Peanut Butter Banana Granola Bites

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We could have called this post peanutbutter-banana-granola-bites-to-make-you-the-office-rock-star because that’s what happens when you make these and bring them to work as a sweet Monday treat.

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We shared these delicious and healthy bites with our co-workers today. They were a hit. The perfect 3pm pick-me-up.

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So if you’re looking to butter up your boss or just share a treat, these peanut butter banana granola bites are the ticket.

Happy double dipping!

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Recipe – adapted from Angela’s Banana Bread Protein Bar Recipe

Yields 15

Dry ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flax-seed flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 small-medium)
  • 1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8-inch square pan with 1 piece of parchment paper. Tip – to get the parchment to stick to the pan, give the base a spray with olive oil and do this for the next paper too.

2. Whisk all dry ingredients together.

3. Mash bananas until smooth and measure out 3/4 cup. Stir together the banana and all the wet ingredients in a bowl.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir well until combined. The dough should be very sticky!

5. Roll the batter into bites size rounds, and place on prepared pan.

6. Bake at 350F for 22-26 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the bread is firm to touch. Cool in the pan completely (We  left it for 1 hour).

7. Bring to work and share with your co-workers. Enjoy!

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Dark Chocolate Coffee Mini Scones

 

Delightful clouds of sweet chocolate coffee joy in your mouth. That’s what these light and fluffy dark chocolate coffee mini scones are!

 

It has been a lazy and chilly Saturday afternoon and these gooey, comforting scones were the perfect treat to provide some warmth. And after our grueling work-out this morning (we’re training for the Twin Cities Monster Dash on October 27th), we thought we deserved (and needed) some extra fuel in the form a baked good.

We adapted this recipe from a blog that we really enjoy reading, ohsheglows.com. It called for spelt flour and although we’ve never baked with this type of flour before we thought we’d give it a whirl. Spelt flour is a whole grain and has more protein than wheat flour. Extra fuel! Another crazy twist to this recipe is curdled milk. Quick science lesson (we are the daughters of a chemistry teacher after all). pH measures how acidic a substance is. In normal conditions milk has a pH of about 6.5, meaning it’s just slightly acidic. But when you add apple cider vinegar which has a pH of 4.25 (much more acidic), the pH falls and the protein structure of the milk changes, causing the milk to curdle.

Why use curdled milk in baking? Sour curdled milk in your refrigerator is disgusting. But the curdled milk that we made as part of the batter gives the scones a moist and fluffy texture. Chemistry is awesome!

So put your lab coat on (or apron if you prefer), and curl up with these dark chocolate coffee mini scones! Happy double dipping!

Recipe – adapted from ohsheglows.com

Makes 15 mini scones

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup very strong coffee
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. 1% milk
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.
  2. In a small bowl mix the apple cider vinegar and milk, and set aside for a couple minutes until it curdles.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the wet ingredients (oil, vanilla extract, coffee, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar + milk mixture)
  4. In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar).
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Fold in the dark chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop about 1 tbsp. of batter per mini scone onto baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or apple cider. Enjoy!

Parmesan-Rosemary Pumpkin Wedges

We’re still pumped about pumpkin! And have discovered a new delicious way to enjoy it! We’ve never considered preparing the whole pumpkin, until we found this recipe while browsing the October edition of Coastal Living Magazine. We’ve carved pumpkins for Halloween, placed them on the table as a center piece for Thanksgiving dinner, and have savored every bite of Grandma Patty’s famous pumpkin pie. But eat the whole thing? Who does that?

We do now! We used a small sugar pumpkin which has a texture similar to an acorn squash. After some internet browsing, we learned that you don’t want to use a jack o’lantern pumpkin because it’s too watery and doesn’t taste very good. We cut the pumpkin into wedges, sprinkled them with parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon zest and rosemary, and roasted them in the oven for 30 minutes.

These were the best “fries” we’ve had in a while!  These pumpkin wedges have the perfect combination of texture and flavor to pack a punch! Texture: silky flesh with a crunchy rosemary-parmesan topping. Flavor: sweet pumpkin, zing from the lemon zest, salty kick of the parmesan cheese. Our mouths are watering as we write.

Serve these pumpkin wedges as the star of your meal or make them as a snack to nibble on! Happy double dipping!

 

Recipe – adapted from Coastal Living Magazine October 2012 Edition

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds unpeeled seeded pumpkin or other winter squash, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Method

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place pumpkin wedges in a single layer on a large parchment- or aluminum foil–lined baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil, turning wedges to coat evenly.

2. Stir together Parmesan, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle pumpkin wedges evenly with cheese mixture. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until tender.

3. Serve as a tasty and unique side to your meal. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Walnut Spice Bread

 

 

While we were out shopping today, updating our fall wardrobes for BBS Season (blazer, boots and scarfs) we joined a parade. The Parade of Homes that is! We were cruising down a neighborhood street, windows rolled down, belting out the words to Haley Reinhart’s song “Free” (such a sassy song!) and noticed crowds of people walking up and down the street. We got out of the car and followed the crowd into a 2 million dollar home! That’s right TWO MILLION $$$! Can you guess which room we toured first? Yeah, the kitchen…stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, a center island to serve our guests cheese plates and fancy wine, incredible cabinet storage space for all our gadgets (once we get them), and large windows to allow natural light to flood into the kitchen (so great for blog pictures).

