Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Chocolate, peanut butter and banana are one of those flavour combinations that can be enjoyed any time of year. And booooooy do I ever!

I love it when a smoothie can feel like a dessert, and this recipe totally hits all the right spots. It’s jam packed with chocolate, peanut butter, avocado and banana making my world complete one sip at a time.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!! I’ll be kicking back with one of these!

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Recipe lightly adapted from Baked Bree
Makes 1 smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup Chocolate Almond milk
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/4 of an avocado
1 tsp coconut oil
1 frozen banana
2-4 ice cubes, for desired thickness

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together until smooth and garnish with a banana chunk.

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Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

I had a birthday party for two on the 8th. I turned 25, and the boy and I celebrated with mulled wine, the walking dead, paneer curry…and cake.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

Ohhhh the cake. It had a toasted marshmallow frosting, a delightful spiced sweet potato based cake and cinnamon brown sugar buttercream. Everything was going splendidly until, seemingly out of nowhere, I broke my buttercream.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

This will forever be entitled “My 25th: Broken Buttercream Birthday”. Now that’s just not pretty, but it WAS tasty. Like out of this world good.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

Another delicious thing I made on my birthday was this banana bread. With swirls of cinnamon and sugar throughout this bread it’ll make you think you’re eating a dessert! I love all kinds of banana bread, but this one is definitely one of my favorites. Shall we get started?

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a loaf pan (mine was 9 x 5). Mash those ripe bananas.

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Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour. Be careful not to over-mix!

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In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tbs cinnamon. This stuff makes me giddy.

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Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle half, or a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

Bake for 50-60 minutes and keep a close eye on it!

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

Let cool on a rack and dig in!

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

For other banana bread recipes see my:
Banana Sweet Potato Bread
Swirly Nutella Banana Bread
Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Banana Bread Pancakes

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf
Recipe lightly adapted from Love in the Oven

Ingredients:
3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour

For the swirl:
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a loaf pan. Mine was 9 x 5, but you could use any sort, I suppose. Just keep a close eye on it in the oven, and adjust the time as needed.

Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour. Be careful not to over-mix!

In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tbs cinnamon.

Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle half, or a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, but remember, if you’re using a different-sized loaf pan, be careful and keep a close eyeball on it!

Banana Almond Smoothie

Here’s a way to traumatize your kids: take them to the Biodome/zoo/nature center, bring them to see the Beavers, and let them observe the dead beaver floating in the synthetic pond.

This happened to me this past weekend, and I am happy to report that the Beaver was not dead. It certainly looked dead, and stiff, and weird, but The Boy was talking about his horrible experience to a co-worker who assured him that Mr. Beaver was alive. Turns out that this is some sort of resting behaviour. Who knew?!

Something interesting always happens in Montreal, and I love spending time there. There are soooo many awesome food places to try, and can’t wait to keep visiting and trying everything out. When I return home though, I like to get back to a healthy breakfast and came across this awesome smoothie in my bookmarks. Thaaaaank goodness. This is hands down the best smoothie I’ve made all month. Keep in mind, I make a smoothie for breakfast every 20 out of 30 days…so that’s saying a lot! Plus it’s made with almond butter, which it totally delicious. Check it out.

All you have to do is toss all your ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Banana Almond Smoothie
Recipe lightly adapted from Cookie and Kate

Ingredients:
1 large frozen banana
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp flax seed
1 cup vanilla almond milk (or other milk if you don’t have any)
1 tsp agave nectar (or honey if you want)
1/8 tsp almond extract (or vanilla extract, but the almond extract really makes it)!

Directions:
Toss all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Happy November! I can’t express how excited I am for this Sunday to roll around. 1 extra hour of sleep is all kinds of heaven for me. Especially after this wild week I’ve been having at school.

Another thing to be excited about is that starting today, November 1st, I will be vegan for an entire month! I hope you guys are willing to play along. I will be posting vegan recipes for one month, and talking about how my experience is going. Who knows how it will go, but I’m excited to find out!

To start off this month, I thought it would be a good idea to begin with the first meal of the day. A delicious fall inspired breakfast that is super smooth and delicious. I’m in total love!

