Healthy Banana Nut Muffin Top

“The perfect NO SUGAR option dessert is just the right size for you and the littles”

Oh the muffin top. Not the one you’re thinking of that spills out of your pants, but the wonderful perfectly domed top of a baked muffin. Whenever I make or buy muffins, I find myself picking at the top and well, giving away the rest of it to my husband. He calls me the mouse that runs around the house at night and eats the tops of muffins. What can I say? I love the finer things in life and frankly, my current other “muffin top” doesn’t need to be fed the whole muffin.

This banana nut chocolate chip muffin top is so yummy and enough to satisfy the cravings. It’s hard to believe in 3 more months my second son will be eating solids. This won’t be his first food of course, but I’ll save it for my back pocket when he becomes more of an advanced eater.

Muffin Top SF!

This recipe has no sugar, aside from the chocolate chips (which you could leave out), but I included a sweeter alternative in the recipe below.

Muffin Tops 3

Fun fact: 1 cup of sugar is 773 calories while 1 cup of applesauce is 166. So it may be worth a try! But again for a sweeter variety add sugar.

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffin Top

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 24 Muffin Tops

Ingredients

  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 1 c. applesauce, sub for 1 c. sugar if you like the sweeter variety, or 1/2 c. applesauce, 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Dry Ingredients:
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Optional:
  • 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In a large bowl, mash bananas and mix in wet ingredients
  3. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients
  4. Combne dry ingredients mixture iand wet ingredients mixture
  5. Do not overmix
  6. Add walnuts and chocolate chips if desired
  7. In a muffin top pan , add mixture in each circle. Fill about 3/4 through
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, use a toothpick to check doneness

Notes

The no sugar option, is obviously less sweet. I personally like just a hint of sweetness in some baked goods. Substitute applesauce with sugar or half and half for a much sweeter variety.

http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/06/healthy-banana-nut-muffin-top/

Easy Banana Bites

“Jazz up the ordinary curvy yellow fruit  and enjoy these no cook easy banana bites !”

Bananas are a staple at our house. It’s so versatile for recipes, smoothies, and even pancakes. It’s probably the easiest fruit to bring along to for a snack! I mean, come on,  it’s wrapped in its own very convenient packaging.

On one busy morning, however, I had absolutely no time to cook anything. I quickly saw bananas on my counter and said to myself, “OK, that’s his breakfast.” I try to always serve him a complete meal with as many food groups as I can and had to think of a way to add protein. This is how this recipe came about. Problem is, he wanted 3 bananas, and it took him longer to eat each banana bite, than it would take me to cook a full breakfast spread. But that’s ok, he really enjoyed these. I paired it with some other fruit and some yogurt and called it a day.

P.S. Do you know how hard it was for him to take the picture below? He was so patient and so incredibly cute waiting for mommy to capture the photo. I gave him one banana bite, and he kept saying, “Again!”  This is his new word for more. It makes me incredibly happy to cook for this little man. Well in this case, happy to prepare, since this requires no cooking at all!

Banana Bites Hands F

 

P.S.S. You can buy almond meal at your local grocery store. I bought this one from Trader Joes, but it’s also available online here.  If unavailable, you can always blend almonds in your blender (must be a powerful one.)

 

Banana Bites Close

Easy Banana Bites

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Peel bananas and cut into small round pieces
  2. Prepare two small bowls
  3. Bowl #1 - Almond Meal
  4. Bowl #2 - Coconut
  5. Dip banana in bowl #1, then 2.
  6. Enjoy!
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/06/easy-banana-bites/

**If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free and pay for my coffee to keep me awake so I can write these posts 😉 Thank you!

Veggie Fritters

Eating steamed vegetables can get a little boring. Why not jazz it up by making these veggie fritters? From the start of our son’s eating journey we would always serve veggies in its natural state. If I made a “hide the veggies” dish, I’d also offer the real vegetable. I believe it’s one of the reasons he’s not super picky. As he is getting older though, he does like some vegetables more than others.

