Blackberry Banana Smoothie

This purple people eater is a delicious summer-time treat.  It’s crazy hot in the DC area now, so flavorful, nutrient-dense drinks are super appealing.  I used the blackberries Mom and I picked last week (in the rain…so much more pleasant than roasting in the sun).  This is also a great use of bananas that are getting a little too spotty for eating (not ready to make a smoothie when the bananas are?  Peel them and store in a airtight container in bite size pieces for later).  The more spots the sweeter the banana, which works well with the tart berries.  I also added plain Greek yogurt for calcium (twice as much as regular yogurt), and it adds extra creaminess.  I was going to add some frozen spinach as well, but I’m out.  A dash of milk helps it all blend together into thick, creamy, summer-time bliss.  Stay cool.

Blackberry Banana SmoothieBlackberry Banana Smoothie  (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 2

  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk (or until desired consistency)
  • honey (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth.  Taste and add honey if needed.

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Roasted Banana Oatmeal Muffins

How do you like your bananas?  I’m a pretty firm believer in eating them when they’re completely yellow, I’ll even take a hint of green.  Once the spots start they’re overripe and I wait until they’re good and splotchy and use them for baking.  Lately it seems like my bananas are ripening faster than ever, and I ended up with 6 baking-worthy bananas that I needed to deal with before the fruit flies got to them.  So naturally, I experimented with them.  I’d seen mention of caramelized banana muffins, which sounds awesome.  But I didn’t want an overly sweet dessert muffin, so I continued to do a bit of searching and found several recipes that recommend roasting.  So with 6 bananas, I tried both.  For this recipe I ended up liking the roasted ones just a bit better (although warning: scooping banana out of roasted banana peel is super unappetizing), the banana flavor permeates the whole muffin, adding just a little extra sweetness.  Caramelized was also good, but there were just bits of banana flavor in the muffin, it wasn’t suffused with the flavor.  If you want to try caramelized, just melt 1/2 stick butter in a large skillet, add the brown sugar and slices of banana and cook for a minute or two.  Otherwise, below is the recipe for just sweet enough, roasted banana muffins that are perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

Roasted Banana Oatmeal MuffinsRoasted Banana Muffins (A Seat at the Table)

Makes 12 muffins

Adapted from Guilty Kitchen

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 ripe bananas, roasted and mashed
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Place bananas on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until black and fragrant.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (oats through sugar) and mix well.

In a large bowl, mix together wet ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just incorporated.

Divide batter into greased muffin tins and bake for about 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in tins for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.  This have a lot of moisture in them, so to keep them fresh, store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to a week.

Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

It’s finally happened.  After about a year of eating pretty much the same thing every day, I’m finally ready to find a new breakfast.  As much as I adore fruit, yogurt and granola, and I’m sure it will come back in rotation, but I think this oatmeal might be my new go-to.  This oatmeal is lightly sweet, a little crunchy on top, and baking the banana and strawberry gives it a rich caramelized flavor that’s just awesome.  I went ahead and made a double batch of this and baked it in two pans (I didn’t want to have to extend the bake time for a 9×13″ because I was hungry!)  I’m so glad I did so I’ll have leftovers for a few days!  This is super yummy, goes great with some fresh strawberries on top, and a drizzle of half and half makes it a strawberries and cream dream breakfast.  There’s a subtle cinnamon flavor that goes remarkably well with the strawberries.

Strawberry Banana Baked OatmealStrawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 2-4

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond since I had some on hand)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (could also use half and half or Greek yogurt)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Grease a 8×8″ baking pan or a pie dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  In a large measuring cup, measure out the milk, then mix in the egg, yogurt and vanilla.  Stir wet ingredients into the dry, then add in the mashed bananas and sliced strawberries.  Pour into your prepared baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set and beginning to turn golden on top.Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal with Strawberries and Cream (A Seat at the Table)

Serve with freshly sliced strawberries and a drizzle of half and half.  If you let the oatmeal sit for about 10 minutes it firms up and you can serve as squares for a more portable breakfast (or snack).

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

I woke up Saturday wanting to try something different for breakfast.  I remembered finding this recipe a while ago and just happened to have all the ingredients on hand.   This oatmeal turned out really well.  Next time I would add a little cinnamon, but other than that it was great.  The texture of this oatmeal is really doughy and creamy, and the banana peanut butter combo is always delicious.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Serves 3

Adapted from Eat Good 4 Life

  • 1 heaping cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients except the banana into a saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Add mashed banana and let simmer until milk is absorbed and oats are tender, about 2 more minutes.  Add a sprinkle of cinnamon before serving.

Banana Cream Pie

For dessert on Tuesday, I made Banana Cream Pie.  It was my first time making (and I think eating) a cream pie.  I thought it was quite tasty, although it’s a very sweet dessert.

Banana Cream Pie

Serves 8

Adapted from All Recipes

  • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers, crushed
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (or cornstarch)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 bananas, sliced

Combine crushed graham crackers and melted butter in a small bowl until moistened.  Press mixture into a 9″ pie pan.  Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, until golden.  Set aside to cool.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt.  Add milk in gradually while stirring gently.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture just begins to boil.  Keep stirring and simmer for two more minutes.  Remove from the burner.  Stir in a small quantity of the hot milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks to temper, immediately add the egg yolk mixture to the milk mixture.  Cook for two more minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from the stove and add butter and vanilla, whisk until mixture is smooth.

Slice bananas into cooled pie crust, pour pudding mixture over top.  Allow to cool and then refrigerate for several hours until set.

Banana-Pecan Biscotti

I love banana bread.  It’s delicious and moist and reminds me of my grandma.  The problem with banana bread is that you need 3 bananas, sometimes you don’t have 3 extra ripe bananas.  So when I have 2 almost-too-disgusting-to-look-at bananas I make Banana Cookies.  But when you just have one, I recommend these Banana-Pecan Biscotti.

These biscotti get pretty crunchy, so I’d definitely dunk them in your favorite coffee or hot chocolate (I think that’d be DELICIOUS).  They also have a little chewiness to them from the banana.  They really are delicious, and perfect for an afternoon snack, or impressing overnight guests.  Homemade biscotti totally sounds impressive and yet it’s really not that hard to prepare.

Banana-Pecan Biscotti

Makes about 16

Adapted from here

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 mashed very ripe banana
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spread pecans on baking sheet and stick in the oven while it’s preheating.  Stir once halfway through, when the oven has finished preheating the pecans should be toasted.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl, mash the banana and mix in oil, vanilla, and the egg; pour into the dry ingredients.  Add chopped pecans and mix well.  (It seems like there’s too much flour, but keep mixing and it will all come together)

Grease a baking sheet, separate dough in half and form each half into an 8″ log about 1/2″ thick on the baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Cut each log diagonally into at least 8 slices.  Place slices cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for another 8 minutes.  Flip pieces over and bake for 8 more minutes.

Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack.  Serve with coffee or hot chocolate.  Would also be delicious with a drizzle of melted chocolate on top.