Tag Archives: banana

Mocha Banana Pecan Overnight Oats

I’ve noticed lots and lots of recipes for overnight oats in the last few years and have been wanting to try making some. I finally got around to doing that after receiving some complimentary breakfast coffees from Community Coffee. They sent me one of their new products, Amber Sunrise Blend, along with their tried-and-true Breakfast Blend.

Amber Sunrise Blend has a smooth, bright, pleasant flavor and smells wonderful as you’re brewing it. As one of my friends said, “It’s a coffee you want to wake up to.” The light roast Breakfast Blend also has a nice smooth, mild flavor–a great coffee to start your day with.

So what do overnight oats and coffee have in common? Well, I came across an overnight oats recipe on the blog at the Community Coffee site that includes coffee as one of the ingredients–along with oats, cocoa powder, banana slices, and other yummy ingredients. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and added some chopped dark chocolate on top. It’s a special mocha-flavored treat for breakfast–or you can have it later in the day as a healthy snack!

MOCHA BANANA PECAN OVERNIGHT OATS by NancyC, adapted from Community Coffee

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or substitute the same amount of milk)
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed Community Coffee (I used the Amber Sunrise blend)
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped pecans (toasted or untoasted)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chopped dark chocolate (72% Cacao works well in this)

In small jar or bowl with tight-fitting lid, combine oats, yogurt or milk, coffee, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with banana, chopped pecans, and chopped dark chocolate just before serving.

I used 72% Cacao dark chocolate when I made these overnight oats–it gives the oats a good rich cocoa flavor without making it too sweet. I can see now why overnight oats are such a popular breakfast item–they’re so easy and convenient to make! Have you tried making overnight oats yet?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Weekend Potluck.

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Nourishing Banana Face Cream

Nourishing Banana Face Cream @ NancyC

One of the things I love about this DIY face cream is that it’s so simple and easy–and has just 2 ingredients that just about everyone has on hand–a banana and some milk! I found 510skQgPAgL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_this recipe in my review copy of The Complete Guide to Natural Homemade Beauty Products and Treatments (Robert Rose, softcover). This book includes 175 easy-to-follow recipes for a variety of skin and hair care items. And all the ingredients in these recipes are chemical-free, using natural ingredients like aromatic and medicinal plants, flowers, fruits, and essential oils. For example, there’s a Rejuvenating Bath recipe that includes dried sage, thyme, and eucalyptus leaves, along with patchouli and sandalwood essential oils. And a Lemon Hand Cream that’s made with shea butter, apricot kernel oil, castor oil, and lemon essential oil.

I decided to try the Nourishing Banana Cream for the face because it was such a simple recipe that we all could try without having to buy any special ingredients. This is actually more like a mask than a cream, because you just keep it on for 3 to 4 minutes. It really does make your skin feel nice and soft after you wash it off–it felt so refreshing, too! If your skin is dry, you’ll probably want to apply your regular moisturizer after you rinse this banana face cream off.

Here’s what the book says about bananas: Bananas are good for beauty, both inside and out. They contain a host of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamins A, C, and E and potassium. So pamper your face and try this out when you get a chance! 🙂

NOURISHING BANANA CREAM from Natural Homemade Beauty Products and Treatments

Makes 1 application – works best for normal skin

  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 3 Tablespoons milk

Slice banana. In a small bowl and using a fork, mash banana with milk to form a paste (I actually found it easier to mash by putting the ingredients in a baggie and mashing it with my hands)

Using fingers, spread banana mixture over face and neck. Let stand on skin for 3 to 4 minutes.

Rinse off banana mixture with lukewarm water. Gently pat face and neck dry with a towel.

Isn’t that easy? I used a medium-size banana and it made plenty of “cream” to apply; in fact, I had some extra. So I saved the rest and used it in a smoothie!

