Healthy Whole Wheat Flax Seed Banana Pancakes

Now THAT’S a mouth full.

Literally AND Figuratively.

On a lovely walk with Hendrix Sunday morning Christopher and I found an amazing little place called “The Apple Market”. This place had great, locally grown produce, as well as a garden center and general grocery store area! So many local products like soups, salad dressings and syrups, some I had never seen before like Cherry and Apple!!! I found a pineapple so large that I needed to carry it with two hands for only $2.99, as well as GIANT organic Bananas for .99 cents a pound!!! This awesome market is open Monday through Sunday (unlike your typical market) and is right around the corner so I think I will try and buy my produce from here only from now on.

SO that is where I scooped up the bananas for these delicious and filling pancakes which Chris had asked for the night before. I couldn’t BELIEVE how filling they were, and so easy to make 🙂 Try them with the peanut butter syrup I whipped up 🙂

Healthy Homemade Banana Pancakes with fresh fruit and peanut butter syrup!

Healthy Homemade Banana Pancakes with fresh fruit and peanut butter syrup!

Healthy Whole Wheat Flax Seed Banana Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water, let stand 5 minutes
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • Dash of pure vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon and fresh nutmeg to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • 2 ripe bananas mashed

OPTIONALS

  • Extra 1/4 ground flax seed
  • Toasted almonds or walnuts
  • 1/4 milk chocolate chips
  1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and any extra ground flax seed you are using. In separate bowl mix together ground flax seed mixture, milk. apple sauce, bananas and extract.
  2. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture, batter should remain slightly lumpy and bumpy. If you are using any extras like chocolate chips or toasted nuts mix in until just incorporated at this point.
  3. Heat lightly oiled frying pans and spoon 1/4 cup out for each pancake. Cook on first side until you see air bubbles on top of pancakes, flip and cook until golden brown on other side.
  4. Enjoy with cut up fruit, or this delicious peanut butter syrup I made, recipe below.

NOTE: If you like thinner pancakes add more milk, thicker, add less!!!

Peanut Butter Syrup

  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • dash of pure vanilla extract
  • dash of maple extract
Thick whole wheat lumpy, bumpy banana batter

Thick whole wheat lumpy, bumpy banana batter

Almost ready to be flipped!

Almost ready to be flipped!

Healthy Banana Pancakes with fresh fruit topping and peanut butter syrup, ready to be enjoyed :)

Healthy Banana Pancakes with fresh fruit topping and peanut butter syrup, ready to be enjoyed 🙂

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Phyllo Eclairs

Came across this lovely recipe completely by accident and so very happy that I did! I’ve never used a recipe from this site before but this turned out really, really well!!!

Not only did I get to use the two egg yolks that I had left over from a previous recipe, but I made one of the yummiest treats I’ve had in a while! This totally seams like something that you would pay an arm and a leg for at a fancy bakery, but it was so easy to make and the ingredients weren’t expensive either! AND Chris could NOT stop raving about them. I like that. I like that a lot.

Delicious Phyllo Eclairs

Delicious Phyllo Eclairs

Phyllo Eclairs

For 3 eclairs…

SHELLS

  • 2 sheets phyllo dough at around room temp.
  • 1-2 tablespoons white sugar
  • melted butter or cooking spray

VANILLA CREAM

  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

OPTIONALS

  • 1/8 cup melted milk chocolate for drizzling
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling

To Make Shells

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut out 3 (12 x 6-inch) pieces of aluminum foil. Using index fingers as a guide, loosely roll up each foil piece jelly-roll fashion to form a cylinder with a 1-inch opening. Lightly coat outside of each cylinder with melted butter or cooking spray.
  2. Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or work surface and be sure to cover your remaining dough to prevent drying!!! Lightly coat with butter or cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with granulated sugar. Repeat layers once. Cut phyllo stack lengthwise into 3 equal strips.
  3. Place foil tube at bottom of each strip of phyllo and roll up jelly roll style and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack and store (if not using right away) in an airtight container.
Rolling up the phyllo sheets

Rolling up the phyllo sheets

Shells before they hit the oven

Shells before they hit the oven

Shells fresh out of the oven

Shells fresh out of the oven

TO MAKE VANILLA CREAM

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Gradually add milk and half-and-half, continuing to stir with a whisk. Cook over medium heat until mixtures comes to a boil, still stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 minute, STIRRING CONSTANTLY.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. If not using right away transfer to a ziploc bag and refrigerate.
  4. To pipe mixture into shells cut edge of ziploc bag and squeeze mixture into phyllo shells. If desired, drizzle with melted milk chocolate chips and sprinkle with powdered sugar!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

I spent a while gathering ideas for Easter dinner dessert and was originally thinking cute lil’ bunny themed cupcakes. But after seeing countless recipes for carrot cake I decided to go for it even though I’ve never made one before. I paired it with the delicious cream cheese frosting I made in an earlier post, but added less powdered sugar so it had more of a cream cheese taste! It was a big hit, everyone loved it, my mum especially took a liking to the cream cheese frosting 😛

You can either bake this in two standard cake tins and layer your cake, or just use a glass pie dish and invert your cake onto your serving platter like I did.

