Showing posts with label banana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label banana. Show all posts

Friday, February 28, 2020

Peanut Butter, Spinach and Banana Smoothie--an Allergen Friendly Recipe

Creamy, satisfying, and green--this peanut butter, spinach and banana smoothie has it all. A smoothie you drink because you want to AND because you want to feel good about what you're eating.

image of a peanut butter, spinach, and banana smoothie in a glass with a blender behind it

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Ready for a fresh meal in a glass? One that you can meal prep, too?

I've got a yummy green smoothie for you--it's what I've been living on the past few weeks. I figured it's a good time to republish this recipe post.

Pin for later!

Image of a blender of peanut butter spinach and banana smoothie being poured into a glass

If you are already a green smoothie person skip this paragraph. If you're not, why not? I used to drink green smoothies (spinach or kale combined with fruits in an attempt to make the greens palatable) and feel virtuous, not satiated, so I understand the lukewarm feeling towards the green smoothie. But I would like you to try this one, if you've got spinach and banana lying around and feel so inclined.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Sugar Free Banana Pecan Muffins #MuffinMonday

A naturally sweetened whole grain muffin full of bananas, dates, and toasted pecans.

Image of a muffin pan filled with sugar free banana date pecan muffins

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Today's muffin is a a delicious blast from the past. As my daughter was revising my drop down recipe index during her Spring Break she commented, 'you have a lot of muffins'. Since she's been the beneficiary of most of those muffins, I rolled my eyes at her and went back to my book. However, it did remind me that I've been wanting to share this recipe for Muffin Monday.

This recipe does not use granulated sugar. Nor does it use any sugar substitute your grandma wouldn't recognize--unless your grandma lived in the 1800s in a northern climate away from rail transportation and never saw a banana. Most folks alive and reading this on a screen probably have grandmas who grew up with dates, too. These fruits are what I used to sweeten this muffin, on purpose, and I think they make an excellent combination.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Strawberry Banana Muffins #MuffinMonday

This whole wheat treat combines the sweetness of fresh local strawberries and ripe bananas with the tang of sour cream while using less sugar than you'd expect.

image of a plate of whole wheat strawberry banana muffins with a mug of tea

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You know how seeing one of those cooking videos ignites a craving? That's what happened here. I kept seeing a video for strawberry banana bread in my feed, or strawberry banana smoothies at the store, and the next thing you know I've got a hankering to make Strawberry Banana Muffins.

pic of a plate of strawberry banana muffins garnished with strawberries and bananas

Conveniently I had fresh local strawberries from the farmer's market and ripe bananas on hand, plus the the endurance to make muffins. You see, while we're mostly unpacked in our new home, very little is set up exactly how it's going to stay. That means every time I cook something it involves finding the right ingredients, locating the proper tools, and doing a lot of  'hmmmm . . . this would work better over there, which means I should move that to this other place, and stick that other thing in a pile by the stairs to figure out where its new home will be . . .'.  It's the standard dance of the military family in a new place--finding the best way to arrange our stuff to quickly make a house into Home.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Blueberry Banana Muffins with Steel Cut Oats #MuffinMonday

Bananas and blueberries are the sweet fruit and steel cut oats are the hearty grains packed into a healthy breakfast treat to power you thru until lunchtime. These muffins contain whole fat dairy instead of oil.

image of a plate of blueberry banana muffins with steel cut oats

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I think I'm more fond of baking with bananas than eating them fresh. There's a small window of banana perfection for me--I prefer mine just barely ripe with a bit of green on the stem. Once the bunch of bananas has moved on to full ripeness I'm more likely to make a Banana PB and Spinach Smoothie, or Banana Blender Waffles, or a Ham & Banana Pizza. Or muffins!

photo of a plate of banana blueberry muffins made with steel cut oats

It's easy to store ripe bananas in the freezer--just open the door and slip them inside! There's no need to remove the skin and store in a different container, since the banana skin is the perfect covering for the banana no matter what the outer environment is like. That's better for the environment as well. Bananas take just a few minutes to thaw on the counter (put them on a plate if you think they'll get weepy) and they are ready to use in all sorts of baked goods. I made a video about how to deal with overripe bananas, another in my Cooking Hacks series. Please enjoy!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Banana Cookie Butter Oatmeal Muffins for #MuffinMonday