Have you made any DIY beauty products with simple, natural ingredients?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Banana, Mango, Ginger, Orange Smoothie

Banana Mango Ginger Orange Smoothie @ NancyC

Yes, that’s quite a long name but it sounds good, doesn’t it? This smoothie recipe comes from a cookbook called Eating Clean in Costa Rica (softcover). As I looked through my review copy, I found lots of easy, healthy foods that the book describes as 616-fPC8brL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_“farm-to-table” recipes and there are 108 to choose from for breakfast and brunch, main dishes, veggies and sides, salads, soups, and desserts. The instructions for most of the recipes include amounts measured in grams, milliliters, etc., so if you’re used to cups and ounces like I am, you’ll have to convert the amounts.

I thought I’d try the Banana, Mango, Ginger, Orange Smoothie. It sounds kind of summery, but the day I made this it was almost 70 degrees. So a tropical-sounding smoothie was in order to celebrate this warm sunny day! It was so smooth and creamy, and had a great lightly-sweet taste. Normally I like to sweeten smoothies with honey, but this recipe does not need any additional sweetener.

BANANA, MANGO, GINGER, ORANGE SMOOTHIE from Eating Clean in Costa Rica

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 mango
  • 1 to 2 bananas (I used 2 bananas)
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 200 ml plain yogurt (I used 1 cup–it’s not an exact conversion, but it’s very close!)
  • A pinch of ground ginger (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 12 ice cubes
  • 2 slices of lime

Cut mango into cubes, removing the pit and skin. Chop the bananas. Juice the oranges.

Combine these ingredients into a blender, including the ginger and yogurt. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding a little water if needed.

Add ice cubes and blend once more. Serve in tall glasses decorated with a slice of lime.

I love smoothies and I’m sure I’ll be making this quite often during the warm weather. Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Show and ShareFull Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Cocoa Banana Smoothie

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I think this just may be the hottest week of summer. And that calls for a smoothie–even better, a chocolate smoothie! There’s a soy and non-soy version for this recipe, so you can take your pick. The smoothie I made pictured here is the soy version. I’ve never made a smoothie with tofu before, and it does give the smoothie a nice creaminess. It’s not super-thick, though, so if you’re expecting a smoothie like that, you’ll be disappointed. But it has a lightly creamy texture from the tofu and banana, and the unsweetened cocoa powder gives it a rich chocolate flavor. The honey gives the smoothie a light sweetness that’s just right–not too overly sweet. But if you do want it sweeter, you can always add in a little more honey!

COCOA BANANA SMOOTHIE by NancyC, adapted from EatingWell.com

Makes 1 large or 2 small servings, about 14 to 16 ounces

  • 1 medium size banana, cut into slices or chunks and frozen (for about 3 to 4 hours or overnight)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon soft silken tofu (for a non-soy version, use plain or vanilla Greek yogurt)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup soy milk (plain or vanilla–for a non-soy version, use regular milk; use 1/3 cup for a slightly thicker smoothie)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 ice cubes

Slice banana and freeze until firm (about 3 to 4 hours or overnight). Blend tofu (or greek yogurt), soymilk (or milk), cocoa, and honey in blender until smooth. Add in the frozen banana slices and blend; then add in ice cubes and blend until mixture is smooth.

Smoothies always sound good to me on hot summer days! What’s your favorite healthy warm-weather treat?

Raspberry Banana Coconut Milk Smoothie

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I think this is the creamiest smoothie I’ve ever had. This is the first smoothie I’ve made with coconut milk, and I love how super creamy and smooth it turned out! I modified a recipe from Del’s Cooking Twist by adding some banana and sweetening it with honey. Yum! I made this smoothie on a very warm day and it was so refreshing. Now that I know how great coconut milk is in smoothies, I’ll have to try more flavors with it!

RASPBERRY BANANA COCONUT MILK SMOOTHIE by NancyC, adapted from Del’s Cooking Twist

Makes 1 serving (about 10 ounces)

  • 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 of a small to medium size banana
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • Fresh raspberries or some flaked coconut for garnish, optional

Put frozen raspberries, banana, coconut milk, and honey in blender; blend until smooth. Garnish with a few fresh raspberries or some flaked coconut, if desired.

