Mini Banana Bread Loafs

Individual walnut banana bread loafs that are perfect to take on the go!

Mini Banana Walnut Loafs
Mini Banana Walnut Loafs

Try this recipe for your breakfast prep next week.

Breakfast. The hardest meal of the day for most people. When you are rushing the last thing you want to think about it what you will eat. If you are skipping breakfast you are doing something seriously wrong… You’ve heard it before but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You need to fuel your body in order to get it working and get your metabolism going so you can burn fat throughout your day.

Usually in the morning I am eating on the go because I am in a rush. Sometimes I will have a protein bar that’s high in protein like ThinkThin (peanut butter), one of my favorites, or sometimes (when I have ripe bananas) I will make some type of loaf. That’s where these mini banana bread loafs came from.

I love banana bread but so many recipes online have a whole cup of white sugar, which is really unnecessary! Bananas are naturally sweet, especially when they are ripe, so really very little sugar is needed at all. If you do not have mini loaf pans you can also use a regular loaf pan and make one larger bread. I just like the fact that I am able to take one and go!

Here are my Mini Banana Bread Loafs with Walnuts!

What you need:

  • 1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 stick of butter + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar + 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 room temperature eggs
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts + extra for topping

What to do: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Melt butter in microwave for 30 seconds and add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Stir in the brown sugar and agave and stir until well combined and light and fluffy. Make sure the mixture is not too warm and add the eggs one at a time.
  4. In a medium bowl mash the bananas. Stir into the wet mixture.
  5. Take your wet mixture and slowly pour it into the dry ingredients. Stirring until combined, do not over mix. Fold in the walnuts.
  6. Prepare your mini loaf pans or regular loaf pan and spray with non-stick spray. Use a cookie scoop or 2 heaping tablespoons and fill mini loaves about half way. (Only made 7 loaves) OR pour batter into a loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts.
    Mini Banana Walnut Loafs

7. Bake mini loaves for 17-20 minutes until banana bread comes out clean and is cooking through, checking to make sure they don’t over cook! If baking a full loaf then probably more like 55 minutes.

Mini Banana Walnut Loaf

Enjoy!

~Hunter

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Valentine’s Day Hershey Kiss Cookies

 Valentine’s Day… a time to make your loved ones cookies!

valentines day cookies

If you are wondering what to get your loved ones this Valentine’s Day consider baking them something that they will really enjoy. Skip the boxed chocolates and make a few different types of cookies in a really cute cookie tin. These Hershey Kiss Cookies would make a great addition to that gift. They are colorful, cute, and really tasty.

My favorite part of the Hershey Kiss Cookies are the colors. Pinks, reds, and whites on the brown cookie really pop. You look at it and your like that looks really yummy!

Baking these on Valentine’s Day with your kids or boyfriend might be a really cute way to spend part of the day on Saturday. They will love rolling the balls in the sprinkles and of course the way they taste. You also get to spend time with the people you love <3333 – That’s what Valentine’s Day is all about!
This recipe is from The Kitchen is my Playground.

Be Mine Valentine Hershey Kiss Cookies

What you need:

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 T. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of valentine’s day sprinkles (about 1 bottle)
  • 25-30 Hershey Kisses candies, unwrapped

What to do:
Makes about 20 cookies

  1. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 1-2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, vanilla, and mix until just incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients until combined.
  3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap (it will be sticky and might not look like enough dough but it is) refrigerate one hour.
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll dough into 1 inch balls using a cookie scoop  or spoon to help you if you have one (but only filling it half way). Roll the ball in the sprinkles completely covering it. Place on a baking tray with non-stick spray about 2 inches apart. Slightly push down the the center of each ball with your thumb. Chill cookies another 10-15 minutes before baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; bake for 12 minutes or until set. While baking make sure your hershey kisses are unwrapped
  6. Directly after removing cookies from oven gently put the hershey kisses on center of the cookies – no need to press down – Let the cookies cool for 5  minutes and move to cooling rack or plate to continue cooling.
    *Be careful when cookies are still hot the chocolate can slide around. It’s when they cool that they become stuck to the cookies!
    hershey kiss cookies

Enjoy!

