Fix Me A Snack

A blog created by a mom who got sick of feeding her kids crackers and ice cream

Banana and peanut butter are great friends. I guess the only thing that would make these little muffins any better would be a handful of chocolate chips. Ooohhh, I hadn’t thought of that. Well, take it away readers and do what you will. I think these muffins are perfectly sweet just the way they are. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

Banana Peanut Butter Mini Muffin Recipe

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

3 medium ripe bananas, throughly mashed
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenhiet. Move oven racks to the upper third and lower third of the oven.

Grease two mini muffin pans with spray oil or softened butter. Set aside.

Whisk together the flours, sugars, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, mix together the mashed banana, eggs, yogurt, peanut butter, and butter.

Divide the batter between the muffin pans putting about a heaping tablespoon in each cup.  Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pans once during baking.

Run a knife around the rim of each muffin cup to loosen the muffin. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack. Serve or store in an airtight container for up to three days. Extra muffins can be frozen.

Yield: 48 mini muffins
Prep time: 25 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes

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Here’s a snack that the kids and I can’t say ‘no’ to lately. Even the peanut butter hater in my household is a big fan. It’s the best I’m-craving-chocolate-but-I actually-want-to-put-some-real-food-in-my-body kind of snack there is.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

2 overripe bananas, peeled
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Put it all in a blender and whiz until smooth. Makes 2 cups.

Biscotti are a snack I’ve come a tad obsessed with lately. And this recipe is perfection because it uses up a single overripe banana and we always seem to have one languishing on the counter this winter.

I’ve shied away from biscotti in the past because they can be a little challenging for the kiddos to eat. But it turns out that if you make your own, you can leave them a little soft. Eureka!

Bananas aren’t a typical player in the biscotti universe, as far as I can tell. But the taste is brilliant, especially with the chocolate (surprise!). The whole family loves them and they are relatively low in fat and sugar. The kids have taken to dunking them in tall glasses of milk while we discuss important matters such as whether or not fairies are real.

Chocolate Chip Banana Biscotti Recipe

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Cooking Light housed at My Recipes.

The crispness of the biscotti depends on how thick you slice them and how long they are baked the second time. If you’d like a traditional hard biscotti, bake them until the edges begin to brown (probably an additional 10 minutes). They will crisp up much more when they cool. By the same token, you can cut the second baking time by 5 minutes if you want especially soft biscotti.

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium overripe banana, peeled and mashed well
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon safflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup small chocolate chunks or mini chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the banana, egg, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and mix until the mixture starts to form a ball. Add the chocolate and mix to incorporate.

Divide the dough in two and form into logs about 8 inches long and 2 inches wide. Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking, if necessary. Place the logs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten them with the palm of your hand so they are about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for 25 minutes. When they come out of the oven, turn the heat down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Allow the logs to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. If they hang out longer they will be more likely to crumble when they are sliced. Carefully transfer the logs to a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to make 1/2 inch thick slices, preferably at an angle.

Arrange the slices on the same parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. They will still feel soft, but will harden as they cool. Serve or store in an airtight container. They will keep for several days or can be frozen.

Yield: 24 biscotti
Prep-time: 10 minutes
Bake-time: 55 minutes

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One of my newest measures of snack recipe success is how messed up my four year-old daughter’s face gets when she eats. A good snack should leave behind some tell-tale signs of having been consumed with gusto.

Here we have Exhibit A which was the aftermath of our latest Sunshine Smoothie. Her face isn’t actually that messy. But the sprinkles on her chin make it a winner, non? The sprinkles were entirely her idea, by the way.

Sunshine Smoothie Recipe

1 fresh mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 medium ripe banana, peeled
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup orange juice

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve.

Yield: 3 cups
Prep-time: 5 minutes

In case you hadn’t noticed already, I’m a great lover of snack recipes that allow me to quickly use up over ripe bananas. These recipes started with one in Feeding the Whole Family.

