Banana Honey Muffins

Banana Honey MuffinsIf you’re wondering what to do with leftover bananas, these Banana Honey Muffins are for you. At my house, we go through bananas like monkeys, but my neighborhood grocery store often packages overripe bananas and marks them way down. I typically freeze them for smoothies or smoothie bowls, or often make my famous One Bowl Banana Bread recipe (which is made with nonfat Greek yogurt). My husband found a recipe for Honey Banana Muffins so he and my daughter made these yesterday. They are not too sweet, light and fluffy, and they make a wonderful morning or afternoon snack or light breakfast idea with a cup of coffee. My husband likes them drizzled with honey over the top 🙂

Bananas are naturally fat and cholesterol free. Bananas well known for their high potassium content, with over 400 mg potassium in a single medium-size banana (this is great for muscle function and providing a healthy balance of fluids in the body). Bananas are also easy to digest and a good source of vitamin C, fiber and B6 vitamins.  Did you know you can use mashed bananas as a substitute for some or all of the butter or oil when making cookies or some baked goods? This recipe is going to be a keeper when school starts, so enjoy!

Banana Honey Muffins

Banana Granola Recipe

Banana Granola via @alisonlewis

We have been making granola again, and my daughter, Leigh, found a Banana Granola recipe on Pinterest which I adapted, and it was a huge hit! Use this granola in your Greek yogurt, smoothies, to top smoothie bowls, or eat as a snack or dessert. It has a great taste and is so easy for words.

Healthy Banana Nut Muffins

Healthy Banana Nut Muffins via @alisonlewis

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you can tell that we have been into making muffins lately at my house. Over the weekend my daughter, Leigh and I made these Healthy Banana Nut Muffins for the week for breakfast, lunches and afternoon snacks. We made regular size and mini muffins so the directions for the different baking times are below. These are really light and filled with flavor, and you won’t even believe they are whole wheat. No mixer is needed, so these are so easy and fun to make with the kids. If you make mini muffins, each muffin has 140 calories, 2.2 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbohydrates and 3.7 grams of protein per serving, so enjoy!

Mini Pumpkin Muffins with Greek Yogurt

Mini Pumpkin Muffins with Greek Yogurt

Who is ready for fall? I know that I am, and I was in the kitchen today working on some pumpkin recipes. I had some leftover pumpkin so I made these Mini Pumpkin Muffins with Greek Yogurt. These are so easy and require no mixer. They make a great on-the-go breakfast treat, after school snack, desert, or healthy addition to your lunchbox. I cut the butter in half and used nonfat Greek yogurt which adds protein, no fat and creates a moist center, so enjoy!

Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Crockpot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Now that school is starting back, having a slow cooker is a handy appliance that can be a  lifesaver. Author, Judith Finlayson shares how to create 175 different recipes in her latest book “175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics” and how easy and convenient it is. You’ll find recipes for everyday favorites to elegant entertaining as well as an array of vegetarian dishes, tips, techniques and photographs. I love this recipe for Spinach and Artichoke Dip. What a simple, brilliant recipe idea! Judith offers great tips in her cookbook. If you prefer a smoother dip, place the artichokes and spinach in a food processor, in separate batches, and pulse until desired degree of fineness is achieved. Then combine with remaining ingredients inc the slow cooker stoneware.

This recipe is fabulous for an appetizer for busy school nights, tailgating, football parties, Labor Day and more. Enjoy and be sure to check out this book at the link here.

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Apple Snack Mix

apple snack mix

Are you looking for something new for an afternoon snack mix? Or how about a healthy snack your kids can take to school? This Apple Snack Mix recipe has all of my favorite ingredients, and it’s made with freshly homemade dried apples. This snack recipe has been my go-to back to school snack for the kids. This would also make a great holiday gift idea, holiday open house snack. or fun idea for holiday school parties. For the apples, you can use almost any type such as Honeycrisp, pink lady or Braeburn or Granny Smith.

Pineapple Mango Smoothie Recipe

Mango-Pineapple Smoothie

School is back in full swing…already!  No matter what age your kids are (mine are 13, 15 and 17), school mornings can be hectic. I needed a healthy back-to-school breakfast recipe, so I came up with this Pineapple Mango Smoothie recipe. This recipe starts with frozen fruits from Dole which make this smoothie recipe quick and simple (no chopping, no washing, and there is also no need to use ice). It has vitamins and minerals as well as protein which will help keep your kids fuller longer throughout the morning. Frozen fruits are picked at their peak of freshness, from the moment they are harvested so they are just as healthy as fresh. They are a great value and portioned which makes them great for snacking and quick recipes (and less waste). Feel free to add your favorite frozen fruits to make something new for breakfast, an afternoon snack or dessert. For more recipes using frozen foods, fruits and vegetables see Easy Home Meals.

Pancake Yogurt Breakfast Bites

 Pancake Yogurt Bites

We are already in our second week of school. Can you believe it? No matter what age your kids are (mine are 13, 15 and 17), school mornings can be hectic. I needed a healthy back-to-school breakfast recipe that was going to make my kids smile in the morning, so I came up with these Pancake Yogurt Breakfast Bites using Kellogg’s Mini Pancakes. The frozen food aisle has become my best friend lately with so many fabulous items that are a great value and allows the busiest of people to be creative in the kitchen. Don’t forget that there are a variety of different cuisines represented on this aisle, including options that cover snack-time, breakfast, lunch, dinner, entertaining and specialty food occasions. With back to school schedules and fall activities, this aisle makes my life so much easier (and sometimes less expensive). This breakfast recipe is just a start. Feel free to add your favorite toppings such as Nutella and sliced bananas (see below)  to make something new for breakfast, an afternoon snack or dessert. For more recipes using frozen foods, fruits and vegetables see Easy Home Meals.

Pancakes Bites with Nutella

 

Mu Shu for Two Slow Cooker Recipe

Mu Shu for Two

I received a slow cooker for Christmas, and I still have not used it yet. My friend said it would only make my life easier so since school was starting, I thought it’s time to take it out of the box and give it a try. My publisher, Robert Rose, recently came out with this new cookbook Easy Everyday Slow Cooker Recipes by Donna Marie-Pye so I started here. I made this Mu Shu for Two recipe, but I doubled it so have enough for me and my three kids. They loved it, and I will definitely be making it again! There are 200 recipes in this book, and all of them have been created with convenience in mind (I need this so badly). Donna offers great slow cooker tips in her book. Here are just a few that helped me a lot!

1. Prepare what you can ahead of time.

2. Choose less tender cuts of meats and trim off the fat.

3. Brown meat and vegetables first.

4. Don’t overdo the liquid.

5. Use whole herbs and spices.

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Quinoa Tabbouleh Wraps

With back to school in full swing, I try to come up with new ideas for school lunches for my kids. These Quinoa Tabbouleh Wraps are great for the kids as well as for those of us who take their lunch to work (or work from home). Place the tabbouleh in an airtight container and bring your tortillas separately. This recipe is also gluten free if you use gluten free tortilla wraps. One more great thing. This recipe can be halved or if you have leftovers, this is a great, healthy salad to have on hand.

Excerpted from 400 Best Sandwich Recipes by Alison Lewis © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved: Not to be reprinted without publisher permission.