Healthyish Banana Zucchini Muffins

My kids love muffins. They always have. And who could blame them? Tiny pieces of cake in a muffin-like single-serving shape? What’s not to like?

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These muffins are sweet enough that my kids call them “treat muffins” (they’re sweeter than my spinach/zucchini/carrot muffins), but healthy enough to be called “healthyish.” They use honey instead of refined sugar, and white whole wheat flour. I also add in half a zucchini for some moisture and added veggies – but these truly taste like just your every day banana muffins! They’re easy to make if you have about 2 bananas on hand, so much that I’ve asked my family to set aside 2 bananas and NOT eat them, just so we can make these. 

healthy banana zucchini muffins - i crashed the web

Healthyish Banana Zucchini Muffins

Here’s what you need:

  • ½ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup avocado oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large bananas, mashed (mine came out to be a little over 1 cup in volume)
  • 1/2 zucchini, grated – pat with a paper towel to remove excess moisture (Note – I have made these without zucchini and haven’t had to change anything up, they’re still good just no added veggie)
  • ¼ cup almond milk (this is my favorite almond milk; you can use regular milk if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (my kids love cinnamon, but if you’re not a big fan you can omit this or add in less)
  • 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour  
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • blueberries, optional

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your muffin tin – I use silicone reusable baking cups and spray them with non-stick cooking spray.  
  2. In a large bowl, mix honey, avocado oil and eggs.
  3. Add in the mashed bananas, grated zucchini, milk and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  4. On the side, combine the dry ingredients — the cinnamon, flour, salt, baking soda. Add into the wet mixture and mix until just combined. DO NOT overmix!  
  5. Optional — add in blueberries or other add-ins. Suggestions include dried cherries or chocolate chips 🙂 I added in blueberries to a few of the muffins but not all. If you want to have blueberry (or another add-in) throughout, add in about 3/4-1 cup. 
  6. Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups. Bake muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Mine took about 24 minutes.
  7. Cool muffins and then enjoy! I like to keep 6 out and then freeze 6 so I have individual muffins ready to go whenever. I simply take one out of the freezer and defrost overnight OR in the microwave. 

Nutrition info (I borrowed this from MyFitnessPal – I am not a dietician, just someone who likes to bake and make treats sometimes a little healthier, and I can’t claim 100% accuracy)

banana muffins

Seeking a non-healthy banana muffin? Give these a try instead!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have a go-to muffin recipe?
  • What’s a healthy-ish recipe you made recently?

Mother’s Day Weekend

For some reason, this year Mother’s Day weekend, felt a little different than past years. I felt much more like a mom this year than I ever have before. Yes, it’s technically my second (or third, depending on who counts) Mother’s Day, but for some reason, I feel much more deserving of the title this year. Maybe because I have a toddler who runs around and calls me mom? Maybe because I’m (as B calls it) 1,000 months pregnant?

Anyway, being a mom is HARD, but some weekends are just great. And this was one of those weekends. It was definitely a weekend where I loved being a mom!

The weekend started actually with Muffins with Mom at school. I got to stop by FW’s classroom on Friday morning before work for breakfast!

And it was a pretty gorgeous day, so after work that night B, FW and I went for a short walk around the neighborhood. FW loves running! 

Saturday started with some flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day 🙂 Call me basic, but I will ALWAYS love a nice bouquet. 

Saturday morning ALSO started with a 5k! There was a race starting a few blocks from our house, so we decided to do it. I haven’t done a race in FOREVER and I knew it was going to be a lot of walking and VERY slow running, but I’m so glad we did it. (Disclosure – B pushed FW in the stroller while I ran)

FW’s favorite part was likely the muffins afterwards 🙂

After the race, we walked back to the house and did some baking! FW helped mix things up.

These were the “muffins” we made. The recipe was for muffins but I’m not too sure what makes these muffins and not cupcakes …

And then, FW decided he was tired and wanted to nap. On me! It’s been a while, and it was actually kind of a nice way to spend an hour. 

Later that afternoon, we went to the West Side Market to pick up some groceries. 

And then Rising Star for some coffee. FW enjoyed his chocolate milk 🙂

And then B made us pizza for dinner! We haven’t had homemade pizza in FOREVER and it was a nice change.

Sunday morning, FW didn’t wake up until around 8 – which was a great Mother’s Day gift! After he woke up, B and FW took a trip to get me a Mother’s Day specialty – a cassata cake doughnut. These are some of the only doughnuts I really enjoy and it’s mainly because of the quantity of frosting and cream.

This photo doesn’t do it justice.

After breakfast (doughnut and some fruit/yogurt per my request), we took a long walk. More than four miles while FW slept in the stroller.

We saw some geese and baby geese on the walk – it was a cute thing to see especially on Mother’s Day!

And then, FW got to spend some time at the nearby playground.

For dinner, we joined B’s family per our Sunday night tradition. B ended up making the whole family dinner and it was delicious – we had two different types of fish, grilled eggplant and an arugula salad.

