Freeze Banana Slices for Smoothie – 5 Easy Steps

 When bananas start to have brown spots like the ones you see in the picture below, you are left with two options:  1) Eat them as soon as possible, or 2) Freeze them.  Many people never think of freezing bananas, but I do it all the time.  Frozen bananas make the best smoothies.  Better freeze than throw away a good-looking banana:)

1.  I peel the banana and cut them into 8 slices.   I, then, arrange them flat side up in a single layer on the cutting board.  You can use a cookie sheet also.  

2.  I place them in the freezer for about 45 minutes.  They freeze nicely.

3.  Next, I place each individually frozen banana slices into a sandwich bag.    Freezing them individually, and then storing them in a bag keep these slices from sticking to each other.  

4.  Then I place the sandwich bag with frozen banana slices into another bag, a storage bag or freezer bag.   Just for extra protection!  I do this so that these banana slices won’t get freezer burn.  image

5.  And, that’s it!  I just throw in 2 to 3 frozen banana slices into the blender when I’m making my delicious smoothie.  Yum!

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds – My Easy Recipes!

I really enjoyed making these.  They are fun to make and delicious to eat.
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I roasted almonds in the oven (I used my little toaster oven).  The aroma of roasting almonds is quite good:).  That also meant it was ready to be taken out of the oven.  So that’s what I did.  And, I set them aside to cool.

 Time to melt chocolate:

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Endangered Species Chocolate is what I used (the brown wrap one).  My daughter is an animal lover.  Her diet includes no animal products or by-products.  She is passionate about them and is determined to be their voice.   (I am making this for her.)

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Next step:  I started my double-boiler.  I heated enough water in the pot so that it wouldn’t touch the base of the second pot with chocolate pieces to be melted.

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I kept the heat on low because the chocolate melts fairly quickly.

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All melted! Looked rich & creamy!  I turned the heat off.

Next, I added almonds into the melted chocolate and stirred the chocolate to coat the almonds.

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Roasted almond & melted chocolate…irresistible!  I wanted to try one so badly.

I placed wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Then, I scooped out almonds from the pot and spread them in a single layer on the wax paper.  I got a spoon to start separating these guys.  After that, I placed these almonds in the fridge so that the chocolate around these almonds will solidify.

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They stayed in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

It was time to coat them with cocoa powder.  You don’t have to do this part, but the cocoa powder adds to the flavor.

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I mixed in a bit of raw cane sugar in the cocoa.

Then, I got the chocolate covered almonds from the fridge and dropped them in the cocoa powder mix;  I used a spoon to gently fold the cocoa powder over the chocolate covered almonds.

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Last thing I did was to place the almonds from the bowl into a colander.  I shook the colander to get excess cocoa off the almonds.  And, then I stored them in a plastic container.  All done!

My daughter will love this.  She will be coming home soon from the animal shelter…I’ll surprise her!  This is one of her favorites!  I’m glad I made these for her.  I feel good!

 

Serving size of almonds from http://www.livestrong.com:

The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory says that 1 oz. of whole, shelled almond kernels contain 163 calories and about 14 g of fat.  They’re also a nutritious source of protein and fiber, with 6 g of protein and 3.5 g of fiber.

1 oz. is standard serving of almonds.  That’s equal to one handful or about 23 whole, shelled nuts.

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bar serving size:

!/2 a bar, calories: 250; total fat: 18 g; cholesterol: 0 mg; carb: 20 g; Fiber: 5 g; Protein: 4 g

My recipe:

1 – Endangered Species dark chocolate bar (use any brand you like)

1 – Cup Almond

2 – Tablespoon Nestle Toll House Cocoa Powder (use any brand you like)

1 – Tablespoon raw cane sugar (option: use white granulated sugar or powdered sugar)

