Ripe Bananas? Make Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Muffins! {Gluten and Dairy Free}

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Every week I buy 5-7 bananas to add to my morning shakes and every once in awhile I have some ripe ones left over.  Tonight I was looking for a recipe that was not only healthy but had very few ingredients.  I found several recipes that sounded great but I ended up combining a few of them to make these nutritious, well balanced muffins that I could grab-and-go in the mornings as a great alternative to my shakes.  They were very easy and quick to make and turned out delicious! Great for kids on the go too!

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter and 1/2 cup PB2 to reduce the fat intake)
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • *you can add coconut, chocolate chips, raisins, etc. to enhance these muffins

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and grease your mini muffin pan with olive or coconut oil
  2. In a large bowl, combine bananas, eggs and peanut butter, mix well
  3. Mix in oatmeal, baking soda, vanilla, honey and any additions you’d like to add
  4. Pour evenly into muffin pan and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes
  5. Enjoy these for breakfast or even an evening treat!
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Red Pepper Sauce!

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Do you ever find yourself craving pasta and feeling guilty about wanting it so badly?? Here’s a delicious and yet nutritious alternative to some of those dense pasta dishes.

Red Pepper Sauce:
Ingredients
1 can of diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning
2 cups of sliced red peppers
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup milk

Directions
In a large skillet, heat tomatoes and red peppers on medium, add seasonings. Cover with lid and let cook for 7 minutes or until peppers are tender. Turn heat off and let cool. Once cool enough, pour mixture into blender and add milk. Blend until smooth.

Your sauce is now complete and you just need to add the pasta! Another great addition are peas and diced chicken. Tonight I made some meatballs to go with it 🙂

Enjoy and cheers to Mindful Healthy Living!

Morning Glory Muffins {Gluten and Dairy Free}

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Delicious, dairy and gluten-free muffins that even your children will love!  If you have picky eaters, these muffins will be a great way to get some fruit and veggies into your little peanuts and maybe even the men in your life;).

Breakfast is one of the hardest meals for me to plan for, yet it should be the most important.  My issue is that half the time I am running late and when I don’t have time to make a smoothie, I end up grabbing a piece of fruit and am starving an hour later.  These muffins are full of fiber (to keep you feeling full longer) and nutritional ingredients for sustainable energy.  They also freeze well so double the batch and keep them for last minute healthy breakfast treats.

This recipe was adapted from The Healthy Gluten-Free Life.

Ingredients:

Dry

  • ¾ cup brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup teff flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Wet

  • ¼ cup raw organic honey
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup packed organic brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ organic, unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ cup warm water

Add Ins

  • ¼ shredded organic coconut
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 large apple, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • ½ cup organic raisins

*All flours can be found at most health food stores – I use Bob’s Red Mill.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk dry ingredients together, set aside.

In a stand mixer, blend honey, oil, and brown sugar together until combined. Add vanilla and applesauce, mix well.  Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet, mix on low.  Add warm water until the dough is moist and thick but still able to be poured into muffin pans.  Fold in coconut, walnuts, apples, carrots and raisins.

Bake in oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool and enjoy!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies {Gluten Free}

This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite bloggers, The Sunday Baker, she is always posting some delicious recipes so definitely check her out! I came across this one and modified it a bit but either way you make them, they are delicious! You can also add in cranberries for an added bonus. 

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White Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies {Gluten Free}
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup of oats (certified gluten free)
  • 1 cup oat flour (I used the same oats as above and place in the blender and blend until flour like consistency – works great!)
  • ¼ cup ground cashews (can use blender or food processor)
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup raw organic honey
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup of dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats, oat flour, cashews, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda, powder, and salt).  In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients (syrup, honey, pumpkin puree, egg white, vanilla) and mix well.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.   Add in white chocolate chips and cranberries and mix well. 

Line a cookie sheet with wax/parchment paper and using a large spoon, place scoopful of batter onto the cookie sheet.  Bake for approximately 7 minutes (half-way through) and remove cookies and flatten with the back of a spoon, continue backing for another 7-8 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.  Let cool and enjoy!

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Healthier Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I was looking for a healthier version of pumpkin cupcakes with a lighter cream cheese frosting to take to a Halloween party and found this recipe that I adapted from Gina’s Skinny Recipes .  I modified it a bit for taste but overall they were delicious and super easy to make!  I loved that there was no eggs or oil in this recipe to save on the saturated fat most recipes like this call for.

Servings: 16 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  •  1 Box of Betty Crocker Super Moist Vanilla Cake Mix  (15.25 oz)*
  • ¾ cup of canned pumpkin
  • 2  tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup of water

Cream cheese frosting

  • 8 oz Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake tin with 16 cupcake wrappers.

Combine cake mix and pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Add pumpkin puree and water, mix about 2 minutes.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake about 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar until smooth. You can use a spatula to ice the cupcakes or pipe them which may require making more frosting.  If you do not pipe them then there will be a ton of icing left over.  Use the left overs as pumpkin cream cheese on your bagel in the morning – makes a delicious seasonal treat!!

*Gluten Free option can be done by substituting the Betty Crocker cake mix with a Vanilla Gluten-Free cake mix.

Nutritional Facts:
Servings: 16 • Serving Size: 1 cupcake • Weight Watcher’s Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 121.1 • Fat: 2.8 g • Protein: 1.4 g • Carb: 23.5 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Sugar: 14.2 g Sodium: 142.3 mg

Southwest Style Chili – Delicious and Easy!

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Serves 5-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:
• 1 lb lean ground beef
• 2 cans of chili seasoned diced tomatoes
• 1 can of red kidney beans, not drained
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• ½ yellow onion, chopped
• 3 garlic gloves, minced
• 1 large green pepper, diced
• 1 large red pepper, diced
• 1 can of corn, drained
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 1 tablespoon cumin

Directions:
In a large saucepan, brown the beef and once cooked, drain the beef and transfer to a large pot. Add canned tomatoes and kidney beans. Let simmer on medium.

In the now empty saucepan, add the olive oil and lightly brown the onion and garlic on medium, ~5 minutes. Add the diced green and red peppers, cook until tender, ~ 5 minutes.

Add vegetable mixture to beef mixture and stir. Add in chili powder and cumin. Bring to a low boil and simmer for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Pair with your favorite glass of red wine for some added antioxidant benefits and ENJOY!

Eggplant Lasagna – Gluten Free Option!

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Eggplant Lasagna – Gluten Free
Serves 8
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium red pepper (chopped)
• 2-3 garlic gloves (minced)
• ½ cup chopped onion
• 1 lb lean ground beef
• 1 Jar of your favorite marinara (homemade marinara works just as well!)
• Fresh basil
• Fresh oregano
• 1 Eggplant (sliced lengthwise ~1/4 inch thick)
• 6 cooked brown rice lasagna noodles (for Gluten Free Recipe)
• 1 cup Part Skim Ricotta
• ½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
• 3 eggs
• ½ cup part skim mozzarella

Directions:
In a large sauce pan, cook the ground beef and drain.

In medium saucepan, heat olive oil and sauté red pepper and onion until tender (~5 min), add garlic and sauté until golden brown (~1 min). Add basil, oregano and 1/3 of the marinara sauce. Add this mixture to the ground beef. Remove from heat.

Combine ricotta, parmesan cheese and eggs. Mix well.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with approximately ½ cup of the remaining marinara sauce. Place 3 lasagna noodles lengthwise on top of the sauce, add half of the cheese and egg mixture, top with eggplant and half of the remaining sauce. Repeat again. Top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for approximately 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
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