 

So in ten years when we’re big executives (yeah, we’ll be executives at age 32. Can’t limit our ambition), we’ll each have a TWO MILLION $$$ house. We’ll cook and take blog pictures, and of course share them with you. Life will be great. And in the fall, the sweet aroma of pumpkin spice bread baking in the oven will waft throughout our homes. Mmmmm…

When we got back home we pretended this was real life and made pumpkin spice walnut bread. We already love our (future) lives as big execs. Happy double dipping!  

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe and soft bananas
  • 2 ½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 2 Tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup walnuts chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using a hand mixer on medium speed, blend bananas and yogurt in a small bowl.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low and add eggs until well combined.
  4. Add pumpkin and blend on low to combine.
  5. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients.
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until the batter is well mixed.
  7. Spray a bread pan with non-stick spray and evenly pour batter into the pan.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  9. Serve warm, slathered with sweet butter or peanut butter or jam. Enjoy!

Honey Cinnamon Biscuits

Here’s dessert as we promised in our last post! Yummmm…

Since it was raining we wanted a comforting dessert. We made these whole wheat cinnamon honey shortcakes/biscuits and topped them with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream, for a sweet ending to the night.

This shortcake/biscuit is very versatile and can wear many toppings well, depending on the occasion. The way we served it definitely made it shortcake. But, slice it in half and smother it with butter and jam and you have a delicious breakfast or mid-morning treat!

So if you’ve already had dessert, go turn on your oven and make breakfast for tomorrow. Your taste buds will thank you. Happy double dipping!

Recipe

Makes 6 biscuits/shortcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces, and add to dry ingredients. Mix quickly with a fork or your fingers until the butter is evenly distributed.
  4. In a measuring cup, whisk honey and buttermilk.
  5. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing gently to combine.
  6. Dust a clean surface with flour and empty the dough from the bowl onto the counter. With floured hands pat the dough into 6  ¼”  round biscuits.
  7. Place on baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  8. Top with homemade whipped cream and berries. Enjoy!

*For homemade whipped cream recipe, see our Berry Shortcake Fourth of July post.

Nutrition for 1 biscuit

Calories: 220   Carbs: 31g   Fat: 8g   Protein: 5g   Sugar: 10g   Sodium: 232mg

Homemade Almond Raisin Spice Granola Bars

 

Today we found our inner granola.

We’ve recently discovered “granola” is a specific lifestyle. In fact, urban dictionary even has a definition of granola: A person who is not a hippie, but into organic products and cares about the earth. They won’t go through the effort of causing drama. They’d rather be hiking or practicing yoga.

Our granola day started out attending a vinyasa flow yoga class. It was so relaxing we almost fell asleep. We continued to search for our inner granola by flitting around the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis. However, we don’t think we found our inner granola as much as we saw it in others. (Lots of granola people watching there!)

We did partake in some granola activities. We stumbled upon a complimetary wine tasting for Barefoot wine, and identifed some floral and earthy tones in the wines we tried. That’s granola, right?

One detail we forgot to mention is that granola people also like to eat granola (crazy! who knew?!). So, to finish off our granola day, we made homemade granola bars. We added almonds and raisins, and spiced them up with cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spice. They were perfectly granola.

Happy double dipping!

Recipe – Adapted from www.wildeinthekitchen.blogspot.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cup dry quick cooking oats
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/3 cup sliced almond
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. pumpkin spice
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray. Coat bottom and edges of pan with flour to prevent sticking.
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt butter over low heat. Let cool for 5 minutes
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, and salt.
  5. Add raisins and almonds to oat mixture and stir.
  6. Add honey and vanilla to butter, and swirl to combine.
  7. Pour butter mixture into oat mixture. Stir until oats are moistened.
  8. Pour oat batter into pan, and pat down using your hands.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Let bars cool in the pan for 1 hour.
  10. Cut into 12 pieces and enjoy a high energy snack!

Rosemary Garlic Hummus

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Hum mus do you like hummus?  We like it so much that we don’t just double dip in it, we triple dip. It’s a great any time snack and delightful versatile spread. At St. Olaf we were spoiled with homemade hummus of almost every kind imaginable. Feta and garlic, roasted red pepper, goat cheese, spicy chipotle, basil, white bean…the list is never ending. Since we can no longer walk three minutes to the caf and pay with our fake money (also known as a pre-paid meal plan. Thanks Mom and Dad!) we’ve been buying our hummus. But to be honest it’s just not up to par with our spoiled taste buds. However, last Saturday we went out to dinner at a restaurant in Minneapolis, the Wilde Roast (so good!), where we were served hummus that contended with that of the caf. We asked our server what was in the hummus, but she wouldn’t reveal the secret recipe for this mouth-watering dip. So today we decided to toss away store bought imposter hummus, and create our own. While it does not taste exactly like the hummus in the caf or at the Wilde Roast, it’s pretty darn good and very simple to make. Not to mention less expensive too!

