Cinnamon Swirl Banana Muffins w/Cinnamon Frosting

Does that make them cupcakes? Meh, whatever. I will eat them any time of day thankyouverymuch.

whatever

These are seriously SO good. I kept the leftover frosting just in case I need to dip into it at random for a little pick me up. Don’t judge.

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Maybe next time, I’ll just load these puppies up with more frosting so there won’t BE any leftover frosting. Yup, that sounds like a good idea. Definitely remembering that.

Let’s just cut to it and get to the recipe

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Cinnamon Swirl Banana Muffins w/Cinnamon Frosting

for the bread

  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 c plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour

for the cinnamon swirl

  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon

for the cinnamon frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/8 c butter, softened
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 3(ish) c powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray muffin tin or line tin with paper cups.

2. Mix bananas, yogurt, sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl until incorporated (can hand mix or opt for a standing mixer).

3. Add baking soda and flour and mix until incorporated. Don’t over mix!

4. In a separate bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar. Fill the muffin tin halfway with banana mixture. Generously sprinkle (and be VERY generous) with the cinnamon/sugar. Top each muffin with the remainder of the batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Note: I accidentally forgot to set the timer on this, but that’s my estimate! Just make sure a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean

5. Let muffins cool on wire rack. While they cool, put all ingredients for frosting in a bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat on high until nice and smooth.

6. Once muffins are cooled, top the shit out of them with ALL THE FROSTING.

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Haha, did you actually read the directions? I swore in one of the steps. So naughty of me.

Oh wait, there’s one more step. EAT THEM ALL.

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When I attempted to take the above picture, Reggie promptly got ahold of this one. I fought him for it and I won. And then I ate the rest of it. 

So yeah, these are kind of healthy? I used greek yogurt instead of butter and brown sugar instead of regular sugar. Yup let’s consider that a healthy swap.

Ah what the hell, let’s just call them cupcakes.

cupcake

Your turn: cupcakes or muffins?

Chai Pear Muffins

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So I bought a couple of pears last week and usually they take a couple of days before they get ripe enough for me to be able to eat them on their own. But it had been EIGHT days already and the pears were both still hard as a rock. So weird. But I really wanted to eat those suckers.

That, paired (see what I did there? Play on words) with the fact that I was only really comfortable with either a napping position or a standing position, I opted to take the standing position and whip up some sort of baked good that included these pesky pears.

I recently saw a post for Pear and Applesauce Muffins (recipe can be found here) but decided to change it up a bit based on the ingredients I already had. The result? A SUPER tasty, dense muffin. PS: Some people are strictly light-and-airy muffin goers. If that’s you, I’d stay away from my recipe, but maybe give the one linked above a go. If you can handle a more dense and hearty muffin, give this one a whirl.

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Chai Pear Muffins

  • 1/3 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 3/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 2 t chai spice
  • 1 pear

I opted to use chai spice as I bought a jar of it from Epicure about 2 years ago and have only used it once since! If this isn’t available to you, go ahead and use apple pie spice. Or cinnamon. But chai is really such a unique flavor that I highly recommend picking some up if you ever see it in stores!

chai

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and heavily spray a 12 muffin tin with cooking oil (or use liners)

2. Add butter, sugar, applesauce, eggs and vanilla to a large bowl and use a beater to thoroughly combine. Add salt, baking powder and chai spice. Combine. Slowly add flour to mixture.

3. Fold in diced pear (cut into about 1/4 in pieces). Spoon mixture into muffin tins and bake for about 15 minutes or until tops of muffins ‘bounce’ back to the touch.

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Allow to cool on wire racks immediately after removing from the oven. Do not eat on the floor in front of your beagle. Beagles will beg.

Anyone use chai spice? Got a good recipe? I’d love some recommendations so I can use up my jar!

Cucumber Fruit Smoothie

Sounds kinda gross, right? But when you really want to sneak in some extra veggies (especially after a carb-filled weekend) what better way than in a smoothie?

