Trim Healthy Mama Banana Oatmeal Blender Muffins {THM E}

Hey there!  It’s my first THM recipe!!  Now that I’ve been eating this way for 3 years, I feel more and more confident about altering recipes to make them THM-friendly.

(Wondering what THM is?  Here’s more info.)

When I look for potential recipes to try, I have a few criteria.  They need to be quick to prep, the fewer ingredients the better, and I have to actually have the ingredients in the house.

Last week I had some very ripe bananas I needed to use up.  So I went to Pinterest and found inspiration!

I found a non-THM muffin that met most of my criteria, and I felt like I could easily adjust it to make a THM E (energizing) breakfast/snack.

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So here’s the recipe (inspired by the banana oatmeal recipe from Well Plated by Erin):

THM E Blender Banana Oatmeal Muffins

(makes 12 muffins)

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 medium very ripe bananas
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1/4 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Truvia
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt or pink himalayan salt
  • 1/4 cup Lily’s stevia-sweetened mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place 12 paper baking cups in a muffin tin and spray well with coconut oil spray.  Put all ingredients except the chocolate chips in your blender and blend!!  (Yes, it’s really that simple!)  After it’s well blended, add the chocolate chips and stir by hand.  Pour the batter evenly in the twelve muffin cups.  Bake for 15 minutes.

That’s it!  You can have one for a snack or have one as an addition to other E foods for a yummy breakfast!

Here are the nutrition facts:

Enjoy!!

December 2014!

Christmas is two days away!

Today we are finishing up our preparations… wrapping the last of the gifts, making the last of the cookies (peanut butter balls), and all that good stuff.

Here’s what we’ve been up to this month:

We’ve had a rough December in terms of busy-ness and sicknesses, so we’re also doing a lot of resting, too!  This weekend we took it easy and pretty much watched Christmas movies all weekend.

It was a good weekend – probably because I had zero expectations of it.

Unlike last weekend.  One of our advent activities was to pick out a child to sponsor through ICCM.  We’ve been wanting to do this for a while and I thought it would be a great way to celebrate Christ’s birth.  It didn’t go at all like I’d planned.  (ooh – those expectations we have in our heads are so sneaky!)  I guess I thought it would be a truly meaningful family moment – and it was anything but.  We still did it, but the kids were being silly and totally not taking it seriously.  It made me angry and one of them was in time-out before it was over.

And today the littlest had a doctor’s appointment – diagnosis cold with a side of ear infection.  Not exactly how I’d expected to spend today.  But more snuggling and resting is okay, too.

In the midst of all this I thought of the Christmas devotion I’d done at MOPS a couple of years ago.  And realized I needed to hear it again.

Maybe you do, too.  Here’s the good part:

 Are you trying for the perfect Christmas? And don’t get me wrong – I get caught up in it, too! But God keeps reminding me that the only perfection I’ll find on Earth – the only perfection that you’ll find – is in Jesus. He was, and still is, the perfect gift and the reason we celebrate!

Jesus was referred to in the Bible as “Immanuel”, which means “God with us”. God gave us His son as a gift – the gift of His presence in human form. He is present (no pun intended) with us at all times.

Jesus, the Messiah, was born in a dirty stable when people were expecting a King with all the trappings.

But God is more concerned about what people need rather than what they expect. And He is not afraid to come into the mess of our lives – our dirty stables.

Despite your efforts to create the perfect Christmas, what kind of messes do you have in your life?

The good news is that God’s perfect gift is still available to you. Immanuel – God with us. Isn’t it amazing? The God of the universe is willing to give up the majesty of heaven to be with us in our dirty stable. And he is big enough to deal with whatever mess we’ve made – but not too big to care about it!!

So what do you need this Christmas? Instead of chasing after the perfect Christmas, I challenge you to chase after the “perfect gift” – Jesus. He is, in fact, regardless of his birth in a dirty stable, all the things that Isaiah prophesied.

Do you need guidance on how to get out of your mess? Well, Jesus is the wonderful counselor.

Do you need peace to get through? Jesus is the Prince of Peace

Do you need the impossible to happen? Jesus is the mighty God.

Do you need hope? Well, Jesus is also the Savior and light of this world. He is the way, the truth, and the life.

All you need to do is not miss it.

(here’s the original post, if you want to read all of it)

Merry Christmas, friends!  Praying for all of us that we don’t miss Jesus this Christmas.  

 

 

Mini Cherry Pies

So when we moved here 5 years ago, I realized I’d better figure out what to do with the abundance of cherries growing in our very own backyard!

Cherry jams, cherry cobblers, cherry pies… yum.

And after the first year, I realized I’d better figure out a quicker way to pit all those cherries than with a knife!

I will preface this by saying I have never been a fan of cherry pie.  Store-bought cherry pie filling or cherry pie?  Gag.

But I just never tried the right homemade recipe.  This recipe I’m going to share with you is soooo good.  It’s the addition of the almond extract that I love.  And by baking these mini pies, the ratio of crust to filling goes up, which is just perfect for me! (anyone else out there prefer the dough over the filling?)

A few days ago we had a perfect day to pick cherries – they were at their peak of ripeness and the cloudy day made it a little more comfortable for me to be standing on a ladder picking!  I got three quarts… and I think the kids inhaled about a half a quart within minutes.

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Mini Cherry Pies

You can use whatever dough recipe you love, or even store-bought!  (I won’t tell!)