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We made a refreshing lemon rosemary and garlic hummus to go with the freshness of summer. When we first started blending the chickpeas they had a chalky texture. Who really wants to eat chalk? (Besides your three year old cousin, niece or nephew, which we know from experience is true). To solve this dilemma we added a few teaspoons of plain Greek yogurt. And voilà! We created the smooth and velvety hummus we had been craving, with just a few whole chickpeas remaining to add texture. Our hummus could have used just a bit more lemon, so go ahead and taste the hummus as you blend it, and add more garlic or lemon as needed.

We have two weeks of freedom left before we start our “real life” as corporate working women. In the meantime we are relaxing by the lake at our cabin and soaking up the summer sun, which surprisingly can build up an appetite! So we enjoyed our hummus with carrots, cauliflower, grape tomatoes, and apples on the deck. It was so tasty! Thankfully we made enough for left overs which will be great spread on a piece of multi-grain bread, with a slice of tomato and avocado for lunch tomorrow. Happy double dipping!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1  15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1 ½ lemons (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 teaspoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 tbsp. warm water
  • 4 dashes garlic salt (you can add more or less at your discretion)
  • Dash of black pepper

Method

  1. In a food processor chop garlic.
  2. Add chickpeas, rosemary, lemon juice and water and pulse a few times. Mixture should remain chunky.
  3. Add yogurt and garlic salt, and blend. If the hummus is too chalky add more Greek yogurt.
  4. Taste to test flavor. Add more garlic, garlic salt, and lemon as desired.
  5. Serve with fresh veggies, spread on crackers, pita bread, or dip in tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Nutrition info per serving (2 tbsp.)

Calories: 65   Carbs: 9g   Fat: 1.5g   Protein: 4.5g   Sugar: 3g   Sodium: 1695mg

*You can lower the sodium amount by using less garlic salt.

Mighty Machine Smoothie

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Let’s play a guessing game. We’re going to give you five hints to help you guess the mighty mystery ingredient in this smoothie. Ready? Let’s play.

1. It’s rich in folate, fiber and antioxidants which help promote cardiovascular health. It keeps your heart a-pumpin’ and corpusles a-jumpin’.

2. It helps keep your skin looking fresh and glowing.

3. It’s rich in vitamin K which keeps your bones strong and your brain sharp.

4. It boosts your immune system.

5. Popeye the Sailor loves it!

Guesses?

…Spinach! Now please, don’t crinkle your nose like our mom did when we told her what was in this smoothie. The sweetness of the strawberries and banana, the tang of the Greek yogurt, and the chocolate protein powder successfully masks the spinach. Your taste buds don’t know it’s there, but your body will! Try this mighty machine smoothie for breakfast, after a work-out, or for a snack. We made it after our run this morning, and decided to place it in the freezer for 15 minutes and indulge in an icy treat. If you have the self-control to delay drinking this yummy smoothie for 15 minutes, we highly recommend freezing it. But if your mouth starts to water and you must drink it immediately, by all means do so. It will taste just as good. Happy double dipping!

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As always, serves 2

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 4-6 medium strawberries
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
  • 10-12 ice cubes
  • Dash of cinnamon

Method

Place all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth and creamy. Pour in glass and place in freezer for 15 minutes if you want a delightful frozen treat! Drink and enjoy!

Nutrition Info per serving

Calories: 196   Carbs: 24g   Fat: 0g   Protein: 28g   Sugar: 13g   Sodium: 132mg

Berry Spice Banana Nut Smoothie

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The other night we were craving a late night treat. Something cool and sweet, smooth and crunchy. So what did we decide to make? A berry spice bannana nut smoothie! The blueberries and strawberries were the perfect sweet treat for summer. Add a heaping scoop of crunchy natural peanut butter and chopped almonds on top and you get the perfect crunch to smooth ratio. The dash of cinnamon tickled our tastebuds with each slurp and will definitely tickle yours! Happy double dipping!

Recipe

As always, serves 2

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 6 medium strawberries
  • 1 medium banana
  • About 8 ice cubes
  • ¼ cup skim or 1% milk
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Slivered almonds to top
  • 1 heaping scoop of natural crunchy peanut butter on the side

Method

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until fully mixed and smooth. Pour in glass. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and add a heaping spoonful of peanut butter on top. We also added a few berries on top which was delicious!

Nutrition Info Per Serving

Calories: 230   Carbs: 27g   Fat: 10g   Protein: 32g   Sugar: 14g   Sodium: 141mg  

If you want a lower calorie and lower fat option omit the peanut butter and almonds. Here’s the nutrition info per serving for this modified smoothie:

Calories: 209   Carbs: 24g   Fat: 0g   Protein: 27g   Sugar: 13g   Sodium:   96mg