I wanted a Banana Split

{banana split, reconstructed}

IMG_3793

Last weekend, we went to Kalahari with Chase & my little brother.  On Friday, I started to get that sore throat feeling / clicking in your ears when you swallow feeling.  Great.  I was going to have a head cold while in a germ thriving 85 degrees indoor water park.  Luckily, I ended up being completely fine the day of the water park & only started to get congested Saturday evening.

On Sunday, I wasn’t feeling too hot at all.  When we came home, I took 4000mg of Vitamin C.  Since I work in a pharmacy, I am very aware that the majority of this was expelled from my body, but I also believe vitamin c cures all. Remember when I talked about eating organic after watching several food documentaries?  Well, they discussed their thoughts on how vitamins heal and cure in depth.  Since watching those, I’ve been religiously taking a vitamin C tablet and multivitamin everyday.  That being said, it may be in my head, but I instantly started feeling better after the vitamin c and a brief cat nap.

Once I started feeling better, I made myself a sandwich and spent the rest of the night on the couch perusing Pinterest and catching up on my Bloglovin’ feed.  After eating somewhat very crappy last weekend, I knew the last thing I needed was dessert.  Buttttttttttttt I neeededdddd something sweet.  I walked in and out of the kitchen convincing myself NO.  Must. Lose. Ten. Pounds.  I hate playing this game and it only makes me cranky.  So I gave in, but made myself a simple, not too unhealthy dessert.

Enter the reconstructed banana split.

Such a simple, yet delicious dessert (or snack) that won’t hurt your waistline too terribly.  You certainly can add whatever toppings you fancy / have on hand at the time too.  Another recommendation is to use Nutella instead of peanut butter!  So if you’re craving something sweet, but want to reduce your sweets, try out this dessert!

reconstructed banana split

Ingredients
1 banana
1 Tbsp peanut butter
2 strawberries, diced small
2 Tbsp mini oreos, crushed

Directions
1.  Cut the banana in half lengthwise.
2.  Smear the peanut butter overtop the banana.
3.  Top with strawberries and oreos.

IMG_3795Enjoy!

 

signature

Strawberry Banana Flaxseed Smoothie

{the pretty smoothie}

flaxsmoothie

I have been really into smoothie-making again.  They are just so easy to prepare and the combinations are endless.  I started making individual bags of smoothie combinations and putting them in the freezer.  I portion each for 1 smoothie, freeze it, pop into the blender, add a liquid, blend, pour, go.  The whole time change caused me to wake up a bit later so they were quite handy for a morning breakfast.

IMG_3639For these two combinations, I did the following:

#1) 3 very thin lemon slices, 1/2 cup frozen peaches, 1 handful of kale
#2) Fresh strawberries, blueberries, cherries, a handful of kale

Have you ever tried the Naked brand “smoothie” blends?  I really like them and usually cut them in half with water.  However, they are pretty calorie packed so I try to just use them as meal replacements.  I started trying different blended juices at the store and really liked the Bolthouse blends.  I tried the Carrot and Mango one – it was just OK, but the Amazing Mango one was, well, amazing.  It also is pretty thick so I cut it with water again.  I only used 4oz of the juice and the rest water.

IMG_3592

I am featuring this smoothie as a “recipe” on today’ post because I used the little addition of flax seeds.  Now, I wish I had used ground flaxseeds to reduce the seediness if you will.  So if you have a grinder, grind those babies up.

IMG_3594

So what’s the deal with flaxseed?

These seeds aren’t new to our world, they have been around for millions of years.  Us smart humans are just now wrapping our head around the health benefits of them – some of which are listed below.

+ Omega 3 essential fatty acids — the good fat that keeps our ticker healthy
+ Fiber — keep things flowin’ and our digestive system clean
+ Lignans — an antioxidant that protects against cancer-causing agents

Flaxseeds are pretty tasteless in my opinion.  I tend to add them into smoothies or sometime sprinkle over a salad.  For 2Tbsp they have about 75 calories – not bad at all for the health benefits that they punch.  A large container will last you a while too so go grab one and start using this wonder seed.

strawberry mango banana flaxseed smoothie

Ingredients:
1/2 cup strawberries
1 frozen banana
1 Tbsp flaxseeds
4 oz Amazing Mango
4 oz (or more) H2O

Directions
Add all ingredients to a blender and process until desired consistency.

IMG_3598

signature

Strawberry Banana Bread

{okay, it’s a little doughie}

IMG_3573

There’s this rack at the Kroger I frequent that has intensely marked down items.  Typically, bananas are on the shelf and are practically brown & cost about 89 cents.  Every smoothie I make has a banana in it so I buy the bushel and freeze them.  The most recent bushel I bought had about 8 bananas on it.

IMG_3554

I already had a huge stock of frozen bananas so I decided I would make one of my favorite desserts/breakfasts: banana bread.  As you can see, I am not an avid sweet eater.  I would give up sweets and sugar thirty times over before giving up salty.  I just am not that into it, which I guess isn’t a terrible thing.

However, I definitely have a few sweets that are tucked away on my favorite list.  Such items include:  cheesecake (topped with cherries), out of the oven chocolate chip cookies, a strawberry cheesequake blizzard from Dairy Queen, and banana bread.  I am not sure if I should classify the banana bread as dessert though because nothing beats a warm piece of banana bread for breakfast.

IMG_3557

Sunday morning called for just this sweet breakfast treat.  I love classic banana bread, but I wanted to give it a little bit of a twist.  Cue the strawberries.  Who doesn’t love strawberries and bananas together??  I wanted to attempt to make the recipe not so doughie, but I strongly believe that there are some recipes that need just left alone.  I am willing to try a healthier one, but after being pretty dedicated to bikram and cleaning eating, I deserved a nice slice of something doughie.

