Thursday, February 21, 2013

This Just Happened: Cookie Butter & Banana "Ice Cream"

Cookie butter is an ingredient in this recipe!! Sold.

But if i'm being honest,  this recipe is brought to you by that beautiful bunch of bananas. The bananas make the magic happen. Dave and I don't even have TV, but yet somehow we've heard of the whole Yonana thing--making "ice cream" just out of bananas. I was a bit perplexed at first, but now I get it (not how it works--just that it does work). The best part is that you DO NOT need that silly contraption (now i'm feeling bad and slightly awkward because you might have one and love it...)! Your trusty food processor or good blender will do.

Watching the frozen bananas become a silky, ice creamy-like mixture is pretty cray-cray (I know...And no, it didn't sound right to me either)! It goes from looking almost like Dippin' Dots into this insanely smooth deliciousness. For the most part, this is an uber healthy treat. Given, this particular recipe is more on the indulgent side thanks to Mr. Cookie Butter.

I've tried a few different variations of banana "ice cream," and i've liked them all so far (suggestions below). The first thing Dave usually says is how banana-y it tastes (not in bad way). So yes, making ice cream out of bananas means that you'd better like them! Good thing i love them; my mom says she ate a ton when she was pregnant with me, so it makes sense... I digress.

Moral of the story: So easy. So yum. Try it.


3 frozen bananas// sliced
1/3 to 1/2 cup Speculoos or Biscoff Spread (depending on how cookie-buttery you want it)
walnuts (as a topping--and only if you want them, of course)


1. Slice ripe bananas and freeze them. Once completely frozen, you can make the magic happen.
2. Put the bananas and the cookie butter into a food processor or strong blender (I've used my Ninja blender and a food processor, and they both work great!)
3. Blend until mixed through. Patience. It'll work--promise.
4. You can eat it right away, but it'll be more along the lines of a soft serve. I suggest putting the mixture into the freezer for another hour or two just so it can firm up a smidge. If you don't finish the batch off and want to save some for another time, make sure you take the stuff out of the freezer and let it soften for a while. Otherwise, it'll be a bit sorbet-ish  (nothin' wrong with that either) and require some scraping on your end. 

Other flavors I've tried:

Strawberry (just add about two cups of frozen strawberries & 2-3 tablespoons of almond milk)

Peanut Butter (just add a 1/3 to 1/2 cup of peanut butter depending on how strong a flavor you want)

Chocolate Peanut Butter (just add 1/3 up of peanut butter and about 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and 2-3 tablespoons of agave nectar or honey)

Fave toppings:

-unsweetened coconut flakes
-chocolate chips
-crushed almonds
-fresh fruit

Let me know what you think! Even better, let me know if you've tried any other flavors!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Picture is Worth...

...a thousand words. Sometimes, maybe just a few. Either way, in my book, pictures and words are inseparable. Words evoke countless pictures, and pictures elicit words. When one is at the forefront, the other takes the supporting role. Sometimes they're co-stars.  Match made in heaven. Buddies. Compadres.

More and more lately, I'm appreciating how well they work together.  I usually have a picture in mind first and then the words come later on. Sometimes they're my words. If they're not mine, they're borrowed. Either way, they tend to linger in my mind--painting new landscapes in my thought processes, coloring my mind with new thoughts or growing deeper roots to old ones. Here are just a few examples of the two complimenting each other.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Best Breakfast Ever: No-cook Chocolate Oatmeal

Brace yourself.
Once you've tried this, you'll see that you're essentially eating dessert for breakfast, except without the guilt and remorse. In fact, this breakfast is filling, nutritious, and deceivingly delicious! True story.

If you can pour stuff into a jar and shake it all together, then you can do this. Your fridge will do the rest!

(4 servings)

-1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk (you can also you soy if you'd like)
- one cap full of vanilla extract (If you use vanilla almond/or soy milk, you can skip this step)
-2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (less or more to taste)
- 3-4 tablespoons of agave syrup, maple syrup, or honey 
- a fist full of dried cranberries (more or less depending on your preference)
- a fist full of crushed walnuts (almonds or pecans would also work)
- any other fresh fruit you'd like to incorporate (some toppings that I like: dried/unsweetened coconut, mangoes, bananas...)


1. Combine all the ingredients (everything except for the toppings) into a large mason jar, air tight canister, or a anything else that has a secure lid.

2. Shake vigourously until everything is mixed together. You can also stir it all together if you prefer.

3. Put it in the fridge for at least six hours. I just put the magical breakfast concoction in the fridge, and it's ready for me in the morning.

