Saturday, August 9, 2014

31 Days of Fun: Banana Art

Here's an easy and fun craft, though a temporary one, best practiced right before snack time. Fiddling with them like this does seem to make the bananas brown faster, but it's all good.  Play with your food -- then eat it, right? All you need are toothpicks and imagination.

Dominic (pre-red beard), designed this minion banana when he was here over Christmas break.

Not sure which of the girls did this one, but isn't it pretty?

A couple ideas of what's possible! 

( Both these last bananas gleaned from Pintrest,
 unfortunately posted without links or attribution.)

What to do with all those bananas once everyone's made their mark on them? You can, of course, just peel and eat them in their perfectly wonderful original state.  No going wrong there!  Bananas are a particularly healthful fruit, rich in vitamins C and B-6, potassium and manganese, they're also low in calories for those of us watching that sort of thing. But the main thing is that they're sweet and delicious -- and if you want to get a little creative, there are a million and one ways to use bananas in delectable recipes.  Here are just a few:

* Banana Pancakes! So easy!  And such a treat!

* Banana Bread!  Yum!  This link is another standard recipe and is good all by itself, plain and simple, but add a 1/2 cup chocolate chips or raisins or craisins or walnuts or pecans for a real treat!

* Banana Smoothies!  This link is a standard recipe, but any smoothie you make, no matter what the ingredients, is made better -- thicker, sweeter, richer -- by adding bananas!

 Banana Pudding!

Original From Scratch Recipe


  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 - 4 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafer cookies
1.  In medium saucepan combine sugar, flour, and salt. Add eggs and stir well. Stir in milk, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. When mixture begins to thicken (make sure it's good and thick!), remove from heat and continue to stir, cooling slightly. Stir in vanilla and butter until smooth.
2.  Layer pudding with bananas and vanilla wafers in a serving dish. Chill at least one hour in refrigerator before serving.

Paleo -- Clean Eating -- Recipe
  • 1 1/2 c. Unsweetened Almond Milk 
  • 1 Small Banana
  • Liquid Stevia, Agave, or honey (to taste)
  • 1/4 c. Chia Seeds
  1. In your blender, add almond milk and peeled banana.
  2. Whiz until blended and no chunks of banana remain.
  3. Add vanilla stevia until desired sweetness.
  4. Pour liquid into quart sized jar or storage container with lid.
  5. Add chia seeds, cover and shake well.
  6. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes then remove, shake again, then back in the refrigerator.
  7. Chill for an hour.
  8. Serve as is or garnish with a few slices of fresh banana and top with coconut whipped cream. 

Make your own Almond Milk!
For pennies on the dollar! Check it out: Homemade Unsweetened Almond Milk = $0.44...Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond Breeze = $1.99-$2.49...Cost Savings = 78%+  (*I buy a 3 lb. bag of raw almonds at Costco for $9.99)
Servings 8
  • 1 c. Raw Almonds
  • 8 c. Cold Filtered Water, Divided
  1. Place one cup almonds in a mason jar and cover with water.
  2. Loosely cover and let soak overnight or 8-12 hours. Rinse and drain.
  3. Place soaked almonds and 4 c. fresh cold filtered water in VitaMix or high-powered blender.
  4. Process on high for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Strain through mesh sieve lined with a cheesecloth or linen towel over a large bowl.
At this point you have a very rich and creamy almond milk. This is not the same, calorically speaking, as the Almond Breeze. It is a bit more condensed. This condensed almond milk is fabulous in coffee as a creamer replacement. To thin it out and make it similar in consistency and calories to Almond Breeze, add four more cups of cold filtered water. If you want vanilla flavored almond milk, add one to two teaspoons of high quality vanilla extract and a dash of stevia. Chocolate, no problem, add a tablespoon or two of rich dark cocoa powder along with a pinch of salt and a pinch of stevia.

* These clean eating recipes -- and more -- found here!  Vanessa Romero's recipes and ideas at Healthy Living How-to are the best!

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