IMG_3559

I am proud to say that this is my very own recipe, completely made up by yours truly, Doughie.  For those who know me and my past baking experiences, you probably are pretty shocked right?  I know I certainly am proud & the likes and comments I have received on social media made me want to post the recipe immediately.  So here it goes!

Strawberry banana bread

Recipe by: Sara
Hands on Time:  10 minutes   ///   Cook Time:  60 minutes   ///   Servings:  8   ///   Oven Temp: 350 degrees

Ingredients:

3 overripe bananas, smashed
1 cup strawberries, small dice
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour [if you don’t have this use 2 cups all purpose]
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
Directions
1.  In a bowl of a standing mixer, cream the sugar and butter together for about 1 minute on medium speed.
2.  Add in the smashed bananas, Greek yogurt, vanilla and eggs.  Slowly mix together.
3.  Slowly add in the two flours, baking soda, and salt.
4.  Stir in strawberries.
5.  Grease a bread loaf pan and pour in batter.  Place a few sliced strawberries on the top.
7.  Bake for 60-65 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
8.  Allow the loaf to cool then slice and serve with a pat of butter.
IMG_3566
IMG_3571
Enjoy.
signature

Taste of Tuesday: A Smo-ake

200x200ButtonGlit_zps84c0db97Happy Tuesday!  This is my 2nd Taste of Tuesday week and I am sharing with you all a healthy smo-ake [smoothie shake] I made the other night for dinner.  We had a Sunday Funday and I had a mimosa and Bang Bang shrimp tacos for lunch so for dinner a smo-ake was plenty.

You won’t seeing me drink a glass of white milk UNLESS there is an oreo at the bottom and several others for dunking.  I use milk in cereal and other recipes, but a glass of it grosses me out.  Lately, this almond milk fellow has intrigued me.  I came across it in several smoothie recipes and the commercial is kinda catchy.  I grabbed a carton of the Silk light version to try it out.

IMG_3156

I will be honest, it is a bit weird – it literally tastes like liquid almonds.  However, I found it to be very nice in the smo-ake.  It made it perfectly creamy, slightly sweet and a nuttiness to it.  Will you find me drinking this by the cup full?  No way.  I will be using it instead of cow milk in my smo-akes, however.  Try it out and let me know what you think!  And don’t forget to check out Jessica & Ashley’s blogs!

bananapear

Banana Pear Smoothie-Shake

1 pear
1 banana
1 cup light Almond milk
squeeze of 1/2 a lemon
2-3 ice cubes

Use a blender to puree all ingredients and serve chilled.

enjoy.

xoxosara

signature

Banana Almond Butter Smoothie / Shake

{meet the decadent, healthy smo-ake}

Lately, I haven’t been very satisfied with my eating decisions.  It isn’t that I have eaten doughie, but over-snacking a bit.  I love to snack.. love, love, love.  As my sister likes to call it “SNACK ATTACK”.  I try to stick with healthy snacks: fruits, cottage cheese, pretzels.  However, I started using My Plate hosted by Livestrong again and realized that although these are healthy alternatives they can be high in calories & sugars.  I was using Weight Watchers online and didn’t really care for it as I was eating my points and my weight wasn’t budging.  For my stature, I don’t think it was my best option to track my health.  Heck I would eat fruit all day and be satisfied – zero points!  But, like I said, full of sugar and calories.  So I started to use My Plate and eat under 1200 calories per day.  Hopefully, this will boost my weight loss & keep my health kick on track.

Today at work I had the Loaded Spinach Salad from Tropical Smoothie – no bacon.  When I got home I looked up the calories on their website and almost died.  Really??? 660 calories.  Now, I didn’t get the bacon so I imagine that cuts back a bit and I also only used about 1 tablespoon of the dressing.  Restaurants sure are tricky!  Here have this amazing, but healthy salad.  NOT.  I was so disappointed in myself for not looking at the calories first, but like I said I cut out some of them.  And the calories were definitely worth it!  It was very good and satisfying.  

Due to my calorie-laden, yet satisfying salad at lunch, I knew I wanted something simple for dinner.  I had some bananas to use so I decided to go with my banana peanut butter chocolate shake/smoothie.  This has peanut butter, banana, and chocolate milk.  The chocolate milk was out so I decided to switch it up.  I used fat-free white milk and almond butter instead.  However, I did keep a bit of the creamy peanut butter in my smo-ake [smoothie-shake] because I didn’t want the almond butter to be too raw.  The smo-ake is so delicious and decadent enough to taste like a shake, but still healthy.

I paired my smo-ake with some sliced cucumbers with a bit of low-fat chive cream cheese, a clementine and a handful of goldfish crackers [hello guilty pleasure].  Overall my Friday night was healthy and relaxing.  I have a lunch date tomorrow with an old coworker and have a feeling I will post about the doughie restaurant we will be checking out!  Until then… happy Friday :)

banana2

{click here for the recipe} 

 

signature

Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie

{my green goddess}

On nights without Chase, Bryan and I either have things we know he wouldn’t like or we just have a “whatever” night.  Yes, we have coined these nights “whatever”.  Aka eat whatever you can find in the house.  I had a delicious salad from the salad bar at Whole Foods today so I wasn’t really starved for dinner tonight.  One of my go-tos is a smoothie.  I love adding kale and/or spinach to them for an added boost of nutrients.  Although I love the taste of kales and spinach for those who don’t this is a great way to eat them.  The sweetness of the fruit takes away from the taste of the veggies.  The smoothie is pretty filling so it serves as a great dinner replacement.  It also is great for breakfast!  I hope you enjoy :)

IMG_2907

 

{Click here for the recipe}

signature