These whole grain banana oatmeal muffins are sweetened with cookie butter. Add cocoa powder if you'd like an even richer treat!

photo of a plate of banana cookie butter oatmeal muffins

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You know "those cookies you get on airplanes"? The sweet, crumbly type in the fiddly little red & white wrapper? That's how my mom described Biscoff cookies the other day, as she was offering snacks during our car trip. This description rang true for me, as I've only eaten Biscoff cookies while fighting for command of the arm rest with a complete stranger and trying to quietly read with my knees practically in my chest due to the ever decreasing leg room. Apparently the FAA is gonna get involved with that. I'm not holding my breath. Instead, I'll just grab my pantry staple jar of Cookie Butter and make a batch of muffins for Muffin Monday.

pic of banana cookie butter oatmeal muffins on a plate with a mug of tea

I've made these muffins 2 ways--both with and without cocoa powder in the mix. I prefer them with the cocoa powder--both the deep color and the rich flavor of the muffin hit all the notes I like in a muffin. You can see the different versions in the photos above and below this paragraph. As is my custom, these muffins aren't as sweet as your usual bakery muffin. I cut back on the sugar even more since I was boosting up the sweetness with cookie butter.

photo of miniature muffins on a plate, made with bananas, oatmeal, and cookie butter

What do you do if you can't find Biscoff cookie butter in your grocery store? (Hint--I find it over near the bakery in my local Kroger, never on a shelf by the peanut butter which is where my organizational heart thinks it belongs.) Trader Joes makes their own brand of cookie butter which is perfect for this application. You can also order some from Amazon, I'll throw up some links below the recipe. This post is not sponsored by the Biscoff or Trader Joe's folks. Just sharing what I've used to make my muffins.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Banana, Peanut Butter, and Date Smoothie with Curly Kale

This power smoothie is made from real ingredients--bananas, dates, and kale--and protein packed with peanut butter, milk and yogurt. It's a great way to get some veggies into your first meal of the day and gives you energy for your morning.

This power smoothie recipe is made from real ingredients--bananas, dates, and kale--and protein packed with peanut butter, milk and yogurt.

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What gets you going each day? Besides the caffeinated or decaf beverage of your choice, I mean. What powers you through a busy morning? Gives you energy to tackle a big To Do list without stopping to sit down and have a meal?

For me, it's a smoothie. As I'm getting ready for work I dump a bunch of real, actual, recognizable foods into a blender, add some ice, and hit the power button. After a few moments I'm pouring a tasty and nutritious drink into my cup and I'm ready to hit the road. Yes, I'm also armed with a couple of jars of my DIY Iced Chai Tea that I'll turn into Iced Chai Tea Lattes at work. Gotta keep the fluids going!

a top down view of a banana, peanut butter, and date smoothie made with curly kale

My smoothies aren't just for breakfast. This recipe makes about 5 cups, which equates to one giant cup for me to take to work plus a pint jar leftover in the fridge. I use these plastic storage caps (Amazon affiliate link) which fit on my canning jars and are much handier than a metal lid & ring for repeated access to the jar.

Who drinks the leftover smoothie? It depends. This smoothie is the perfect pick me up for my spouse after he bikes home from work. It's cold, refreshing, and hydrating as well as providing him a burst of sugar and protein to recoup what his muscles used on his commute.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Whole Wheat Banana Peanut Butter Cake

Bananas and peanut butter with Reese's pieces and chocolate chips in a whole grain snack cake. This is a terrific way to use up leftover bananas for a sweet treat.

Bananas and peanut butter with Reese's pieces and chocolate chips in a whole grain snack cake. This is a terrific way to use up leftover bananas for a sweet treat.

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It is rare in my house that a bunch of bananas get consumed, one at a time, each at their peak (which, for me, is without a tinge of green or a speck of brown to mar that pretty yellow peel). Sometimes I feel like the bunch stays bright green for days, and then a matter of the few hours I'm asleep and out of the kitchen each night, they magically turn a mottled brown.

Bananas and peanut butter with Reese's pieces and chocolate chips in a whole grain snack cake. This is a terrific way to use up leftover bananas for a sweet treat.