 

The Best Flour-Less Brownies!

Black Bean Brownies
Black Bean Brownies

These brownies have no flour and no butter…but they are amazing! Get ready for the secret ingredient – black beans! 

Yes, you heard that right. The main ingredient in these Amazing Brownies from SkinnyTaste is black beans. I was a bit skeptical myself as well but decided to go ahead and give it a try, and I am so glad that I did. These brownies are my new favorite dessert, I have made them twice since finding the recipe!
flour-less browniesSo your first question you are asking yourself is – does this taste like beans? No it does not taste like beans at all. All you get is a sweet chocolatey flavor that is enhanced by the instant coffee and semi-sweet chocolate chips! I love them because they almost have a cake like texture that is very satisfying if you have a major sweet tooth like me! Black beans are good for you and this is a good way to sneak them into your diet!

 

 

The true test is always the kids. My sister gave one of these brownies to my nephew before I had even told her what they were made of - she assumed a regular brownie. He ate one... and then another.. and another. Later, I asked her if he tried the brownies and she said yes. I said causally said: "oh, those are made of black beans". She was shocked! I told my nephew and he didn't care, he wanted to bring them to his friends in his class ( he is 5)!

What you need:

  • A food processor
  • (14 oz) can of low-sodium black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk or skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground coffee or instant coffee
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

What to do 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan generously with a non-stick spray.
  2. In a food processor blend the beans, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, milk, vinegar, baking powder, baking soda, and instant coffee. Blend until it is the texture of a smooth batter make sure there are no bean lumps. Then fold in half a cup of the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour batter into baking dish and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top of the pan.
    flour-less brownies
  4. Place in oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and then slice into squares.
    flourless brownies
  5. Enjoy!!!

Soft Butterscotch Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

 

 

Happy New Years Eve! Time to sneak in one last cookie before the New Year! 😛

Butterscotch Pecan Oatmeal Cookies a twist on Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

butterscotch pecan oatmeal cookie

I love cookies. However, after New Years we all tend to get a little stricter in what we eat while trying to reach out New Years goals. So here is an Oatmeal Cookie recipe for old times sake, my last post of 2014. Let 2015 bring everyone happiness and healthiness to you. Instead of focusing on a specific goal this year I will just try and live a happier life and not let other people change that.

I find that Oatmeal cookies are always delicious because they have good texture from the old fashioned oats. There are countless ways you can change up the cookie and this time I literally just looked at what I had leftover from other recipes and that was – pecans and butterscotch.

I have never had an oatmeal cookies with butterscotch or pecans but it was a treat. The butterscotch is sweet but not overly sweet, it’s just right. Sometimes oatmeal cookies can become dry and crumbly, I hate when that happens. Luckily this recipe was far from that. My favorite cookies have a soft inside yet are a little chewy. I found this recipe on an Averie Cooks a baking blog.

I tested out some Christmas presents ( a cookie scoop and silicon baking mats) with this recipe and it was heaven! All the cookies are finally uniform and cooked evenly because of this, no messy hands while trying to make balls. I suggest if you like to bake you definitely look into one of these on Amazon. The baking mats are also amazing! You don’t need cooking spray all you do is put the cookie on the mat and it comes out perfect, it just slides right off. Amazon sells it for a pretty reasonable price and has good reviews here.

Butterscotch Pecan Oatmeal Cookies:

What you need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar ( a little less if you do not like it to sweet or omit it)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients (oats, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt)  in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer. Mix the butter and sugars until incorporated beat in the egg and the vanilla. Cream until light and fluffy for about (3-5 minutes) I do not have a stand mixer so I did it by hand and it was fine.
  3. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until it they are combined ( do not over mix). Fold in the pecans and butterscotch chips. Using a cookie scoop or table spoon form cookies on either a greased baking sheet or silicon mat. This recipe should make about 20 cookies. Press the center of the cookie down a little to flatten them.
    butterscotch pecan oatmeal cookie
  4. Either refrigerate dough for an hour or if you are lazy like me put it right into the oven and it still comes out perfect! Cook for 10-11 minutes. Watch when the cookies start to brown on the outside and are barley set they are done. Do not over bake them!
    butterscotch pecan oatmeal cookie
  5. Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes and move to a cookie rack and then into an air tight container to store until they are eaten!
  6. Try one of your cookies!

