Banana Ice Cream

banana ice cream

How many calories are in 1 serving of ice cream?  I looked up Häagen Dazs® Banana Split ice cream and it has 270 calories for 1/2 a cup.  HALF A CUP has 270 calories?  Well, how would you feel if I told you that 1 cup of banana ice cream only has 116 calories if you make it yourself?

It’s really simple.  I found this recipe on Facebook of all places.  All you do is slice up 1 banana, freeze it for about 2 or 3 hours, put it in a food processor or a blender with a dash of non-fat milk until it’s the consistency of ice cream, scoop it into a bowl and viola, banana ice cream.  It’s more like soft serve, and technically it’s not ice cream, it’s just pureed frozen fruit, but still, it’s like ice cream.

What makes this healthy is that you are eating fruit not ice cream, but it tastes and looks like ice cream so you are fooling your brain into thinking you are being bad, but really you are just eating a banana.

Say you don’t like bananas, well you could try this with a cantaloupe or honeydew melon, I have even read that you could make this with watermelon, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I’m going to when they are at the grocery store though, so stay tuned for that.

The Noom app that I am using says that any green fruit like banana, cantaloupe and watermelon is 25 calories for 1/3 of a cup, 50 calories for 2/3 of a cup, 100 calories for 1 1/4 cup and 150 calories for 2 cups.  The SparkPeople recipe page says it’s 116 calories for 1 medium banana.  I’d rather go with Noom’s calories because 100 calories is better lol.  Any way you slice it, it’s better for you than ice cream that you buy at the grocery store and you can eat more of it, guilt free.

My Homemade Peanut Butter

peanut butter

Peanut butter seems to cost a lot of money these days.  Don’t you wish you could make your own at more than half the cost?  Well guess what?  You can!

Today I bought a box of small mason jars and 2 tall 16oz jars of Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts.  I was looking for no salted, but all they had were dry roasted, honey roasted and some other flavor that was spicy.  Dry roasted was fine I guess.

I added 1-16oz jar of peanuts to the food processor and blended the nuts until they were in chunks.  I added 2 tablespoons of peanut oil and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt.  I blended it until it was smooth.  Although, it was very dry and I decided to just add a touch more peanut oil to make it more creamy than it was.  I probably went overboard because it did get creamier, really creamier lol.  Next time I’ll just let it blend until it gets creamy on it’s own.  My partner tasted it and he said it needed more brown sugar, so I added 2 more tablespoons.  It did make a difference.

I like these little jars because if I want to make some peanut butter cookies, 1 whole jar is basically 1 cup, enough to make 1 batch of cookies.  Next time I go to the store I’m going to buy the bottling kit so I can start making my own jams and applesauce.  I could literally go crazy bottling jams and applesauce, but at the same time I know what’s in them so I know that I am eating healthier and saving a ton of money.

My Homemade Pecan Butter Cookies

pecan butter cookies

I have been slaving in the kitchen cracking pecans from our pecan tree so that I could make 2 things, pecan butter and pecan butter cookies.  I had collected almost 16oz of pecans.  It didn’t work out as I had planned, but I made it work, sort of.

I added the pecans to the food processor and just obliterated them until they were like sand, and it literally looked like sand on the beach.  I added the peanut oil and brown sugar and blended it some more, but it wouldn’t get soft like peanut butter.  I left it in there for quite a bit too.  I haven’t used our food processor in ages and it’s as old as our relationship is, if not older (which is going on 19 years if you don’t know).  It was starting to give an electrical smell so I was afraid of overdoing it.

The pecan butter didn’t want to become smooth at all.  I tried adding more peanut oil, but it didn’t seem to make a difference, so instead I just went on with the cookie ingredients.  Since it was enough to make 2 batches of cookies, I added 2 cups of sugar and 2 eggs and blended it until it was like dough and took it out.  I cut half of the dough and put half in the fridge wrapped in Saran Wrap and the other half I cut up into squares that I could roll like into balls to form the cookies.  I didn’t get 36 cookies, some were too big and some were too small.  I wish there were a mold that would cut the dough into 36 squares so I could get even cookie sizes lol.

The cookies came out really sweet, I mean too sweet.  They are good, just really sweet.  I didn’t expect that to happen.  I mean, the peanut butter cookies are sweet, but not that sweet.  Also, the dough was really dark, but the cookies came out a lot lighter.  Oh well.