Don't misunderstand, I love the flavor of an actual ripe banana, and if I want to bake or smoothify when I hit the store I'll look first for marked down "ripe" [NOT OVERRIPE, THEY ARE PERFECTLY RIPE sorry to shout] bananas. But eating out of hand, public banana style, I like my bananas a pure yellow.

I am nattering on about bananas so I can tuck some photos here and there because I've got 2 different photo sessions with this cake. Last summer, at the conclusion of marching band camp, we had probably close to half a case of nicely ripe bananas left. They were too far gone for me to eat. Too far gone on a Friday afternoon to make it to the Foodbank Monday morning for subsequent distribution. Too far gone to act on when the kid needed to be hauled to the next activity. [As an aside, my son had 4 things going on last summer between sports camps and school camps and life forums and college visits, and all 4 of them happened in less than a 3 week stretch. Oy.]

Bananas and peanut butter with Reese's pieces and chocolate chips in a whole grain snack cake. This is a terrific way to use up leftover bananas for a sweet treat.

These bananas needed to be used or put up right away, so the other volunteers and I divvied them up and I took home an armful. Did you know you can freeze bananas by opening the freezer door/drawer and chucking the banana inside? Simple as that. No need to wrap or peel or dice or any of that. Nature made the perfect freezer wrap for bananas and I don't mess with nature too much. If you have an organized freezer you may wish to place the banana, but my freezer is usually so full that I open it a tad, hope nothing cascades out, chuck in the bananas and close it up quick.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Banana and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

A whole wheat muffin that's delightfully delicious--peanut butter, banana and chocolate chips turn this from humdrum whole grain to a sweet treat.

A few weeks ago I helped out a bit feeding the locusts musicians at marching band camp. I don't mean to call the kids insects--but when 100 of them go through the serving lines in 10 minutes . . . well, what else would you call them? You may recall last year when they demolished Snickerdoodle Cinnamon Ice Cream Sandwiches. I sure do. This year I also made some food--Potluck Tabbouleh will be up at some point--but I got to take home a real treat--leftover bananas.

I'm firmly in the camp of not liking to eat really ripe bananas. I can handle a spot or two, but I really prefer a bit of green at the top of the stem if I'm going to peel and eat it. However, I will take extra bananas any day--they are so useful and easy to store!

I just throw my ripe bananas in the freezer (nestled here with aquavit, unagi and our newest cow--link to 106 Ground Beef Recipes if you also need ideas). When I am ready they thaw in about 15 minutes on the countertop and we're good to go. I'm using them in PB/Spinach/Banana/Yogurt smoothies but I realized I hadn't posted my standard banana muffin recipe here. Time to remedy that. This recipe is from my muffin bible/font of all muffin inspiration in my kitchen: Muffins: A Cookbook (Amazon affiliate link) by my mom's classmates.

Before I get to the recipe, though--I've got some other suggestions for what to do with leftover ripe bananas. Luschka of Keeper of the Kitchen has a round up of 45 Things to Do with Ripe Bananas which you ought to check out. Emilie of Oh My Sugar High has a round up of 35 of the Best Banana Recipes. I've got a few in my Banana Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fast and Easy Fruit and Yogurt Crepes

Boughten* crepes stuffed with seasonal fruit, topped with a bit of honey-sweetened yogurt, makes a fast dessert out of what's on hand.

*Yes, still on my "boughten" kick. I've re-read all of the Little House books and will start on Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Amazon Affiliate link) next. Seeing a bunch of Little House sites in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota on our recent vacation has me in the mood.

Reading the books is one thing, but actually seeing some of the buildings Laura lived in as a child? Whoa. Her description of the surveyor's house, where she and her family spent their first winter in what would become De Smet, SD made it seem like a pretty big place. I was not prepared for the reality of standing in the same building--thinking of it filled with overnight guests when our small tour group could barely squeeze in! Then again, after seeing claim shanties I can see why she'd think a house positively palatial.

When I was a kid, my mom had the knack for making dessert out of nothing. She'd slice up some bananas into a bowl, add a sprinkle of brown sugar and a splash of milk and boom--something sweet that satisfied.

