banana millet muffins

I absolutely love having snack staples in the house.  I have gone only a handful of days in my life without having a snack – I just cannot seem to make it from one meal to the next without a little something.  Needless to say, after going gluten free, snack options became a nightmare (at first).  I am a self-diagnosed snack carb-o-holic and gluten free snacks (mostly pre-packaged) just did not do it for me, so I was stuck.  Well, at least until we came up with our go-to muffin recipe that gets made pretty much every-other week now.  We made a batch (over a dozen muffins) and store them in the freezer.  Then the night before we want to bring them as a snack, just take them out and put them in a container to thaw out – and they taste just as good as when you make them.

We are currently all out of these muffins.  And you can bet that there will be a batch made tomorrow because we have plenty of ripe bananas to use up!

Gluten Free Banana Millet Muffins
  • 1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats ground into flour in a blender
  • 1/2 c millet flour
  • 2T chia seeds
  • 1/4 c millet, toasted (on stovetop for 3-5 minutes until they start to pop
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 4-5 bananas
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 2 eggs

1. Grind the oats in a blender to use as a flour.  Add in millet, chia, toasted millet, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
2. Mash up the bananas with the lemon juice and then whisk in the eggs.
3.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined.
4.  Bake in a preheated 375′ oven for 20ish minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
5.  Let cool completely and then you can freeze in a tupperware until you’re ready to eat.
If you make about 16 muffins like we normally do, these come to less than 100 calories a piece and make a perfect mid-morning snack or side-dish to a meal.  They’re gluten free, but filled with all sorts of nutritious gluten free ingredients.  Enjoy!

dessert on the grill

I love summer cookouts.  I believe that almost everything tastes better from a grill.  However, up until last week, I had never attempted even turning on the grill by myself, but I am happy that I did since I had the most delicious sweet potatoes come off of it.  Sometimes after a warm, summery day all you want it a frozen dessert, such as banana soft serve, but on nights when the air is cool and you feel more like sitting around a fire than jumping in the pool, a warm dessert is where it’s at.  Especially when it can be made on the grill.

The below is only a suggestion, feel free to change up any of the fillings/toppings to suite your taste.

Chocolate Marshmallow Stuffed Grilled Bananas makes 1 serving

  • 1 banana
  • 1-2T chocolate chips
  • 5-6 marshmallows (vegan or mini)

1. Cut a slit into the banana on the inside curvy side (consult picture).

2. Stuff with desired toppings and wrap in aluminum foil.

3. Place on the grill for 5-10 minutes until the banana is warm and the chocolate and marshmallow have melted.

4. Make sure to take out of the peel before eating!  You can also top with some ice cream, whipped cream, nut butter… In our case, we put a dollop of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.

Other possible additions: Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, coconut, white chocolate chips, etc.

You (and your guests) will be sure to go bananas over this delicious grilled dessert.

all american dough boy

There’s nothing quite like a nice, cold breakfast on a hot, hot day.  There are definite summer morning when I can’t bring myself to make a warm bowl of oatmeal.  Well, this smoothie/oats hybrid is one of my favorite go-to breakfasts.  It is also quite adaptable with numerous topping options just like a bowl of oatmeal.

And on this 4th of July, it made a very festive breakfast.

Dough Boy Smoothie from KERF 

makes 2 servings

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2T chia seeds
  • 1 banana
  • [lots of] cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Simply combine all ingredients into a blender (or glass jar) and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  Blend in the morning, adding more milk as needed for your desired consistency.

Top with your favorite toppings!  Berries, ground flax, nut butters, granola, jam…

Hope you’re all having a wonderful 4th of July!

 

 

what i ate wednesday #6

It’s finally starting to feel like summer here!  The first half of the week has been gorgeous weather wise and most of the rest of the week looks like it’ll be about the same!  I’ve definitely been going out to enjoy the sunshine :).  Yesterday, my friend Emilee did a mini-photoshoot with me to try out a new lens she got.  We walked around the Third Ward in downtown Milwaukee and the pictures turned out great!  I also learned I have to practice my serious not-so-mad looking face haha.  To check out my photos and Emilee’s other great photos (engagements, weddings, senior photos) check out her website blog!

Now, onto my eats for the day…

Breakfast

I was starving for breakfast this morning.  I had been planning on going for a run before breakfast but that wasn’t happening.  So I ate steel-cut oats made with chia, with a banana, a peach, some ground flax, a little granola and topped with the last remnants of the Honey Almond Butter.  This bowl was delicious.

Post-Run Snack

I ran a 5k and came back famished again… I don’t know what was with my hunger.  I ate a chocolate brownie clif bar and had some Earl Grey Ice Tea (I brewed a cup of tea and then put it in the fridge for a few hours & served over ice!).

Lunch

My friend Ashley came over today and I made up a small batch of Veggie Fried Rice for us for lunch.

Crosby also had to get his Vitamin D in for the day.  I really didn’t put this out for him… but he sure took it over ;).

