Ashley Pettit shared one of her favorite kid-friendly recipes, Chocolate Banana Pancakes, as the kids head back-to-school. It’s a healthy, flavorful recipe that little ones will have a hard time saying ‘no’ to!

Ashley says, “My biggest challenge with my 3 ½ year old daughter is getting her to sit down for breakfast. The only thing I can do is make it impossible for her to say no! These banana-chocolate pancakes are a great incentive, while healthier than regular pancakes, so parents don’t have to feel guilty or worry about plying their kids with sugar first thing in the morning!

Chocolate Banana Pancakes

Ingredients

2 cups oat flour, gluten-free
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup unsweetened hemp or oat milk (“Mom‘ prefers Banana Wave Bananamilk)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 bananas, sliced (wait to slice them for when you serve the pancakes so they do not brown)
1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips, to top
Coconut oil for pan – tip: to save on fat, use the coconut oil spray!

Preparation

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, salt, + cinnamon

2. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients: yogurt, milk, egg, + vanilla.

3. Mix the wet ingredients slowly into the dry- mix well.

4. Heat a skillet over medium heat + spray with the cooking oil.

5. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, pour the batter into the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip + continue until lightly browned. Continue to cook the entirety of the batter.

6. When ready-to-serve; top with 1 TBSP chocolate chips + some banana slices!

Makes 8 pancakes.

Ashley’s Tip: Make the pancake base plain so you can change toppings throughout the week. Double the recipe, save half fresh + freeze the rest for the following week. Parents need more free time outside of the kitchen after all!

*Recipe and image courtesy of Nutritionist Ashley Pettit, of Living with Ashley.*

Follow Ashley on Instagram and Facebook.

Looking for an alternative to tacos on Taco Tuesday? Look no further than this flavorful tortilla soup! Filled with a variety of healthy vegetables, such as avocado, onions and tomatoes, this soup is one of our favorites! You can even make the broth ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for the next night’s meal!

Tiny Green Mom’s Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

1/2 yellow onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

2-3 ripe organic tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 carton organic chicken stock (1 quart)

1 can organic tomato sauce

1-2 T. dill

1-2 jalapeno peppers

4 Fresh tortillas

1-2 avocados, cubed

Organic sour cream (1 T. per bowl served)

Organic finely shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, approximately 1/2 cup

Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste

Preparation

Finely dice the onion and set aside. Finely chop the tomatoes and set aside. Mince garlic and set aside.

Add olive oil to a large saucepan and heat over medium to medium-high heat. Add onions, tomatoes, and garlic; cook until transparent and soft.

Add chicken stock and dill; bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Be very careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth while handling the pepper! Set aside.

Cut the tortillas into thin strips and set aside.

Heat 1 T. extra virgin olive oil in small skillet on medium heat and when hot, place the jalapeno peppers into the oil. Turn after 1 minute. After one more minute, place the peppers on a paper towel on a separate plate to drain.

Next, cook the tortilla strips in the hot skillet until light brown. It is easiest to place in a layer, cooking only a few at a time.  Set on paper towel on a separate plate.

To serve, divide and place the cubed avocado, monterey jack cheese, jalapeno pepper slices, organic sour cream and tortilla strips into 4 bowls. Pour the broth over the top to slightly cover the ingredients in the bowl. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste.

Please do not reprint recipe without permission.

 

 

 

 

Nosh on healthier holiday-inspired snacks through the holidays! Nutritious and festive, this Gingerbread Granola will have the entire family clamoring for more!

Gingerbread Granola

Ingredients

4 Cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 Cups of raw pecans
1 Teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 Scoop of VeganSmart Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 Cup of melted coconut oil
1/2 Cup Molasses
3/4 Teaspoon of vanilla (“Mom” prefers Nielsen-Massey Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract)
1/3 Cup of chopped, dried cranberries
1/3 Cup of chopped candied ginger

vegansmart vanilla

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine the oats, pecans, salt, VeganSmart Vanilla, cinnamon, and ground ginger into a mixing bowl. Stir mixture thoroughly.

Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla to the mixture. Continue to mix together until fully combined.

Turn the granola mixture out onto your prepared pan and spread into an even layer.

Bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the granola from the oven and stir to make sure the granola cooks evenly. Place the pan back in the oven for 10 more minutes.

While the granola cooks, chop the dried cranberries and candied ginger.

After 10 minutes is up, remove the pan from the oven, add the chopped cranberries and candied ginger to the granola and mix to combine.

Let the granola cool for about 10 minutes before eating. As the granola cools off, it will continue to cook and may be wet at first, this is normal.

Enjoy gingerbread granola on-the-go or around the house as you celebrate the holidays this season!

*Recipe and image courtesy of VeganSmart.*

Embracing the Filipino purple yam or ube trend, this is a delicious and unique recipe from TV personality, cake designer, chef and Cake Boss: Next Great Baker contestant, Greggy Soriano. The Purple Yam Bars are sure to make a statement this holiday season! ​Top with organic powdered sugar for that extra touch!

Purple​ ​Yam​ ​Bars

Prep​ ​Time:​ ​5​ ​Minutes Cooking​ ​Time:​ ​1​ ​Hour​ ​15​ ​Minutes Total​ ​Time:​ ​1​ ​Hour​ ​20​ ​Minutes

Ingredients

The​ ​Crust:

2​ ​cups​ ​Graham​ ​cracker​ ​crumbs  (“Mom” prefers Annie’s Organic Honey Grahams, crushed)
1/2​ ​cup​ ​sugar (“Mom” prefers Organic Sugar in the Raw)
1​ ​tsp.​ ​kosher​ ​salt
8​ ​Tbsp.​ ​unsalted​ ​butter,​ ​melted (“Mom” prefers organic)

The​ ​Filling:

2​ ​cups​ ​grated​ ​purple​ ​yams​ ​(Use thawed​ ​if​ ​frozen.​ ​​​You​ ​could​ ​also​ ​use​ ​whole​ ​Purple yams,​ ​cooked​ ​until​ ​tender​ ​by poking ​with​ ​fork​ ​and​ ​wrapped​ ​in​ a ​moist​ ​paper​ ​towel​ ​in a microwave​ ​for​ ​7-8​ ​minutes​ ​on​ ​high).​ ​​
1 ​14oz.​ ​can​ ​of​ ​Eagle​ ​Brand®​ ​Sweetened​ ​Condensed​ ​Milk
3​ ​large​ ​eggs (“Mom” prefers cage-free, organic eggs)
2​ ​tsp.​ ​pure​ ​vanilla​ ​extract (“Mom” prefers Nielsen-Massey Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract)
1​ ​cup​ ​heavy​ ​cream (“Mom” prefers Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream)
Organic Powdered​ ​sugar​ ​for​ ​garnish​ ​(​optional)

Preparation

How​ ​to​ ​Make​ ​the​ ​Crust:

1. Preheat​ ​oven​ ​to​ ​350°.​ ​Line​ ​an​ ​8″-x-8″​ ​baking​ ​pan​ ​with​ ​parchment​ ​paper​ ​with​ ​two pieces​ ​overlapping​ ​each​ ​other​ ​with​ ​extra​ ​parchment​ ​coming​ ​up​ ​the​ ​sides​ ​of​ ​the pan.​ ​​ ​You​ ​can​ ​use​ ​binder​ ​clips​ ​to​ ​secure​ ​the​ ​parchment.​ ​ ​In​ ​a​ ​bowl,​ ​add​ ​graham cracker​ ​crumbs,​ ​sugar,​ ​salt,​ ​and​ ​melted​ ​butter​ ​until​ ​combined​ ​and​ ​holds​ ​it’s shape​ ​when​ ​pressed​ ​together.​ ​​ ​Press​ ​into​ ​pan​ ​and​ ​bake​ ​until​ ​golden,​ ​10​ ​minutes.