This is the dough recipe I’ve used forever…

Pie Dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling

2 T sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1/2 cup very cold water

Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Scatter the chunks of butter over the flour mixture; cut in with a pastry blender until dough looks like coarse crumbs.  Drizzle the cold water over the dough and stir gently with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms moist crumbs.  Use your hands to press the dough together into a solid mound.  Divide in half and press each half into a flat disk.  Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes.

And here’s the recipe for the filling…

Cherry Pie Filling

4 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted

1 1/4 cup sugar

4 T cornstarch

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. salt

1 1/2 T butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place cherries in saucepan over medium-low heat.  Cover and cook for several minutes, or until cherries lose a considerable amount of juice.  Remove from heat.  In a small bowl, mix sugar and cornstarch.  Pour into hot cherries and mix well.  Add salt, almond extract, and vanilla extract and mix.  Return to stove and cook on low until thickened, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Pour into pie crust; dot with butter.  Cover with another crust.  Cut slits in top crust; bake for 50 minutes.

You can use those recipes to make a whole cherry pie.

But to make six mini pies, I used a whole pie dough recipe and I halved the filling recipe.  I used 6 small ramekins, but you could also use a muffin tin if you like.  Roll out the dough and cut into circles big enough to fit the bottom and sides of your mini pies.  Fill nearly full with pie filling, place a bit of butter on the top, and cover with another circle of dough.  (you might have some dough leftover!)  I put my ramekins on a cookie sheet before placing them in the oven.  Mine baked for about 40 minutes – you’ll know they are done when the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

Enjoy!

*Last Day of School Tradition*

Yippeeeee!

Summer vacation is here!

Yesterday we ended the school year with what has become a bit of a tradition for us:

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts

Well, the tradition is the homemade doughnuts, although the kind has varied every year.  I bake the doughnuts and use the excuse that they are healthier (the truth is that frying things in a couple inches of hot oil scares me).  🙂

This year’s recipe I think was the best – they were light and fluffy with good flavor.  Even though it seems like the wrong time of year to have apple cider doughnuts, YES, you can still buy cider in June!!  The recipe came from Family Circle March 2012 issue (link here).  I did make a couple of changes – used light brown sugar instead of dark brown, and used 1/3 T ground ginger instead of fresh.  They turned out just fine.

In case you’re interested in the other recipes we’ve tried:  Funfetti and Baked Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla Peanut Butter Glaze.

 

I am thrilled that the school year is over.  I love the break from what should be an olympic event called “getting your kids to school on time”.  

Last night was the last award ceremony of the year… and I’ve got to tell you I’m so proud of my kiddos.  They enjoy school, they work hard, and their teachers have a lot of great things to say about their little characters.  They are all smart cookies – my oldest had the highest GPA in the whole 6th grade!  My son got awards for spelling and bible study!  And my little one got an award for best overall achievement in all the subjects!  I love them all to pieces and am excited to see God’s plans for them emerge as they get older.

How are YOU doing?  Has summer vacation started for your family yet?

Another gift idea!

October is Pastor Appreciation Month.  Yes, yes it is.

So last week (yes, the first week in November!) I made these little cuties for the Pastors at our church.  (It’s not that I had forgotten about them – I just had trouble getting it done!!)

This was a MOPS “craft” we did last year and I thought it would be just perfect for the pastors.  It would also be great for a teacher gift, a thank-you gift, or a little thinking-of-you gift for anyone else in your life!

These are Apple Crisp mixes.  The little bread pans I found on clearance at Michael’s for a dollar.  I printed out some gift tags at http://www.avery.com (highly recommended!).  I used some scrapbook paper and twine I already had in my craft stash – and voila!- a perfect little gift.

And here is the printable file in case you want to make some of your own!

Apple Crisp Mix Directions and Tags

Happy gifting!

 

blueberry-lemon zucchini loaf

I am in the midst of swapping bedrooms in our home and I need a break.

So I thought it might be about time to blog.  🙂

Yesterday my daughter picked our first zucchini of the season.

And this is what we made this morning:

This bread is so delicious – it’s really light and not too overpoweringly lemony.  Maybe even more like a dessert than a bread.

Here’s the recipe in case you’re looking for a way to use up your zucchini!

Blueberry-lemon Zucchini Loaf

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
for glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.
In medium bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In large bowl, beat 2 eggs well, then add oil and sugar.  Blend well.  Then add the buttermilk, lemon juice, and zucchini and blend well.  Add the dry flour mixture and blend everything together just until moistened.  Gently fold in blueberries.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for about 50 – 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
While cooling, mix glaze ingredients together until well blended.  Spoon glaze over cooled loaf.  Let glaze set, then serve.

Enjoy!  And if you need another awesome zucchini recipe, check out this zucchini casserole.

 

a snowy day recipe.

Hi people!

I knew we would pay for having so little snow this winter!  And here it is… a significant amount of snow in WNY in late April.

Something about snowy days makes me want to bake.  Anyone else like that, or is it just me?

This is what I want to share with you – my recipe for these:

Oatmeal cookies with white chocolate chips and craisins.

I am not a huge fan of oatmeal cookies, especially store-bought ones.  For some reason, though, I love these cookies.  They are incredibly soft and chewy and I love that you can change them up adding different ingredients.  This is actually based off of the Quaker’s Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe, with a couple of changes.

The BEST Oatmeal Cookies

2 1/2 sticks margarine

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3 cups quick-cooking oats

(optional ingredients:  white chocolate chips, craisins, raisins, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, etc.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Soften butter.  Mix butter and sugars.  Add egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients and mix.  Drop dough from a level tablespoon on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Happy Snowy Baking Day!