With these crepes I'm attempting to do the same thing--a quick and easy dessert to satisfy a sweet tooth. I've made them with put up peaches as well as ripe bananas. They'd be great with fresh blueberries as well. It's a simple dessert, but I don't usually think of easy and simple desserts so I'm sharing it in case someone else is like me and needs to make something out of nothing.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Make and Take Smoothies for Moms

Consider giving the gift of smoothies to a new mom, a friend recovering from oral surgery, or a harried neighbor. Ready to shake up and drink, smoothies are a fast way to get some nutrition and get back to business--be that bonding, healing, or caregiving.

Motherhood equals nurturing (no, you don't have to have created/raised offspring to read on--we've all had moms). One way folks nurture is via food [hello, nurture and nutrition share the same root].
Taking meals to a new mom is one way of nurturing the new family as they become a unit. Taking a meal to a mom after her 6th kid is just plain nurturing for her [though watching the kids and doing her laundry so she can get a massage is even better but doesn't fit with my theme for today's recipe].

What about other folks who need nurturing? A busy friend caring for aging parents? A neighbor caring for his ailing wife? Someone recovering from oral surgery? It's the last situation that inspired today's post, but the more I though about it the more I think this concept would work for a variety of circumstances.

Smoothies keep for several days, and it's easy to scale up a recipe to make an extra portion. With that in mind, when I found out my friend wouldn't be eating solid food for quite some time after her tonsillectomy, I offered to bring her some smoothies. I was going to be near her home on post-op day #5 and that seemed like a good time to deliver as she'd be coming out of the initial post-op haze.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Honey Banana Oat Muffins

Soaked oat and whole wheat muffins sweetened with honey and a banana.

When I was a kid, my mom would sometimes whip up a last minute dessert that consisted of a bowl of sliced bananas topped with a spoonful of brown sugar and a generous splash of milk. It was fast, sweet, and used stuff she had on hand.

Making something out of nothing is a learned skill in the kitchen.

I don't mean literally nothing, this is not a Stone Soup type post. No, I'm talking about some of the items I consider kitchen staples:  bananas, oats, and baking powder*. I don't add buttermilk to this list because if you were to run the stats [I've been working on getting my info ready for my wonderful tax preparer so stats are on my mind] buttermilk cannot be found in my fridge as often as bananas, oats, and baking powder can be found in the pantry.
Once you've got buttermilk to use up, though, you can assemble several sets of the base of these muffins and store them in the fridge for up to a week. You could make buttermilk pizza dough or roasted garlic & pesto buttermilk pizza dough and store that in the freezer for a month. You could make a double batch of Butternut Squash Waffles and freeze the extras for weekday breakfasts or waffle sandwich lunches.

These muffins are my version of mom's frugal dessert. They are easy to throw together out of stuff I have on hand, sweet enough for a mid-afternoon snack at work, and healthy enough for me to give my kids for breakfast.

For other recipes using bananas, please see my Banana Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other muffin recipes check out the drop down menu on the right sidebar and let this serve as a kick in the pants to update that, or just tell me to put all the banana muffin recipes that are piled up on the dining room table into an ebook so you can grab that when you're in a muffin mood.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Passionfruit & Banana Muffins {Where Do You Get Your Food?}

Where do you get your food? 

Between articles in National Geographic Magazine about the evolution of diet and observations during the 4th annual Montgomery County (Ohio) Food Policy Coalition Summit last year, I think Michael Malone of Hungry Toad Farm sums up the answer perfectly:

"Either somebody brings it to you, or you go get it."

The theme of the summit was Distribution--Connecting Producers to Consumers. I sat in on a few sessions* and it was interesting to hear from Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers as small as Michael Malone's couple dozen subscribers on up to Carl Bowman of Bowman & Landes Turkey's multi-state reach.
What I learned was there is romance in knowing where your food comes from (I agree with Dennis Chrisman of Dorothy Lane Market's sentiment). Over the past 9 years I've enjoyed meeting the farmers who grow our food. At first it was 'oh look, kids, this is what an eggplant looks like in the field' but it has morphed into wanting to understand the motivations of folks who want to work so damn hard to feed me.

