Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – 4 Smart Points

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I’m not sure about everyone else’s house, but we almost always seem to have bananas that are getting overripe. As a result, I’m frequently making something that requires overripe bananas. Well, to be perfectly honest, I frequently make things like banana bread, but I also usually have a half a dozen bananas in the freezer. If your bananas are getting ripe, and you don’t have time to make something, just stick them in the freezer. Those bananas are perfect for making this banana bread. The number of bananas, along with the way that the liquid is reserved and then reduced from the bananas adds to the rich banana flavor and also the incredibly moist texture of this banana bread. I typically cover the banana bread with foil about half way through cooking. This helps the center cook without the top getting too brown. Really, this is a fabulous recipe. If you’re not a fan of chocolate (like my husband), just use walnuts instead of chocolate chips. I love this for breakfast and quick snacks – it’s so moist and delicious.

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Berry Crisp – 5 Points +

Berry Crisp

There’s always those days when you just feel like you need a dessert. One of the tough things to find is a dessert that is packed with flavor, nutrition and doesn’t have too many points. This fruit crisp is just the thing. Since it’s packed with berries – it’s also packed with fiber and vitamins. You can use frozen or fresh fruit, but I typically use frozen since that’s what I have on hand. Just keep in mind that frozen berries will be a little more juicy. Since there’s some brown sugar in the crisp part, I don’t add extra to the berries, but you can sweeten the berries with a bit of sugar. You can garnish the crisp with a little whipped cream, yogurt or ice cream. This dessert has everything – simple and easy to put together, delicious, nutritious and something that everybody loves.

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Frittata – 6 Points +

Frittata

When we left from my in-laws after Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law gave us some farm fresh eggs. Since we’ve had some company this week, I’ve been up making delicious egg-filled breakfasts every day. The first morning was omelets filled with veggies and ham, and next up was a delicious frittata. I love quiche, but there are three things that always get to me – the pie crust, the baking time and the high fat. I’m not terribly good at making gluten free pie crusts, and pie crusts are so high in fat that I really don’t like to use them. Not to mention that it takes forever to bake the quiche! The last one I made took more than an hour. The answer is the frittata. It’s just baked scrambled eggs filled with any vegetables and meat you’d like to add. It’s quick to cook and even quicker to put together. You don’t have to put together a pie crust, so it’s much lower in fat and carbohydrates as well as being a great source of breakfast protein! I used the ground turkey sausage I had on hand and threw in the vegetables I had available, but you can use anything you’d like. You can use ham or bacon, or go without the meat and use any vegetables you like. It’s a delicious breakfast that is ready in no time while still being elegant and tasting amazing! [Read more…]

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Yogurt & Oat Banana Muffins – 4 Points +

Yogurt & Oat Banana Muffins

Wendy’s on a one dish kick right now (who can blame her, nobody likes dishes, and these are fabulous recipes), and I’m back to finding new recipes to use ripe bananas for. Since bananas are only eaten fresh in our house if they’re still green, sometimes we have an overabundance of bananas to use. These muffins hit the spot. It’s a very simple recipe, all you need is a blender or food processor to mix it in, and you’re ready to go. It doesn’t even require flour since it uses oats that are ground up while you’re mixing up the batter. The yogurt gives it protein and a delicious richness. These muffins are seriously fabulous. I’m going to have a hard time eating just one, I think my husband might have to hide the rest!
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Ginger Walnut Bundt Cake – 7 Points +

Ginger Walnut Bundt Cake

One of the gifts that we got for our wedding was a Bundt pan, along with a recipe book with Bundt pan recipes. Several years later, I’ve used it for the first time and this recipe is a keeper. Ginger is a delicious spice – that sweet and spicy flavor is just fabulous. Combined with the rich brewed coffee and crunchy walnuts, it’s a delicious combination. I tweaked the recipe a bit, since the original called for a cup of canola oil – which I thought was overkill. I substituted applesauce for it, and it worked perfectly. It was moist and delicious. Top it with a dollop of whip cream or a little frozen yogurt or ice cream and it’s a perfect dessert. If you don’t have cake flour, you can use all purpose flour. I used cake flour because its lighter and more finely ground that all purpose flour, but either one will work. This cake is a delicious fall dessert that is a perfect end to a meal with grilled chicken breast, salad and baked potatoes. In fact, it’s so delicious, it’s the perfect end to any meal.

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – 2 Points +

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I typically don’t make too many desserts, because, well, we have to eat them once they’re made. Cookies are frequently the exception to that rule. With cookies, they’re so easy to just keep a few out and stick the rest in the freezer. Then I can take out a cookie or two when I really need something sweet. These peanut butter cookies are just perfect for that. They’ve only got five ingredients, so they’re made in no time. I completely forgot to make the traditional peanut butter cookie cross hatch in them before I baked them, and they still turned out fine. The baking soda and the amount of oil in the peanut butter help these cookies to spread. If you’re having trouble with that though, baking soda helps cookies to spread and baking powder helps them to puff, so just add a little of whichever you need. I enjoy these cookies for a little mid afternoon pick-me-up. I’ll start to get tired, and I’ll get the munchies when I’m struggling to concentrate. These are just perfect, with only 2 points + per cookie, a little fiber and a little protein, they’re a great snack for me without me going overboard.