With a few adjustments this was easily made into a much healthier version of the original.

Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

  • 2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1/2 – 1 cup toasted almond slices
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 white sugar
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Grease a 9x13x2 pie pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Toast the almonds for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and they smell delicious. Let cool.
  3. Peel and finely grate the carrots and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.
  5. With hand mixer beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light coloured (about 3-4 mins). Add apple sauce and oil in a thin steady stream, and then beat in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots.
  7. Fill pie pan until 3/4 of the way full and bake in preheated oven for around 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  9. After completely cooled invert cake onto serving platter and frost with cream cheese frosting. Press toasted almonds around sides of cake, or chop and sprinkle over entire cake. Refrigerate any leftovers!
Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • one 8 oz. bar cream cheese, cold
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest OR extract (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, measure then sifted
  1. With the mixer on a low speed, beat the cream cheese and butter till blended.
  2. Mix in vanilla and lemon extract.
  3. Slowly add the powdered sugar a cup at a time.
  4. Once all the powdered sugar is added, increase to a higher speed to whip up the frosting till light and fluffy.

Peppermint Patties

This project was extremely time consuming and quite frustrating at times. You need to work very quickly and chill your peppermint “dough” at every chance you get…I learned this the hard way 😛  I prepared and froze the “patties” the night before so they would be easier to work with when I was ready. Even then it is still best to only take out a few patties at a time to dip.

AND, there is a secret…WEIRD…ingredient!!! **Drum roll please**                            MASHED POTATOES!!! This kinda threw me off at first too… I mean a chocolaty treat made with POTATO?  But alas, the recipe has been tested and tried, tried and tested and has received very many chocolaty thumbs up from my lovely family.

I had Christopher help me dip the formed patties into the chocolate which was fun. He had many fondue/ chop sticks out and covered in chocolate by the end, but hey – I’ll lure him into the kitchen at any chance I can get, even if it means cleaning 6 fondue sticks and 4 chop sticks 😛

All in all I am pleasantly surprised with the end result. Chris said the peppermint patties were better than any of the Easter Chocolate that we received, and my Dad just could not believe that there was mashed potato in these delicious treats. For my first time making chocolates I would have to say it was a great success…I’ll definitely be doing them again for Christmas!!!

You could also add raspberry flavoring or extract and a bit of red food coloring for a valentines day treat!

Chocolate covered peppermint patties :)

Chocolate covered peppermint patties 🙂

Chocolate Covered Peppermint Patties

I ended up with around 75 chocolates when all was said and done! Whew! A lot were eaten (before) & after Easter Dinner, but I’m keeping the rest in the freezer until ready to enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 4-6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Dark chocolate chips
Peppermint Patties ready to be dipped :)

Peppermint Patties ready to be dipped 🙂

  1. In a large bowl mix together potatoes, salt, butter and peppermint extract. Gradually mix in sugar until you form a workable dough – This will take anywhere from 4-6 cups of powdered sugar. Put dough in freezer at this point for 10-15 minutes to harden up.
  2. Remove half of dough from freezer and begin rolling into cherry sized balls. Place balls appx. 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. After you have filled baking sheet with balls, start with first one and begin to press down into a patty shape. Continue pressing down balls until all are in patty forms. Continue with the rest of the dough on another baking sheet. When all dough is in patty shapes freeze until you are ready to coat in chocolate. (If you like a thinner patty start with less dough and flatten out almost completely. If you like thicker, use more dough and don’t press out as much! OR if you’d prefer feel free to skip the step of rolling dough into balls and instead use a chocolate mold and just press dough into molds and chill, and then coat with chocolate).
  3. When you are ready to coat patties remove a few from the freezer at a time. Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler over low heat. One at a time place each patty into the chocolate, flip to coat and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze until chocolate is set and ENJOY!!!!!

I thought they were extra delicious when enjoyed right from the freezer as a cool treat!

