Friday, August 17, 2012

Beach Snacks

Say it isn't so! Summer is almost over so I'm FINALLY going on my beach vacation! Granted it's only for the weekend, but it's a vacation nonetheless. A few of my relatives from Ireland are making the trip across the pond to join me, so it's going to be a pretty full house. Do you know what that means? I need to do some serious food shopping!

Because I know how hard it is to snack on the beach, I've been researching quick and healthy snacks to bring (especially for a big group of people). I came across this awesome article in Food Network's Healthy Eat section. They recommend the following snacks:

Dried Fruits and Nuts
Fresh fruit
Banana + peanut butter
Raw veggies
Cooler Must-Haves (low-fat string cheese, Greek yogurt)

Yum! My personal favorite? The banana and peanut butter. It reminds me of a candy bar, but without all the guilt :) I think I'll add watermelon to my list too!

I'm looking forward to lots of sun + sand + water, and all of these delicious (and healthy) snacks! I'll let you know how it goes.

Bye for now!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Perfect Treat for a Rainy Day (promise!)

Hey there,

I was just working away on this rainy afternoon and had the biggest craving for something warm and delicious. I came across a recipe I used last fall and thought I'd share. If you love chocolate and bananas, you'll LOVE this treat! You can even eat them guilt free because the ingredients call for healthy substitutions :) 

Once you make these, they'll instantly become a favorite. Let me know what you think!


Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Makes: 16 / Preparation time: 15 minutes / Total time: 45 minutes
Floured baking spray
1/4 cup trans fat-free margarine
2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a muffin-tin baking pan with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the egg, milk and vanilla extract and continue to beat until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Fold in the bananas and chocolate chips. Batter will yield 16 muffins when each muffin cup is filled two-thirds full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the muffin comes out clean. Loosen and place muffins onto cooling rack.

Created by 

Jenna Christina for Heart Smart and tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen. 

Analysis per 1 muffin. 

159 calories (23% from fat), 4 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat, 0 
grams trans fat), 27 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 133 mg sodium, 16 mg cholesterol, 23 mg calcium, 1 gram fiber. Food exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 fat.