These yummy fritters contain a garden medley of corn, carrots, peas and green beans. I made these twice in a day, because I didn’t want to think of what to cook.  He ate six of them the first time, then only two for dinner. He only left his mother, his servant/chef aka me, 1.5 patties *wink

Veggie Fritters First you prep your ingredients. I usually like to measure it all out in small bowls and spoons before cooking. For this one however, you can pretty much prepare everything in the same container since you will be mixing it all, except for the egg.Veggie Fritters Prep

 

In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Then mix all ingredients until well combined. Then I like to use an ice cream scooper to shape each patty. It makes it so much easier.  No messy fingers!

Then add some olive oil in a pan and cook on medium. You can also use a wet spoon to flatten each mound if you like flatter patties. Cook until brown and crispy and enjoy!Veggie fritters Pan

 

 

 

 

 

Veggie Fritters

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1 c. steamed garden vegetable medley (peas, corn, green beans, and carrots)
  • 2 tbs. green onions, chopped finely (less if desired(
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • Salt to taste if desired

Instructions

  1. Steam frozen garden vegetables until soft (except green onions)
  2. In a small bowl, beat egg lightly
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, cooked vegetables, and green onions
  4. In the same bowl, add in all the remaining ingredients until combined
  5. In a large pan add about 3 tbs of olive oil
  6. Using an ice cream scooper scoop out veggie mixture and carefully adding each one to the pan
  7. Cook on medium heat until browned, flip
  8. Serve with ketchup or ranch dressing
  9. Makes 8 Fritters
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/05/veggie-fritters/
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Veggie Fritters

 

 

Spinach Pizza Pull Apart Bread

We love easy recipes and we love bread around here. When I’m in a rush to make dinner, store-bought dough is such a huge help. Couple it with cheese and you pretty much have dinner. This spinach pizza pull apart bread is also great for holiday get together as an appetizer. It’s bound to be a crowd pleaser for all your guests . Add your favorite dip to it and it’s even tastier.

This recipe  is a marriage between two of my most popular recipes, my Blooming Pizza and Blooming Spinach dishes.  It’s fast easy and delicious! It takes just a few minutes of prep time and only half an hour to cook

Spinach Pizza Pull Apart Bread

Spinach Pizza Pull Apart Bread

Spinach Pizza Pull Apart Photo

Tip:make sure the middle is cooked!

Spinach Pizza Pull Apart Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 can biscuit dough
  • 1/2 c. spinach, chopped raw
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1.3 c. sliced pepperoni
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Open biscuit can
  3. Separate biscuits and cut one round into 4 pieces (as shown in video)
  4. In a bowl, place cut biscuits and add all ingredients
  5. Mix until well combined
  6. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until cooked. Usually if the center is cooked the dish is ready
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/05/spinach-pizza-pull-apart-bread/

 

Green Monster Veggie Muffins

Calling all picky eater parents! I feel you. If you’re tired of smoothies, try this veggie muffin!

My oldest son recently had a 24 hour bug. It’s super hard to see them sick but it’s even harder to know they haven’t eaten for some time. I’m thankful his illness was short-lived, but as he got better, his normally hefty appetite didn’t come back.  It’s been days since he got the bug and still no appetite, except for toast and fruit. I panicked!

Today I decided to make baking an activity.  I’ve found if he’s involved in the cooking procedures he is eats the fruits of his labor.  Sure enough, he ate FOUR of item.
It probably acted as an appetizer for him because he topped it off with a bowl of rice, chicken, sweet potato and boiled egg. I’m so excited he’s back!

Green Monster Veggie Muffins

This muffin isn’t the most photogenic, but it tastes great and is packed with several fruits and vegetables. It has apples, bananas, spinach, and carrots. I also used coconut oil instead of vegetable. In the past,  I’ve cut down the sugar by a tablespoon and it’s still delicious!

Tip: you can also blend the carrots in with the wet ingredients, if you have super picky eater who picks out veggies out of their food.

Green Monster 2B (2)

P.S. In case any of you are wondering which blender I use, I use the Blendtec and love it! My readers will get free shipping and a discounted rate! Click here for FREE shipping and a discounted option.

**If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you

Strawberry Rose

A quick tutorial on how to make an easy strawberry rose. See video below!