  1.  Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Place almonds in a baking pan and bake for 10 – 12 minutes.  Take out of the oven, and let them cool.
  2. Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and set aside.  In a small bowl add cocoa powder and sugar and set aside.  Have a colander handy.  Have a storage container set aside also.
  3. Break chocolate bar into pieces, and melt in a double boiler.  (Please refer to pictures above).
  4. Add almonds and stir to coat.
  5. Scoop them out on the wax paper and gently spread them in a single layer.
  6. With a spoon separate the almonds from each other.
  7. Place the almonds in the fridge for the chocolate to solidify.
  8. Break the chocolate almond pieces…thin chocolate layer breaks apart quickly.
  9. Put all of the chocolate covered almonds into the cocoa powder sugar bowl.  With a spoon fold the cocoa powder mix to coat the chocolate covered almonds.
  10. Place all the cocoa powder coated chocolate covered almonds in the colander, and gently shake to get excess cocoa mix off them.
  11. Place these coated chocolate covered almonds in a storage container.

Enjoy!!

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

My In-A-Hurry-Fried-Rice

Super easy 4-step recipe. Took me less than 30-minutes to make!

I’m stir-frying all vegetables together

1.  In a large frying pan stir-fry mixed vegetables (I used frozen),  onion, frozen shelled edamame (or any type of kidney beans), tricolor bell peppers with garlic powder and salt & black pepper in pure olive oil. Already looking & smelling good!  Once the veggies start to char a bit, turn stove off.

2.  In a small pan, add roasted unsalted cashews in pure olive oil.  Keep stove heat at a low.  Sprinkle salt & black pepper over the cashews. Stir until the sides darken (this darkening is not uniform but will taste yum!).  Turn stove off.

Dropped cashews in the pan. See the low heat. They cook very fast. Keeping an eye on them!
Sprinkled salt and pepper – a pinch each
Browned…not uniformly. It’s done!

3.  Cook Uncle Ben’s Parboiled rice according to the package. Or any rice. I’ve made this with Basmati rice, Brown rice and Black rice.  They all taste great.  Serve each item separately like shown below on a plate.  I, however, mix it up in a pan on low heat until well heated.

Serve just like this or…
…Mixing it all together for a great tasting dish!

4.  Scoop the fried rice on a plate and enjoy!  You can always add fish, chicken, beef or tofu.  You can pan fry, bake or grill them!  My husband wanted the original version: vegetarian (this recipe is also vegan).  I, however, added 3-oz Rotisserie chicken breast to my dish.   And now, I’ll tell you a secret —  I added my favorite hot sauce to my dish!  Tabasco!  And, I loved it!

Ingredients for one serving:

(For cooking steps, please see above instructions with photos)

Frozen Mixed Veggie – 1/4 Cup

Frozen shelled Edamame – 1/4 Cup

Onion (roughly chopped) – 1/2 of a medium size

Garlic Powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Roasted Cashews Unsalted – 1/8 Cup (about 8-10  cashews) (do not add salt if using salted)

Rice – 1/2 Cup Cooked

Salt & Pepper

Nutritional Value (one serving)  without the chicken:

Calories: 257; Fat: 9.9 g; Carbohydrate: 33.4 g; Fiber: 3.7 g; Protein: 17.7 g

With 3-oz Rotisserie chicken added to this dish:

Calories: 392.5; Fat: 15.2 g; Carbohydrate: 33.8 g; Fiber: 3.7 g; Protein: 38.2 g

…Will be knocking on your door soon…hugs!  And, thanks for checking out my blog.

The Cool Cucumber!

Cool droplets!

If you came to my house any time during summer and opened my refrigerator, you’d find a cucumber in the vegetable bin.  No one in the family cares for it much, except my husband.  He loves eating them in his sandwiches.

Yesterday, as I was cutting a freshly bought cucumber to make a sandwich for my husband, I noticed tiny crystal balls oozing out of the cut end…I was totally amazed by these crisp, clear, round droplets.  I never quite noticed them this way before.  I got my phone and took a close-up shot of them.

These water droplets steered me to find out more about the vegetable itself.   After reading several sites I felt like cucumbers are not getting a good deal from us.  We definitely NEED to consume more of this fully hydrated vegetable!  They are HIGH in water content…obviously:).  See for yourself, buy one, cut it crosswise & you’ll see those droplets making its way out!