Cranberry Pecan Holiday Bars

Cranberry Pecan Bars…

cranberry pecan bars

Happy Holidays! 

Take time for yourself each day as the Holidays rapidly approach. De-Stress and Re-Energize with relaxing activities. Don’t let the holidays overwhelm you its meant to be a time with your family and friends.

Baking is an activity that relaxes me. It might not be the best thing for my body but baking has become a fun hobby for me. If you love to bake also just try and find recipes that use substitutes for unhealthy ingredients and remember everything in moderation. Give them away if you do not want to eat the whole batch! I have been wanting to make a holiday bar and received this recipe from a friend and I am very happy with the results!

These Cranberry Pecan Bars come from Jenny Craig Christmas recipes. I have not made many Jenny Craig recipes but I did enjoy this one. It is not too sweet and you get the citrus from the orange which is a nice break from sweet desserts. These cranberry pecan bars would make a nice last minute holiday gift. They literally take no time to make and the ingredients are basic, my favorite.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup of margarine, softened
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange peel
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
    *note you could use butter or margarine just substitute 1 stick of butter. You could use a mixer or by hand.

What to do: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl beat margarine with electric mixer for 30 seconds (or by hand).
  2. Add half of the flour and half of the orange juice, brown sugar, orange peel, egg, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the remaining flour and orange juice, mix well. Stir in the pecans and cranberries.
  4. Spread in a baking pan 11×7 or whatever you have available.

    cranberry pecan bars

  5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  8. Cut into bars.
    cranberry pecan bars

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Happy Halloween! 

UnknownDark Chocolate Chip Cookies that are moist and take like 20 minutes to make – amazing. Why didn’t I try this sooner? I love traditional chocolate chip cookies, or really any cookie. To make them healthier sometimes I will add oatmeal instead of flour which comes out nicely. But today I offer you a traditional chocolate chip cookie, which is actually easier then it looks.

chocolatechipcookieSweets are something that I struggle with. But I always tell myself everything in moderation. It is also important to not take away sweet things completely because then one day you might end up binge eating late at night.

This year instead of indulging in Halloween Candy I will have these home made cookies. If you are looking for a more festive Halloween treat I love dipping pretzel rods in dark chocolate and sprinkling with halloween colored sprinkles. Those are great to give out to friends or kids.

Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • a little less then 1 stick of softened butter
  • heaping 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups of flour  (do not pack down)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • about 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (you could do a cup if you want extra chocolate)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add 1 large room temperature egg, and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and mix until combined. Do not over mix. Stir in dark chocolate chips. Again do not mix too much or cookies will be tough!
  4. Make balls about the size of 2 tablespoons and put on a baking sheet with non stick spray. Do not over crowd.
    chocolatechipcookie
  5. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Check at 8 minutes just until outside is browned. Let cool and remove from baking sheet. Enjoy!
    chocolatechipcookie

Baked Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Boat

Baked Banana with Peanut butter and chocolate chips!
bakedbanana

A delicious banana smothered in natural peanut butter baked with dark chocolate chips! Why have I not tried this sooner? I love banana I love peanut butter… of course this is a perfect combination. And you can also add any other of your favorite toppings.

I love to try new and easy sweet deserts to have after dinner that won’t do a lot of damage. All of these ingredients are natural and this sweet indulgence won’t leave you feeling bloated like cake or ice cream. You can do this in the oven or if you are still having fires over a warm camp fire!