Ben Jackle, together with his wife Emily, had 475 planting sessions last year at Mile Creek Farm. Holy cow! In order to balance what grows best in the climate and soil of their spread with what their customers want to buy, the Jackles must balance diversity with efficiency. It would be easiest to grow rows of the same crop and systemize the planting/growing/harvesting of a product, but as a CSA subscriber I wouldn't want to get a box of only tomatoes one week or only lettuce another week or only beets . . . ever. I appreciate the extra efforts that crop diversity requires.
Chickens go RVing at Keener Family Farm. Photo taken by my spouse.
"Convenience is a commodity itself"--another gem from Michael Malone. When he says "I don't sell peanut butter or toilet paper" he's right. I don't do all of my shopping in one place, nor would I want to do so. Everyone has skills, and while I appreciate our farm's ability to grow giant kohlrabi and my neighbor's buddy's ability to grow happy chickens and tasty beef, I also appreciate the volume discount on sharp cheddar cheese at Costco.
Keener Family Farm--photo taken by my spouse.
In addition to getting vegetables that have been grown near you by folks you've met, there are less tangible benefits to joining a CSA. George Mertz of Patchwork Gardens reminds me there's an aesthetic value of agriculture. Seeing farmland in production is pleasing to the eye, an having a box brimming with (pre-paid) brightly colored vegetables is so much prettier than a cart full of packages waiting for the final total price.
A typical late summer box: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, corn and greens.
People want local food, and according to Dan Carmody of the Detroit Eastern Market, the breakdown isn't in food production it's in food distribution. Folks all over are developing new ways to connect consumers to producers. In Seattle, Janelle Maiocco started Farmstr. Producers/Farmers can list their offerings on a central site online, and consumers can order the quantities and pick up locations that fit their needs. In Champaign County (Ohio), a Virtual Farmer's Market set up by Pam Bowshier and Mark Runyan meets in a YMCA. Folks order their items over a multiway period, then come once a week to pick up their orders.

Even CSAs are evolving. CSA models don't have to be just vegetables, or meat, or cheese. Heck, there's a beer CSA in Chicago--started by a former intern at our CSA, Patchwork Gardens. I'd love to have to empty my firkin before the next pickup date! According to a recent survey by Local Harvest, farmers are teaming up with other local businesses to sell add-on products (bread, meat, eggs) in addition to vegetables. Multiple payment options and varied length seasons are helping to reach new subscribers. Shoot, back when we started eating from a CSA we stopped getting food in late September. Now we get deliveries into December--and yes, now in February I've still got locally grown squash in the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve as well as put up vegetables in the freezer and pantry.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tropical Curried Acorn Squash Soup

A warming winter squash soup spiced with curry, sweetened with banana, and luscious with coconut milk. This soup could be vegetarian depending on your stock choice.

On a quest to add vegetables to as many recipes as I can--to utilize the produce from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share before it spoils--I end up cooking most every day. That often means that we have a variety of leftovers available. Sometimes, making a simple dish like this soup is a great way to dress up a dinner of leftovers.

If you've read this blog before [thank you!] you may have . . . um, not exactly heard but how 'bout heard inside your head . . . me talk about how I put up carrot peels, celery leaves, onion skins etc into Soup Packs (link to my Frugal Eco Farm Fresh Feasting post). I've shared recipes for how I make Chicken Stock, Beef Stock, and Vegetable Stock. I've also shared how I put up pumpkin puree. Hey, guess what? Putting up acorn squash is no different!

When I have the oven on--and I am thinking on all cylinders--I will roast an extra squash and save the puree for another use. If I've got a jar of stock, a container of roasted squash puree, and a ripe banana in the freezer this soup almost makes itself. I just need to chop and sauté an onion [but I'm teaching my son to master onion chopping, so I didn't even do that step].

I know it may seem strange to use banana in a savory recipe, even though I've done it before in my Ham and Banana Pizza. I've also combined squash and banana in muffins--which will appear sometime this Fall on a coming Muffin Monday--but this is not as sweet of a soup as those muffins.  This is a savory soup with a hint of sweetness and a nice amount of spice. With an immersion blender this comes together quickly and makes a nice, warm, first course for a cold weather meal.