Baking, a race, a long walk and cassata cake doughnut – for me, that is the perfect Mother’s Day weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like doughnuts? What kind?
  • What makes something a muffin vs. a cupcake?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

Toddler-Friendly Foods: Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins

FW is a picky eater. He won’t touch any vegetables or meat*, and there are even just a few fruits he enjoys. His favorite food groups are: bread, bananas, plain Greek yogurt and cheese.

FW does, however, LOVE muffins. And anything remotely sweet. So, I’ve been making a lot of muffins lately, and trying to hide in as many veggies as I can. These muffins are a go-to in our house. You could probably omit some of the honey if you wanted them even lower sugar, but each muffin has about 9 g. of sugar, which is less than is in most non-plain yogurts.

These are easy, a fun color, and I enjoy eating them too! Try them out for yourself. They’re also FW (aka picky eater)-approved 🙂 AND, with their bright green color, they’d be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins
Makes 18-20 muffins

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 ounces raw spinach
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/2 cup milk (I’ve used unsweetened almond milk as well as whole milk, it depends on what I have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten (I’ve also used .25 c Egg Beaters)
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, or use silicone muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray (I have green and pink ones which FW loves to eat out of, so that’s what I tend to use).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In your blender or food processor (I put mine in my Vitamix), mix first 7 ingredients (spinach through butter) until completely pureed. Add in egg.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix together until just combined. Do not over-mix or muffins will be tough!
  5. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean.

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

*Confession – FW did eat some meat somewhat recently – I snuck some ham into (you guessed it) a corn muffin!

Some questions for you:

  • Any tips for picky eaters?
  • Any favorite lower sugar muffin recipe?

WIAW: Case of the Mondays

For some reason I thought that Mondays during my maternity leave would be easier. I wouldn’t be waking up earlier than usual to go to work … I wouldn’t have the usual pre-workweek anxiety about getting everything done in  time. I wouldn’t be recovering from staying up late evening night during the weekend.

Well. I was wrong. Mondays are still hard. Why? Mostly because B goes back to work- which means less help for me with FW,  less sleep (I sorta sleep in on weekends because B able to watch FW in the morning) and the slight anxiety of wondering how FW and I will survive the week ahead of us.

Needless to say, Mondays are still hard. Thankfully, this last Monday was a little easier. One of the reasons was because of food. B made me lunch (so I wouldn’t have to prep something during the day with FW), I had made snacks ahead of time and dinner was an easy semi freezer meal. It’s amazing how much a little food can make the day even better!  Anyway, onto today’s What I Ate Wednesday.
Breakfast was some yogurt and fruit. I get into breakfast habits and have been really enjoying nonfat plain Greek yogurt with honey and berries. I would also usually add granola, but I haven’t made some in a while and I need to do that. B also surprised me with a skinny cinnamon dulce latte- I haven’t had a caffeinated beverage like that in a year!

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For snack, I had nearly this entire large container of fruit salad.

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Lunch was a salad B had made me. It was awesome- under the corn/bean/tomato/cilantro salsa (courtesy B’s mom) was some chicken, pepperoni and cheese.

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Snacks were some grapes and one of these whole wheat oat peanut butter and jelly muffins modified from Running with Spoons.

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Dinner was zoodles with some meatballs B made and homemade pasta sauce I had made plus a delicious salad. I was starving – we had gone to B’s softball game and didn’t get home to start cooking until after 8! I was pooped and tired. Thankfully B also feed me some cheese and pepperoni as a snack (unpictured) while dinner was being prepared.

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There we go – another What I Ate Wednesday. And not a bad Monday!

Some questions for you:

  • What is your favorite day of the week?
  • What’s your go-to breakfast?

Disclaimer: Stemilt sent me some complimentary Skylar Rae cherries, and I loved them. All views are my own. 

HOT in Cleveland (The Weekend We Bought a Car)

Well, we survived a HOT weekend in Cleveland, after a HOT week with the RNC in town. A heat wave came into town and it was already 80 by the time I woke up on Sunday morning. Yup, 80. Still,  we did manage to spend some time outside.

Some of the highlights:

Some baby wearing. Because FW seems to like that.

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Friday night patio beers to celebrate the weekend. Again, I finished half of one. 20160722_194349 20160722_194723

Saturdays at the West Side Market.20160723_123334

Buying a new car! Yup, we bought a new car.

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And celebrated with a drink on another patio.20160723_170421

Sushi.

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Oh, and I worked out for the first time since FW was born 4 weeks ago!! I ran 2 miles (slowly) on the treadmill and did some arms. Nothing big, but I was so excited! AND I ran 2.3 on Sunday. And my hips were a little sore!

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Baking some healthy-ish PB&J muffins (from Running with Spoons) for breakfast/snacks this week.

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And spending some time with B’s family for Sunday dinner. FW got in some quality great grandma time!

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Some questions for you:

  • What’s the longest you’ve taken off from working out?
  • Did you have a heat wave where you are?

I’m linking up with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

When Life Gives You Strawberries … Make Strawberry Bread!

