One of the many things I like about banana bread is the way it rewards procrastination. Oh, you left a bunch of bananas on the counter until they were overripe and started to attract fruit flies? Usually, this kind of situation would end badly for our hero: you snooze, you lose; the early bird gets the worm; etc. But not with banana bread. No, banana bread rewards our hero with a rich, delicious treat that can only be made once those bananas get a little gross.
Banana Bread Man? Procrastination Man? These are not inspiring….
My typical banana bread is straight Mark Bittman (oh captain, my captain!) and contains a secret ingredient, coconut, which adds a richness and complexity of flavor that can’t be beat. That recipe’s great, but I’d gotten in my head the idea of making a healthier banana bread, and once I saw that Chris Kimball had a version, I knew that it would be good. This one has a secret ingredient, too: plain yogurt. Also, cake flour. Who knew? I also cut down the sugar to ½ cup from 3/4, just for personal flavor preference. The cake flour gives it a nice, light texture and it’s plenty moist without a lot of butter.
The Magic Bullet does a great job of creaming together the wet ingredients, taking the effort level from minimal to zero.
Light Banana Bread
Makes 1 9-inch loaf
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (188 grams)
- 1/2 cup cake flour (63 grams)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- ½ cup sugar (100 grams)
- Nonstick baking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Blend wet ingredients (bananas, yogurt, vanilla, butter, eggs) in Magic Bullet.
- Mix dry ingredients (flours, baking powder and soda, salt, sugar) in a bowl, then stir in the blended wet ingredients. Do not overmix.
- Grease loaf pan with spray and add mixed ingredients.
- Bake about 55 minutes, until knife comes out clean when inserted. Let cool for ten minutes and serve.
What I love about these apple muffins is that they are low-fat, and, dare I say, healthy for you?! Instead of butter to make the muffins nice and moist, I use non-fat plain Greek yogurt. My favorite thing about these muffins is the sweet, crunchy streusel topping made of pecans, walnuts, and a pinch of cinnamon and brown sugar. A batch of these muffins prepared on Sunday make a great morning snack for the week. Did you know that you can also freeze them? Put the cooled muffins in a freezer zip lock bag and store for up to 6 weeks in the freezer. When you are ready to eat one, pop it in the oven at 250 degrees F for 10 minutes to thaw!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 Gala apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
- ⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a small bowl, combine the nuts, 2 tbsp brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except for the apples, to a Magic Bullet cup and blend very well, using a spatula to mix in between pulses.
- Stir in the apples with the spatula.
- Transfer the batter to the muffin pan, filling each mold ¾ full.
- Top with the streusel.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes.
- Remove from the muffin pan and cool 10 minutes more before serving.
Makes 12 muffins
In college, I basically survived on turtle frapps. Whether it was an exam coming up that I needed to study for, the start of a work shift, or a long night ahead, this was my go-to drink for my caffeine fix!
And now, the day before Thanksgiving, I know you are all in need of an energy boost, too! For those of you who love coffee and have a sweet tooth like me, you are going to love this drink. Brewed coffee is dressed up with chocolate syrup and caramel and topped with whipped cream and pecans for a delicious ice blended treat. Don’t you just love how easy it is to make ice blended drinks at home? If I had discovered how to make them myself back in college, I’d be a lot richer today!
- 1 cup coffee, room temperature
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 Tbsp chocolate syrup, plus more for topping
- 2 Tbsp caramel sauce, plus more for topping
- 1 Tbsp chopped pecans
- Whipped cream for topping
- Drizzle the chocolate syrup and 1 Tbsp caramel sauce around the sides of a glass and place in the freezer for a few minutes to harden.
- Add the ice cubes, milk, iced coffee, chocolate syrup and remaining Tbsp of caramel sauce to a Magic Bullet cup and blend well.
- Pour into the chilled glass and top with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce and chopped pecans.
Makes 1 drink
Heading out for a walk outside to enjoy the leaves turning the brilliant colors of fall? Blend yourself a pumpkin pie smoothie to take on-the-go! Taking the kids trick-or-treating tonight? Enjoy this together before heading out, so you’ll both be less tempted to indulge! Top it with some whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon for an extra special treat.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
- 3 Tbsp canned pumpkin purée
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 ice cubes
- 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Whipped cream, for topping
- Add all ingredients to a Magic Bullet cup and blend.
- Top with whipped cream and cinnamon.
Makes 1 smoothie
I have a thing for mini desserts. Perhaps because they make me feel less guilty? These mini cheesecakes are my latest favorite – have you ever tried something that is both salty and sweet? If you haven’t, it is really addicting. The sprinkled sea salt and caramel on top of these cheesecakes is just heavenly.
I love making these for parties, because they’re not a messy dessert and everyone can just eat them in their hands. You can make them up to 2 days ahead of time and keep them chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve (you can also freeze them!).
Salted Caramel Cheesecakes
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup plain yogurt
- 12 ounces light cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 10 caramel squares
- 2 Tbsp milk
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl until all the crumbs are wet.
- Press into a greased muffin pan, then bake for about 7 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients to a Magic Bullet cup and blend until well mixed.
- Pour into the pre-baked graham cracker cups and bake for an additional 16 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and let cool with the oven opened for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven.
