Blueberry Banana Smoothie

I bought a lot of bananas for a campout.  They didn’t travel very well and were desperately in need of being eaten when I arrived home.  I have been brainstorming ways to use them up and this is one of them.  Blueberries and bananas.  What could be better?! (Don’t answer that 🙂

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 2 very ripe bananas

1/4 c. frozen blueberries (I think a 1/2 cup might be better)

1/2 c. coconut milk from a carton

1/4 c. crushed ice

 

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Drink immediately.

 

Notes:

This was very good, but a little heavy on the banana.  I think the additional blueberries will balance out the banana taste.  We are going to experiment some more and let you know.

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Simple Peanut Butter Banana Frozen No-Bakes

The name is longer than the ingredient list.

One of my friends told me about these.  It is her husband’s dessert that he makes.  She didn’t, however, give me the exact recipe, so this is my experiment.  It is very simple and oh so good!  I think I am going to try it as popsicles sometime and I’ll let you know if they turn out.  This is a good, cheap, and healthy snack for kids too.

 

Ingredients:

1 large, very ripe banana, mashed

2 T. peanut butter

 

Directions:

Mash banana.  Add peanut butter and stir well.  Place onto wax paper and freeze for at least an hour.  I froze mine overnight.

 

Notes:

I tried adding additional ingredients, but it actually made them less tasty.  The only down side is that your fingers get kind of messy as the heat from them melts the “cookie” which is why I want to try them as popsicles.

 

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

It is pretty hard to find protein in liquid form if you can’t eat dairy.  When I recently had oral surgery, I survived the first day on guacamole, soy yogurt, and applesauce.  I wanted to eat peanut butter but all I had on hand was chunky peanut butter.  A quick google search inspired this recipe.  The first time I made it, it was wonderful and I couldn’t wait to make it again.  The second time I made it, I added too much ice, so it was a little watery.  I plan to make it again soon and put even less ice in it!

 

Ingredients:

1/4 c. crunchy peanut butter (Skippy Natural)

3/4 c. crushed ice or 1 c. ice cubes

1 c. non-dairy milk (cashew milk was very nice)

1 banana, broken into 4 chunks

1 tsp to 1 T. honey

 

Directions:

Place all ingredients in the blender, starting with the milk.  Blend until smooth and all ice chunks are gone.  Pour into a glass and serve!  This made about 1.5 glasses of smoothie.

 

Adapted from original recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/221261/peanut-butter-banana-smoothie

Quick Sweet Potato Mash

I have a habit of buying potatoes and then letting them sit around for a really long time.  I know I should use them quicker, but sometimes they seem like they take forever to make and that effort seems wasted if it’s just on one potato.  When I recently had oral surgery, I was on a soft food diet for several days.  I quickly tired of guacamole, yogurt, and applesauce.  That’s when I saw my poor lonely sweet potato sitting on the counter.  I figured I could make a mash in the microwave pretty easily.  This is the result!

 

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, washed and pierced with a fork all over

3-4 T. non-dairy butter (SmartBalance)

1 T. non-dairy milk (cashew milk)

 

Directions:
Wash sweet potato and pierce it with a fork all over.  Microwave on one side for 3 minutes.  Turn over and microwave for another 3 minutes or until you can easily pierce all the way through the potato with a fork.  Carefully peel with a fork or knife, scraping excess potato off of the skin and onto your plate.  Mash with a fork.  Add in 3-4 T. butter to hot potato and mash in.  Add 1 T. cashew milk to make it fluffier (you may need more or less depending on the size of your potato).

This works well as a quick side for one or two people or as a snack.

Chocolate Mint Pudding- It’s Dairy Free!

Have you ever tried to make a package of pudding with non-dairy milk?  The last time I tried it, it was a complete failure.  Dairy milk has magical qualities that occasionally can’t be replaced.  So, I decided to try my hand at dairy free pudding but I took a different approach.  Basically this is the filling to the chocolate cream pie I have posted here:https://oldfavoritesmadeglutenfree.com/2015/12/19/baked-chicken/.  The only difference is I used a less creamy can of coconut milk and I was out of baking chocolate so I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.

The mint came from one of my cousin’s kids.  Apparently he grows his own mint and dries it on the horns of deer they have hanging around their house.  How cool is that! (For all of you who are concerned, don’t worry.  They use the deer for meat, not just for sport.)

 

Ingredients:

1/4 c. cornstarch

1/4 c. granulated sugar

3 T. cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 can coconut milk (14 oz- a lower fat percentage is fine)

1 1/4 c. coconut milk (from a carton)

1 T. dried mint

1/2 c. Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips* or 4 oz. Baker’s brand baking chocolate

1 tsp vanilla

 

Directions:

In a mug or glass measuring cup, heat the 1 1/4 c. coconut milk.  Put the mint leaves into a bag or a steeping spoon and allow to steep in the milk for 5-7 minutes. When it smells like mint, remove the mint.

In a sauce pan, combine cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  Stir in canned coconut milk and coconut milk steeped with mint and turn on heat to medium heat.  Whisk continually until boiling.  Boil for two minutes.  Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and vanilla.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Cool and then store in the refrigerator.  When serving, garnish with a fresh mint leaf if you have one.

 

*I would recommend microwaving these in a bowl for about 10-15 second intervals until they are a bit softened.  Then they will melt better when added to the pudding.

Simple popcorn

I have tried making kettle corn several times and have had several mishaps.  Once was when I tried to cook it on a plug in burner with a hard-to-regulate temperature.  It burned quite thoroughly and my students were not very impressed :-).  Of course, neither was I.  Then I found out my husband doesn’t really like kettle corn, so I am off the hook.  For now, I am sticking to simple, lightly salted popcorn.  This recipe worked wonderfully and left very few unpopped kernels.  For this recipe, the size of your pan actually does matter.  Use a 3-quart saucepan with a lid.

 

Ingredients:

3 T oil (I used canola but you could use coconut, peanut, etc.)

1/3 c. popcorn kernels

salt to taste

1 T butter (optional)

 

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the 3 T. oil over medium high heat.

Add 3-4 kernels, and cover with the lid.  As soon as those kernels pop, add the remaining popcorn kernels and make sure they are all touching the bottom of the pan (no dogpiles).  Sprinkle in the salt.  Put the lid on the pan and remove it from the heat for exactly 30 seconds (this reduces burning and helps more of your kernels to pop).

Put the saucepan back on the heat.  Not long after that, the kernels will start popping.  When you finally hear the glorious sound of popping kernels, start to gently shake the pan so that the kernels don’t burn.  My lid has a small hole to release steam, but if yours doesn’t, you may want to leave the lid a little tilted to let the steam out so your popcorn is crispier.

When the glorious sound slows down, take the pan off the stove and dump the popcorn into a bowl for serving. You may stir in some melted butter if you would like.

This was the perfect amount for two people.

Original recipe: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_popcorn/