This is super easy. To begin, bring water to a boil over medium heat and stir in oats. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often, then remove from heat. Stir in sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. I used 2 Tbsp of sweetener (brown sugar and agave nectar), but feel free to use more or less sugar. It depends on your tastes!

Place oat mixture into a bowl and top with walnuts. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Serves 1
Adapted from Mississippi Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal
2 tablespoons of “sugar” (I used 1 Tbsp of light brown sugar and 1 Tbsp of Agave nectar)
1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons nutmeg
A few crushed walnuts for topping (optional)

Directions:
Bring water to a boil over medium heat and stir in oats. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often, then remove from heat.

Stir in sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. I used 2 Tbsp of sweetener (brown sugar and agave nectar), but feel free to use more or less sugar. It depends on your tastes!

Place oat mixture into a bowl and top with walnuts. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Banana Bread Pancakes

Today I’m celebrating an extraordinary woman.

Is it her birthday? Nope. But it was last week, and this spunky, hilarious woman turned 95. NINETY FIVE! She’s my great Grandma (“Gran”), and she still drives, lives alone, AND still gives me $20 of “emergency” money every time I see her. What a gal.

I’m super busy with school, so I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t get a chance to go to my sweet Great Gran’s birthday party last week. So, I decided to make some pancakes and yell to the world “HEY GRAN. YOU’RE AWESOME!”. Hopefully she can taste through the screen,

Let’s make these! In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.

Measure out the milk and add the vanilla extract to it.

Whisk together the dry ingredients and add in milk and vanilla, stirring to combine. The mixture will still be dry.

Mash your bananas.

Add them in to your bowl.

Mix! Add in melted butter and stir until batter is somewhat smooth.

Heat a skillet or grilled on medium heat. Using a 1/3 cup measure, spoon batter into rounds and flatten the batter with a spatula. Cook until bubbles form on top – about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for a minute or two more. Repeat with remaining batter.

Combine all glaze ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth.

Serve pancakes hot with the vanilla maple glaze. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Banana Bread Pancakes
makes 12 pancakes
Recipe taken from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Vanilla Maple Glaze:
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Measure out the milk and add the vanilla extract to it. Whisk together the dry ingredients and add in milk and vanilla, stirring to combine. The mixture will still be dry. Add in mashed bananas and mix. Add in melted butter and stir until batter is somewhat smooth.

Heat a skillet or grilled on medium heat. Using a 1/3 cup measure, spoon batter into rounds and flatten the batter with a spatula. Cook until bubbles form on top – about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for a minute or two more. Repeat with remaining batter.

Combine all glaze ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth.

Serve hot with butter and syrup, or the vanilla maple glaze.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Happy September! This past weekend the boy and I packed up our car, and moved all of his stuff from Ottawa to Montreal. It was certainly a strange move, one I wasn’t expecting to do a few years ago. But I’m looking forward to when I finish my diploma in Ottawa, and I can move there too.

I got back to Ottawa about an hour ago, and looked around at all the packing I need to do for myself, and I can’t help feeling overwhelmed. Moving is simply the worst. And unless my kitty decides to grow opposable thumbs, I’m packing on my own. The good thing about the move I’ll be doing is that I’ll end up living closer to school AND will be living in a house with a big kitchen!! So much is about to happen in this new kitchen, that it won’t even know what hit it.

I’m still finding a lot of great zucchini at the farmers market, so I decided to bake up some muffins that will be easy to eat during the moving process. These muffins are jam-packed with chocolate chips and healthy zucchini, and are super moist! I definitely recommend these.

To begin, preheat your oven to 350 F and line a muffin pan with paper liners. Then in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

In another bowl, beat the sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla on medium speed until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared liners. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Recipe taken from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup zucchini, coarsely grated (about 1 small zucchini)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla on medium speed until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared liners. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely.

Green Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

This past weekend the boy and I crossed the border to visit with the Grandparents. While in the States I saw some awesome State Trooper hats, a robbed bank, and the biggest supermarket that I’ve ever seen, but most importantly, I bought and tried Biscoff spread!

Along with all the awesomeness, the Grandparents made sure that Paul and I were well fed and had cookies and sweets at every meal (very important). I had the best time, but am now feeling like I need a day off “bad stuff”. So, this morning I blended together this beauty. A peanut butter and banana smoothie that tastes delicious, but is super healthy to boot!

