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.

THM Banana Oatmeal Blender Muffins

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

THM E Banana Oatmeal Blender 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:



Trim Healthy Mama Favorite Recipes

It really seems like Trim Healthy Mama (THM) has caught on – I have several friends now locally who are on the plan and by the number of blog visitors that view my how to get started post, it seems that lots of people want to find out more!

When I first got started with THM about 2 1/2 years ago, I tried many recipes that frankly, were flops.  I realized that I needed a simple way to keep the recipes that were winners (and also a simple way to add notes about what tweaks I’d made).  I also needed to not be printing out recipes because I have paper issues (have you seen the picture of my kitchen table here?)

So I gravitated to and have primarily used Pinterest for finding new recipes beyond those in the THM books.  Pinterest is so easy to search and it’s also so easy to save links to recipes you want to try or those you’ve tried that are keepers!  You can also comment on the links you pin, and that’s where I make my recipe notes.

(There’s one small caveat and downside to Pinterest, however, that I’ll tell you upfront – if the blog / website that you’ve pinned a link to goes away, then your recipe goes away.  That’s happened to me twice now – two recipes from the same blog that were so good and I’m so sad I didn’t print them out.  My suggestion is that if you find a recipe that you know you love and will make a lot, you may want to print the recipe.)

When my local friends get started and ask me what recipes I like and what my family likes, I always point them to my Pinterest boards.  Here are some links for you as well:

THM Keepers – entrees

THM Keepers – breakfasts and breads

THM Keepers – desserts

THM Keepers – sides

THM Keepers – snacks & drinks

These are recipes that I’ve tried and at least half my family will eat.  Ha! That’s my criteria for whether I keep it or not!

Hope this helps those of you who are looking for inspiration!

Trim Healthy Mama – How to Get Started

So this post is for those friends and family who’ve asked about my dietary changes… if you’re not one of them you may want to skip!  🙂

One of the things I’ve struggled with for my entire life is my weight.  About 9 years ago I was successful at losing about 40 pounds by counting calories and exercising – the type of weight loss plan recommended for years and years.  I maintained that weight loss for about 3 years (I’d stop counting calories, gain about 10 pounds, then start over again to lose it).  Then I stopped counting calories for good and the weight crept back on.  Honestly, I hated constantly counting calories and spending so much time focusing on my food.  It depressed me to think about having to live that way forever in order to keep the weight off.  I think all that focus actually encouraged an unhealthy relationship with food – I would become obsessed about what I was going to eat next and started a lot of emotional eating when I was stressed or upset.

Last year my nephew was getting married and my sister wanted to have a family weight loss contest.  Perfect motivation.  Around the same time, I started hearing about the book Trim Healthy Mama and because I was altering our family meals so much already trying to eliminate gluten from my son’s diet, I thought I’d try it.

The basics of the plan:  eliminate sugar and processed wheat products, eat every 3 hours, every meal/snack should be based on a protein, and don’t mix fats and carbs.  In other words, each meal/snack will have protein and carbs, or protein and fats.  Easy, right?

Ha ha, I know it doesn’t sound easy, but honestly this is the “easiest” way I’ve been able to lose weight, ever.  It quickly becomes second nature, and even though it’s a huge change to my diet I feel as though I can eat this way the rest of my life!  I’ve lost nearly 35 pounds in 16 months – which isn’t a fast pace for sure, BUT – the other changes have really been more important than the weight loss.  I have more energy.  I am completely satisfied with what I’m eating – I don’t feel at all deprived.  I no longer turn to food for emotional satisfaction (which is HUGE for me).  I don’t have cravings for sugar-laden foods.  My diabetes is under much better control.  And I feel like for the first time I have a healthy relationship with food.

Here is a link to the Trim Healthy Mama website, where you can learn more.  The original Trim Healthy Mama book is huge and there is a ton of great info in it.  (FYI, Just recently they came out with a new, more condensed version).  Ordering the book is highly recommended because at least at first, changing your diet completely can be hard!  The authors of the book go into a lot of detail about why this way of eating works, and as a diabetic it just makes so much sense to me!  They are Christians and their faith is also a part of the story.

Here are some tips for getting started:

