Soup on the Menu and a Healthified Banana Bread

Ah Monday…No one ever really likes Monday. Well, that is except for parents of school aged children that are ready to ship them off for the day. Come on, admit it. Time for routine. Time for someone else to talk all day to your kids.

So today’s school cafeteria menu is scheduled to serve the following:

Grilled cheese on whole wheat bread with minestrone soup, sweet potatoes and a piece of fruit.

Not too shabby! Sounds like a good balanced lunch, especially for a school lunch program. I typically send lunch with my son at least 2 days week if not more, depending upon the school menu.

He is a big fan of soup – tomato, minestrone, lentil, vegetable, chicken noodle etc.

I am all about soup for kids because it is an excellent way to get nutritious foods inside a bowl for them to eat.

In fact, last night for dinner I made him a big bowl of low sodium minestrone with a greek salad (all ingredients courtesy of Trader Joe’s).

He loves their minestrone soup. And I love that it packs vegetables and garbanzo beans in a light tomato type broth.

After a full weekend of activities and eating out, this was the perfect meal to satisfy his appetite and my quest for nutritious meals and healthy balanced eating.

While throwing together this completely easy dinner, I noticed 3 overripe bananas on the counter (how did I not notice they were getting so ripe?). Banana bread to the rescue.

And not just any banana bread – Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Banana Bread.

Sounds decadent, right? Well when I get a hold of the bananas, ingredients and utensils, it becomes healthified. I have a knack for creating my own recipes using a completely minimal , unprocessed list of ingredients.

In the mix:

3 overripe bananas (mashed)

Rolled Oats

Some Oat Bran

Unsweetened Applesauce

Pinch of Cinnamon

A drop of vanilla

One Egg

Big scoop of Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter

Small amount of Chopped Dark Chocolate (divided)

I simply mix all of the ingredients and dump into a greased loaf pan. I sprinkle some of the chopped dark chocolate on top and pop in the oven. Bake at 325 degrees until it looks brown on top and a fork slipped in comes out clean and bread seems firm.

I really don’t measure my ingredients. For sharing purposes, it was probably 2 cups oats and maybe a little under a cup of oat bran. I see nothing wrong with experimenting with ingredients and making the recipes your own. There is no real rule, have some fun and and see what you come out with! Look up some recipes and play around, see what you can add, substitute and adjust. You may just surprise yourself and your ability to create something delicious and your own.

My son absolutely loved the bread as dessert. And absolutely nothing wrong with a second (or third) helping.

No flour, no sugar, no butter, no oil!

Do you bake healthified recipes? Do you ever play around with the ingredients?

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