Not-so-bad-for-you Banana Pancakes

I don’t get a chance to drift into deep sleep very often with a toddler and a newborn around the house, so I have tons of dreams (that is, if dreams could be measured in weight).  I normally dream about a TV series that I’m watching since when I do get to watch a TV series it’s normally catching up with the first half of the season by watching 6 episodes in one day. I also dream about books that I’m reading. I happen to be reading A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store’s Guide to Chicken Keeping and also catching up on Black Sails.  So my dreams last night were pretty interesting. No joke, chicken pirates. Yep.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with the banana pancakes I made this morning. I just felt like giving Milo a little treat. He likes for me to cut the pancake into four sections, then make little peanut butter sandwiches with the sections.  Not quite as messy as syrup, and much better for him.

Banana Pancakes Recipe

 

I decided to call these “not-so-bad-for-you” because this recipe uses coconut palm sugar and coconut oil, as opposed to regular sugar and butter or vegetable oil.  Of course, you could sub those ingredients in, however, you would then just have banana pancakes instead of my awesome version.  Okay, so here goes…

Not-so-bad-for-you Banana Pancakes

1 cup self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar

2 bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon coconut oil (liquified) 

Heat cast iron skillet (or pan of your choice) over medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and coconut palm sugar together. In a smaller bowl, mash bananas and mix in vanilla extract. Add egg, milk, and coconut oil to banana mixture, mix well, then add to dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon, measure a little less than 1/4 a cup of batter and pour into skillet. Smooth out with back of spoon. Cook until bubbles form on top of pancake. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Serve with syrup or peanut butter!

Banana Pancake Recipe

 

These pancakes are nice and fluffy, not flat like normal pancakes, so make sure to wait for those bubbles to form on top so it gets cooked all the way though. You might need to play with the heat settings if it’s getting too brown before the bubbles form.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

Waffles you can feel good about {Coconut & Vanilla Bean Waffles}

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Waffles. I love them. I have a basic recipe that I’ve used for years, but since I’ve been learning about food and what is actually healthy {and even redefining my definition of healthy}, I’ve been revamping my old recipes to fit this new definition.  The recipe that I used to use called for refined sugar and vegetable oil, but I have replaced those yucky ingredients with coconut palm sugar and coconut oil.  I have also changed the type of all-purpose flour and baking powder that I use.

Now, I definitely don’t recommend eating these every day.  I have these, maybe, once a month, and always on Pancake Sunday.  This recipe is simply a healthier approach to waffles.  Next time you are craving a fried, doughy cake drenched in maple syrup, instead of reaching for that box of mystery ingredients, try this recipe! Your body will thank you!

waffles

Coconut & Vanilla Bean Waffles

Makes six 7″ waffles.

1 3/4 cups unbleached, unbromated flour (Bob’s Red Mill is a good one)

2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar

1 tablespoon non-aluminum baking powder

1/4 teaspoons salt

1 3/4 cups almond milk (or your choice milk)

2 eggs

1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil

1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)

Plug in the ol’ waffle maker or preheat your stove-top waffle iron.

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix milk, eggs, & coconut oil together. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and use the tip of a small knife to scrap the beans out. Add them to the milk mixture. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until combined. The mixture will be slightly lumpy.

Butter your waffle iron, if needed, then spoon about 3/4 cups (depending on the size of your iron, mine is a 7″ iron) onto the iron.  Cook them however you normally cook waffles, top with pure maple syrup, and enjoy!

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Come back tomorrow to see what I do with these little cuties:

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Oh, and don’t forget about my current giveaway from MilkNMore! It ends on the 31st at midnight. Have a great Tuesday!

Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Monday through Friday I am really good about breakfast. I normally have a protein shake or fruit and eggs. Saturday and Sunday mornings are reserved for, what I call, a good breakfast. I always have something sweet for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday is normally “pancake Sunday” but I have been skipping the pancakes and reaching for the oatmeal container instead.