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Pumpkin Cornbread Recipe – 4 Points +

Pumpkin Cornbread

Fall is officially in full swing, and like everyone else, I’m on a pumpkin craze. There are SO many amazing pumpkin flavored goodies and treats available right now, it’s insane! In addition to trying out some tasty looking products I find at the store, I’ve also been in the kitchen whipping up some homemade, healthy pumpkin recipes too. Though it’s been over 100 degrees here this week (boo for California in the fall!), I’ve been working on a Pumpkin Cornbread Recipe that I hope you love as much as I do! Moist, delicious, slightly sweet cornbread that bakes up light and tender boasting a traditional corn flavor, but with a hint of pumpkin and spice. Goes AMAZINGLY well with chili or soup, and if you want to spend the extra points, is best when topped with hot butter. So get on the pumpkin craze bandwagon and give my Pumpkin Cornbread recipe a try this fall. Each serving is just 4 Points Plus!

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Apple Roses – 3 Points +

Apple Roses

It’s now apple season, so it’s a perfect time to try out new apple recipes. These apple roses are just the thing. They are simple to make, especially since they use ready-to-bake puff pastry. But they turn out so beautiful every time! The bright red apple peel creates a beautiful rose but the puff pastry holds it all together. Dipping apples in lemon juice prevents them from turning brown. This works with apples or bananas, just dip them in any citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit works just as well). The best apples for this are slightly tart, since the apricot preserves is a little sweet so the balance is just perfect. Give these apple roses a try – they’re simple and easy but beautiful and delicious.

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Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes – 4 Points +

Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes

Cheesecake is a classic in our house. It’s one of my husband’s favorite desserts. In fact, we had cheesecake at our wedding. It’s not something that I make all that often, however, because the two of us have to eat the whole thing. While I don’t mind eating the whole thing, it’s not good for either of us. The answer is these delicious mini cheesecakes. I use foil muffin cups and don’t even bother with a muffin pan. Then, we keep a couple out for dessert and freeze the rest. Simple defrost them in the fridge (or pop them in the microwave for a few seconds) and add your favorite topping. While these ones have blueberry topping, you can have plain cheesecake, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, caramel apple…the list is endless. If you don’t want to make all of that topping, just make the cheesecakes and then top with a dollop of your favorite jam before you eat it. These are really easy to make and really delicious. The individual portion sizes makes it easy to get enough to satisfy without going overboard.

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Peach Crisp – 5 Points +

Peach Crisp

Fresh fruit is one of the best things about summer. Peaches were particularly good this year, and I just had some that were really wonderful – juicy and ripe. I just had to try these peach crisp. Typically I make apple or rhubarb crisp and peach cobber, so I thought I’d change it up with this peach crisp. It’s just as delicious as apple crisp or peach cobbler. It is so simple to make that dessert is ready in no time. Depending on how sweet your peaches are depends on how much sugar you’ll add to the fruit. Since peaches are a zero points plus food, it make this a delicious dessert. It’s sweet and hits the spot without breaking the points bank. Also, if you’re new to peeling peaches, there’s an easy way to do it. Just dunk the peaches in boiling water for about 30-45 seconds then submerge in ice water. The skins should just slide right off. It helps make this a perfect recipe for a quick and easy dessert.

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Breakfast Muffins – 5 Points +

Breakfast Muffins

I’m someone who isn’t a morning person. I love to eat and cook, but mornings are one of those times that if I’m not really inspired, breakfast is just a chore. Any time that I can find a delicious recipe for breakfast, I’m always excited. I love things that don’t require forethought and these muffins fit the bill. They are tender, moist and delicious. The whole cranberries add a wonderful tart flavor. If you’ve only got dried cranberries, use half of the amount, since dried cranberries add several points to each muffin. The sliced almonds add a little crunch and the whole wheat flour provides whole grain goodness. If you’re concerned about whole wheat products being grainy – make sure you get a whole wheat flour that’s very finely ground. If it’s finely ground, you won’t be able to tell the difference, and you’ll love these wonderful breakfast muffins!

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Whole Wheat Banana Nut Mini Loaves – 5 Points +

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Mini LoavesWith school getting ready to start back up soon, I know I need to be prepared for those hectic mornings where getting the family fed becomes an on-the-go task. When I have spare time, I love making wholesome, baked breads or muffins to have on hand for those days when cooking breakfast just isn’t going to happen. These Whole Wheat Banana Nut Mini Loaves are ideal for this exact situation. Made with all clean ingredients, healthy fats, and nothing artificial, they are nutritious as well as incredibly moist and delicious. I like to make them in mini loaf form because my kids think it’s super cute. But, alternatively, you can use mini muffin cups instead. Both options make them easily accessible and portable! For just 5 Points +, this banana bread recipe will leave you feeling happy and satisfied. Enjoy!
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