For other recipes using acorn squash, please check out my Acorn Squash Recipe Collection. For other recipes using ripe bananas, please check out my Banana Recipe Collection.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Banana Blender Waffles

Easy banana oatmeal waffles using a blender, a bowl, and a bit of time

Banana Blender Waffles from Farm Fresh Feasts

Weekend breakfasts should be easy and special, I think. Especially on the days we all wake up cranky and retreat to our separate computers corners pre and post breakfast, it's enough to know that we sat and shared a meal. During the week my spouse nukes his oatmeal and is gone before the kids wake to eat leftovers, sandwiches, toast or cereal. Me? I just drink tea unless I'm lucky enough to get beet greens in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. Then I'll make this for brunch.

But on the weekends I like to do a little more. Even if your "weekend" happens on a Tuesday/Wednesday, it's nice to relax and enjoy a less-hurried meal. I'm a fan of waffles for weekend breakfasts for a few reasons. First, waffle batter mixes up easily and improves with a short rest. Second, it's easy to keep waffles warm in the oven while you're making enough for the whole bunch. Third, it's super easy to double the batter, make all the waffles, and freeze some for your kids to eat on weekday mornings.

Banana Blender Waffles from Farm Fresh Feasts

I've shared a variety of waffles on this blog. I've got waffles using butternut squash, tangerines, zucchinicarrots, and even corn and blueberries. Time for one of my standby, 'always in the kitchen' fruits:  bananas. Ripe bananas freeze beautifully in the packaging nature provides and thaw quickly.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cheater Margarita Smoothies

DIY restaurant style fruit margaritas at home--simply blend your fruit with a prepared margarita mix and ice. And for the kids--blend limeade with fruit and ice for a nonalcoholic smoothie

DIY restaurant style fruit margaritas at home--simply blend your fruit with a prepared margarita mix and ice. And for the kids--blend limeade with fruit and ice for a nonalcoholic smoothie.

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Recipe testing for this post has been so. much. fun!  It's my first beverage post, and I started off with a bang, seeing as this is also an alcoholic beverage as well as two recipes in one post.  I'm not going to start any cocktail post trends--Friday pizza and Monday muffins are enough for me--though I do have a lovely winter chai apple blend to share when the weather warrants it, and perhaps a summer ice tea concoction . . . but first--the Cheater Margarita Smoothie. It's too easy and too tasty not to share, and if you've got any lingering fruit in your freezer this will make quick work of it, enabling me you to empty and defrost the freezer before the new Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share season begins.

DIY restaurant style fruit margaritas at home--simply blend your fruit with a prepared margarita mix and ice. And for the kids--blend limeade with fruit and ice for a nonalcoholic smoothie.

I was wondering why it is that I just don't mix cocktails at home, and I've come to the conclusion that it's because I have spent a good portion of my adulthood in states that don't sell hard liquor everywhere.  In Virginia, for example, you need to go to ABC stores (run by the state Department of Alcohol Beverage Control) in order to purchase anything stronger than beer or wine.  [In Hawaii the ABC store is where you get sunscreen and a can of macadamia nuts before heading to the beach.]  Ditto living on a military base, but it's called a Class Six store.  [I have no idea what classes one through five are.]

Since I'm not used to having bottles of spirits around and mixing and measuring, I gravitate to the premixed bottle of margarita stuff.  I can't enter into a debate about the merits of this or that tequila because I just don't know enough about them.  I just know I like the frozen slushy fruit margaritas at restaurants.

During the winter I spent some time in Florida watching my son march with his high school marching band in Disney and sharing HashtagOrangeWeek here.  Our last night there, my daughter and I were too pooped to venture past the TGIFridays in the hotel lobby for our dinner.  Conveniently, it was Ladies Night, and when I ordered the strawberry margarita the server brought two!  Score! Finally I slept well in a hotel room!
DIY restaurant style fruit margaritas at home--simply blend your fruit with a prepared margarita mix and ice. And for the kids--blend limeade with fruit and ice for a nonalcoholic smoothie.
with an Easy Cheesy Vegetable Enchilada bake

The recipe I'm sharing is terrific for a family Cinco de Mayo celebration.  Start by making a pitcher of limeade-based fruit smoothies for the kids, then make a pitcher of margarita-based fruit smoothies for the grown ups.  Everyone gets a fruity drink which makes them happy.