Growing up, oatmeal was a totally different experience for me. Mom bought the instant packs and her favorites were the fruit n’ cream ones. So we grew up on packaged strawberries n’ cream or peaches n’ cream oatmeal. That is what I thought oatmeal was. Packages of instant deliciousness.

Of course they were too good to be true.

Not only are those wonderful little packages loaded with sugar and salt, they also contain some kind of powered cream and weird, dried up fruit and doesn’t look or taste anything like normal dried fruit. I don’t know about you, but I believe cream is best kept refrigerated and fresh…not powered, sitting in a package on a grocery store shelf for months and months.

Anyway, I knew my time with instant flavored oatmeal was up when I decided to ditch the process foods. Thank God, because this homemade version of Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal is way better than the packaged kind and it doesn’t use any sketchy ingredients!

Oatmeal

 

Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Serves 1. Double for 2 servings!

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill thick rolled oats (or your favorite oats)

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon maple extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon real maple syrup

*optional Butter and Milk

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add oats, vanilla extract, maple extract, and cinnamon. Stir and cook on med-low heat for about 10 minutes. When the oatmeal starts looking they way you like it (I like mine a little watery) then turn the heat off and cover for a few minutes.

Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle brown sugar and maple syrup over the oats. Add butter and milk if desired! Enjoy!

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Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Pudding {with Chia Seeds!}

Let’s talk about chia seeds! These little things are amazing.  I know some people refer to them as “super foods”, but I don’t believe in super foods. They are pretty awesome, though. Not only are they loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, but they are also packing fiber, protein, manganese, and phosphorous.  Now, I’m not a nutritionalist, but it doesn’t take a professional to know that we all need more of these things! I encourage you to read up on these little guys if you want to know more about them. I have heard that they have helped combat mood disorders, diabetes, and heart disease, but I haven’t looked for real research yet. I’m too busy enjoying this HEALTHY PUDDING!

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Chia seeds do this funny thing when they get wet. They swell up and have this weird, gelatinous coating around them and that is what makes this pudding work! You can add chia seeds to your breakfast shakes, oatmeal, yogurt, and pretty much anything. It is also supposed to curb your appetite, so you don’t put yourself into a food-coma.  Just be careful because you can get too much of a good thing in this case. They are packed with fiber, and last time I checked, too much fiber did hurt everyone..in the tummy area.

This recipe makes about 2 small servings or 1 big one because it doesn’t keep well for more than a day. If you want to make it the night before for breakfast, then I think that will be okay, but it didn’t taste so well after 24 hours.

Peanut Butter Banana Chia Seed Pudding

1 very ripe banana

1/2 cup (your choice) milk. I used whole organic cows milk because that is what I had.

1 (generous) tablespoon natural peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons chia seeds

(taste after mixing and see if you need it to be sweeter, then add 1 tablespoon honey)

In a food processor or whatever kind of mixer you have (I have a ninja), pulse the banana, milk, peanut butter, and vanilla until everything is mixed and the banana is completely broken down. Pour the mixture into a bowl then stir in the chia seeds. I only advise against adding them in the food processor because there will be a lot of chia seeds that will stick to the wall, so you lose so many! Chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to let the chia seeds soak up the moisture and swell. Then enjoy!

I wanted to share these outtakes from my attempts at photographing this stuff yesterday. Milo decided it was time for a snack mid-shoot. Haha.

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Don’t forget: Today is the last day to enter to win 3 handmade {by me}, crocheted washcloths! Just follow my blog here or on bloglovin’ and comment on the giveaway post! Have a great Hump day!

Blueberry cornmeal pancakes

It sure has been nice having my other half home with me and Milo. We are all unpacked and cozy in our new home in Yuma, and we are finally falling into place as a family. Of course, that will all be thrown up in the air and run over by a semi truck when Sam leaves for a few weeks to go back to Okinawa to check out! Just when we were getting comfortable…

I am getting used to running my own household again, only this time it’s so much more fun because we have this little person running around here. I’ve had tons of fun cooking every day for my little family! For Pancake Sunday I decided to make corn-cakes since I’ve been dreaming about the ones I had at Cafe Vida when I went to visit my sister-in-law a few weeks ago.  Sam normally doesn’t like sweet things for breakfast, but he LOVED these, so I have decided to make them, at least, a monthly thing in this house.

