Banana and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

 I haven’t blogged in almost two weeks.  Hey, I’ve been pretty busy!  Over this past weekend They-Who-Live-Far-Away came into town to visit me and my family!  It was a more than pleasant visit and I learned a lot.  Of course, it also stormed on Sunday, which blew in a lot of allergens.  Consequently, for the past several days I’ve felt like that bug that is squashed on your windshield.  However, today I’m starting to feel better and decided to make chocolate chip cookies!  

 Now, I’m a total sucker for eating raw oats.  They’re so delicious!  I mix a little water in, some cinnamon, and a serving of dried cranberries, then, in the famous words of Emeril Lagasse, “BAM!”. Instant breakfast!  I am also a sucker for chocolate chip cookies (especially raw!). So, when I came across a “clean” chocolate chip cookies recipe a few months back, I had to try it.  It was very similar to the recipe I am about to show you, except that the other one wanted me to chop up the oats into small pieces (which I blatantly ignored).  They came out delicious and were pretty nutritious (haha, see what I did there?).  Unfortunately, I lost the recipe!

 So this afternoon I found a blog called Don the Apron that had a similar recipe and gave it a go.  I am glad I did!    

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  What you’ll need to begin with:

  • 2 ripe bananas (Mine were as big as Ents so you may need three if your bananas are not as big.)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup oats (depending on the size of your bananas)

 As for add-ins, I used:

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 You could use other things such as raisins, craisins, M&M’s, pecans, walnuts, ect… it all depends on what you’d like.  🙂 

 Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.  

 Peel your bananas and mash them in a bowl.  I used the back of a large fork for this process. 

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 Next, add in your oats.  

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 Here come the add-ins!

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 Now, since these are not your average cookies, they aren’t going to be roll-able in your hands.  You’ll need two spoons to kind of shape them into balls then drop them on your cookie sheet.  Now, the recipe says to put them on parchment paper, but I didn’t have any so I just sprayed the spots where I would drop my cookies on the sheet with non-stick spray.  On another note: you won’t have to worry about spacing the cookies too much because they won’t really spread.  Put them in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes! 

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The finished product: 

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Mmmm… nom nom time! 

 

Cheers! 

Yogurt Banana Bread

 Today is beautiful where I am.  The sun is gloriously shining and the temperature, though not exceedingly warm, is just right.  It felt like a great day to bake!  I decided upon banana bread since I have a bunch of bananas that were getting ready to expire in the next couple of days and banana bread is a great way to use them up!    

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 I have made banana bread several times in the past using a recipe from a Better Homes and Gardens cook book, but today I wanted to try out something slightly different and new: yogurt banana bread!  The recipe I decided to use is from Sweet as a Cookie.  I like how quick I was able to put it together, and that fact that I didn’t have to use an electric mixer was a bonus for me! 

  To begin, you will need these ingredients: 

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  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed (I used three since I had a third one that really needed to be used).  
  • 4 tbsp vegetables oil
  • 1 cup yogurt (the original recipe calls for vanilla yogurt, which I did not have, so I just added about 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla to it)
  •  2 eggs 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups flour

 Start out by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, 4 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 cup of yogurt, 2 eggs, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.  

Image I noticed that before I added the banana to the other wet ingredients, it all looked like a smiley face! 😛   Mix it all up then set this bowl aside. 

 In small bowl combine 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 1/2 cups of flour.  

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  Stir the dry ingredients together then add them to the wet ingredients.  

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 Mix up all that yummy-ness! 

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 You will notice from the picture above that I added some raisins (1 cup) to it.  I also added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

 Grease an 8-inch loaf pan well, then pour the batter in there. Into the oven it goes! 

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 I set the timer for forty minutes to begin.  When I checked it at forty minutes, it looked semi-done, but boy was I wrong!  

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 The middle was all gooey still, but the edges were starting to brown.  I took the bread out of the oven and covered the edges with foil to avoid them browning much more then stuck it back in the oven. 

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 I ended up baking it for an additional twenty-two minutes.  It came out a bit darker than I would have liked, but not horribly dark.  Perhaps the adding of cinnamon darkened it a tad? 

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 At any rate, I recommend giving this recipe a try.  The Natives and I certainly enjoyed it! 

Cheers! 

 

 

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins

 I am always looking for new recipes to try.  A lot of those recipes, albeit, are dessert and breakfast items.  Guilty as charged!  Among all the different breakfast dishes I have made, muffins have and still rank as my favorite!  Muffins are easy and you can mix up what you put in them in order to make them either nutritious, snack material, fun, or any combination thereof!

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 Another great thing about muffins is that they are totally portable.  This awesome level of portability makes them great on-the-go breakfast food for days like my tomorrow, where I have to be somewhere in the wee hours of the morning.  This muffin recipe, which I found here, was neither hard to put together, nor time consuming.  I was able to make twenty muffins with one recipe, filling each muffin cup about 3/4 the way full.  The muffins came out light and very moist, and were a huge hit with the Natives and They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.  

 Here are the ingredients you will need!

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  • 1 cup of flour (I used all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (the creamy kind is what I used)
  • 1/2 cup of mashed banana
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Now, the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries, but I didn’t have any strawberries to chop!  So I just poured the majority of the batter without the strawberries, and made the last eight muffins with 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.  I also threw in 1/4 teaspoon of salt. 

 Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.  

In a medium sized bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, 3/4 cup of quick cooking oats,  1/3 cup of brown sugar (packed!), 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt (if you so desire, the salt can be omitted).   Set aside. 

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In another medium sized bowl, combine 1 cup of milk (I used whole milk), 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of mashed banana, 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. 

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I mashed my banana with the back of a fork.  I also used only 1 and 1/3 of the two bananas pictured above.  I just gave the remaining part of the second banana to one of the Natives. 

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Whisk them all together!  🙂   There will be a bit of whisking in order to fully incorporate the peanut butter.  

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Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  I wanted to be careful not to over-stir, so I began by folding the ingredients to combine them, then stirred a tiny bit at the end.

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You will want to grease or line the muffins tins now, then pour your muffin batter in.  I didn’t have enough muffin batter to fill all twelve of the second muffin tin.  If you have the same problem, make sure to fill the empty muffin cups about halfway with water.  Into the oven they go!  

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Mine cooked for 15 minutes, but depending on your oven you may want to check them at 12 minutes and then increase the time they bake if they are not done.

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Cheers!  🙂