How​ ​to​ ​Make​ ​the​ ​Filling:

2.​ ​​​Mix​ ​together​ ​all​ ​filling​ ​ingredients​ ​until​ ​evenly​ ​combined.

Bake:
3.​ ​​Add​ ​filling​ ​to​ ​crust​ ​and​ ​bake​ ​until​ ​set,​ ​about​ ​for​ ​48​ ​to​ ​50​ ​​ ​minutes.​ ​Set​ ​aside​ ​to cool.​ ​Garnish​ ​by​ ​dusting​ ​powdered​ ​sugar​ ​on​ ​top.​ ​​​Slice​ ​and​ ​enjoy!

Makes ​12-16​ ​servings.

*Recipe and image courtesy of TV personality, cake designer, chef and Cake Boss: Next Great Baker contestant, Greggy Soriano.*

Flip out – it’s National Pancake Day! For breakfast, or really anytime, indulge in fluffy Banana Pancakes featuring Just Spices Pancake Blend. Enjoy one, maybe two, even 10 pancakes!

Just Spices Banana Pancakes

Ingredients (makes 8 small pancakes)

· 1 medium ripe banana
· 2 large eggs
· 1 teaspoon Pancake Blend
· Butter or oil
· 1/8 teaspoon baking powder, for fluffier pancakes
· Optional: 1 cup fresh fruits (we recommend blueberries or chopped apples), 1/2 cup chopped nuts and 1 tablespoon honey

Preparation

1. Peel the banana and break it up into several big chunks in a bowl.
2. Use a dinner fork to thoroughly mash the banana. Continue mashing until the banana has a pudding-like consistency and no large lumps remain (a few small lumps are okay). You should have 1/3 to 1/2 cup of mashed bananas.
3. Whisk in Just Spices Pancake blend. These pancakes are pretty great on their own, but a few extras never hurt. Add 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder for fluffier, lighter pancakes and save any chunky, heavy ingredients — like nuts — for when the pancakes are on the griddle.
4. Whisk the eggs together until the yolks and whites are completely combined. Then pour the eggs over the banana mixture and stir until everything is completely combined.
5. Melt a little butter or warm a little vegetable oil in the pan to prevent the pancakes from sticking to the griddle, if you like.
6. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter onto the hot griddle. It should sizzle immediately — if not, turn up the heat slightly.
7. Cook the pancakes until the bottoms look browned and golden when you lift a corner (roughly 1 minute). The edges should also be starting to look set, but the middle will still be loose like barely set Jell-O.
8. Cook the other side for another minute or so, until it’s is also golden-brown. You can flip the pancakes a few times if you need to in order to get them evenly browned (Flipping is much easier once the second side is set!).

About Just Spices

Just Spices is a brand new to the U.S. spice company with 20 organic spice blends and two everyday essentials, available exclusively through its website, justspices.com. All Just Spices products are certified USDA organic, with no flavor enhancers, each a standard 100 milliliters and ranging from $5.99-$7.99.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Just Spices.*

A low sugar alternative to your favorite pie or dessert this Thanksgiving, this raspberry pie is simply bursting with raspberries and incredible flavor! Trust us, you won’t miss the added sugar!

Driscoll’s Low Sugar Raspberry Pie

Ingredients

Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces (“Mom” prefers organic)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

Filling
3 packages (6 ounces each) Driscoll’s Raspberries (“Mom” chose their organic raspberries)
1/3 cup granular no-calorie sweetener (“Mom” uses Stevia in the Raw)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (“Mom” uses Nielsen Massey Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg, beaten

Preparation

Crust
Place flour and salt in bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water, one tablespoon at a time and pulse just until dough comes together (be careful not to over mix). Pat dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour.