My husband says Banana Milk tastes like a thin milkshake without the ice creamy goodness. (He’s a master of the backhanded compliment, but I still love him.) The kids’ favorite was the Egg Noggy Banana Milk version (see the last recipe below).

1. Honey Banana Milk Recipe

1 1/2 cups milk
1 ripe or over ripe banana, peeled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon honey

Pour the milk into a blender along with the banana, vanilla, and honey. Blend until smooth. Serve.

Yield: 2 cups
Prep-time: 5 minutes

2. Malted Banana Milk Recipe

1 ripe or over ripe banana
1 1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 teaspoons malted milk powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Process the banana, milk, malted milk powder, and vanilla in a blender until smooth. Serve.

Yield: 2 cups
Prep-time: 5 minutes

3. Egg Noggy Banana Milk Recipe

1 ripe or over ripe banana, peeled
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Process the banana, milk, vanilla, and nutmeg in a blender until smooth. Serve.

Yield: 2 cups
Prep-time: 5 minutes

I think the next series I do will have to be about ways to use up over ripe bananas. It seems to be a question that puzzles me too often. And maybe it would provoke me to make a banana cream pie. I’m up for anything involving pie.

So here’s a lovely way to use up an over ripe banana.  It’s creamy without containing any dairy, which is a bonus on these hot summer days. The kids gave this one rave reviews. I’m excited to make them an egg cream someday soon.

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon water
1 large egg white OR 2 tablespoons pasteurized egg white product*
1/2 cup cold water
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ice cubes (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon honey

Unless you’re using a pasteurized egg product, pasteurize your egg white in a double boiler over gentle heat. In a small bowl, whisk egg white along with the sugar and 1 teaspoon water. Place bowl over a small saucepan containing an inch or two of simmering water.

Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Use an instant read thermometer to take the temperature. Keep the themometer in the egg mixture as much as possible and not touching the bowl. Once the thermometer reads 160, remove the bowl from heat and continue to whisk for another minute to be sure the egg doesn’t coagulate.

Pour egg mixture into a blender along with the 1/2 cup cold water, banana, vanilla extract, ice cubes, and honey. Mix until smooth. Serve immediately.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups
Prep-time: 10 minutes

I was recently confronted with a pile of over ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen counter. Eight of them in fact. We are in the middle of a hot hot summer here in Connecticut and I haven’t felt like making any sort of food for my family lately, much less special snacks. But somehow I stumbled across a recipe for Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches in Gourmet Today. Et viola!

This recipe is easy to pull together and you don’t need an ice cream maker. If you don’t have dulce de leche lying around, you could try replacing it with carmel sauce or maybe even some brown sugar to taste.

Next time I’ll make a double batch and get rid of more of my bananas. The kids were more than happy to eat it all up.

1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 ripe banana, peeled
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons dulce de leche
Butterscotch chips (optional)

Place the milk, cream, banana, lime juice, and dulce de leche in a blender. Process until smooth (about 60 seconds). Divide mixture between two ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. Serve topped with butterscotch chips or any other topping that tickles your fancy.

Yield: approximately 1 cup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Freezer time: overnight

The key with frozen bananas is to use ripe, but not over ripe, bananas. The bananas in the picture below are perfect canidates. These are full of natural sugar, but not extremely mushy.

Peel two or three bananas and cut them into thirds. Insert wooden popsicle sticks into each piece of banana. Lay the pops in a flat-bottomed airtight container. Make sure that the bananas are not touching so that theydo not freeze together. Freeze for one hour or longer. If the bananas have been in the freezer for more than a few hours, you may want to let them sit out at room temperature for 5 or 10 minutes in order to make sure they are soft enough to eat.

 

1. Honey Crunch Banana Pops

I found this lovely treat at Baking Bites. It’s easy and a beautiful alternative to chocolate-covered bananas.