  1. Buy a book and READ it.  You can get the original Trim Healthy Mama on the Trim Healthy Mama website or you can get the new Trim Healthy Mama Plan at your favorite online bookstore.
  2. Ask questions!  I’d be happy to answer any, and the THM Beginner facebook page is also a good resource.
  3. Start out simple.  Don’t go crazy buying a bunch of special ingredients you’ve never used before.  Simply try to separate your fats and carbs for a few days.
  4. Look through your well-used recipes or meals and choose those that are THM-friendly or that can be made THM-friendly by either leaving out or substituting ingredients.  You’ll be surprised that many are!  And remember a meal can be as simple as protein, veggies, and if you have kiddos, you can add something for them that you won’t eat.
  5. Know that you may experience some withdrawal symptoms from sugar within the first week.  I had a headache and felt pretty cranky for about 5 days and then it was gone.  And amazingly, with it went all my cravings for sweet stuff.  I couldn’t believe it!!
  6. Once you get used to separating your fats and carbs, then you can branch out and buy some special ingredients to give you some variety.   The first ones I’d recommend – truvia (or some other stevia or erythritol-based sweetener), almond flour, and almond milk.  These are pretty readily available, too.
  7. Know that when you first start using those ingredients you’ve bought, things might not turn out right.  Baking with low carb flours and stevia-based sweeteners is completely different.  My hints:  I always use about 1/3 to 1/2 of the sweetener recommended in a recipe to start out with, then taste before baking and add more if needed.  I also find that the low carb flour recipes that come out the best usually have something in them to add more moisture – like sour cream, zucchini, etc.  Just know there will be a learning curve!!

If it’s something you’d like to look into more, there are a whole bunch of bloggers who have been amazing resources for me.  Here are a few:

Gwen’s Nest – she has a Quick Start Guide which is really helpful when you are just diving in!

Mrs. Criddle’s Kitchen – she has some great recipes that my whole family loves

The Coers Family – another site for delicious THM recipes

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!!



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.


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.



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.



:The Bridal Shower:

So Sunday was Emily’s bridal shower and it was lovely.

I will warn you… this post is photo-heavy!!

My mom, my sister, and I with the guest of honor!

My mom’s house all decorated and ready for the party…

I was in charge of decorations and some of the food.  Most of my ideas came from Pinterest (can you tell by the tissue paper pom-poms in the picture above?).  Below I will show you some highlights and where to find instructions / inspiration if you’d like to get more information.

I got the instructions for the tissue paper pom-poms here.  They are really quite simple and don’t take long to make.  And they make such a big visual impact!

Emily loves lacy stuff, so I wanted to make a doily table runner for her.  I made this one out of doilies I got at thrift shops, church rummage sales, estate sales, and a couple I just bought at JoAnn Fabrics.  They are cheaper and more unique if you buy old ones… however, they are really not easy to find at thrift shops.  You’ll have more luck at estate sales and rummage sales.  I think it turned out beautifully…

My inspiration came from here.  I pieced the doilies together first, using a bit of fabric glue to anchor them together.  Then I tacked them together with a needle and thread.  I may have to make another for myself!

My sister has a Silhouette machine and made those cute little lanterns.  The possibilities with that thing – might need one of those, too!!

Next I rolled up the plastic silverware in napkins and tied with ribbon to look like flowers.  Not sure I was exactly successful in making it look like a bouquet, but it did look nice!

I got the inspiration for this from here.

I think my favorite thing about the decorations was this photo display I made for the bride-to-be.

I used an old window frame, ribbon, some scrapbooking materials, and black and white photos, and I love how it turned out.  I love the rustic look of the frame (which honestly, I didn’t really do anything to it except clean it thoroughly) combined with the soft look of the ribbon and photos.  My inspiration came from here.  It’s so versatile, too – once the “honeymoon stage” is over, she can change it up with different photos or use it for something else entirely!  There are about a bazillion ideas for using old windows on Pinterest, for sure!

And I couldn’t leave out a little bit of the chocolate fountain and goodies for dipping!  Emily is a big fan of chocolate – so the fountain worked out wonderfully and everyone loved it.  It’s such a novelty and really added a little something special.  (thanks to my friend for letting me borrow it!)

(My 5-year-old was especially enthralled with it, even though I’d told her repeatedly not to stick her fingers in it.  LOL.  But she really went to town on the marshmallows – she must have eaten half a bag by herself.  Fortunately there were no resulting tummy aches or temper tantrums.)

I wanted the guests to be able to share some marriage advice with Emily, but I wanted to do it in an unusual way that could become a keepsake.  This idea I did not get from Pinterest, but I did find it online here.  The exploding box…

This is so sweet – I love to hear other people’s marriage advice!  And after the shower I realized there were some empty “pages” so Emily can add some photos in there as well.

A couple of other ideas I got from Pinterest were writing the menu on the glass of a picture frame – I used scrapbook paper that coordinated with some of the other projects for the background, and the frame Emily could keep as a gift – and the fruit kabobs that looked so wonderful on the food buffet!

I tried to make the food table and the food be kinda classy – but I couldn’t talk my mom out of tuna macaroni salad (which is a classic at my family’s gatherings).  LOL.  I did draw the line at getting out the potato chips.  I did get asked a couple of times for my fruit dip recipe – so I’ll share that with you as well.  It’s real difficult (can you hear my sarcasm?)  It’s a small container of marshmallow fluff mixed (well) with 8 oz. of cream cheese.  Yes, that’s it.  And it’s so good, no one ever believes me when I tell them what’s in it!

A few more photos of the festivities…

The guest of honor trying not to break ribbons.

The cake…

And I’ll leave you with one last photo of the bride-to-be, the groom-to-be, and my mom…

Welcome to the family, Emily!!


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!