Are you a smoothie-maker and have you tried using some new flavors and ingredients lately?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Blueberry-Honeydew Smoothie

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It’s really been warm lately, so I’ve been making lots of smoothies–they just taste so good on a hot day! One fruit that I really love but haven’t used that much in smoothies is honeydew melon. They’ve always been a little challenging for me to cut because I don’t have the greatest cutlery (watermelon is the same problem, but I usually don’t buy a whole watermelon; I buy the ones that are already cut). But my melon-cutting problems were over when I received two samples from the Gunter Wilhelm™ Executive Chef™ Cutlery Collection. I received an 8″ Chef Knife and a 3.5″ Paring Knife to try out, and I decided to put them to the melon test!

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I bought quite a large honeydew melon, which would have been really hard to cut with my old knives. I used the 8″ Chef Knife to cut the melon in half and it worked like a dream! It cut so smoothly and was really easy to handle. The Paring Knife worked great for cutting the melon into smaller chunks. I read that these knives have an ergonomic handle which is especially nice when you have recipes that require a lot of chopping. And this cutlery is made with high-carbon stainless steel that won’t wear out–in fact, it has a lifetime warranty.

So I decided to use my chunks of honeydew melon in a smoothie with some frozen blueberries, and it tasted great! The frozen blueberries make the smoothie nice and cool, and there’s some banana and yogurt in this that make it creamy. Here’s the recipe…

BLUEBERRY-HONEYDEW SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative

Makes 2 (8-ounce) servings

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup honeydew melon (cut melon into small chunks–you can substitute cantaloupe if you want)
  • 1/2 medium or large size banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2  to 1 Tablespoon honey
  • Optional: 1/2 Tablespoon ground flaxseed

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (if you want extra fiber, add the ground flaxseed into the blender, too). Pour into two glasses and serve immediately. Makes 2 (8-ounce) servings.

Cutting and chopping fruits and veggies is so much easier with this cutlery. Do you have a favorite set of knives you like to use, or have you ever tried the Gunter Wilhelm™ brand?

Linked to Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Shamrock Smoothie

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If you want a cool, creamy treat, this smoothie is just the thing to make! It gets it’s creaminess from the tasty blend of frozen kiwifruit, banana, and key lime yogurt (you can substitute vanilla yogurt, but I really like this with the lime). There are a few other ingredients you’ll see in the recipe below and they all blend up into this wonderful smoothie that not only tastes great, but is also a delightful springy shade of green. How can you resist that?

SHAMROCK SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from Midwest Living

Makes about 16 ounces, or 2 servings

  • 2 kiwifruit, peeled and quartered
  • 1 banana, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 (6-ounce) container key lime or vanilla flavored yogurt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice or white grape juice, well-chilled
  • 1/2 Tablespoon honey
  • Optional: additional kiwi fruit slices for garnish

Several hours or the night before making: Place the 2 peeled and quartered kiwifruit and sliced banana in a small freezer bag and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen (arrange fruit flat in a single layer in the bag so it doesn’t freeze into a big clump; otherwise it will be too hard to break up for blending).

When ready to make, add grapes, yogurt, juice, honey, and half of the frozen fruit (break up fruit if any pieces have stuck together while freezing). Cover and blend until smooth. Add remaining frozen fruit and blend until smooth.

Pour into glasses and, if desired, garnish with fresh kiwi fruit slices.

Hope you get a chance to enjoy this smoothie! What kinds of fun green treats are you making (or eating) for St. Patrick’s Day?

Frozen Berry Smoothie

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Now that the weather out my way is warming up a little, it feels like spring is just around the corner–and I love having smoothies for breakfast during the spring and summer! So to celebrate the warmer weather, I decided to make this smoothie. Maybe I’m jumping ahead of the winter season a little, but I’m just so ready for spring!

You use frozen berries in this smoothie, which makes it convenient because you don’t have to worry about having fresh berries on hand in your fridge–just pop them out of the freezer whenever you want to make this! Use one kind of berry or use a variety of berries to equal 1 1/2 cups (I used a mix of strawberries and blueberries in this smoothie). This also is sweetened with honey, but you could use whatever kind of sweetener you like best. It’s a great way to start the day!

FROZEN BERRY SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative

  • 3/4 cup orange juice or grapefruit juice
  • 1 medium banana, sliced into smaller chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen berries–strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Add all ingredients in your blender; cover and blend until mixture is smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. Makes 2 (10-ounce) servings.