What you need (for 1 person):

  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon of natural peanut butter
  • 1-2 tablespoon of semi sweet dark chocolate chips
  • tin foil

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice the banana down the middle just so it’s cut through but not to the skin. Open up the little pouch and spread peanut butter inside. Then squeeze chocolate chips in the center until its filled.
  3. Wrap the banana boat in tin foil and bake for 12-15 minutes until chocolate chips are melted. The banana will turn brown but this is okay.
    bakedbanana
  4. Enjoy out of banana peel or transfer to bowl!

Apple Spiced Muffins

Apple Spiced Muffins!
apple spiced muffins

I am still trying to use up all my apples from apple picking the other day. I am finding new ways to use apples and loving it. I love to grab a muffin but sometimes when you get from a coffee shop you just don’t know what’s in them.

Today, I decided to make my own apple spiced muffins. These apple spiced muffins are sprinkled with extra cinnamon (of course that doesn’t hurt) and you can actually taste the chunks of apples as you eat them- yum!

The apple spiced muffins have ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • a little less then 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of chopped apples (I left majority skin on)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 cup muffin pan with paper.

Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and spices

Combine butter and sugar, then add egg and mix well. Add milk and vanilla to wet mixture. Slowly addd the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture until blended.

Spoon batter into muffin pan with tablespoon until almost full bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Enjoy!

Recipe from http://www.cooks.com/recipe/mh9uo3c8/apple-spice-muffins.html

Mini Apple Pies

miniapplepie

Mini Apple Pies...a delicious treat after picking 20 pounds of apples in the Hudson Valley! I love apples and cinnamon, it is a classic combination. Now sometimes we get carried away with the extra sugars that get added into a pie.

This recipe keeps it simple and highlights the flavor of the apples without being too sweet. These are perfect to bring on the go, give to your friends, or keep for yourself! I love anything that is personal size, who doesn’t?

These apples were picked off the trees in North Salem at Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard. A great day to spend a fall day. This place is filled with apple cider, apples, donuts, pies, pumpkins and tons of other foods! A must visit when apple picking. Beware though this place can get so crowded on weekends.

Here’s What you Need for these Mini Apple Pies:

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 2 cups of apples chopped small ( I peeled one and left the skin on the other)
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin tin with non stick spray
  3. Roll out room temperature pie crust and cut out 3 inch circles to place in the bottom of the muffin tins. If you have extra dough I made mini muffin versions by just cutting the dough smaller.
    DSCN0772
  4. Make apple mixture by combining apples, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.
  5. In a small bowl make the topping by combining flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  6. Begin building mini apple pies: put 1 heaping tablespoon of apples into the muffin tray with an even amount in each mini pie.
    DSCN0774
  7. Then sprinkle even amount of oatmeal topping on each pie covering the apples.
    DSCN0776
  8. Bake 18-20 minutes until crust is browned. Let cool and remove from muffin tin. You can serve warm or room temperature!

Beware these are addicting!

Low-Fat Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins with Oatmeal Topping are a delicious yet healthy way to begin Fall. Fall is my favorite time of year because of all the activities such as apple and pumpkin picking and also the beautiful leaves.

lowfatpumpkinmuffin

In the past I never really tried baking with canned pumpkin pure. I have seen many people use it though as it is low in fat and very tasty if you love pumpkin flavor. I want to try a pumpkin protein shake next I’ll let you know how that goes.

These Pumpkin Muffins could be made into a bread or loaf if you wanted. I always like things that I can take and grab pretty quickly so these muffins are very convenient.

Makes 12 Muffins

Here’s What You Need:

  • 1 can of pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar ( I didn’t want mine too sweet)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons uncooked oatmeal

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare muffin tins with a cupcake liner.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together.
  3. In a large bowl beat oil, egg whites, vanilla, and pumpkin until thick and fluffy. Once thick slowly add in dry ingredients until combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Spoon mixture into muffin tins using 2 heaping tablespoons per muffin. If there is any extra fill the muffins that look low. Sprinkle with cinnamon and oatmeal.
  5. Bake for 17-25 minutes checking at 17 to see if muffins are done. Use a toothpick and if center comes out clean they are done. Enjoy your Low-Fat Pumpkin Muffins!

Inspired by Skinny Tastelowfatpumpkinmuffin