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Ah if only the background of the above picture alluded to the chance of alcohol being included. Amiright?

alcohol

PS: that background is actually one of a set of napkins my godmother made for me a while back. I LOVE them. I need to have a cocktail party some time so I can bring them out again.

Ok, back to the smoothie. I didn’t really measure out the ingredients, but I wanted to keep it on the smaller side so I could also enjoy a slice of banana bread. Because of that, the frozen fruit I used didn’t so much make it your typical smoothie consistency, but more of a juice. Still, totally ok with that because it’s healthy and that’s what I need on a Monday morning. Don’t remind me that I accompanied my glass with the totally not healthy banana bread. Whatever, BALANCE.

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Cucumber Fruit Smoothie

  • Cucumber (I used about 1/3 of a super long english cuke)
  • Frozen pineapple chunks (small handful)
  • Frozen blueberries (small handful)
  • Plain greek yogurt (2 spoonfuls)
  • OJ (enough to cover about half the goodies in the blender)

Pretty basic, right? Note: If you’re not a huge cucumber fan, I probably wouldn’t recommend this as the cucumber taste is still pretty evident. Here’s the part where I’d normally tell you that this drink would be a great way to kick start the new work week. But, since I’m not going to work, I can attest that this smoothie did help me power through 3 episodes of Scandal. So that’s something.

celebrating

I fully anticipate repeating this smoothie throughout the summer when it’s hot/if I potentially need to lose baby weight (just won’t have it with the banana bread!) Plus, it’s a pretty neat change up from the typical addition of spinach or kale as the hidden veggie..especially when you don’t have either of those in your fridge.

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What’s your favorite way to sneak veggies? Have a fave smoothie recipe?

Nutella Milkshake

Drooling yet? You will be soon.

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I give you….the NUTELLA MILKSHAKE

Holy cow, this is heaven in a glass. Such a great combo of flavors! I can’t wait to maybe add some Bailey’s to this in the summer time and just sit on the patio and chilllllll.

Note: I am not one to measure out ingredients when I make milkshakes/smoothies, so sorry in advance if you’re one of those people who love to follow exact measurements!

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Nutella Milkshake (adapted from How Sweet It is)

  • nutella
  • oats
  • cashew milk
  • ice
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • plain greek yogurt

It really does taste like a blended oatmeal cookie- just with the added bonus of nutella. I’ve already downed about half this glass and I’ll tell you what- the baby LOVES it. He is dancing like a maniac! I’d join him, but I’m a bit sore and enjoying a relaxing afternoon on the couch with my heating pad and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Thankyouverymuch.

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What’s your favorite milkshake? (can be one you make or one you buy!)

(Healthy) Cookies

When it comes to desserts, I’m kind of over the whole let’s-try-to-healthify-it-to-make-it-less-sinful thing. To be honest, if I was to splurge on a dessert, I want the ACTUAL dessert. If I eat chickpea brownies or something else with a hidden healthy ingredient, chances are I’ll be back in the kitchen soon after looking for the real deal.

BUT

I recently made these flour less, no added sugar oatmeal banana raisin cookies to have as part of my weekday breakfasts (paired with greek yogurt and fruit. YUM!) and they do not disappoint.

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Moral of the story: I’m having cookies for breakfast but they’re so dang good for you, that I’m still dipping into my Nutella jar at night. WIN WIN.

I *guess* if you want to make these and use them as actual dessert cookies, you could. Pff, Your choice!

Flourless No Added Sugar Oatmeal Banana Raisin Cookies

(Adapted from food.com)

  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/4 c cashew milk (or other, but this is what I had on hand)
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1/3 c chopped walnuts
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t cinnamon

Directions:

-Mix all ingredients/drop spoonfuls (about 1 T) onto parchment covered cookie sheet/bake at 350 for 15-20 min (I did 17) until cookies begin to hold together and brown. Makes about 2 dozen.

My favorite way to eat these babies were broken up and mixed into a bowl of greek yogurt and frozen fruit. It kept me full for a LONG time and actually warded off some of those late-morning/early-afternoon sweets cravings I sometimes get.

Question for you: Would you eat these as a dessert/snack/part of a meal?