***the next morning***

4. Scoop out your portion. Top it with fresh fruit or dried coconut (the sky's the limit). ENJOY!

[This will keep in your fridge up to 3 days.]

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Roasted Chickpeas: Chili Lime Cilantro Sesame

One word: Genius. Roasted chickpeas are genius. They're filling, they're versatile, they're good for you, and they're so easy to make! Think corn nuts but less chip-your-teeth and better for you.

After going through some recipes online, I decided to make a version of my own. You can literally season these however you'd like--sweet or savory!


* 2 15-oz cans of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)//drained, rinsed, & blotted dry
* 2 tablespoons of olive oil
* 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lime juice
* 3 to 4 teaspoons of chili powder (I like 4)
* 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of seal/or kosher salt
* 1-2 teaspoons of cumin (I like 2)
* 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
* 3 to 4 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro (I really like cilantro, so feel free to reduce this if you're not as obsessed. Or, you can use a few pinches of dried thyme or rosemary instead.)


1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with some foil.

2. Drain, rinse and blot dry your chickpeas. Put them onto your foil-lined baking sheet.

3. Bake for 45-60 minutes (Swish them around every 15 minutes or so. Test a few chickpeas and make sure they're crunchy. If they're not all crunchy, keep them baking a bit longer.)

4. Get all your other ingredients mixed into a large bowl. When your chickpeas are done roasting, pour them into the wet mixture and stir until all the crunchy morsels are coated.

5. Enjoy! You can also store these in an airtight baggie or container and eat them the next day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sweet Potato and Brussels Hash


I found this recipe on Bexadiary, a great blog I came across a while back. I tweaked the quantity and some of the ingredients, but she pretty much drives it home with this recipe.  It's so good; there are so many layers of flavors. And yes, it's good for you!


-4-5 small or 2-3 big sweet potatoes//baked, peeled, and diced
-one small red onion//diced
-2-2 1/2 cups of brussel sprouts//quartered
-3-4 cloves of garlic//minced
- 2 hand grabs (yes, hand grabs) of cranberries
-1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup of chopped walnuts (or pecans, almonds, pine nuts...)
- 1 tablespoon of rosemary (I didn't have fresh, so I used about 2 1/2 teaspoons of dried rosemary)
- salt and pepper to taste
-2 tablespoons of coconut oil


Step 1: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wrap the sweet potatoes in foil. Place in a baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Your sweet potatoes will not be fully cooked at this point as they'll finish cooking in the pan.  So long as the outsides are tender, you're set.

Step 2: Wash and quarter the the brussel sprouts. Make sure to peel of the outer leaves and trim a bit from the bottom of the sprouts just to make sure that they're clean. Don't cut off too much because you want the quarters to stay intact. 

Step 3: Dice the onions. Mince the garlic. Set aside.

Step 4: Remove the skin from the sweet potatoes. Dice the tators into smaller than-inch bites.

Step 5: In a large skillet (I used my dutch oven b/c I didn't want any possible overflow), heat a tablespoon of coconut oil. Once hot, throw in the sweet potatotoes. Cook for about 5 minutes until they're nice and golden brown. Pour them into a separate bowl and set aside.

Step 6: In the same skillet, heat another tablespoon of coconut oil and throw in the brussel sprouts and the onions. Sautee for about another 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent and when the brussels have gotten some color on them. Pour those into the potato bowl.

Step 7: Add nutmeg, rosemary, walnuts and garlic to the skillet. Cook for about a minute or two making sure not to burn the garlic. This step smells A-mazing!

Step 8: Combine all ingredients in the skillet, add the cranberries, and season with salt and pepper. Toss everything together.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Date Butter: Get your sweet fix!

You can't get much sweeter than this stuff. Date butter (it's called date honey, but I accidentally started and continued to call it date butter) is great in oatmeal, in smoothies, on fruit, and then some! You get all the health benefits from the dates, and you don't wreak all the havoc on your body like you would consuming processed sweeteners.

Oh, and it's pretty easy to make to, which is a bonus. I got the recipe from this site and quadrupled it, so that I could split the batch with some friends. I'll double the original recipe because that seems like a good amount if you're just making it for one household.


- 2 cups pitted dates (12-16 Medjools or 36-40 Deglet Noors)

- 2 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or however much to your liking)


Pour dates and water into a small saucepan, making sure dates are completely covered (add additional water if necessary). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 45-60 minutes or until dates are very soft and broken down. Remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly for about 15 minutes. Pour mixture (including liquid) into a blender or food processor and puree until completely smooth. Sprinkle in cinnamon and stir well. Store in a sealed container in refrigerator.

Single serving size: 1 Tablespoon.


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