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 🙂

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!

Heavenly Meringue Cookies

These cookies were so light, fluffy and delicious…and my dad was quite shocked when he picked one up and it was as light as air. I haven’t had these delicious cookies in such a long time that I decided to whip up a batch to enjoy with EASTER DINNER. They were so extremely easy to make and disappeared just as quickly as I put them out!

I absolutely love meringue even though it’s primarily sugar and stiffly beaten egg whites. I’m not a huge fan of waste though so I saved my two egg yolks and used them for Phyllo Eclairs, which Chris went on and on about (recipe to come).

Portion your batter and add a few drops of different food coloring and create a festive treat. Pinks, blues and purples for spring, red and green for Christmas, or just red for Valentines day.

Delicious meringue cookies

Delicious meringue cookies

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (the recipe called for clear vanilla extract but c’mon, I’m not going to search for and buy it for this ONE recipe)
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar, or superfine sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Separate egg whites into a bowl and reserve yolks for use in a different recipe.
  3. Pour in vinegar and salt and using a hand held mixer on high speed beat until mixture is foamy and doubled in size.
  4. Add extracts and sugar 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form when you lift beaters from bowl.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes or until they become crisp and golden brown.
  6. Store in an airtight container.
Pipe cookies onto baking sheet lined with parchment

Pipe cookies onto baking sheet lined with parchment

Meringue cookie before it hits the oven

Meringue cookie before it hits the oven

These cookies remind me of Christmas during a simpler time, a time when I didn’t have trays and trays of baked goods to bake and prepare, but rather to enjoy!

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.

Homemade crescent rolls

I wanted to make a few things for Easter dinner as my family was coming here to eat for our family dinner. This was the first time everyone came to our place for a Holiday meal and I LOVED IT! I made a few things like some peppermint patties, recipe posted below, a carrot cake with delicious cream cheese frosting, an old favorite MERINGUE COOKIES, bacon and two cheese scalloped potatoes and these delicious homemade crescent rolls! These were the biggest, fluffiest rolls I have ever seen. Quite frankly I wasn’t even 100% sure that they would turn out properly, as I have never worked with active dry yeast before. They were a HUGE success, literally 😛

I changed up the recipe just a little and used a bit of whole wheat flour, and didn’t coat my dough with the 1/4 cup butter it called for, I just didn’t see the point. They were still absolutely perfect, the outsides golden brown, the insides light, fluffy, delicious.

I halved the original recipe and it still made 16 buns which was still waaaay too many for our table of 6.

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

Crescent Rolls

  • 1/2 cup cooled mashed potatoes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups unbleached flour 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  1. In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. When yeast has been dissolved, mix in potatoes, sugar, butter or shortening, egg, salt and half the flour. Stir in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough becomes stiff yet still pliable. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and insert dough. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or up to five days!
  3. After at least 8 hours deflate the dough and turn out again onto a floured work surface. Roll out dough to a 12-14 inch circle and cut (using a pizza cutter) into 16 wedges. Roll wedges up tightly starting from the largest end, down to the point and form into a crescent shape. Cover and let rise for one hour while your oven is preheating.
  4. Bake, on parchment paper in a preheated oven for around 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Rolls before they hit the oven

Rolls before they hit the oven

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

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 🙂

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