To make this, place all ingredients into a blender with the heavy stuff on the bottom.

Blend on high until very smooth.

Enjoy! You’ll love it.

Green Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Makes 1 smoothie
Recipe taken from Healthy Food For Living
5 weight watchers points plus per smoothie

Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk of choice (I used 1%)
1 medium-sized ripe frozen banana
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (I used 0%)
2 Tbsp quick oats
1 Tbsp unnatural smooth peanut butter
2 big handfuls washed and dried baby spinach
a few dashes ground cinnamon, optional

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until very smooth.

Honey Corn Muffins

This weekend the boy and I rented a canoe, put it on a lake, pitched our tent and said BYE to technology.

We spent the days reading, canoeing on the lake, making s’mores and loon hunting, and boooooy was it nice! During the week I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed with all the things that need to get done – and I realized something this weekend. HALF of these so called “important” things that need doing aren’t important at all! In fact, no one would even notice if I didn’t do them.

I don’t NEED to do my laundry
I don’t NEED to make a meal plan for the next month
and I certainly don’t NEED to read food blogs for 2 hours a day (although I love it).

So here we are. Back to basics. And with that thought I’d share with you an old and simple favorite of mine. Cornbread, baby.

To make these, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray each cup of a standard 12-cup muffin pan. In a medium bowl lightly whisk the eggs. Then whisk in the buttermilk, honey and butter until combined and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, both sugars and salt.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and fold the dry into the wet until just combined.

Fill each muffin cup about three quarters full.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy! Slathering warm muffins with butter is a must!

Honey Corn Muffins
Adapted From: Baked Explorations
http://www.amazon.com/Baked-Explorations-American-Desserts-Reinvented/dp/1584798505
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray each cup of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray making sure spread evenly along the bottom and up the sides of each cup.

In a medium bowl lightly whisk the eggs. Then whisk in the buttermilk, honey and butter until combined and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, both sugars and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and fold the dry into the wet until just combined.

Fill each muffin cup about three quarters full. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy.

Banana Yogurt Breakfast Smoothie

Another smoothie? YES! And if you’re new here, hi! Hope you like smoothies.

This is the last blended awesomeness I have for you this week. I had so much fun doing this! Actually, I got so into it that I ended up making waaay more than 5 smoothies. So, I’ll have a bunch to share with you at a later date, which is exciting.

This smoothie is truly full of goodness. Greek yogurt, banana, honey, and almond milk blended together to help you beat the heat. And boooooy do I need this!

All you have to do is throw all of your ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth(ie). he he

Drink up!

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway that ends this Sunday! Yes, I said Saturday before, BUT I’m going camping this weekend and will be without internet for a few days. Silly me.

Banana Yogurt Breakfast Smoothie
Recipe taken from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 frozen sliced ripe large banana
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)

Directions:
Combine milk, ice, honey, nutmeg and the banana in a blender. Press the top on tightly then process for 2 minutes or until smooth. Add the yogurt and process just until blended and serve!

Pina Colada Smoothie

Something super exciting is happening this weekend – I’m going camping on a lake with my boy! Another item that will be checked off of my summer bucket list. Awesome! As I mentioned before, I’ve already gone strawberry picking and made my own strawberry jam, so this will be the second thing to check off!

I am kind of cheating though…you see, camping is something my boy and I try to do as much as we can anyway. It’s so nice to get away from the city and spend time together. Plus, we just bought a new fancy tent and seriously need to check it out.

I made this smoothie this morning and absolutely love it! I have issues with frozen pineapple, an usually hate it, but totally loooove it in this smoothie! The avocado makes it totally delicious. You must try! All you need to do is throw all of your ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Voila!

OH! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card! Contest ends on Sunday. Good luck!

Pina Colada Smoothie
Serves 1
Recipe taken from Baked Bree

Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla almond milk (or any other milk)
1/4 cup diced mango, frozen
1/4 cup pineapple, frozen
1/4 of an avocado
1/2 frozen banana
2 Tablespoons flaked coconut

Directions:
Throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!