I’m linking this recipe up to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Cranberry Orange Banana Smoothie

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I usually have a few bags of frozen cranberries in my freezer this time of year. During the holidays, I buy a some extra bags of fresh cranberries and freeze them so I can use them later–for recipes that I come across like this one, which I found at Williams-Sonoma. The cranberry-orange flavors in this smoothie are so good together and I used honey to sweeten it (you can also use agave nectar). It has just the right amount of sweetness and if you like cranberries, I’m sure you will love this smoothie!

yogurt-24_vanillaI like using thicker, creamy yogurts in my smoothies, like Greek yogurt, but in this smoothie I used Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Vanilla Yogurt. I had received a complimentary sample to try out, and I really liked it. This yogurt has a thick, creamy texture–perfect for smoothies! In addition to being organic and lactose free (which is important for those of you who are lactose intolerant), it’s also gluten free and has less sugar than other yogurts, so it’s very healthy!

Hope you get to try out this yummy winter smoothie–perfect for a quick, easy breakfast. Maybe not in zero-degree weather, but great for a warmer winter day! 🙂

CRANBERRY ORANGE BANANA SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Makes about 20 ounces, or 2 (10-ounce) servings

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

It feels good to eat a little healthier after all that holiday food! Are you trying to eat healthier after the holidays too?

Linked to Tidy Mom–I’m Lovin’ It.

Pomegranate Walnut Banana Bread

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I had some very ripe bananas a few days ago, so naturally I thought of making banana bread. But I wanted to try something different. I’ve been seeing recipes with pomegranate seeds quite a bit, and I finally tried some. I love the way they taste, so juicy with a light sweetness, and a little crunchiness to them, too (that’s the inner seed part). And I hear they’re so good for you! So I decided to try them in banana bread and add some walnuts…and that’s how I came up with this Pomegranate Walnut Banana Bread. It’s very dense and moist, with a light sweetness from the pomegranate seeds and the Light Cream Glaze. The pomegranate seeds and the walnuts give this bread a crunchy texture, too, so it’s a bread you’ll want to chew on a bit more. I really liked it–if you like pomegranate seeds, I think you’ll like this, too! If you haven’t ever eaten pomegranate seeds, here’s a helpful article that tells you more about them at LiveStrong.com.

Seeding the pomegranate can take a little time since there are quite a few seeds in there, so if you don’t have the time or interest in seeding a pomegranate, you can buy pomegranate seeds in the produce section of many grocery stores, or even at some Sam’s Clubs (although it’s definitely cheaper to seed your own pomegranate). The juicy outer parts of the seeds are called Arils–you may see the packaging labeled like that. Also, I recommend greasing and flouring your pan, even if it’s nonstick, because this loaf is so dense and moist, it could easily stick to the bottom of the pan if you didn’t. I greased and floured my pan, and it came out very easily, so it pays to do that!

POMEGRANATE WALNUT BANANA BREAD by NancyCreative

Makes one 9×5″ loaf

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half (light cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • seeds from 1 large pomegranate, divided (about 2 cups total–use 1 2/3 cups in the batter, and save the rest for sprinkling on top of the bread after it’s glazed and on each individual slice when serving)
  • Light Cream glaze (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder.

In medium bowl, beat the eggs, then add in the oil, Half & Half (light cream), and vanilla, blending well. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl, mixing everything well.

Fold in the mashed bananas, blending well, then blend in the chopped walnuts and pomegranate seeds.

Bake at 350˚F  for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean. Let loaf cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

When cake is completely cool or just slightly warm, top with the Light Cream glaze…

LIGHT CREAM GLAZE

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds for garnish (sprinkle some on top of the loaf and some on each slice when serving)

Mix confectioner’s sugar and Half & Half together until well-blended and smooth. Drizzle over loaf. Sprinkle some of the pomegranate seeds on top of the glaze and let set before serving; sprinkle the rest of the seeds on each slice when serving.

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I’m so glad I finally gave pomegranate seeds a try! Have you made any recipes with them?