It’s just that I also LOVE apples. And it seems like apple recipes take a backseat to pumpkin nowadays. Why is that, I wonder? Apple is a very “fall” flavor too and so versatile. Apple just feels like home to me. I loved eating apple pie a la mode with my dad growing up. The smell of apples and cinnamon gives me those warm fuzzies that you get when you are feeling nostalgic.
Giving my little girls a healthy breakfast each morning is so important to me. Even better is when I can give them a healthy homemade breakfast – which is most of the time. I keep it simple though – oatmeal, scrambled eggs, cinnamon toast, yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit, homemade pancakes, waffles, or muffins (not all at the same time! 😉 ).
It is tough to do on a busy morning though, so I’ve started making some of their favorites ahead of time and freezing them. I’ve experimented with whole wheat pancakes, waffles, and muffins for the freezer and it is so nice to have them readily available and not feel like I am feeding my kids tons of sugar-loaded processed foods.
My most successful freezer-breakfast so far has been these healthy banana muffins. This was actually a banana bread recipe originally, but banana bread just didn’t work out for us. Muffins are so much easier because they already come in single serving portions! That makes them easier to freeze and easier to serve.
These muffins are different than your regular banana bread though. They are made with whole wheat flower, and they have no oil, no butter, and no sugar. Yet they still end up moist and delicious!
I’ll admit, they are not as crumbly and sweet as traditional banana muffins that you get from the bakery. But they are quite tasty and my 2 little girls (age 1 and 3) LOVE them.
Banana Bread Muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar free applesauce
1 cup honey or ¾ cup real maple syrup
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed overripe bananas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly grease a muffin pan, or use paper or foil liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine honey or syrup, applesauce, and mashed bananas. Stir in eggs and mix until well blended. Gently stir banana mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. Divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the centermost muffins comes out clean. Let cool a couple of minutes, then remove muffins to a wire rack.
To freeze, place muffins on a freezer safe plate, keeping muffins from touching. Freeze for 1-2 hours. Place muffins in a labeled freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months (longer in a deep freeze).
To serve frozen muffins, microwave at 15 second intervals until the muffin(s) are soft and spongy.
Variations: I sometimes put less batter in each muffin tin and make 1.5 dozen. This makes smaller muffins which is nice for smaller kids. They bake a bit quicker this way though, so keep an eye on them. These muffins can also be made as mini-muffins, but again keep an eye on them because the smaller the muffins the quicker they bake. Mini-muffins are really fun for kids!
Football season is here (go Bears!) and I, for one, get particularly excited for game-day food. My husband and I have a friend who is an incredible cook and always has the BEST spread whenever there is a football game on. Too bad he is a Packers fan.
Anyway, watching football – on TV, in person, whatever – is always a great excuse to try out all of those delicious appetizer recipes you’ve been eyeing. Maybe even make a meal out of it!
If you stopped by for my 8 Practical Father’s Day Gifts, you know that we are not vegetarians in my family. We (read: I) do, however, embrace the Meatless Monday idea; although it usually happens on a Tuesday or Wednesday. No matter how you spin it, meat has pretty heavy affects on the environment. Also, meat can be expensive! So here are my picks for Meatless Game Day Snacks. These are even tailgate friendly!
6 Meatless Game Day Snacks
Oh.My.Gosh. These combine all of my favorite flavors.
Just look at that gooey cheese. And it uses a stick of butter, so you know it’s going to taste amazing.
This looks delicious, so I’ll forgive her for her Packer affiliations…
Warning: you need a fancy jalapeno griller tool for this. Unless you know of a way to grill cheese-stuffed jalapenos without one so the cheese doesn’t escape the pepper, in which case PLEASE share! Also, skip the bacon, of course, to keep it meatless.
This one combines flavors that are a bit less traditional for game-day.
Um, hello. Buffalo anything = game-day must-have.
What are your go-to snacks for Game Day? Do you have any meatless favorites? Please share by commenting below!
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Have you been busy preserving your yummy fresh summer fruits? No? Me neither… I’ve never made a jelly, jam, or fruit spread in my life – but it is on my Summer 2014 Bucket List! I’m thinking about trying an easy freezer jam, like this one that doesn’t use any refined sugar, because I’m still a bit terrified of canning. I’ll get there, though.
One of the things that had me a bit hesitant to make homemade jam was that the recipes I’ve found make A LOT. The one I plan to try makes six 8-10oz. jars. Which made me wonder, what on earth am I going to do with SIX jars of jam in my freezer? I love me a good PB&J, but even with two toddlers I can only go through so many of those before I begin to abhor them. So I got busy on Pinterest and actually found some really great ideas for using jelly, jam, and fruit spread. Of course, I wanted to share my faves with you. Here ya go!
Stir into plain oatmeal.
This is actually something my husband came up with a couple of years ago. I am cheap frugal and only buy plain oatmeal in a large bag or can (no individual packs over here). So Shannon started mixing in strawberry jam when he made oatmeal for Little Miss S. So quick and easy. And it is actually her favorite way to eat oatmeal.
Make barbeque sauce.
I’ve seen several recipes that use grape jelly. I wonder how it would turn out with strawberry jam. This recipe for roasted strawberry BBQ sauce by Closet Cooking sounds interesting!
Make thumbprint cookies.
This one seems obvious to me now that I think about it. This recipe by Baker by Nature only uses 5 ingredients!!
Make a sundae.
Again, it seems obvious, doesn’t it? And delicious. Strawberries oozing over vanilla ice cream? Oh goodness.
Make strawberry vinaigrette.
This one by Coconut & Lime will be perfect come midwinter, when you are longing for the days of summer.
Ok, stop it. Now I’m starving and have a strange craving for a barbeque chicken salad with strawberry vinaigrette and a side of fruit swirl oatmeal with an ice cream sundae and thumbprint cookies for dessert. Might as well top it off with a good strawberry ale just to let everyone know I’m not having wild pregnancy cravings…