B and I have started our second year of our Fresh Fork CSA and we’ve been having a blast each week with our new bags – we already roasted our first chicken (ok, well B roasted it), cooked up our turtle beans, and enjoyed our chorizo with an amazing fajita salad. In fact, the one thing we still hadn’t really touched this week were the strawberries we got as a bonus. I noticed they were starting to go bad, and while I would’ve loved to eat a pint of fresh stories in a day by myself, I didn’t know if my stomach would appreciate it. So, I scoured the web and my cookbooks for some strawberry dessert recipes.

I didn’t want to make a cobbler or a pie. I do like cobblers and pies – but not as much as I like breads and cookies. So I was pleased when I came upon this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Sally’s Baking Addiction. I made only the most minor tweaks and am so pleased with how the recipe came out. The next time you have extra strawberries laying around – or just want a new bread/muffin to make, try this out! It’s a perfect summer recipe.

strawberry bread - i crashed the web

Strawberry Bread

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk (I have dry buttermilk on hand – this was 8 TBS + 2 c water)
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hopped, and tossed in 2 Tablespoon of flour and 1 Tablespoon sugar

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 2  8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together until combined and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and sugars together until combined. Add in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently combine until there are no more lumps. Do NOT overmix, this results in a tough bread. Fold in the strawberries.
  5. Pour batter into bread pans. Bake the bread for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick poked into the center of the bread comes out clean.  Allow bread to cool completely.
  6. Batter can also be made into 24 muffins; bake muffins for 15-18 minutes at 350 also.

 

strawberry muffins - i crashed the web

 

 

Some questions for you:

  • Do you participate in a CSA? Or buy your produce, etc. locally?
  • What’s your favorite strawberry-themed food? Is it a pie or cobbler or ice cream?
  • Favorite muffin or bread? Zucchini bread – love my mom’s recipe.
  • Muffins or bread? Usually bread-  like banana bread or zucchini bread. But muffins help with portion control  – and sharing!

Itty Bitty Baby Banana Muffins

Bananas. Love ’em? Hate ’em? I have a love hate relationship with them. Some days I can’t stand the sight or smell of them. But I ALWAYS love banana muffins and bread. Don’t you?

I wanted to bring something with me to Melgar’s wedding for when we ladies were getting ready. We had fruit, veggies, sandwiches, and other food coming, but I thought it may be nice to bring some snacks for us ladies to enjoy while getting ready in the morning. So the first thing that came to mind was mini muffins! I’ve honestly never made mini muffins and was a little nervous they’d come out dry or burnt, but this recipe worked out perfectly. The next time you need to bring an easy breakfast or snack that’s shareable, I HIGHLY recommend you bring these. Oh and if you aren’t looking for mini muffins, then I suggest you try these larger muffins that I’m also a big fan of: Banana Crumb Muffins.

mini banana muffins~i crashed the web

Mini Banana Muffins

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin tins with mini muffin liners.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix mashed bananas, sugars, egg, butter and vanilla in a large bowl. Add in flour mixture with a spatula, and mix until smooth. Do NOT overmix. I purposely mixed with a spatula and folded the flour mixture in. If you use your stand mixer, mix very briefly – overmixed muffins are tough!
  4. Scoop batter into lined muffin pans and bake mini muffins for 12 to 15 minutes. Muffins are done when lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean with no batter.
  5. For fun, I also added a few chocolate and peanut butter chips to the top of a few before baking. Definitely recommend that 🙂

mini banana muffins - i crashed the web

Banana Crumb Muffins

New year, new recipes? Ha! I wish. But it’s finally time to share one of my favorite recipes – banana crumb muffins! It’s a recipe that I seem to make quite often – and not just because B seems to let his bananas go bad often, but because they are SO easy and SO yummy! The next time you find yourself with 3 or 4 overripe banana, I suggest you try these out.

banana crumb muffins

Banana Crumb Muffins

Adapted from this recipe, makes 12 muffins

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the muffins:

  • 4 ripe bananas, smooshed, either by hand or food processor
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (I used 1/4c eggbeaters)
  • 3/4 stick butter (3/4 stick is 6 tbs … you can use the 2 tbs in the stick remaining for the topping!)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

For the crumb topping:

  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs butter (the rest of the stick of butter from above)

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Use a food processor to mash 4 bananas until smooshy (yes, smooshy, not soupy). Add melted butter, sugar, vanilla and egg to food processor. You could probably put the banana in a bowl and then add the other wet aforementioned ingredients, but why make another bowl dirty that you’ll just have to wash?
  • In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • Add banana-butter-sugar-vanilla-egg mixture to dry ingredients. Mix well until dry and wet ingredients are combined thoroughly.
  • Spoon batter into greased muffin tin, or tin prepared with muffin liners.
  • Make the topping! In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 3 tbs flour and cinnamon. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle crumb topping over muffins.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes – mine tend to be finished at exactly 19 minutes.

Enjoy! Try to keep yourself from eating before they get cool – I tell B this every time, but I still find him trying one before it’s fully cool and then the muffin sticks to the wrapper. It may be hard, but it’s worth the wait!