Green Smoothies!


My sweet husband gave me a Vitamix blender for Christmas even though he was a little bit scared about being served green shakes for breakfast (& possibly even lunch too!). These smoothies are “green” but contain tons of fruit so they are sweet enough to transition even the skeptics out there. A great way to start a healthy 2015!! 🙂

My preference is for room temperature concoctions- the flavors really shine. The Orange Smoothie (above) is my favorite. It is unbelievably creamy with just a hint of cinnamon. The recipe is from celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, via Green and yummy!!

Orange Smoothie

Yield: 1 large or 2 small smoothies

  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 3 oranges, peeled
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until desired consistency. (I used the Smoothies setting on the Vitamix.) Enjoy immediately.


This super creamy, fluffy, and silky smooth smoothie is my husband’s absolute favorite. It is delicious and filling. This recipe was adapted from Food 52, contributed by Gena Hamshaw.

Avocado Smoothie

Yield: 1 large or 2 small smoothies (4 smoothies of the size pictured above)

  • 1 banana, peeled, room temperature or frozen
  • 1/2 cup mango, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 small or medium avocado
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (almond, soy, oat, rice, or cow milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place all smoothie ingredients in your blender and blend till very smooth and creamy. Add a little more milk as needed, or a few ice cubes if you want it to be frostier. (I used the Smoothies setting on the Vitamix.) Enjoy immediately.


In the cold weather, this pear smoothie was perfect made with a room temperature banana; I may prefer it with a frozen banana in warmer weather though. Perfect this time of year when delicious apples and pears are so readily available. So tasty! This recipe was adapted from

Pear-Spinach Smoothie

Yield: 1 large (giant!) or 2 small/medium smoothies

  • 1 cup milk (almond, soy, oat, rice, or cow milk)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 forelle pear (or any small pear will do) (I used half of a large d’Anjou pear)
  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen but preferably frozen
  • 1/2 a small apple (I used a pink lady)
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  1. Add all of the ingredients into your blender and blend at high speed until smooth. (I used the Smoothies setting on the Vitamix.) Enjoy immediately.


This smoothie is tangy and loaded with raspberries. My son even approved! It is less creamy than the others but very fresh and frosty. This recipe is from Vitamix.

Ruby Emerald Smoothie

Yield: 1 large or 2 small smoothies

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 cup (150 g) red grapes
  • 1 medium apple (5 1/2 oz/156 g), quartered, seeded
  • 1 cup (65 g) coarsely chopped fresh kale, spine and stem removed
  • 1 cup (140 g) frozen unsweetened raspberries
  1. Place all ingredients into the blender (or Vitamix) in the order listed. Process on high speed or on the Smoothies setting. Enjoy immediately.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Skinny Whole Wheat Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins


Thanksgiving is so indulgent, I wanted to have a lighter treat to offer for breakfast. These moist muffins have NO oil or butter and are whole wheat. Nice!

This recipe was adapted from Friday Cake Night. I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour, substituted a spice blend for pumpkin pie spice, and added mini chocolate chips. I also made mini muffins instead of a loaf. They were a bit sticky and worked better with cooking spray on the pan instead of paper muffin cup liners.

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees on convection. Lightly coat a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed banana, brown sugar, apple sauce, pumpkin, and eggs until smooth.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients (except chocolate chips) to the bowl with the banana and pumpkin mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan (I used a cookie scoop) and bake for 12 minutes.


One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Roasted Bananas


I have quite a recipe collection accessible when my counter has a pile of super-ripe bananas… I thought that I may have exhausted every option. 🙂 I was so excited to see this post from Cooking with Aunt Juju last week as part of Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener. I’ve never ROASTED bananas- what a great idea! I just imagined how roasting would concentrate the sweetness and highlight the flavor. I adapted her recipe to make it whole wheat and by removing the ginger and nuts from the bread. I used 5 bananas without measuring after roasting (so moist!!) and coarsely mashed them into the other ingredients. I added pecans to the streusel as well. We almost ate the whole loaf in one sitting!! Great.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

For the Bread:

  • 5 bananas (approximately 1 1/2 cups roasted)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped, optional

For the Streusel Nut Topping:

  • 3 T light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 2 T chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil that has sides (the bananas will emit some moisture). Arrange bananas in the pan and prick the skins with the tines of a fork at 1-inch intervals on both sides. Bake for 20 minutes and cool – the skins will be black.
  2. Grease a standard loaf pan (I use cooking spray).
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a microwave. Add the eggs and sugar; combine.
  5. Using a small sharp knife, gently split the banana peels. (Measure 1-1/2 cups by gently pressing the bananas into measuring cups.) Coarsely mash into the egg mixture.
  6. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened or you will get tunnels in the bread. Fold in the walnuts, if using.
  7. Pour into greased loaf pan.
  8. Make the Topping: Mix the brown sugar and flour together; cut in the butter. Stir in the nuts, if using. Sprinkle on top of the loaves prior to baking.
  9. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes (on convection). Check with a toothpick and cover with foil if the top is browning too much.