Filling
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a large circle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out 13-inch circle and gently transfer dough to a 9 1/2-inch pie plate. Fold under edge of dough and crimp to make a decorative crust. Place in freezer for 15 minutes. Cut remaining dough into various small cutouts.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line pie shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 10 minutes, remove foil and weights and continue to bake about 10 minutes or until lightly golden.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F . Place raspberries, Splenda, brown sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and stir until evenly combined. Spoon into prebaked crust. Brush crust with beaten egg and top with small cutouts. Brush cutouts with beaten egg.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until juices are bubbling and crust is golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving or chill completely.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Driscoll’s.*

About Driscoll’s
Driscoll’s is a fourth generation, family-owned company that has been involved in berry farming for more than 100 years. As the leading provider of fresh and organic berries, Driscoll’s works with independent farmers to produce the highest-quality strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in the world, in an effort to continually delight all berry consumers. Driscoll’s is the preferred berry partner of some of America’s leading chefs and culinary institutions. For more information visit www.driscolls.com and follow us on Twitter @driscollsberry.

It’s time to start preparing for what will be served on Thanksgiving, and the answer to an overly cooked, dry turkey is here! Now you can make a perfectly cooked, moist and delicious Thanksgiving Turkey using the Ronco Rotisserie Oven. The constant rotating of the rotisserie means that your turkey is continually basting as it cooks, while the high intensity heat means that you get the delicious, crispy skin you’re looking for on Thanksgiving Day! At “Mom’s” house, we prefer the D’Artagnan Organic Free Range Turkey for our Thanksgiving feast!

The Ronco Rotisserie Turkey

Brine Ingredients

1 teaspoon of Kosher salt per pound (make sure you use Kosher salt, sea salt and table salt will make your bird too salty)
1-2 tablespoons of cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary

Instructions

1. Mix together brine.
2. Remove neck and giblets from defrosted turkey
3. Using a paper towel, completely dry the inside and outside of your turkey.
4. Generously rub brine all over the outside and cavity of your turkey
5. Allow turkey to brine in the refrigerator, uncovered, in a large pan for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.
6. When ready to cook, pat down skin with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, but not the salt brine
7. Place on to Rotisserie spit and cook for 12 minutes per pound. If using a meat thermometer, allow turkey to reach 165 degrees F.

Allow your turkey to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Tips from the Experts at Ronco:

For this recipe, which we’ve coined The Ronco Rotisserie Turkey, we used simple dry brine and cooked it in our 5500 Rotisserie (though you can use any of our rotisseries) for about 2 ½ hours. The result was a deliciously seasoned, moist, yet crispy Thanksgiving masterpiece. Dry brining works by opening the pores of the meat, allowing the natural juices to make the meat more moist, while crisping up the skin. I personally prefer a dry brine to wet because of the results and simplicity. A dry brine is basically 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat and any other seasonings you may want to add, however salt alone does the trick as well. The following recipe is what I used. Feel free to mix it up with your favorite seasonings.

On a side note, do not use a dry brine on a Kosher Turkey. It has already been pre-salted and will result in an overly salted bird.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Ronco.*

It’s November 1st already! This time of year brings with it a season of warm, tummy-filling delights created using root vegetables. Try your hand at making these delightful little puff pastry hors d’oeuvres for any upcoming get-together you may be throwing or attending!

Butternut Squash & Herb Tarts 2Butternut Squash, Chestnut and Herb Filled Puff Pastry Hors d’oeuvres

Ingredients

1 butternut squash, about 3 lbs. (you can also use kabocha)

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 jar or package peeled chestnuts (5-8 oz.)

Salt & freshly ground pepper

Sauce:

1/8 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1/8 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

Salt to taste

1-2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 package frozen puff pastry (we suggest DuFour which is an all-butter puff)

1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon water

Make the filling:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Top and tail the squash, halve it crosswise, put each piece flat-side down on the cutting board, and peel with a knife. Remove the seeds, then cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl, toss with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and season lightly with salt & freshly ground pepper. Spread on a parchment-paper covered sheet pan. Roast 20 minutes, until the squash is tender and starting to brown. Add the chestnuts and roast an additional 2 minutes, just to warm them.