Strawberry Rose

Ingredients

  • Strawberries

Instructions

  1. Using a knife, cut "petals" slightly angled towards the center, but don't cut all the way through. Use the knife to bend outward.
  2. Cut another side in between the first row of petals
  3. Continue until the top
  4. Fan out remaining "petals"
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/05/strawberry-rose/

Mat is an EZPZ mat that suctions onto your table! for mess free meals. You can find more info here: EZPZ

 

**I received this product for a review, but all opinions are my own. If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Share a sale will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

Baked Avocado Egg Rolls

My toddler doesn’t like stringy vegetables like ones you normally would put in an egg roll. You may have noticed I try different stuffing for my egg rolls (like bananas or breakfast egg roll) so naturally I wanted to try my son’s favorite, with avocado.

I recently found out though, that avocados are not created equal. After two attempts of making this recipe I finally succeeded. One more try, I would have quit lol. At the last grocery run, I purchased several avocados. I bought them not fully ripe since it always goes bad before we can eat them all.  This time, I placed them in the refrigerator. Bad idea. They never really really fully ripened, but it did soften a bit.Problem is, the ones I used didn’t seem hard or green

I went on with my recipe testing as I normally would, but when I took a bite of my finished product, it was disgustingly bitter. I said hmmm.. maybe it’s the onion! I made a second batch with onions and some without to test.  I also used a different cooking spray just in case. But to my surprise, the second batch was still unsuccessful.

Then I turned to Chef Google and searched,  “Why is my eggroll bitter?” Just kidding, I searched “Why is my avocado bitter.” Lo and behold, an avocado that is unripened will produce a bitter taste.

So the moral of this long story is… make sure to use a ripe avocado!

Tip: Press an avocado gently. If it leaves a little dent it is ripe. If there’s no dent, then the avocado is not ready to eat. If it dents very easily though, then it is overripe. You can also ripen it by placing it in a brown bag. If you leave it in a plastic bag it won’t speed up the process.

I also have to admit, that I think this would be incredibly tasty fried. This does however give you a healthier alternative if you’re watching your weight or trying to cut fats.

On a side note, can you believe I had time to do my nails? With two kids under three I feel like I’ve won the jackpot. One week later my nails are still going strong and I am an excessive hand washer. Jamberry gave me a few sheets to try and needless to say I’ll be using them all the time from now on.  It feels great that one part of me doesn’t look like a mombie. There was a learning curve, but once you get it.. it’s awesome! Any who, I don’t sell it or anything, just offering a tip! See my pretty nails shown on the video below 😉

Avocado Egg Roll Blog

Baked Avocado Egg Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 RIPE avocado (read blog why)
  • 1 Tbs. chopped red onions
  • 1 C. shredded cheese of choice
  • Dash of salt
  • Splash of juice from lime (optional)
  • Egg roll wrappers

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Peel and remove seed from avocado
  3. Chop into squares
  4. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined
  5. Gently pull wrappers apart. Set on a plate
  6. On a clean surface, place one egg roll wrapper with point facing you.
  7. Add a small amount of the avocado mixture on the end of the wrapper (see video)
  8. Roll as shown in the video
  9. Seal ends with a little water
  10. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray, then spray egg rolls so both sides are oiled
  11. Bake until brown about 10 minutes each side.
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/04/baked-avocado-egg-rolls/

Sweet Potato Broccoli Patties

A savory finger food with a hint of sweet. You won’t believe it’s filled with veggies!

During nights we order takeout or are eating something that isn’t entirely nutritious (yes, I am human too and I don’t always cook a full meal,) I make some form of patty. It’s a great way to get some veggies in!

I also recognize some of you have kiddos that won’t eat anything green. I’ve made other types of patties in the past like these broccoli cheese patties , but I know some of your kids won’t eat it if they see any type of green in it. This patty is a yellowish orange color similar to a chicken nugget! You may not believe it, but these patties have a lot of broccoli. These are great for beginner eaters and older kids that may turn up their nose to veggies.