- Once room temperature, chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Melt the caramel and add the milk in a double boiler. Stir well.
- Spoon the caramel onto the cheesecakes and top with sea salt.
Makes 10 cheesecakes
These mini pineapple upside-down cakes are a great dessert for a dinner party and make excellent just-because treats! You can make them ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator until ready to serve (they taste great chilled). I cut down the butter and brown sugar, which usually gives pineapple upside-down cake that glazed appearance, but feel free to add more to the ramekins before adding the pineapple on top for a sweeter cake.
This recipe makes two 4-inch cakes, so make sure to scale up the recipe if you want to make more!
Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 unsweetened pineapple slices
- 2 cherries
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Use some of the melted butter to grease two 4-inch ramekins, then sprinkle 1 tsp of brown sugar in each ramekin.
- Add the pineapple slices to the ramekins on top of the brown sugar, and place the cherries in the middle.
- Add the remaining butter and ingredients to a small Magic Bullet cup and blend, scraping the sides with a spatula.
- Divide the batter between the two ramekins and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out dry.
Makes 2 mini cakes
If you’re already all over tofu pudding, I apologize for this interruption and you have my permission to go back to playing Farmville or whatever it is you do during your free time. (Does anyone still play Farmville? What is Farmville? These are good questions, for which I do not have an answer.)
But if you aren’t already all over tofu pudding, then I would highly recommend this recipe to you. It sounds a little weird and it isn’t meant to imitate dairy or anything silly like that. Tofu pudding is its own thing: almost flavorless by itself, tofu takes on the taste of whatever else you mix it with, creating a suspension of pure flavor in a rich, luscious pudding. In this case, you get a suspension ofchocolate and peanut butter flavors in a rich pudding texture. If that doesn’t sound good to you, you really should go back to Farmville.
Whatever that is…
The Magic Bullet does a great job of blending everything together in single-serve portions. If you want to make this dish for more people, just do multiple rounds in the Bullet. One of the many advantages of this dish is that none of the ingredients require refrigeration. It is also, depending on the chocolate you use, completely vegan.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tofu Pudding
- 1/2 package (6 oz) silken soft tofu (important to use silken tofu, not other stuff)
- 3 oz chocolate, dark or milk, melted in the microwave
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- Boil water, then add sugar to water and continue to boil until dissolved.
- In Magic Bullet large cup, blend together all ingredients.
- Chill at least 45 minutes.
Every now and then, I get chocolate cravings… bad. Of course, they are always at a time where I either don’t have any chocolate around or I don’t have time to make a batch of brownies. If you are ever looking for a quick fix for a chocolate craving, here is the solution: the 3-minute mug brownie!
Yes, you heard correctly, it only takes 3 minutes to make an individual brownie! No eggs required. Just add a few ingredients to a Magic Bullet cup, blend, and add to your favorite mug. If you like a more fudgy, gooey brownie like me, try only 30-40 seconds in the microwave rather than 50 seconds. You don’t have to worry about food poisoning since there are no eggs in this recipe (yay!). The best part is serving the warm, individual brownie with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. Chocolate craving satisfied!
3 Minute Mug Brownie
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- Add the butter to a small Magic Bullet cup and melt in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Add the milk and vanilla, followed by the remaining ingredients.
- Blend the ingredients together; use a spatula the scrape the sides of the cup and repeat.
- Use a spoon the give the batter a final stir before transferring to your favorite mug.
- Microwave the brownie for 50 seconds and top with vanilla ice cream.
Makes 1 brownie
Popsicles are one of my favorite summer treats. By making them at home, you can control how much sugar is added and skip the artificial flavors and dyes. Homemade popsicles are healthier and taste even better than the store-bought kind! These strawberry popsicles are made with fresh strawberries, yogurt, and a splash of lime. You will need your Magic Bullet blender and popsicles molds to make them. Once you put them in the freezer, they will be ready to eat in a few hours. This recipe makes four popsicles, but you can double or triple it to make more. Just keep them in the freezer until you are ready to eat! Once they are ready, run hot water over the molds and wiggle them out.
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- Add all ingredients to a Magic Bullet cup and blend until you get an even mixture.
- Divide between four popsicle molds.
- Freeze for at least 3 hours before serving.
Makes 4 popsicles
Sometimes you are craving dessert, but don’t want to make a large batch of cookies or a whole cake, am I right? With this chocolate lava cake recipe, you can quickly make a personal dessert and not have to worry about making too much for just one person. You can also double the recipe to make two. The key to a good lava cake is beating the eggs really well to create air bubbles – this keeps the batter nice and light, so it can rise in the oven. This warm chocolate lava cake is best served right out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and raspberries.
Lava Cake for One
- 2 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. heavy cream or milk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a small dish, microwave the chocolate chips, butter and milk for 20 seconds. Stir and repeat until melted.
- Add the egg, vanilla, salt, sugar and flour to a small Magic Bullet cup and blend for 20 seconds.
- Pour the egg mixture into the melted chocolate mixture and stir with a spatula until well blended.
- Transfer the batter to a greased 4-inch ramekin.
- Bake for 10 minutes, just until the top of the cake is firm to touch.
Makes 1 lava cake