A treat for all ages

Nothing says summer, quite like an ice cold popsicle.  Today, I was inspired by my 2 year old son, so we set off to make some homemade popsicles to get us through this Florida summer heat!  Enjoy!

Fruit Popsicles @2CookinMamasFruit Popsicles – Yields: 6 pops

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon chunks
  • 1 banana, peeled & sliced
  • 1 peach, peeled & cubed
  • 2 kiwi, peeled & sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

Place watermelon into blender, puree & set aside.  Place 2 slices of each banana, peach, & kiwi into popsicle mold, followed by equal amounts of blueberries.  Use popsicle stick to mix fruit together and push against the mold walls.  Fill all molds with watermelon puree, add sticks, and freeze.  To remove popsicles, run hot water over outside of mold until loosened.

Christina Russell @2CookinMamass

Two Amazing Tropical Smoothies

We just returned from the El Dorado Royale Resort in Tulum, Mexico where one of their featured lunch restaurants, Health Bar, had an out-of-this-world smoothie bar.  Here are two of my favorites that I will be trying to recreate at home.  Now, where can I find some cactus?

Tropical Shakes @2CookinMamasTropical Protein Shake:

Strawberry, Banana, Mango, Pina Colada & Protein Powder

Fiji Tropical Smoothie:

Jugo de Toronja, Nopal, Apio y Perejila or Grapefruit, Cactus, Celery, & Parsley

Salud!

Christina Russell @2CookinMamas

Tip Tuesday – Healthier Banana Strawberry Muffins

Banana Strawberry MuffinsThere are several ways you can make your home-baked goods more healthy and still make those favorite family recipes taste delicious. Here is just one example of substituting ingredients in one of my favorite recipes – Banana Strawberry muffins.

Banana Strawberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas
  • 2/3 cup raw brown sugar (was 2/3 cup white sugar)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (was 1/2 cup vegetable oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour + 2/3 cup whole wheat flour (was 1-2/3 cup all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with a nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash bananas then mix in brown sugar, unsweetened applesauce, eggs and vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Add to mashed banana mixture and stir to combine.

Stir in strawberries until incorporated.

Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.

Place pan on wire rack and let muffins rest for 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Benefits of substitutions:

Raw brown sugar vs white sugar: Since raw brown sugar goes through less refining than white sugar it has slightly fewer calories contains more natural minerals and an overall higher nutritional value.

Unsweetened applesauce vs vegetable oil: Using unsweetened applesauce in place of vegetable oil reduces the fat content of the muffins while still helping to retain their moistness. 1/2 cup of vegetable oil has 1920 calories, all from fat, while 1/2 cup of the applesauce has 50 calories with zero from fat.

100% whole wheat flour vs white all-purpose flour: Whole wheat flour retains more of the natural nutritional grains since it requires less processing than your everyday bleached white flour. These natural grains contain more folate, riboflavin and vitamins B1, B3 & B5 than all-purpose flour. Additionally, whole wheat flour contains more dietary fiber, 1/2 cup has 6.4 grams vs 1.3 grams, which is known to help prevent constipation and lower cholesterol.

Note that some enriched all-purpose flours contain similar amounts of the same nutrients contained in whole wheat flours but without the additional fiber.

Linda's Signature

Love Bananas? Try These Waffles

Banana Bread WafflesI love to make banana bread and banana muffins and chocolate-covered bananas and banana cream pie, well, you get the idea – anything with bananas! So I thought why not use my banana bread recipe, change it up slightly, and cook it in my waffle iron. Voila, I had Banana Bread Waffles! Cool!

Banana Bread Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs (you can whip egg whites for fluffier texture)
  • 1 6-oz. vanilla yogurt (I use fat free)
  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups milk (can use almond milk as well)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups flour, sifted (I use 1 cup white, 1 cup whole wheat)
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • Pecans, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Crumb sugar and shortening together. Add the eggs, yogurt, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in mashed bananas.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix into banana-egg mixture.

Spray waffle iron with non-stick spray or, using pastry brush, brush on a small amount of shortening. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, fill waffle iron with batter. Cook until desired doneness is reached. Remove  and top with maple syrup and pecans.

Batter can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week. Stir before using.

You may also cook up all waffles and heat again in toaster for quick breakfasts. The kids might even like eating them as they are or place ice cream in-between two and let them enjoy a delicious waffle ice cream sandwich.

Linda's Signature