Pecan cookies are certain not something I would ever try to do again, same with the pecan butter, so this was an experience that I will remember for as long as I live.  The lesson, leave the pecans for pie…

No Flour Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

gluten free no flour peanut butter cookies

Did you know you could make peanut butter cookies with just 3 ingredients?  1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg.  That’s it.  My mother taught me how to make homemade peanut butter cookies when I was a teenager, but I don’t even remember what the recipe was, but it did involve a lot of ingredients.  They were really good, but these are better.  And the fact that they are gluten-free is even better.

So here is the recipe.  Combine 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg and mix until it’s like a dough and the peanut butter isn’t sticking to the bowl.  Make 36 balls and smash them with a fork and bake them at 375F for 9 minutes each.  That’s it.  No muss no fuss.  They are 67.9 calories per cookie.

But… if you want them to be healthier, make your own peanut butter.

If you have a food processor (if not a blender would work), add 1 cup of unsalted peanuts and grind it until it’s chunky.  Add 1 tbsp of peanut oil, 1 tbsp of packed brown sugar (or any sweetener that you prefer) and 1 tsp of salt and blend it until it’s as smooth as peanut butter.  Then add 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg and blend it some more until it’s like a dough.  The calories go down to 62 calories per cookie.  That’s not a lot, but it’s something, and at least you know what went into your peanut butter because you made it.

Look at your store bought peanut butter, look at the list of ingredients.  It has high fructose corn syrup and more corn syrup.  That is what you aren’t putting into your peanut butter cookies and that makes it healthy.

Want your cookies to have even less calories?  Replace the peanuts with pecans and your cookies go down to 52 calories per cookie.  I created this recipe for the SparkPeople website for No Flour Pecan Butter Cookies because we have a pecan tree that drops a lot of pecans.  Instead of wasting them, I’m going to make pecan butter and pecan butter cookies out of them.  I’m not sure how they will taste because I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m looking forward to trying it this week.  I will blog about it with a picture.  If it doesn’t work out then I will blog about my failure LOL.

A Good Breakfast for Energy

When I make breakfast for myself in the morning, it’s usually a bowl of cereal.  If we don’t have any milk for whatever reason I usually moan and stomp my feet like a child before nuking myself some oatmeal.  Or I might begrudgingly put my clothes on and go to the grocery store. This morning was different because I wanted to actually make a real breakfast.

Last night I decided that I wanted to make some hash browns for myself this morning so I bought a bag of potatoes from the grocery store with our dinner ingredients and got the food processor out to shred them.  Of course I peeled them first before shredding them and they were small enough that I could just stick them in the food processor.  Normally I have to cut things up but those bags of potatoes are always tiny so that was perfect.

After I shredded about 6 I put them into these containers that I also bought at the store to store them in all night.  A friend told me to put water in them to remove the starch to keep them from turning brown and sure enough when I went to do that they were all brown.  Before bedtime I went in there and drained them all and rinsed them all off and put them back in their containers with more water and I’m glad I did because they were still brown so changing the water was a good thing I think.

This morning I got up, grabbed my Big City Slider Station and filled each compartment with sausage so I could have some sausage patties, put 3 slices of bacon in the skillet to cook and when those were all finished I put 2 slices of bacon on the plate, 2 sausage sliders and then I put all the rest in a container for another time.

I took the hash browns out of the fridge and put them in the salad spinner to get the moisture out then put them in the bacon grease.  Ok I know now that I should have used margarine or oil.  Coulda shoulda woulda.  When that was finished I scrambled 2 eggs and put cheese on top of the eggs.

I was going to take a picture but it was very sloppy and too embarrassing but I will tell you that it was very good.  It was a very rare occasion that I would ever make that kind of breakfast and I can’t say I will ever do it again but you never know.

What am I going to do with the remainder of the hash browns though?  I’m thinking that maybe I can put some butter in the big city slider station then roll up some of the hash browns and stuff them in there and see how that works out.  Then I can put them in the container with the sausages and have some hash brown sliders whenever I want.  I could also freeze them for later.

The reason I did all of this is because I really needed the energy for today because I have 61 posts to restore today from March 2009 and I’m getting so burnt out on the whole thing.  Coffee just isn’t cutting it anymore, I figured I needed a real breakfast to get me through this day.

That kind of breakfast is good but so bad but it was so worth it.