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

Blueberry Banana Bread with Greek Yogurt

Blueberry Banana Bread

To start off the new year, I made this Blueberry Banana Bread with Greek Yogurt this weekend which was an absolute hit! No mixer is need for this recipe so this is great to make with the kids help. Add everything except the blueberries to one bowl and stir. Then, fold in the blueberries and pour batter into a prepared pan. I like to make this the night before so it’s ready for breakfast the next day. My kids love this for breakfast, in their school lunch or for an afternoon snack or dessert. If you’re a fan of this recipe, try my No Mixer Banana Bread Recipe too (pictured below). Have a great week everyone!No Mixer banana bread

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!

No Mixer Banana Bread Recipe

No Mixer Banana bread

 

I have been working on a ton of recipe testing lately (all healthy) for a super exciting new project! My kids have said they have never seen so much great, healthy food from me. HAHA, I guess I’ll take that as a “new” compliment! The other day, I had so many overripe bananas, that I made their favorite healthy quick breads: No Mixer Banana Bread recipe. Yes, with nonfat plan Greek yogurt and this time with fanned sliced bananas over the top. I don’t think it even lasted a full day, but it was wonderful. My son said, “There really isn’t anything better but this banana bread and a glass of milk.” Enjoy this No Mixer Banana Bread anytime of the year for breakfast, a mid morning snack or as a dessert, of course. No mixer is needed so cleanup is a snap.

Blueberry Banana Smoothie Bowl

blueberry Banana Smoothie bowl

 

Yes, I am at it again with this Blueberry Smoothie Bowl perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. I made a banana and blueberry smoothie, but wanted more so I added flaxseed, chia seeds, milk, and protein powder. I prefer to enjoy smoothies with a spoon these days so I topped it with some of my favorite healthy toppings.

Health benefits of Blueberries: Blueberries offer many nutritional benefits. They are packed with Vitamin C, fiber, full of antioxidants and a good source of manganese (which is important in bone health). To find out the health benefits of blueberries see

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber at 10 grams per ounce (about 2 tablespoons). New research suggests that including chia seeds in your diet may help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. It’s said that the amounts of omega 3′s can also work reduce symptoms of depression and increase brain function. A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains 139 calories, 11 grams of fiber, four grams of protein and 9 grams of fat, as well as calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium and B vitamins.

Health Benefits of Flaxseeds: Studies have suggested that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease  stroke, caner and post-menopausal symptoms. Flaxseed contains high levels of fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids. Just two tablespoons of ground flaxseed contain more than 140 percent daily value of the inflammation-reducing Omega 3 fatty acids and more lignans than any other plant food. One tablespoon of flaxseed contains 55 calories, three grams of carbohydrates, 2.8 grams of fiber, 1.9 grams of protein and 4.3 grams of fat. See more about seeds in my article on Fitness Republic.

Blueberry Banana Bread Recipe

blueberry banana bread

Since the kids love blueberries and bananas, I found Giada De Laurentiis recipe for Blueberry Banana Bread and it was fantastic! I made some tweeks to it and here it is. This is perfect for breakfast, dessert or an after school snack. Our schools are already starting next week so this will definitely be on my to-cook list. With just 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries offer many nutritional benefits. They are packed with Vitamin C, fiber, full of antioxidants and a good source of manganese (which is important in bone health). Enjoy this Blueberry Banana Bread recipe with a cup of coffee, milk or just on its own!

 

Waffle Bananas Foster

In celebration of  National Frozen Food Month, I wanted to share a fun way to dress up the typical “Bananas Foster” to make it even more fabulous and kid-friendly: Waffle Bananas Foster. Start by using Kellogg’s Homestyle Eggo Waffles to create a dessert your family will love. In honor of National Frozen Food Month, head over to Easy Home Meals Sweepstakes page for a chance to win $10,000. All you need to do is enter your name and address (it’s that easy :)) Also, be sure to check out Easy Home Meals for more fabulous recipes and tips using frozen foods. People ask me all the time, “Are frozen foods really better?”

Here are 12 reasons why they are:

1. Availability

2. Convenience
3. Economical and Value
4. Food Safety
5. Prepared by expert chefs
6. Labeling (you know what your getting)
7. Longer Storage
8. No Waste
9. Nutrition
10. Quality
11. Taste
12. Variety
This post is sponsored by Easy Home Meals, but all opinions are my own.

Banana Crepes and Travel Tuesday: Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa

We’ve all heard it before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day and yet, so many fail to start the day with a healthy, balanced breakfast!  Despite the overwhelming scientific research indicating that even a small morining meal makes a huge difference, over 31 million Americans skip breakfast. September is Better Breakfast Month – so what better time to resolve to make breakfast your most important meal of the day? I am excited to share Chef Anthony Stewart’s recipe for Banana Crepes from the Pritikin Longevity Center

The Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa is a 650-acre, fully renovated private wellness spa and weight loss health program. Complete with exceptional fitness trainers, award winning chefs, nutritionists and renowned spa treatments. The center boosts tons of experts from health to nutrition and fitness to spa and wellness. People from all over the world travel to Pritikin to get their health back on track and get their bodies back in shape. For more information, please see www.pritikin.com.

5 Breakfast Recipe Ideas for Back to School

I know you have heard it a million times, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is even more important for those parents with kids, especially since school is starting. Ours starts tomorrow, and I can’t believe it! Plenty of healthy breakfast ideas exist for the whole family to enjoy so it makes it easier on everyone. Here are the 5 breakfast recipe ideas for back to school:

1. Smoothies-Who doesn’t love a fresh fruit smoothie? You can buy a huge variety of smoothies off the shelves in supermarkets, but can often be high in sugar. If you want to ensure that your kids are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need, create their favorite smoothie before school. Try my Three Ingredient Banana Smoothie.

2. Bagel, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese- Kids get bored of toast, so mix it up by offering them a bagel instead. You can get all sorts of different flavors. Try my recipe for Smoked Salmon Dip that works great as a breakfast spread.

3. Cereals-Children tend to tire of eating the same thing, so while healthy cereals such as granola are a great option, make sure you have plenty of variety. You can alternate different cereals and add fruit and/or Greek yogurt to offer something new each day. Try my Blueberry Yogurt Parfait.

4. Eggs-Eggs are a great source of protein, and my kids love this recipe for Oatmeal with Egg Whites that has a good source of protein and carbohydrates.

5. Breakfast Sandwiches- Breakfast sandwiches are a great change of pace. Create breakfast sandwiches with your kid’s favorite ingredients. Check out my recipe for Breakfast Wraps.