 

 

2. Chocolate-covered Banana Pops

Those of you who are pure of heart and more savvy than I in the kitchen would use some Valrhona melted in a double boiler. Me, I am haunted by a vague memory of the melted chocolate getting all clumpy when I made frozen banana pops years ago. If one bit of moisture sneaks into the chocolate or onto the banana, the chocolate goes from smooth to hellish in no time. Therefore, for this recipe, I enjoy the insurance policy that the coconut oil provides. Maybe I’ll work past it someday. But I doubt it because it’s pretty darn tasty as is.

It goes without saying that these treats are even more appealing rolled in sprinkles, finely chopped peanuts, or toasted shredded coconut. The banana pop in the picture above is covered with candy coated sunflower seeds.

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chocolate bar, chopped into small bits)
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (optional)

Microwave the chocolate and coconut oil in a cup on low power (10 or 20 percent) for 2-3 minutes. Stir well and microwave further if necessary, checking and stirring frequently. Dip the frozen banana into the melted chocolate once. (Excessive dipping creates a really thick chocolate shell that overpowers the banana.) Remove the banana from chocolate and allow the shell to set for one to two minutes. Roll in sprinkles, chopped nuts, or coconut before the chocolate sets, if desired. Serve.

 

3. The best of both worlds

Less apt to send your kids into a sugar coma and full of sweet crunchy goodness. Just drizzle some melted chocolate over #1 Honey Crunch Banana Pop.

 

4. Frozen Yogurt Banana Pops

This snack feels easier because you start with an unfrozen banana, throw it together, and pull it out of the freezer 6 hours later or whenever you need a quick cold treat.  

The jam and the ripe bananas make this healthy snack pleasantly sweet. It’s like eating a banana dipped in a thin layer of ice cream.

2 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into thirds
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon blueberry jam

Insert popsicle sticks into the base of each banana piece. Mix yogurt and jam together in a ramekin or small bowl. Dip each banana into the yogurt mixture or coat the banana using a spoon.

Place dipped bananas in a flat-bottomed airtight container on top of a sheet of wax paper. Allow to freeze for 6 hours or overnight.

 

More yummy banana possibilities I’ve seen around the food blogosphere recently:
Frozen Banana Bites from (never)homemaker via the healthy cooking goddessDebra Zambetti.
Frozen Bites (scroll down for Chocolate Peanut Butter Bananas) from Simple Bites.

We had a bit of a situation developing at my house this morning. A ripe avocado was on its way out. I just can’t stand to see an avocado go to waste. In addition, some bananas were looking like no one was going to eat them.  All this amounted to the perfect excuse for some experimentation. Thus the Green Monster Smoothie was born.

According to Lori at Fake Food Free, bananas and avocados are a popular snack combination in Brazil. And Dani Spies whips up some mighty fine lookin’ baby food using the same ingredients.

My preschooler happily took a taste, told me it was perfect, and then didn’t touch the rest of it. Is she actually trying to be polite and make me happy???!? This makes no sense at all.

I can see this being more of a hit with the toddler-set. I enjoyed it, but it is super rich and all I could put away was about a cup. So, unless you have a crowd, you might want to halve the recipe.

 

1 ripe Haas avocado, pitted
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 1/2 cup milk (or more if you’d prefer it thinner)
1 tablespoon sugar
Small pinch salt

Place the avocado, banana, milk, sugar, and salt in a blender and process until smooth. Serve.

Note: Cut up the banana and freeze it beforehand for a snack on a hot day like Lori did.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes

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How could I be blogging about healthy snacks for over a year and not have a post about my childhood favorite? Perhaps I didn’t think it was fancy enough. But today I have the clarity of mind to know that the simple snacks are often the best. Not only because they are easy for mommy to make, but because they are darn tasty! Thanks for making me these when I was little Mom! And I’ll call you soon!

2 pieces toast, preferably raisin and/or whole grain
2 tablespoons nut butter (such as peanut or almond)
One small banana, sliced
Honey

Spread nut butter on toast. Top with banana slices and a drizzle of honey. Serve warm!

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