I've made this with blueberries, with blueberries and raspberries, with strawberries, with bananas, blueberries and raspberries, and with peaches.  [Told you recipe testing was fun.] So far my favorite is the mixed fruit with banana--the addition of banana adds a nice creaminess to the base much like it, or yogurt, can do for a standard smoothie.

DIY restaurant style fruit margaritas at home--simply blend your fruit with a prepared margarita mix and ice. And for the kids--blend limeade with fruit and ice for a nonalcoholic smoothie.

One note--Kate over at Diethood asks the hard questions to find out what we all wanted to know: 
how do you get the margarita salt to stick on the rim of the glass? The answer will surprise you.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Creamy Dark Chocolate and Banana Muffins (and they're Whole Grain!) (Monday Muffins)
My spouse took this photo.  I think it rocks.  He does, too.
I have a confession to make:  I don't get bananas in my farm share here in Ohio.  I know I started this blog to share how I use seasonal produce--usually from our CSA farm share--to feed the family year 'round.  Sometimes, however, I get good deals on produce that is not part of any farm share I've ever known.  Like 49 cent pints of blueberries in July.  Or speckled bananas for 27 cents a pound.  Because I'm feeding my family from this seasonal abundance, I like to blog about it, too.

There, I'm glad I got that off my chest.  My CSA farm share will be starting up next week, so I'll be sharing more and more farm share recipes in the coming months.  But this is too good not to share.

I think bananas are one of nature's perfect foods.  We planted a banana tree behind our home in Hawaii, and it grew fast and furious despite neglected soil.  Then it flowered a gigantic flower and soon baby bananas appeared.  We never ate any bananas from that tree--apparently someone else was watching the growth and development of our banana bunches as well, because once they got about big enough to harvest, the stem would disappear without a trace.  I guess someone else needed them more than we did.  Just like the local fauna appear to need the blueberries and peaches and strawberries in our backyard here . . . though we managed to snag 13 raspberries last year.

I love that bananas don't fully ripen until after you cut them off the tree.  Not like all the basil threatening to go to seed when you're not ready to make pesto, or the zucchini growing from 4 inches to 18 inches when you turned your back to weed the tomato bed.  When I get a good deal on speckled bananas, I save some on the counter for immediate use and freeze the rest.

And just how easy is it to freeze a banana?  Carefully pick it up by the stem, open your freezer, and set it inside.  Then carefully close the freezer--you're done!  Sure, the skin turns dark brown on a frozen banana, but that same skin did a rockin' awesome job protecting the fruit inside while it was on the tree and that protection continues in your freezer.  I usually set a frozen banana on the counter for 15-20 minutes before easily scraping off the peel with a paring knife.  Forgetting about the banana for an hour means you can just cut off one tip and squish the banana into whatever you're preparing.  Yum, that's a lovely image.

Now that you've snagged bananas when they are perfectly good for baking and cheaper, and stored them properly until you're ready to use them, let's make a muffin.  This recipe is a variation of my favorite soaked oatmeal muffin.  It's best to start it the night before, but letting the oats and buttermilk soak for just an hour is nearly as good.  See NOTE below.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ham and Banana Pizza (No really, try this!)

Salty (even leftover!) ham is a nice match for sweet banana slices in this unusual pizza. Updated photos, same great recipe.

I am sure someone would think that this pizza falls into the category of Strange But Good.  Ham and banana seems like an unusual pairing to everyone that hears it.

Why is that?  Do the pineapple people have such a good PR machine that no one considers bananas for pizza?  You'd think as tropical fruits they'd all stick together.

I first had this combination on a pizza in Germany.  And I loved it.  I tried it initially because, hey, we were all trying the weird things on the menu.  Come to think of it, I first had corn on a pizza while in Germany.  That combination stuck with me, though, and whenever I have the happy coincidence of ham slices, just-about-to-be-over-ripe bananas, and red sauce I make a pizza.  The family tolerates it, but I love it just like I did the first time I tried it.  It's fast to throw together and tastes delicious.

Note:  if there's any of this pizza left over, pick off the bananas before refrigerating.  You do not want to see them on your pizza the next day.  Trust me.