Mid-Afternoon Snack

Afternoon snack was some cantaloupe and papaya with a wedge of Cinnamon Pumpkin Coffee Cake.

Dinner

I used the grill for the first time by myself today!  I made the most delicious sweet potatoes, just rolled in foil and put on for about an hour.  Also had some Lentils in Sloppy Joe sauce (ketchup + honey + mustard + spices) and carrots with TJ’s avocado hummus.  Avocado hummus is one of the best creations ever.

Kinley’s now working on some gluten-free bread so if it turns out, I might have a slice of that before bed.

This Wednesday is also the opening of Summerfest in Milwaukee!  And now starts a countdown to Kinley’s Summerfest 1/2 Marathon on July 10th!

baking routines

I get into baking routines.  Periods of time where I seem to bake the same thing in different variations over and over again.  In the past I have been in the habit of making a batch of cookies every single week.  When one of my past favorite TV shows was on, Pushing Daisies, there was a pie made every week (because really, you can’t watch that show and not want to eat pie).  Rice Krispy treats have also been made + consumed weekly during one summer a couple years back.  Granola, yet another example which is also going strong at this moment.  But the real routine I am on?  Muffins.  I am just in love with these things.  Easy, portable, and the one’s I’m making are actually healthy and good for you :).  This one is also gluten free*.

I had three overripe bananas sitting in my kitchen, so what did I do with them?  Made muffins of course.  And I also added a bunch of my other favorite superfoods to make these muffins powerful.

Gluten Free Banana Power Muffins

  • 1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats (quickly ground in a blender or left whole if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 2T chia seeds
  • 2T oat bran
  • 2T millet, toasted (on the stovetop for 3-5 minutes until starting to pop)
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 flax eggs (2T ground flax + 4T water, let sit for 5 minutes and whisk)
  • 2T unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1. In a small bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk until evenly distributed.

2. In a larger bowl, mash the bananas with the lemon juice.  Add in the other wet ingredients and mix well.

3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.

4. Scoop into a lined muffin pan.  (I sprayed the paper wrappers thinking the muffins would stick without any fat, but they ended up falling out of the wrappers!  I won’t be spraying them next time!)

5. Bake in a 375* oven for 22-25 minutes.  Makes 12 cupcakes!

*This recipe contains no gluten ingredients, but depending on what kind of oats you buy some may have been cross contaminated with gluten.  If you are severely allergic or have Celiac disease, make sure you buy the appropriate gluten free products for this recipe as not all oats and other flours are considered safe.

These are perfect as breakfast, or as a snack throughout the day with just the perfect amount of natural sweetness from the bananas and applesauce.  You could also jazz these up with a few blueberries mixed in before baking or even spread with a little jam or honey on top :).

sweet perfection

I’ll write a recap of my race this past Saturday tomorrow – but I wanted to start out the week with a delicious recipe Kinley and I had for dessert yesterday! It was a nice, sunny day outside but still a little chilly. But being from Wisconsin, I could eat ice cream any month of the year! Unfortunately, ice cream is only a memory for me and the ice cream replacements on the market have quite a long ingredient list. This recipe definitely curbed my craving for ice cream and only has TWO ingredients – can you believe it? Adding gluten free cookie dough chunks is the icing on the cake… er topping on the ice cream.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Soft Serve
adapted from Oh She Glows

Ice ‘Cream’ (2 servings)

  • 3 frozen bananas (cut into chunks before freezing)
  • 2T or so unsweetened vanilla almond milk

In a food processor, add the frozen bananas and blend until they break down and start to get creamy, scraping down the sides when necessary.  Drizzle in some dairy-free milk to speed up the process and make a more creamy consistency.  It all came together within 5 minutes!  At this point, scoop into 2 bowls and you can eat it straight up, or add any toppings you would like such as cookie dough pieces!

Cookie Dough Pieces

  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashew pieces
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1t pure vanilla extract
  • 2T pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chunked dark chocolate

1. In a food processor, blend together the cashew pieces and the old-fashioned oats until crumbly.  Add in the oat flour and salt and process to combine.

2. Add in the vanilla extract and maple syrup and blend until the mixture comes together.  It’ll stay sticky.  Scoop into a bowl and add in the chunked dark chocolate.  You can either roll these into balls and stick in the freezer, or press out onto some wax paper, freeze, and then cut into pieces to avoid rolling a bunch of little cookie dough balls.  We may or may not have skipped freezing all of the cookie dough step so we could eat some right away ;).

You can add the cookie dough to the top, blend a few pieces in to the ice cream (which is what we did + added a couple on top with a sprinkling of non-dairy chocolate chips).  The original recipe was created to mimic a Dairy Queen Blizzard, and does the job perfectly.

I can see many more of these in my future!

heat advisory

One week it’s in the 60’s… the next it’s in the 90’s.  95* currently to be exact.  But don’t worry… it’ll be back in the 60’s by Thursday so I guess it’s just time to enjoy the heat while it lasts, which is exactly what I did.

