Banana Bread Quinoa

IMG_3239 IMG_3234This could not be easier, all ingredients go right in the Crockpot! It comes out tasting like a bowl of oatmeal and a loaf of banana bread had a baby! It is packed with protein and is so yummy! You have to try it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup of light cream
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/8 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • Fresh Banana, honey, and cinnamon(to garnish)

Directions:

Mash bananas in crockpot. Add all other ingredients (except garnish ingredients) and whisk to mix. Cover and cook on low for 3.5 hours. Garnish with a few slices of fresh banana, a drizzle of 1 tsp of local honey, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!!

This recipe makes about seven 1/2 cup servings. Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 6 points

*This recipe was inspired by nutritionfor.us.

Healthier Hot Chocolate, from scratch

downloadIngredients:

  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1.5 tbsp of really good cocoa powder (i like this one)
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of whipped cream or 1/3 cup of mini marshmallows on top (optional, each option are 2 pts+)

Directions:

Put milk and almond milk on the stove and heat until almost boiling. Mix in agave and powder ingredients with a whisk. Pour into a pretty mug and top with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Make your own whipped cream or marshmallows for the most whole product!

Farmer’s markets, specialty stores, and other fun places will sell gourmet cocoa powders or vanilla extracts! These special touches make for an even more fun experience and product! Enjoy!

This is a healthier version of a homemade hot chocolate but it is still a “treat”. The agave will help prevent that sugar crash and the almond milk packs a nice protein punch! And of course, use a really good dark chocolate with antioxidants!

This recipe makes 1 cups of hot chocolate. Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 6 points

Banana “Ice Cream” & Granola Mug

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Ingredients:

You are going to need a Yonanas machine (I know some people use blenders or food processors to make these whips but the Yonanas machine is specifically made to make them).

When you have 3 or 4 bananas that are overripe at the end of the week, DO NOT throw them away! Cut them in half and freeze them for this recipe, smoothies, or anything else!

To make the “ice cream”, you simply place your favorite coffee mug under the machine’s spout, put your frozen banana in the top and and use the plunger to push the banana through the machine! They will come out with a very similar consistency to ice cream. You can also visit the Yonanas site to see how it works with photos and videos!

I like mine a few ways: with mini chocolate chips, with sliced almonds and a drizzle of good caramel sauce, or with granola!

This recipe makes one mugful of “ice cream”. With the 1/3 cup of Banana Sunbelt Granola: Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 3 points

I consider this a special weekend treat because you have to have the bananas ready to go, need to wash the machine after you are done (which can take a little extra time than your normal breakfast clean up), and because even though it is only technically 3 points, there are 2 bananas in this which are high in sugar (even though its the best kind of sugar, in its most natural form).

*The machine is dishwasher safe, so you better believe mine is going in there!

Overall this is super healthy and incredibly delicious!! Let me know what you think of it!

Feta Bruschetta

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese
  • 2 tbs of good seasons italian dressing
  • 8 basil leaves, cut into very thin strips
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of wheat bread (from the bakery)

Directions:

Place 4 slices of wheat bread in toaster. While the bread is toasting, combine first five ingredients. Pile the mixture on top of the toasted bread and enjoy!

Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 points for 1 bruschetta topped slice of toast

This balanced snack is packed with whole grains, protein from the feta, and lycopene from the tomatoes! The basil makes these taste so fresh and delicious!!

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes

The very best way to cook sweet potatoes, in my experience, is in the crock pot! They come out PERFECT every single time! This is easiest way to get the best outcome with the least prep time!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 sweet potatoes (similar in size, about 5″ is great for a single person)
  • 1/4 cup of water

Directions:

Pour the 1/4 cup of water into the crock pot, the temperature of the water doesn’t matter. Clean the outside of the potatoes off with warm water; you can use a vegetable brush if you have one but I just do the best I can with my hands. Place the potatoes in the pot, cover, and cook on high for 4 hours.

Serve with a little butter, salt, and pepper or gravy! Delicious.

I also really like to put these into a salad, especially with a red wine vinegar dressing! (see photo above)

The water and the heat steam the potatoes; when they come out they are so soft!

If nutients were money, sweet potatoes would be considered the Oprahs, Bill Gates’, and Beyonces of the vegetables. They are full of fiber, potassium and a variety of vitamins. This article discusses the benefits of sweet potatoes in even more detail, if you are interested!

Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 Points for 5″ potato with 1/2 tbsp of butter spread (I like Smart Balance Butter & Canola and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend), salt and pepper.

*I have only ever used this technique to cook 2-3 potatoes at a time so if you were looking to make more, I would be lying if I told you it works, or not. I don’t think it could hurt to try…if you do, let me know how it goes…

 
Enjoy!!

Blueberry-Lemon Iced Tea

Tired of drinking only water? Try this really tasty drink that is only 1 point for an 8 ounce glass…

This blueberry-lemon iced tea is a favorite of mine, especially for the spring and summer months…

Ingredients:download

Directions:

Bring the water to boil in a large pot. Turn burner off and steep the tea bags (with the paper tags torn off) in the pot for 10 minutes. Add juice from 2 of the lemons to the pot along with the agave nectar. Slice the other 2 lemons and add the slices to the pot. Transfer everything to a large glass container or pitcher and add 2 ice cube trays (24 ice cubes) to the container. Chill and enjoy! (I keep the tea bags in there for a few hours and take them out either that evening or the next morning, depending when I prepare the tea)

**This tea provides antioxidants from the blueberries and Acai. The lemons are an excellent digestive agent. Enjoy!!

This recipe makes about 6, eight ounce glasses of iced tea! Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 1 point for 1 eight ounce glass

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This is the tea I like to use.

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How perfect is this lemon? Take a sniff of it when you first cut it open and remind yourself how blessed you are to exist on a planet that can produce such beautiful things!

Happy almost-spring Sunday!