baking for an hour.  Hunter and I cannot get enough of it.  Hope you enjoy it too!

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Chocolate Orange Banana Bread

adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, prepare large loaf pan with oil spray.
  2. Combine sugar, honey and oil in your mixer (or by hand with a whisk), add in eggs, bananas and orange zest, mix.
  3. Sift together all of your dry ingredients.
  4. Alternate dry ingredients and orange juice into sugar/banana mixture.
  5. Mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl.
  6. Pour into pan and bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

How do you like to use your brown bananas?

Heather

01/22/14
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banana custard oats how-to

I had a realization.  I talk about my favorite banana custard oats breakfast all the time, yet it’s not here to link to.  The horror!  Truth is, I’ve been having a tough time sharing breakfast recipes, mainly because it’s still super dark outside when I’m making and eating it in those wee early morning hours.  Pictures don’t look good, but oh well, it’s too good not to share!

Here is my all time favorite breakfast.  I’ve been eating it for a couple years now and still don’t tire of it!

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Banana Custard Oats

Serves 1 (you can easily double or triple the recipe with great success)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 yellow – ripe banana (at least not green – it won’t taste as good)
  • 1 egg
  • optional but highly recommended: natural peanut butter (best topping in my opinion!)

Directions

  1. Add the oats, water and banana to a small pot.  Turn the heat to medium and allow to cook.  Whisk every few minutes until the banana begins to break down and the oats look almost cooked through.
  2. Add the egg in and whisk-whisk-whisk!  You can turn the heat up a little bit now if you’d like.  Keep whisking until you have a little bit of boiling (it will look more like popping since it’s so thick) and it looks custard like.
  3. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite topping (AKA peanut butter).

And to make it easier, here are the step by step pictures + some variations I adapt to sometimes.  This is a double batch pictured below.

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Add the oats, water and banana to a small pot.  Turn the heat to medium and allow to cook.

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Whisk every few minutes until the banana begins to break down and the oats look almost cooked through.

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Add the egg in and whisk-whisk-whisk!  You can turn the heat up a little bit now if you’d like.

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Keep whisking until you have a little bit of boiling (it will look more like popping since it’s so thick) and it looks custard like.

Variations

  • For a super filling breakfast, add in 2 eggs
  • To lighten it up a bit but add more volume, go for 2 egg whites instead of the egg
  • Adding in 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder will take this breakfast to a healthy and delicious dessert like treat, especially with the PB
  • Quicker cooking oats will make the whole cooking process faster
  • You can add the same banana and egg additions to really any breakfast grain, but of course, oats are my favorite

If Jacob liked banana flavor as much as I do, I think he’d love this too, but he doesn’t.  He is missing out!  At least I have one person in the house who enjoys it as much as I do!

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We get quite excited about breakfast.  When I make the double batch, I put Hunter’s bowl into the fridge to cool (or freezer if he’s already awake), which thickens it up even more making toddler oatmeal eating less messy.

I’ll usually give him servings in another bowl because I don’t quite trust him with a gigantic bowl of oats.  That morning we split an orange too and this was all that he had left in his bowl.

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This boy eats as much breakfast as I do!  Except I always finish mine. :)

Now you know my all time favorite breakfast (and can turn it into yours too).  Tell me, what’s your go-to-never-tire-of breakast?

Heather