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I used the recipe on the backside of the Bob’s Red Mill Blue Cornmeal bag, since I’ve used many of these recipes and they have all turned out amazing. Regular cornmeal can certainly be used, I just thought this blue cornmeal would be fun since I was adding blueberries.

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

3/4 cup cornmeal

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. sugar

1 cup boiling water

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp. butter, melted

3/4 cup whole grain flour (or white)

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Mix cornmeal, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in the boiling water until all of the ingredients are wet, then cover and let stand for a few minutes. In a small bowl combine egg, milk, and melted butter. Stir milk mixture into cornmeal mixture. Combine flour and baking powder, then stir into cornmeal mixture until just incorporated. Don’t over-mix it! Fold blueberries into batter. If the batter is a little stiff, add more milk until it flows off of the spoon thickly, but smoothly.  Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat, grease with oil or butter, and spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture into the pan.  You know to flip when the whole surface is covered in bubbles. Serve with pure maple syrup or fruit or peanut butter! Yum!

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I think I love corncakes more than I love regular flour pancakes. They have a little crunch from the cornmeal and a little more saltiness too, which pairs perfectly with sweet maple syrup!

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Next post will be about the new home, promise! Have a great Tuesday!

Something useful or informative..

I believe that is what I promised in my last post. Literally 5 minutes after I posted my last entry, I found this amazing article about 10 simple actions that children pick up on in their parent’s marriage.  I talk a lot about being in school, but I never really talk about why I’m in school.  It’s because of marriage! Marriage and it’s gigantic failure rate in America.  Because of the horrible divorce rate (which is roughly 50%) I am on my way to becoming a marriage counselor with hopes of changing that statistic for the better. Aim high, right? Anyway, back to the blog post that I found. Here it is:

10 actions that kids learn from their parent’s marriage

I think each one of these things are important to keep in mind and to model for your children, especially the “I’m sorry” one.  It’s hard to apologize when you’re wrong, and even harder when you’re not! This is one that I could work on, and also servanthood.  Kids pick up on everything. I know I learned a lot from my parent’s marriage, good and bad lessons! I remember when I was little, they were pretty affectionate to one another. Of course, that affection slowly dwindled over the years and then (sad face) – divorce, but it wasn’t a total loss. I did learn some valuable lessons from them two (Love you, Mom and Dad!).  So, yeah, the kiddos are watching and learning from the way you treat your spouse, so do it right!

Who loves oatmeal? THIS GIRL. I was even more thrilled about oatmeal when I read that it can help increase my milk supply! Since the Dr. has given me the green light to wean Miles off the formula and get him back to just the breast I am searching for every little thing to help me in that department. The supplementing, the use of the nipple shield (because of the use of the bottle with supplementing – darn silicone), and the small amount of nursing I was able to do since it burned too many calories for him has put my milk supply at a dangerously low level. But I am not giving up! I am now breast feeding and pumping at every feeding to get my supply back up. I have mother’s milk tea and fenugreek on the way and I have been eating oatmeal and drinking water like they’re going out of style.  It’s all so tiring, but it will be so worth it in the end. Anyway, back to the oatmeal. I have a wonderful way of making oatmeal bad for you:

You simply add maple extract, brown sugar, milk, butter, and cinnamon-sugar! YUMM. Speaking of oatmeal, this is a really entertaining website:

The Oatmeal

There. I gave you 3 useful or informative things: marriage tips, ways to make oatmeal unhealthy, and an awesome website that will just waste away more of your time on the Internet. Enjoy!