I found out that cucumbers are rich in phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and potassium.  Rich in vitamin K, too.  Only 8 calories in half a cup!  Good snack food, for sure! I enjoy getting my information from going to several sites, but I love http://www.livestrong.com.

To make this sandwich I start with one slice of a sourdough bread which I cut in half.  Then I spread lowfat olive oil mayo on each slice.   

Next, I thinly slice about 1/2 a cup of cucumber and arrange them on one slice of “mayoed” bread.  After that I sprinkle a dash of black peppers over them. 

Then I add 5 slices of gherkin pickle (sweet & salty cucumber pickle). Most grocery stores have them.  (I plan on learning how to pickle once I get the hang of this blogging😃!!)    I bought this one from Aldi.

 I add a slice of cheese: cheddar, parmasean, mozzarela or any that I have at home.  Here I have added Parmasean with black peppercorns from Trader Joe’s.  It’s deliciously buttery in taste.  

  

 Usually, my husband does not want any meat on this sandwich.  Lastly, I put the other slice of the sourdough bread over the layered side.  My husband’s sandwich is ready to be devoured:). Cool, light, healthy and delicious sandwich!  I serve a handful of chips and about 2 cups of salad with it.   

My husband thinks this is gourmet😃!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 Slice sourdough bread

1 Tablesoon mayonnaise (lowfat Olive oil mayo)

1/2 Cup cucumber thinly sliced

1/8 Teaspoon ground black pepper 

5 Slices Gerkin pickle slices
1 Ounce cheese, sliced or shredded

Slice bread in half.  Spread mayo on both halves.  Arrange sliced cucumbers on one half slice bread.  Sprinkle black pepper over cucumber slices.  Add the pickle slices.  Next, add cheese.  Put the other slice of bread with mayo side down over the layered bread.  Cut sandwich in half.  Enjoy!!

Nutrition:

Calories 315; Total Fat 16.5g; Saturated Fat 6g; protein 11g; carb 30g; Fiber 1g; Chlesterol 30mg  

“Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed…I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself.” — Delia Smith

Until next time…

Whole Wheat English Muffin with Avocado

Love eating this:)…it’s good food! Healthy & yummy!
My sister and I frequent Trader Joe’s  for some of our food shopping.  I love a lot of their products.  On one such venture, my sister suggested I try their whole wheat English muffin.

I loved the taste of it when I tried one the very next morning with avocado slices.  My sister loves to eat this for her breakfast!

Take an English muffin and toast it.  Smear cream cheese, plain, chives or sour cream onion.  The one I made this morning, I used Brie.  Cut avocado in half.  Save half for next time:). Take pit out & place cut side down on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.  Peel & slice the other half.  Then layer them on the two muffins.  Slice fresh tomatoes, and layer over avocado slices.  Must add onion for that great taste.  It’s morning and I’m eating raw onion!  But on this it really tastes good because I only add a little bit.  Salt and pepper and a bit of lemon juice squeezed from a fresh lemon.  Juice it right over the onions!

I love that this is a hearty breakfast.  It’s high in protein, high in complex carb and high in potassium.  And, it is packed with good fat.  I totally enjoyed every bite of this breakfast.

Recipe:

1 – 1 whole wheat English Muffin toasted

2 – 1 Tablespoon Cream cheese or Brie 1/8 wedge (Soy cheese is a good option if you do not want dairy product)

3 – 1/2 Fresh avocado, peeled & sliced

4 – 1/2 Roma tomato sliced

5 – 2 thin slices of red onion

6 – 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

7 – Salt, pepper

Layer everything from #2 to #7 (in this order) over the muffin sides.  Enjoy!!

Nutritional Information:

Calories 414; Fat 23.5g; carbohydrate 32.5g; protein 15g; Cholesterol 30mg; potassium 425mg

Next blog …coming tomorrow!!!