I met up with a friend this morning and we headed to the beach in Milwaukee, even seeing a TV anchor taping all of the beach-goers.  I made sure to put on plenty of sunscreen to not look like a giant tomato during an interview I have tomorrow – and so far I’m looking alright!

If you’re experiencing any kind of heat similar to what I’m experiencing here in Wisconsin today, I bet that drink is looking mighty tasty up above!  Don’t worry, I’ll provide the super simple recipe below for this wonderful smoothie to get you through the hottest of days :).

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

  • Approximately 1 1/2 frozen bananas (just peel and chunk up a few bananas and throw them in a container in the fridge)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2T PB2 (I’m guessing 1T of regular creamy peanut butter would work here as well)

Simply add the above three ingredients to a blender (or magic bullet) and puree until smooth.  For an even colder concoction, freeze the almond milk in an ice cube tray before blending.  As long as you’ve got a few bananas and some almond milk ice cubes, you’ll be ready to make this recipe any time.

Adding some chocolate sauce wouldn’t hurt a thing either.

mission: muffin

Kinley had some Amazon money to spend, and when she decided to get a few cookbooks I was quite happy with her decision!  I especially liked the vegan options because I don’t have to worry about subbing out dairy in anything, although knowing me, I probably will still sub away.

We’re big into muffins.  As evident with the muffin recipes I posted last week and the week before last.  I’m still on a mission to find the best muffin recipe ever, but can never quite settle on what flavor I want!  This week I was feeling a little green… zucchini bread green.  Thus, when the book, eat, drink & be vegan, had a recipe for Zucchini Spelt Muffins, I knew what I was going to be making.  Especially now that farmer’s markets are opening and zucchini will soon be in abundance ;).  I made quite a few tweaks to the original recipe, so the recipe below is not the one you will find in eat, drink & be vegan.

Zucchini Spelt Muffins (adapted from eat, drink & be vegan)

  • 2T flax meal
  • 1/2 cup + 2T unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup ripe banana (1 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cup grated zucchini (1 large or 2 small)
  • 1T maple syrup
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1/4c unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/4t sea salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 2 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda

1. Combine flax and almond milk, set aside.  Mix together the mashed banana and grated zucchini in a large bowl.  Add in the mixture of flax and almond milk as well as the maple syrup, vanilla and unsweetened applesauce.

2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda.

3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and combine until fully incorporated.

4. Spoon into 12 baking cups.  Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 22-25 minutes.  My muffins stayed quite moist because of the zucchini even though they were completely baked, so if your toothpick comes out a little moist that’s okay.

These muffins turned out amazing.  The book said their recipe made 9-12 muffins… not sure what size muffin pans they were using but mine made 12 heaping muffins – just how I like them ;).

what i ate wednesday #2

It’s that day of the week again!  What I Ate Wednesdays by Peas and Crayons!

Breakfast:

Warm water with lemon right after I woke up.

Oat Bran with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Almond Butter.  Don’t you just love how the chocolate from the almond butter got all melty?

Coffee with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk.

Pre-Run:

1/2T Chia with a small glass of water (turns into a gel, supposedly helps with energy/hydration?).  I’m not sure if this helped or not, I decided to try running a fast 2 miles so it definitely was not easy, but I broke my previous PR (set over 2 years ago I believe?), so something was working for me!

Post-Run:

Gala Apple

Lunch:

Bulgur with a lemon/dill sauce (leftover from a lunch Kinley made this weekend), pecans and strawberries on butter lettuce.  Leftover Vegetable Masala Burger on sprouted wheat bread with organic ketchup.

Pineapple-Mango Smoothie with soy protein powder.

I was super hungry and this definitely filled me up!

Afternoon Snack:

I biked to the UPS store to drop off my last two rented textbooks, as well as mowed the whole lawn so I was ready for an afternoon snack!  I had 2 slices homemade gluten-free banana bread & carrots.  Also not pictured, around 1/2T of peanut butter I added on the banana bread – yum.

Dinner:

Spinach Quinoa with Pineapple, Butternut Squash and Trader Joe’s Baked Beans “Sauce”.  This idea came from Kinley and might sound super weird to you, but I guarantee it is delicious.  Somewhat sweet and sour like but summery at the same time because of the baked beans!

smoothie 1.0

What’s in that glass, you may ask?  Deliciousness.  You may not believe me because it is green, but I speak only the truth.  There is no ‘green’ taste.  Don’t judge.  Make it once and you’ll be hooked and need your green fix once a day.

It’s not easy being green… but it sure is yummy.

Pineapple-Mango Smoothie

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any other dairy/non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks (trader joe’s has them)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup frozen pineapple pieces (trader joe’s has these as well)
  • optional: 2T protein powder (soy, rice, etc.), 1T Chia seeds

Put all ingredients in a blender (or magic bullets work great for individual smoothies, ours is put to good use).  I tend to start at the top of the list and work my way down, it weighs down the spinach so you don’t have a leafy explosion ;).

And believe me, you can NOT taste the green.

But be honest… you’ve eaten a Shamrock shake so what do you really have to be scared of.