 

Apple & Raisin Pancakes

Saturday mornings…

Growing up, Saturday mornings meant sleeping in, watching cartoons while sitting in the living room on the couch pillows, and pancakes (and sometimes french toast, but that is for another day).  My dad always made the best pancakes.  They were perfectly browned on both sides with just the right amount of butter cooked into them.  It took me a while to figure out his secret to getting them perfectly brown on both sides – DO NOT cook them in butter.  Instead, spray the non-stick pan with oil once, at the beginning, and that is all the non-stick-ness you need! For years I tried making pancakes but they always semi-sucked in the color department.  I say “semi” because the buttery flavor and the crispiness the butter added made up for the crappy color.  Glad I finally figured that one out.

So, now that I have that down, I have made it a point to make pancakes for myself at least once a month on Saturday morning.  I would make them for Sam too, but he is not a huge fan of sweet stuff for breakfast.  Well, until this morning he has not been.  As I was cooking these pancakes, I was setting them up on the plate for the photos I was going to take for this post, but they kept disappearing!  Then I heard Sam ask, “are these, in any way, healthy for me?”  Sam was stealing my photo op pancakes and needed some reassurance that he wouldn’t blow up as big as me.  The truth is, these pancakes are not that bad for you.  They have one full apple in them, a handful of golden raisins, and almost a cup of yogurt.  It’s when you spread the delicious cinnamon-brown sugar butter and the syrup all over them that they become a threat to your waistline.

Another reason I wanted to make pancakes this morning (not that a woman really needs another reason when she’s 9 1/2 months pregnant and it’s Saturday morning) is because my wonderful sister-in-law and her soon-to-be husband came up with a brilliant idea for a blog – InSearchofthePerfectPancake.  It’s all in the name, but I did hear from her that they will also be in search of the perfect (insert lots of random foods and desserts here), and they will be including a gluten free section of recipes and such for those of you who have trouble with that little protein.  Any blog about food is a fun blog, so I’m really excited to follow along on their quest to find the perfect pancake, taco, cheeseburger, and whatever else they plan on searching for.  Okay, on to the recipe!

Apple & Raisin Pancakes (from Brunch Galore by Sara Lewis)

These pancakes are thick, moist, and soooo yummy. Don’t skip out on the cinnamon butter or you will seriously take away from the glorious experience you could possibly have.  

Cinnamon Butter

4 tbls butter, room temperature

3 tbls brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tbls brown sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 large apple, coarsely grated (peel left on, and watch out for the core if you don’t core it first)

2/3 cup plain yogurt (I used vanilla to add a little more sweet and it was delicious)

2 tbls milk

1/3 cup golden raisins

oil for cooking

1. Mix all the ingredients together for the cinnamon butter and set aside.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda together then add sugar.  Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form stiff peaks.

3. Add yolks, grated apple, yogurt, and milk to the flour mixture and stir together. Gently fold in raisins and egg whites.

4. Heat large non-stick pan over medium heat and spray with oil or wipe pan with oil-soaked towel.  Add large spoonfuls to pan leaving space in between them.  Cook over medium heat for a few minutes on each side. Serve topped with cinnamon butter alone or add some syrup! They are so good, either way.

Sunday Mornin’ French Toast

I normally have a healthy bowl of yogurt with yummy pumpkin-flaxseed granola sprinkled on top, but this morning I was craving something bad. I guess what I had wasn’t that bad.  I did use whole-grain bread.  Anyway, I thought I’d share this simple, yet delicious recipe for french toast.  Most people just use egg and milk, but I like to add cinnamon, a few drops of vanilla extract, and a few drops of almond extract.  Then just heat up a pancake pan on med/high heat, wait until the butter melts (yes, you must use butter, this is a very important part of the flavor!) then cook them on each side how you like ’em! I prefer mine to be pretty brown on each side. YUMMY!! If you want to make then for just one person use 1 egg, about 1/4 cup of milk, a couple sprinkles of cinnamon, a tsp of vanilla extract and a tsp of almond extract.  That should be enough to coat 3 regular pieces of bread.  Then just double it from there to add more servings! Hope everyone has a great Sunday!