BYTES of Informationon Motherhood, Food, Fitness & Real Life

Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

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FullSizeRender (18)Just the name makes your mouth water – right? These are amazing and good for you too! I came up with these as an easy way to squeeze more protein and healthy fats into Joey’s diet. He loves peanut butter, but the stickiness of it turns him off at times. My solution- bake it into foods he already loves! Not only do these taste and smell amazing, but they are SO simple to make!

 

To get started, you can decide to either make traditional pancake mix from scratch or use a store bought variety to save time. For these, I used a whole grain store mix where I just needed to add the egg, milk, and water.

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups pancake mix, prepared (liquid form)

½ cup natural peanut butter

1 medium banana

 

Prepare your pancake batter.

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After you have prepared your pancake mix, warm the peanut butter in the microwave for 15 seconds to allow it to run smoothly.

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Pour peanut butter into the pancake mix and blend evenly. In a food processor (or with a fork), mash the banana until there are few large clumps. Add into mix and blend evenly.

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Warm a lightly greased skillet over medium heat. Pour mix (about ¼ cup per pancake) onto skillet.Wait until small bubbles form on the surface and the edges become slightly browned in color, then flip and allow pancake to cook on the other side.

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Serve warm and enjoy!

 

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Pinterest FAIL Chocolate Leprechaun Hat Dessert to Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day!

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Happy “Erin Go Bragh” Day! How can I not celebrate today? I’m Irish AND my name means Ireland! Of course I have to do something special for the day. So, what did I decide to do? Well I turned to Pinterest of course for some fancy dessert ideas. I came across the very simple idea of turning marshmallows and cookies into adorable leprechaun hats. SO easy right? I even made a Vine video to show how easy these were to make:

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Well, here’s the problem. Making a shamrock out of icing is not easy. It’s a freakin’ pain in the *@*!**. I bought the tiny tube of frosting. I practiced on a plate first. Seemed simple enough. I go to frost the hats and the icing just bleeds everywhere. It looks more like a green blob than a shamrock. So after 3 hats, I said “forget this” and just added the green trim around the bottom. Even that made me feel like I was going to get carpal tunnel syndrome after a while, but the cookies needed something to make them feel Irish!

 

So here’s my final version of what I like to call my “Pinterest-Fail Drunken Leprechaun Hats”- they taste great!

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you all- remember everyone is Irish today!

Whole Grain Dark Chocolate Raspberry Muffins

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These are so good you will forget they are healthy too! With a few ingredient tweaks, you can take a muffin recipe that would be damaging to your waistline and transform it into something good for you that still tastes great. This recipe is an example of just that! A traditional fruit and chocolate muffin recipe would call for added sugars, refined flours, and added fats. Instead, this recipe is filled with whole grains, healthy fats, and limited added sugars. Here’s what you need:

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Ingredients:

1 cup 100% whole wheat flour

½ cup ground flax

1 cup all purpose flour

¾ cup milk

1/3 cup agave nectar

¼ cup honey

1 egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1 dash of salt

1 Tbs ground cinnamon

1/3 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cacoa)

1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed

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Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix together flour and flax to blend evenly. Add in baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and blend. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add in honey, yogurt, and agave and blend until smooth. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir together while slowly pouring in milk to thin batter. Add in chocolate chips and blend evenly. Lightly grease a muffin tin and place 2 Tbs of batter into each muffin cup. Next, lay 2-3 raspberries on top of batter. Pour remaining batter on top of raspberries to create a “raspberry filling” in the muffin. Then, top off each muffin with 1-2 raspberries. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

 

Mom’s Pantry Product Review: Little Duck Organic Freeze Dried Fruit

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My little one just loves crunchy foods (so do I)! He will eat many fruits and vegetables, but if the texture doesn’t appeal to him, he tends to chew the food and then spit it back out (lovely I know!). So to help boost his fruit intake (without him returning it back to his plat after a few chews!), I turned to freeze dried fruit.

 

You may have seen freeze dried fruits (and even vegetables) and wondered if they are a healthy option or just a sugar-filled snack. Well first, you want to look at the ingredient list. The product should contain only the fruit in its ingredient list and no added sugars. I also like to look for organic fruit options when possible (especially for fruits like strawberries), since I am feeding this to the baby. Studies have shown that the antioxidant phytochemicals found in the fruits’ fresh state are retained at levels almost as high after freeze-drying. These studies have also found that the phytochemicals in freeze-dried fruits can reach our bloodstream. Which means that freeze dried fruits offer many of the same benefits as fresh (and can often be a lot easier to get our kids- or even our spouses- to eat them!).

 

I stopped at Stop & Shop the other day and found a new brand of freeze dried fruits I had not seen before, Little Duck Organics. They come from New York, so I’m not sure if they are available nationwide yet or just locally. What I loved about them though is they offered a variety of fruits, are already broken up into bite sized pieces appropriate for toddlers, and most importantly Joey can’t get enough! These are definitely a win in my book!

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