Fruit Protein Smoothie

This is a great smoothie for the morning as it really gets you going and makes your tummy feel nice and full! Or after working out. Anytime really. I picked up about $10.00 worth of protein powder from bulk barn and it has lasted for many, many smoothies – you just need to store in a cool, dry place. I could go on and on about how great of a product this is…OR, you could just check out the Bulk Barn website for all that great information including nutritional facts 🙂 Add some ground flax seed for increased nutritional benefits!

I use the lil’ magic bullet for this task as it’s the perfect size for one smoothie!

Fruit Protein Smoothie

  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup mixed fresh or frozen fruit, I used raspberries and blueberries (my fav) Options: Strawberry & Banana, Pineapple & Mango, Peach & Blueberry, Strawberry & Kiwi
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, if using plain add a splash of pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp Protein Powder
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp Ground flax seed
  • 1 Tsp – 1 Tbsp Honey
  1. Add all ingredients to Magic Bullet or blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy Immediately.

Using the magic bullet makes clean up a BREEZE!

Raspberry/Blueberry Smoothie ready to enjoy!

Raspberry/Blueberry Smoothie ready to enjoy!

Delicious and nice colour :)

Delicious! and nice colour 🙂

Cinnamon/Sugar grilled bananas

I had a craving for something sweet the other night and didn’t know where to turn! After opening and closing every cupboard, and the fridge twice, I finally set my gaze upon the last few bananas that were hanging near the wine rack. I’m not usually a huge banana fan, but Chris is, so I thought I would try something new for my love. And it was actually quite satisfying 🙂

Here is my grilled bananas recipe!

Cinnamon/Sugar grilled Naners

  • One banana per person
  • Vanilla Sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling
  1. Preheat grill between med-high.
  2. Cut bananas in half lengthwise and then cut each in half again so you are left with four portions.
  3. Place bananas cut side down and sprinkle with cinnamon and vanilla sugar.
  4. Cook 4-5 minutes or until sugar begins to caramelize.
  5. Serve with ice cream or enjoy them on their own.
Grilled naners with cinnamon and sugar

Grilled naners with cinnamon and sugar

Zucchini bread and muffins

Chris has been bugging me for a couple weeks now to make him some zucchini bread because of an episode of ‘How I met your Mother’ that we watched. In the episode one of the main characters Marshall goes for Brunch with another guy and has some zucchini bread that he exclaims is “ridonkulous”.  If you haven’t seen the show yet I would definitely recommend it. It’s almost like a funnier, cruder version of Friends, except they hang out in a bar instead of a coffee shop.

Sorry, off topic 😛 Anyways, I wanted to ‘Feed two birds with one scone’, so to speak, and make Chris some easy to transport zucchini muffins, and a delicious [healthy] loaf that I could bring for dinner to our friends house the following evening.

The muffins and loaf were such a huge success that I’m not going to change the recipe AT ALL. I even got a certain someone who “doesn’t like zucchini or any vegetables” to reach for seconds!!!

I started with a recipe that I found on allrecipes.com and went from there. I wanted to make the recipe as healthy as possible so I used apple sauce in place of half the oil. I used a ground flax seed mixture in place of the eggs which made the loaf and muffins even lighter, whole wheat flour instead of all purpose and added some freshly grated nutmeg. I filled my bread pan first and then started on the muffin cups and near the end of the batter I threw in a few chocolate chips so we could test what those would taste like as well! That’s the beauty of muffins, you don’t have to have 12 of the same thing as it is really easy to portion your batter and add different optional ingredients to each.

So moist, fluffy and delicious… and gone already. I think I might have to make another batch this weekend!

Healthy Zucchini Bread & Muffins

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg (yum)
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 9 tablespoons water, let stand 3-5 minutes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups grated zucchini (around 3 zucchinis)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • optional: chocolate chips, raisins, an additional 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  1. Grease and flour one bread ban and line muffin pan with paper cups.
  2. Sift flour, EXTRA ground flax seed, salt, baking powder, baking soda, grated nutmeg and cinnamon in large bowl.
  3. Beat ground flax seed mixture with, oil, apple sauce, vanilla and sugars together in another large bowl.
  4. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared bread pan.
  5. I poured about 6 regular muffins and then added some chocolate chips and filled the rest of the cups.
  6. Bake loaf for around 50-60 minutes depending on your oven [when a toothpick inserted deep into the middle comes out clean] and muffins for 15-20 minutes [or until toothpick inserted comes out clean].
  7. Cool on racks.


Delicious zucchini loaf

Delicious zucchini loaf

Delicious Zucchini Loaf

Delicious Zucchini Loaf

Delicious zucchini bread slices

Delicious zucchini bread slices

Delicious zicchini muffins

Delicious zucchini muffins

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