Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

peanut butter and banana smoothieSmoothies are my favorite breakfast during the summer. They are quick and easy to make, and portable for mornings on the go. I also love their versatility- I make a smoothie almost every morning for breakfast and never get bored.

My go-to has always been peanut butter and banana smoothie with a little chocolate (because everything is better with chocolate). Such a delicious combination, and the perfect fuel for a busy morning or post-workout snack. However, when I started paying more attention to what I was eating, I realized my favorite “healthy” smoothie wasn’t as nutritious as I had though. With a big dollop of peanut butter, sugary yogurt and the occasional chocolate chips, it was more like ice cream than a healthful smoothie.

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Guilt-Free Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice CreamNothing says ice cream like summer! Minnesota summers are hot and humid, and nothing is better than a cool bowl of ice cream on a cool day. I would love to have a bowl of ice cream every day. Unfortunately, ice cream is an occasional indulgence, not an everyday treat. This banana ice cream satisfies my ice cream cravings, but it’s healthy enough to enjoy as often as I chose all summer long.

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Best Ever Banana Cake

Banana CakeHands down, this is the best ever banana cake. It’s rich, moist and very, very banana-y. While some banana cakes have a subtle banana flavor, this one is unapologetic. If you love bananas, you will love this cake. The tangy cream cheese frosting balances perfectly with this sweet cake.

This recipe is from my cousin Dani. Several summers ago she and her family were visiting from Arizona and we decided to make a cake. We had a big group, so we decided to double the recipe. Except we forgot to check how much cake the original recipe would make. As we added ingredients, our batter got larger and larger, and we started searching for bigger mixing bowls, and eventually ended up using one of Grandma’s large stock pots to mix the batter. Whoops. We baked enough banana cake to feed our entire family, extended family, and still have left overs.

Banana Cake
Yup. This happened. We made cake in a pot.

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Banana Cookies

banana cookie collageWith only a handful of ingredients, these delicious and nutritious banana cookies are easily one of my favorite snacks.

Friends, there a two recipe claims I am sick of hearing. The first is that a recipe only has 2 or 3 ingredients, but one of the ingredients is cake mix or cream of something soup (gross). The second is when a recipe claims to be healthy or “skinny”, and the nutritional information is downright scary. I promise this is not the case with these cookies.

These banana cookies have become my favorite post-workout snack. I usually crave sweets when I exercise (not a great habit), and these cookies satisfy my craving and won’t negate my hard work in the gym! The basic recipe is one banana to ½ cup of oats, but I like to add mix-ins like cinnamon, chocolate chips and toasted coconut. Delicious and guilt free- that’s my kind of cookie!

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