Banana Cakes

[donotprint]I’m not totally sure if this recipe is post-worthy. But my youngest just devoured several of them . I’m sure the chocolate sauce didn’t hurt, but still it is out of character for her to eat several of anything. I think this would be a nice treat for toddlers. To top it all off, I used up an over-ripe banana and some leftover rice. Bonus![/donotprint]

 

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2/3 cup cooked brown rice
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 tablespoon unsalted nut butter (such as almond or peanut)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnnamon
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
Small pinch salt
Butter for pan
Chocolate sauce or chocolate syrup

Place the rice, banana, nut butter, cinnamon, honey (if desired), cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth (about 1 minute), scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula once or twice.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Melt butter in skillet coating the bottom. Spoon generous tablespoon-sized portions of the banana mixture into the pan spacing at least an inch apart. Cook the cakes for a couple minutes on each side. Allow to cool before serving (how long depends on your child). Serve drizzled with chocolate sauce or chocolate syrup.

Yield: 12 cakes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

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Mud Dip

My oldest, who will pretty much eat anything, does not like nut butter of any kind (at the moment). It’s bizarre, but I let it slide since she is an open-minded eater (and, honestly, what choice do I have?). In this recipe, chocolate saves the day and makes the nut butter palatable.

I made some chocolate sauce based on a recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook awhile ago. I intended to buy some, but the ingredient lists at the store were a little too frightening. Chocolate syrup would work just as well and there are a couple brands with short and understandable ingredient lists at the health food store and Trader Joe’s.

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1/3 cup unsalted nut butter (such as almond or peanut)
3 tablespoons chocolate sauce or chocolate syrup
Small pinch salt
Sliced apples for dipping

In a small mixing bowl, stir the nut butter, chocolate sauce, and salt together until the color is uniform. Serve with apples.

Yield: scant 1/2 cup
Prep time: 5 minutes

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Peanut Butter Clusters

[donotprint]These somehow manage to give me a sugar buzz even though they don’t seem to be totaly overloaded with it. I’ve really got to get some piece of software that will spit out nutrition information for recipes.

Anyway, these are tasty, as you can well imagine. It’s sort of like a reese’s peanut butter cup and a kit kat decided to quit their day jobs and move out to the country to start running their own organic co-op.[/donotprint]

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1/2 cup peanut butter (homogenized works best)
1/4 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or wheat germ(optional)
1 1/2 cups corn flakes cereal

Place peanut butter, chocolate chips and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until chocolate is melted and combined.

Turn off heat but leave your saucepan on the burner. Quickly stir in flaxseed or wheat germ. Immediately add cereal and stir gently with rubber spatula until well-coated. If the peanut butter mixture starts to get too firm, reheat it a bit.

Place mini muffin paper cups in mini muffin pan and spoon heaping tablespoons of the cereal mixture into the cups. Cover and allow to set for 1 hour. Serve or store in an airtight container. Best eaten the same day.

Yield: approximately 22 clusters
Prep time: 15 minutes
Set time: 1 hour

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Nutter Butter Rolls

These are a tasty, quick, and energy-filled snack for kids. If you don’t have any dried dates on hand, use dried apricots or even raisins instead.

1/2 cup nut butter (such as almond or peanut)
1/4 cup finely chopped pitted dried dates (approximately 5 dates)
1/3 cup organic corn flake cereal
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1 tablespoon honey
4-5 slices soft whole grain bread, crusts removed

In a small bowl, mix together nut butter, dates, cereal, cream cheese, and honey with a metal spoon. Don’t be shy about crushing the cereal as you stir. Continue to stir until the cereal is broken up into small bits. Set aside.

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Spread the bread slices out a level surface and flatten them with a rolling pin as much as possible. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of the nut butter mixture onto each slice depending on the size of the bread. Roll up each slice as tightly as possible being careful to not rip the bread. Cut each tube into 1/2-inch thick slices with a serrated knife and serve.

Makes 4 – 5 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes

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Crispy Rice Squares

For best results, the peanut butter in these squares needs to be homogenized. Minimumly processed nut butters that allow the oil to seperate and rise to the top of the jar don’t work as well. I’ve found a “natural” Smuckers brand peanut butter that works well and has a relatively short list of ingredients.

Brown rice syrup can be found at the health food store or in the health food section of the grocery store. It’s consistency works well here and it is much less sweet than honey or even agave nectar. I find the sweetness of honey overwhelming when it comes to rice crispy squares.

When the mood strikes, feel free to throw in a handful of sweetened dried cranberries or chocolate chips along with the cereal.

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1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
3 cups crispy brown rice cereal
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (optional)

In a medium saucepan, heat the peanut butter and syrup until smooth and warm, 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add cereal and flaxseed. Mix gently with a rubber spatula until well combined.

Transfer cereal mixture to 8×8 baking pan. Flatten evenly and firmly press mixture into the bottom of the pan with rubber spatula. Cover pan with plastic film and cool in refrigerator for at least one hour.

Cut into squares and serve cold. The squares will hold together at room temperature, but not as well. Store remaining squares in airtight container in refrigerator for up to two days.

Makes 16 squares.

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