Banana Surplus

Here’s what my banana situation looked like last week:

Bananas

I knew I had to do something about it, because I couldn’t eat all those ripe bananas before they just turned to mush.

So I debated my options.

First, I thought I could make the banana peanut butter chocolate chip cookies I made in the fall because they’re delicious, and maybe bring them to work. But I’m actually on the verge of baking a few batches of cookies for a co-worker’s birthday next week, so more cookies just seemed excessive (did you notice that leaf that turned over in that sentence that I just wrote).  Then, I thought to myself, I could make banana bread and mail it to my grandparents (otherwise I would eat the whole loaf myself in one day). But I just sent them Valentines chocolate, so I don’t want them to get used to a care package every week. That’s a hard pace to keep up.

But then I remembered a post I saw either on Pinterest or a link from another blog about two ingredient cookies, just bananas and oats. It caught my eye, and I was curious to try it out. I love bananas, I love oats, what could go wrong? (By the way, even though I said I wasn’t going to make more cookies, these hardly count as full blown cookies.)

not the most photogenic

So anyway, I ran to the store to pick up some oats, and a couple mix-ins: walnuts, mini chocolate chips, and almond butter. I figured I needed to punch up the recipe a little because just bananas and oats could be a little bland.

The recipe is the easiest thing ever, and the results were solid but nothing revolutionary I must say. The cookies remind me of banana bread batter. Not bad, but not crave-worthy. None the less, a good, healthy snack to have on hand, and a nice use for those ripe bananas!

Here’s my adaptation of the recipe (I doubled it and added stuff):

Two Ingredient Cookies (sort of)

Adapted from: Foodlets, yields about 2 dozen small cookies (give or take, depending on how much batter you eat)

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 scant cups of oats
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mash up the bananas with a fork. Add the almond butter and combine. Add oats and other mix-ins and stir until combined.

3. Make one and a half inch balls of dough and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Press the balls down with a fork like you would with peanut butter cookies. They will not expand in the oven.

ready for the oven4. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely. And enjoy!

out of the oven!

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Food Trends In My Kitchen: Blue Algae

So what’s healthier/weirder than having a spinach and protein smoothie for breakfast every morning? Having a spinach, protein, and blue-green algae smoothie for breakfast every morning…

blue-green algae

Now, when I say blue algae, I don’t mean that I’m putting anything that looks like algae in my smoothie. It actually comes in a powder form that is a deep greenish bluish color, and turns my smoothies a deeper green.

This addition was actually a tip that I got from my health coach Noel. Her initial intent was that I replace the spinach in my smoothie, because apparently raw spinach can be stressful on your digestive system. The blue-green algae would serve as an alternative vegetable, but I’m a little too attached to my spinach so I add both the spinach and the algae (who gets attached to spinach?).

My spinach smoothie without the algae, then with the algae

My spinach smoothie without the algae, then with the algae

Anywho, I’ve been dabbling with algae on and off for a couple months now. The label on the bottle says it will give me energy along with a laundry list of other benefits. I believe it’s considered a super food. I’m not quite sure if I’m experiencing any specific benefits that come directly from the algae yet because eat pretty healthy food in general, but I feel good about it!

Sadie’s Daily Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 banana (brown spots=good)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp blue-green algae (I use this)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I use this)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 handfuls raw spinach
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  1. If you have a strong blender you can just add the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. I you have a wimpier blender (like me), start with the banana, algae, cinnamon, protein, and almond milk. Blend for about 15 seconds.
  3. Add spinach one handful at a time and blend until smooth. Finally add the ice cubes and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds or so).

(for some reason the order that you add the ingredients seems to affect the texture, so this is the best order I’ve come up with for myself)

Food Trends in My Kitchen: Chia Seeds

As you may or may not know, I am a rather picky eater. That was just the understatement of the century. I’m the pickiest eater I know. I’ll own it, I know it’s obnoxious and annoying and within my control. There are always improvements to be made.

Anywho, that tangent was supposed to bring us to the idea that I’m not the most receptive eater when it comes to new ingredients. This month, however, in the spirit of the new year, I’ve tried to incorporate a couple new/different foods into my regular routine. One of my new faves: chia seeds.

chia seeds

I know, I’m late to get on this bandwagon, but better late than never! I’ve dabbled with them previously, but I’m definitely starting to eat them on the regular these days.

Chia seeds are a funny thing. I have thrown them into granola bar recipes in the past, and they came out quite well. I flipped on the TV while I was getting dressed for work the other day, and the first thing I saw was Dr. Oz telling me to put a tablespoon of chia seeds into water for a quick snack to satisfy hunger. I am always hungry so this intrigued me. Then later that same day, I saw a quick video on the internet about several super foods and their benefits, and chia seeds were first on the list because they help burn fat. Sign me up!

So that was a long way to say that I bought some chia seeds and have started adding them to my oatmeal, or putting them in water for a quick afternoon snack to hold me over to dinner. They get a slightly weird gelatinous texture when they are submerged in water, but they have no taste so you can add them to anything really. Since I’ve only started eating them regularly a couple weeks ago, so I can’t brag about any specific ways they have changed my life, but I’ll keep you posted!

Here’s the play by play of my oatmeal assembly:

Chia seeds on top, mixed in, then some almond butter and walnuts and it's a meal!

Chia seeds on top, mixed in, then some almond butter and walnuts and it’s a meal!

What new/different food has found it’s way into your pantry lately?