It was a busy summer! So busy, in fact, that I really did not have much time to blog. I was also taking some of the advice from Hands Free Mama to heart. We had a great summer, complete with a family trip to Chincoteague Island that was truly wonderful.
We ate lots of watermelon from our garden…
made our own sushi rolls…
and celebrated a birthday!
Now that school is in session and I have a little more time on my hands, I’ve been itching to get back to my blog. I hope to post a new recipe each week…and if you have a recipe you’d like me to try, send it my way!
Whole Wheat Banana Muffins
I know everyone else in the food world is blogging about pumpkin. Mmmmm. What’s not to love about pumpkin? I’ve been enjoying pumpkin spice coffee every morning. So, I promise I’ll get to some pumpkin recipes soon! For now I want to share a recipe for my new favorite muffin. It’s healthy, wholesome, and so, so good!
Some of you may have heard of the food blog “100 Days of Real Food.” Awesome site! If you haven’t checked it out, you definitely should. It’s all about how to cut processed foods out of your diet and has tons of other useful information, from simple lunches to pack for your child to what products you should avoid buying at the grocery store. Honestly, I love it. Love, love, love it! I found this recipe the other day when I was trying to come up with a plan for overripe bananas that did not involve vast amounts of sugar or oil.
Honestly, we seldom have overripe bananas at our house because we eat them every day. Usually I have to pick up another bunch before the week is even over! But we were gone for a couple of days and forgot to take the bananas with us, so they were perfectly overripe when we got home! Here’s the recipe:
Whole Wheat Banana Bread
(from 100 Days of Real Food, Lisa Leake)
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup oil (you can replace half the oil with applesauce)
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf or muffin pan. Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine mashed bananas, yogurt, honey, eggs, oil and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Do not overmix. Pour batter into pan. Bake a large loaf for 45-50 minutes and muffins for 15-20 minutes. Yields 1 large loaf or 1 dozen muffins.
Instead of baking a loaf of bread, I chose to make muffins because I knew I could throw them in the freezer and then grab one for a snack on the go. They’re great to have when I’m out running errands. I just grab one before I leave, and by the time I’m ready for a snack it is thawed out! Another great idea is to make mini-muffins for your child’s lunch! So cute. Not only do these muffins have a wonderful flavor, but they are perfectly moist. And so simple to make!
Speaking of school lunches, do any of you have children in public schools? My two are in first and third grade. They attend a local public school and we could not be more pleased with the academic education they are receiving (not to mention the teachers rock!). I pack their lunches every morning, mostly to ensure that they get a healthy lunch. Recently an article ran in our local newspaper entitled “New School Meal Standards Keep Kids Hungry.” The title intrigued me, so I read on. Basically, the article details Michelle Obama’s efforts to revamp school lunches by requiring healthier options and portion control (there’s also a calorie limit). Representative Roe believes some children are not getting enough to eat as a result. Interesting. His claim is that many children have no food to eat at home, so they should not be limited on what they can eat at school. In other words, they should be allowed to go back for seconds if they are still hungry. I do see his point here, and it is a good one. Many children in our country go home to no food each and every day. This is extremely sad.
However, after having spent lunchtime with my children once a week in the school cafeteria for the past two years, I’ve definitely seen a lot of fried foods, minimal fresh fruits and vegetables, and a lot of food waste due to portion size. So, that day when I had lunch with my daughter at school, I decided to check out the school lunches once again. The menu was chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, carrots, and milk to drink (in various flavors). I could definitely tell that the chicken nuggets were rationed out, and I noticed that the serving size of the other foods was not huge. But…what I also noticed on each tray was a nice, shiny green apple! And, since each child only had a small number of chicken nuggets and could not go back for more, what I also noticed was that once the children finished their nuggets and the remainder of their food, they were all happily chomping away on their apples. One child even asked me if it was ok for her to eat the skin. “That’s where the good stuff is!” I told her. If the children had been given more chicken nuggets as in the past, I doubt many of them would have even touched their apples. They would have been too full – and that would have meant a lot of apples being thrown away. So, I left feeling happy that my children’s school is now offering healthy choices as part of the school lunch. I’m still dismayed by the usual fried food on the menu, but small steps in the right direction are good!
If you want to learn more about the current school lunch debate, this is interesting too: “Lunchroom Revolt.” It’s on the ABC News website.
Until next time,
More Muffin Mania!