Classic Banana Muffins

Classic Banana Muffins are perfect for a school party, teacher gift, breakfast, brunch, or snack.  My neighbor gifted us with four bunches of bananas and this delicious recipe.  It is a must try.

Ingredients
2 cups unbleached whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur’s)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened (applesauce is a healthier substitute)
2 large organic eggs
1.5 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I use Oiko’s Organic Fat Free Plain Yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
3. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute).  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla, beat until blended.  Add flour mixture, beat at low speed just until moist.  Spoon batter into muffin tin.  If you are not using cupcake liners, be sure to coat your pan with cooking spray.
4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, let cool for 10 minutes.

*If you choose to make Banana Bread, follow the above directions.  Spoon batter into a 8.5×4.5 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray or you may choose to line your baking pan with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in a pan on a wire rack

Fruity Green Chia Smoothie

I decided to introduce GREEN back into our daily afternoon snack, today’s choice: ROMAINE LETTUCE.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C. Romaine lettuce is also a very good source of dietary fiber and 4 minerals.  In order to keep the romaine from being too overbearing in taste I added an array of yummy fruit.  If you are having trouble getting your kids to drink something GREEN, how about naming your drink something fun, like THE GREEN HULK.  Use your creativity.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly it will change your child’s perception.

Also included in today’s smoothie were my new favorite Chia Seeds.  I use The Chia Co.  Chia Seeds are the richest plant based source of Omega 3, dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants.

This smoothie is smooth in taste and KID FRIENDLY.

Ingredients
2 large leaves of organic romaine
2 ripe bananas, peeled
1 organic orange, peeled and seeded
1 mango
1/2 pineapple cored (can add more pineapple to increase sweetness)
1/2 cup water
1 cup ice
1-2 tbs black chia seeds

BLEND & ENJOY

Yield: 4

Kiwi Watermelon Smoothie

Today I was craving something fresh but not too sweet and decided to try a new combination.  The Kiwi Watermelon Smoothie was just what I was looking for and is packed full of great nutrients.  Kid tested and KID FRIENDLY!

Ingredients
1.5 cups peeled, diced watermelon
1 kiwi, peeled, halved
1 date, pitted
1 cup ice cubes

Blend for at least 45 seconds.

Yield:

2 1/4 cups

Pumpkin Muffins

Did you know that PUMPKIN offers many health benefits?  Pumpkin is low calorie, antioxidant & flavonoid rich, just to name a few.  Most people associate pumpkin with the fall and Thanksgiving, but we enjoy pumpkin year round!  Pumpkin muffins are a favorite in our household, especially with the kids, so I am excited to share this recipe.  I send these to school often for snack.

Ingredients
1 2/3 cups flour (I use unbleached whole wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup butter (melted)
1 generous cup canned pumpkin (I used 1 whole can of Organic Pumpkin)

Directions
Mix all dry ingredients
Add in eggs, water, butter & canned pumpkin
Mix well

Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (usually around 20 minutes)

Yield
24 mini muffins + 5 fun shaped muffins
or
12 regular sized muffins