Sweet Potato Broccoli Patties

Sweet Potato Broccoli Patties

Ingredients

  • 1 c. sweet potato cubed
  • 1 c. broccoli florets
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • dash of salt
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Steam sweet potato and broccoli
  2. In a blender, add all ingredients until it has a pasty consistency
  3. Form into patties, set aside
  4. In a large skillet, add olive oil and brown patties on both sides.
  5. Serve with marinara, ketchup, or sour cream
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/04/sweet-potato-broccoli-patties/

Healthy Drumstick Ice Cream Bites

When my toddler turned 2 years old, I started giving him a little of every food in moderation. That said, I still haven’t given him extremely sugary foods like candy or ice cream. I know I know, I need to let him be a kid, but I just don’t want to deal with an even more extremely energetic child.

Unfortunately, or fortunately for you,  I have sugar cravings all the time.  So when I have a sweet tooth, I try to make whatever I’m wanting toddler friendly. I’m not sure why, but I had a craving for a drumstick. You know, the vanilla ice cream one with sugar cone, topped with chocolate and peanuts.
Drumstick Bites 4 Resize

I quickly started thinking about how I can make something similar and guilt free. These days, I’m up all night with my newborn nursing, so I have a lot of time to think… ok I digress. Well, I remembered making no refine sugar chocolate covered strawberries in the past, so I used the same recipe. Instead, I made drumstick balls and made my own no refined sugar ice cream. While it may not be the same as the real drumstick, I don’t feel bad giving these to my toddler.

P.S. My kids were a handful today, hence the very melted ice cream picture below. I wanted to show you how pink it is and that’s all from the strawberries only!

Drumstick Closeup 2 Resize

Healthy Drumstick Ice Cream Bites

Ingredients

  • 2 Bananas (frozen)
  • 5-6 Strawberries (frozen and hulled)
  • 3 tbs. heavy cream
  • 8 tbs. honey ( or to taste), divided
  • 4 tbs. Coconut Oil
  • 4 tbs. Cacao Powder / or melt chocolate chips
  • Toppings: Crushed peanuts or sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Cut bananas and hull strawberries.
  2. Freeze for at least 3 hours (I left them in overnight)
  3. Blend bananas, strawberries, heavy cream, and honey until the mixture has a soft serve consistency.
  4. Using an ice cream scooper, form ice cream into balls (remember to work quickly as it will melt). Place on a baking sheet and return back to the freezer
  5. In a bowl, add coconut oil. Place in microwave for 10-12 seconds. It should not be in liquid form but just melted enough to mix with the cacao.
  6. Mix cacao and coconut oil together and add honey. For a sweeter variety, add more honey until you reach your desired sweetness. Allow cacao mixture to cool a bit.
  7. Dip ice cream ball into cacao mixture, then in peanuts. You can also sprinkle peanuts instead of rolling it in it.
  8. Freeze until ready to eat
  9. Remove from freezer and allow it to melt a bit before eating
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/04/healthy-drumstick-ice-cream-bites/

TIp:  you can always use semi-sweet chocolate chips and melt it instead of raw cacao powder. Try to use ripe, but not overripe bananas and sweet strawberries.

 

Breakfast Burrito Cups

Many of my readers have asked if certain recipes are freezable.  While I enjoy fresh food, I know it’s not always convenient for folks who are busy. I specifically created this recipe with an “on the go” mentality. Thankfully, it freezes well! Egg Cup 3 Resize

What I love most about it is you can mix and match whatever toppings you want. You can also chop up veggies finely for those picky eaters.

 

 

Egg Cup 6 Resize

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield:  12-15 bites

Breakfast Burrito Cups

Ingredients

  • 8 Eggs
  • 1/4 C..Milk
  • 5-6 Tortillas (depends on size)
  • Dash of Garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper
  • Toppings of choice
  • Shredded cheese, ham/turkey bacon, garden vegetables

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a bowl, mix eggs and milk. Set aside
  3. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut tortilla in fours (see video)
  4. Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray and carefully push in cut tortilla
  5. Fill tortilla with egg mixture and toppings
  6. Add cheese on top
  7. Cover with foil and cook for 20-25 minutes
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/04/breakfast-burrito-cups/

Tip: I’ve cooked it uncovered as well and it creates a nice crunchy tortilla. Check it at 15-18 minutes

Freeze in ziplock bags and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. It may vary with several cups in the microwave, i tried it with one.