One Year Ago:

Tate’s Banana Flaxseed Muffins


My friend recently shared a treasured cookbook with me titled “Kathleen’s Bake Shop.” She raved that EVERY recipe was perfection. I went home and looked it up on amazon- because I wanted it for myself, of course! Unfortunately, the book is out of print and is priced well over $100….

“Kathleen” is the creator and owner of one of the most popular and well-known bakeries on Long Island- Southampton’s “Tate’s Bake Shop.” Tate’s baked goods are sold EVERYWHERE. Luckily for me, she has more recently authored a few other baking cookbooks. This muffin recipe was adapted from Tate’s Bake Shop: Baking for Friends- Over 120 Scrumptious Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Baker by Kathleen King.

These muffins are low in fat, sugar, and are whole grain as well. They were tender and moist with a nice crunch from the pecans. Along with old-fashioned oats, I did lightly sprinkle the top of each muffin with turbinado sugar before baking- just for a touch of sweetness. 🙂

  • non-stick canola oil spray (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 cup mashed fully ripe bananas (2 large bananas)
  • 3/4 cup low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 T sugar
  • 2 T walnut oil or canola oil
  • 1 large egg or 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 T old-fashioned (rolled) oats for sprinkling
  • 2 T turbinado sugar for sprinkling, optional
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. (I used a convection oven.) Spray 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray or line them with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, pecans, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, yogurt, sugar, walnut oil, egg, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the flour mixture into the wet mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula just until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, transfer the batter to the prepared muffin cups. The cups will be fairly full. Sprinkle the tops with the oats and turbinado sugar, if using.
  6. Bake until a muffin springs back when pressed on the top with your fingertip, 13 to 15 minutes (on convection) or up to 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool completely on the rack.

One Year Ago:

Healthy Morning Muffins


Don’t let the “healthy” throw you… these muffins are healthy but are also moist and tasty. They are also easy to make if the carrots are shredded in a food processor. They are mini carrot cakes without icing! I am their biggest fan in our family- but I decided to try to make them for everyone AGAIN recently on a snow day. (I enjoy them enough to make them just for myself!) This time, my daughter really liked them too. Yay! I will convert them all sooner or later. 🙂 This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food.

  • Yield: Makes 12
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded (in a food processor, if possible)
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt until there are no lumps.
  3. Stir in oats and raisins. Add oil, egg, milk, carrots, and banana and stir until blended.
  4. Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 minutes (on convection). Serve muffins warm or at room temperature.

Note: To store, keep in an airtight container up to 3 days.

One Year Ago:

100% Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins

I woke up early and was excited that I had enough time to bake my ultra-ripe bananas into something tasty for breakfast. I had a recipe in mind from one of my favorite bakery cookbooks, but when I saw that more that 1 cup of butter was required for 12 muffins … I couldn’t do it! I quickly found this recipe for Whole Wheat Banana Bread in The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. Needing a break from my usual New York Times Banana Banana Bread, this sounded like a nice change of pace.

Because it was a school day, I baked the batter into muffins rather than bread to decrease the baking time (We are in a bit of a time crunch in the morning!). I also modified the recipe by adding the topping from the Banana Banana Bread because we love it so much. These muffins were incredible! I love that they contain 100% whole wheat flour and are still very moist and tender. I think this recipe will become my new stand-by banana bread.

Note: I clearly have a thing for banana muffins…. I have included not only the link above to my (previous) favorite banana bread, but links to several of my posts about other great banana muffins below. 🙂

Yield: Makes 12 standard muffins

For the Batter:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I used 3 small)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional (or optional topping)

For the Topping:

  • 3 T chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 T turbinado sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until well blended and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add and beat together the eggs, bananas, and vanilla.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Blend the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add walnuts, if desired.
  4. Pour this mixture into a greased, 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or a greased 12-cup muffin pan.
  5. Assemble the topping by combining the ingredients. Top each muffin with a generous spoonful, or sprinkle over the loaf.
  6. Bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, or with a couple of crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes for a Pullman loaf, 60 minutes for a standard loaf, and 17 to 18 minutes for the muffins (on convection).

One Year Ago:

If you like this you may also like:

Whole Wheat Banana Streusel Muffins

I have so many wonderful uses for super ripe (barely hanging on 🙂 ) bananas! Here is another I was excited to try when I saw the recipe. Streusel is such a crowd-pleaser.

These muffins are sweet and are LOADED with bananas. This recipe was adapted from Bakes in Slippers; I substituted whole wheat flour for most of the all-purpose flour. We ate them warm from the oven and they were great.

Yield: Makes 12 muffins

For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of coarse salt
  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl, cutting up butter with a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands. Set aside.

For the Banana Muffins:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 4 super-ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F, preferably on convection. Line muffin tins with liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Mash bananas, then add oil, egg, and vanilla. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined (do not over mix).
  3. Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full with muffin batter, and sprinkle about 1 heaping tablespoon of streusel topping on each muffin.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes (perfect after 16 minutes in my convection oven), or until a toothpick comes out clean in middle of the muffin. Depending on your oven, muffins could take up to 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool in muffin tins for 15 minutes.
  6. Cool on cooling rack or serve warm.

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