March 22, 2013

Feature Friday - Healthy Recipes that were a Hit

A lot of you have asked about what recipes have been successful as we've tried to eat more healthy.  I thought I'd share a few today.  

Here is the criteria I'm judging them by:

Every member of the family ate it and liked it.

I figure it's a good bar to judge it by.  After all, it's frustrating to make a meal that takes a lot of time and then only have one or two takers.  So, here are 5 recipes that were a hit around here.

1) Black Bean and Sweet Corn Salad from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  This is a link one of you awesome readers gave me.  Thanks!  We really liked this one.  Quinoa is so good for you and easy to cook with, too.  I remember when my husband first told me about quinoa a couple of years ago.  I was like, "Keen-what?"  They even sell it at Costco now.  Good stuff.

2) Banana Ice Cream.  Here's a fun dessert one.  I read about this on Delia's blog HERE a while back and the original info and recipe comes from HERE (by Our Best Bites).  It's banana ice cream and the only ingredient is banana.  I know it sounds absurd, but it rocks.  You just freeze your bananas and then use a food processor to blend them up.  The consistency really is just like ice cream and it's very sweet.  Throw in a few chocolate chips if you like.  The kids absolutely loved it.  Obviously you have to like bananas for this one to be successful. 

I recommend reading the original post HERE for the details.  It was helpful.

3) Banana Bread.  While we're mentioning bananas, we all really liked this banana bread.  It has no oil or sugar, but rather applesauce and honey.  The recipe is HERE.  I think I might make it as muffins next time.  Now, let me say that my kids are really used to heavy whole wheat bread now.  This bread ends up being fairly heavy when made with whole wheat flour, but we like it that way.  It's so much more filling.

4) My Mom's Blueberry Smoothie.  My parents make this smoothie every single morning.  I think that's kind of funny.  Anyhow, I like this recipe because it's filling (oatmeal) and pretty nutritious (lots of spinach) but sneaky all at the same time.  You see, the blueberries hide the spinach color so the smoothie isn't green.  So in case your kids are against eating things that are green, they will never know the difference.  Sorry I don't have a picture.  

Smoothies are a great way to experiment.  We made one last night with frozen pineapple, frozen blueberries, and coconut milk.  It was really good, too.  The smoothie possibilities are endless and spring and summer are such a great time to make them.  Yum.

1-1.5 cups of frozen blueberries

1.25 cups of orange juice

1/2 cup of oatmeal (You could use more or less depending on if you mind oatmeal in it.)

2 good-sized handfuls of spinach (about 3 cups)

2 scoops of Greek yogurt (You could use sweetened or unsweetened - depending on how sweet you like your smoothie.  "2 scoops" is probably about 1/2 - 2/3 a cup)

Instructions: It's easiest to blend up the OJ and oatmeal together first an then add the rest of the stuff.

5) Oatmeal.  I mentioned that we eat oatmeal a lot for breakfast.  We make one big pot of it since we all like it.  This recipe comes from a the Food Zone Cookbook, which has a lot of great ideas in it.  You can download/find the recipe HERE.  I didn't want to copy it here since it's not mine to give out.  

Extra notes to the recipe:  It's great to add banana as early as possible.  Then it cooks in and makes the oatmeal sweet and breaks it down so you don't have chunks in it.  I also love to add all sorts of fruit we might have on hand - strawberries, blueberries, etc.

Hopefully these recipes will give you something to try out.  I hope you like them as much as we have.

Thanks for reading.


gina said...

Do you eat the quinoa warm or chilled or room temp? I really want to try this! Also, my hubby hates cilantro would it still be good w/o it?

Banana ice cream??!! Yes please!

Cant wait to try these out! Thanks so much!

Maureen said...


The cilantro adds an extra dimention to the layers of flavors in this dish. That being said, I would still try this without the cilantro. There are many other flavors in this dish; just replace the herb with parsley. You might be able to cut back on the cilatro and your husband may not notice. ;)


K said...

Thanks for sharing! I actually just posted 3 recipes from the Feed Zone Cookbook on my blog today! It's a great cookbook-have you tried the Muesli? It's so yummy and you can make it the night before so it's all ready to go in the morning. My kids love it! I also love Allen's Rice Cakes. They are great for on the go and the kids loved them too.

Ruby Lynn said...

Have you tried steel cut oats yet? That is all we eat for breakfast now. I make a double or triple batch of plain on Sunday afternoon and freeze it in muffin tins. Once its frozen I take them out and put it in baggies. It makes the perfect little disc size. We pop one of 2 out every morning for breakfast. I make it plain with flax seed and wheat germ. Then in the morning you can add in whatever you like. I like a little butter and maple syrup. My son either adds greek yogurt and blue berries or peanut butter and fruit spread. Its perfect!

iammommahearmeroar said...

You could probably eat it either way, but in the recipe you serve it hot. It's really good that way.


Megan said...

Bob's Red Mill makes a good stone ground whole wheat pastry flour that I've been able to find in most stores in Utah. It really helps to keep muffins and quick breads a little fluffier and lighter. It's particularly great in banana bread.

~ko said...

I wish I cold wrap my brain around banana ice cream.....I try....but I just cant do it! Ha! Yum to the rest of the post :) Happy Friday!

~ko said...


Unknown said...

A friend of mine has two boys and she and her husband loooove juicing, to get them to drink the green juices(there are a ton of great recipes with spinach/apples/grapes/etc.) she 1)showed them a few Popeye video's on you tube that showed the muscle building power of spinach! 2)started calling it "Hulk Juice". It has worked like a charm! She also calls raw spinach "Hulk Salad" and she puts it on their sandwiches and in quesadilla's!

Аленушка said...

Hi. I have a question about the banna-bread recipe. What is applesause like? Can I use something instead of it. Sometimes I see interesting recipes in blogs, but we have another culture of eating and another producs in shops((
Aljonushka from faraway Belarus

Erika said...

Thanks for sharing. The banana bread looks super good....

And I made those "Energy Bite" things you posted about, and OMG....those are dangerously good. Special thanks on those. ;)

Krista said...

Apple sauce is just apples cooked till their soft and then puréed in a food processor. In recipes it is taking the place of vegetable oil, as a healthier alternative. Although apple sauce is eaten by itself and is obviously nothing like oil. In a baked goods recipe it works as a good replacement. Hope that helps.

McKenzie @ Girl Loves Glam said...

These sound so good! I want to try that smoothie!

Аленушка said...

Thank you very much)))
Aljonushka from faraway Belarus

Homemade Heather said...

We've been enjoying banana icecream too! Sometimes I add cocoa, peanut butter or coconut for a change ~ love it!

kim said...

You can add other frozen fruit to the banana ice cream for more flavors, too. We love raspberry banana, but also enjoy strawberry or mango (just let the fruit sit about 20 min. To soften a little before processing.)


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