While the squash roasts, make the sauce by combining the ingredients in the food processor (start with the smaller amount of lemon juice, and half a teaspoon of salt; you can always add). Pulse to puree to a sauce consistency.

Toss the squash with the sauce, and allow to cool. If you’re making these hors d’oeuvres ahead, you can finish the pastry, fill the cases and freeze. Just remove from the freezer and reheat to serve.

For the puff pastry cases, raise the oven temperature to 375°F. The pastry sheet should be well-chilled so thaw it in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. Unfold the sheet, use a rolling pin to even it out and thin it slightly. Use two square cutters (try a three-inch and a 2 1/4 inch) to first cut the larger squares, then the smaller square inside each one. Once you get them all cut, refrigerate for 10 minutes. Once chilled again, brush the edge of the inner square with the beaten egg, and carefully fold the large square over it, so that the corner of the large square meets the edge of the small, doing this twice so that you have a high-sided case. Where the two sides cross, the corners will be a bit thicker. Brush the whole case with a little egg wash, refrigerate again for 10 minutes, then bake until lightly brown and puffed up. As you take them from the oven, squish the centers down to form the cup for the filling. Let cool, then heap in the squash mixture. Reheat before serving.

Yield: About 24 pieces

About Paulding & Company

Founded by mother-daughter duo Terry and Tracy Paulding, Paulding & Co. is a commercial kitchen and instructional/event space that specializes in creating innovative event ideas for families and corporate entities through public cooking classes and exercises. Located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay area, Paulding & Company inspired Disney/Pixar animators for the Ratatouille film and director Clint Eastwood for several projects.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Paulding & Co.*

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Basil Oil & Crispy SageThere is nothing Mom loves more than pumpkin-flavored anything as it turns to Fall! This lovely roasted pumpkin soup is no exception – with fresh pumpkin, sage, onions, and more – it is a delight to the senses both as it cooks and when you enjoy your first spoonful!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Basil Oil & Crispy Sage

Ingredients

5 cups of raw sugar pumpkin, cut into 1-inch chunks
10-15 sage leaves
2 tablespoons of grape seed oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup of unsalted butter (“Mom” prefers organic)
1 large onion, chopped
2 gloves of garlic, minced
6 cups of chicken stock
½ cup of half & half (“Mom” prefers organic)
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
5-6 fresh basil leaves

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, toss the pumpkin chunks, sage leave, grape seed oil, and 5-finger pinches of salt and ground black pepper together until evenly coated.
3. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender and edges have browned.
4. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the chopped onion along with 5-finger pinches of salt and ground black pepper. Cook for 13-15 minutes, stirring often, until caramelized and golden brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer until pumpkin is done roasting.
5. Add the roasted pumpkin chunks and half of the sage leaves to the simmering pot along with the half & half (reserve the other half of the sage leaves for garnish). Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer back to the pot to keep warm.
6. In a small food processor, pulse the olive oil and basil leaves until thoroughly blended. Serve the pumpkin soup with the basil oil and crispy sage leaves. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6.

About Chef Ronnie Woo: Celebrity Chef from one of the nation’s largest LGBT networks, Logo TV. Ronnie is the host of “Food to Get You Laid” on Logo TV (a Viacom network) which airs Fridays at 9:30 PM ET. Recently seen on NBC’s “Food Fighters.”

*Recipe and image courtesy of Chef Ronnie Wo0.*

Pereg-Sesame-Ginger-CouscousThis recipe looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but from start to finish, it only takes 25 minutes. Made with fresh vegetables, spices, and couscous. Made ahead the night before, it also packs well for a healthy lunch option!

Grilled Sesame Ginger Vegetable Couscous

Ingredients

2 large carrots, washed, peeled and cut in half the long way
1 cup button mushroom tops, cleaned
½ bunch asparagus, trimmed
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ cups Pereg Gourmet Couscous
1 ¼ cups water

For dressing:

1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Place the carrots, mushrooms and asparagus in a large bowl and toss with sesame oil, soy sauce, and black pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat the grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Put the vegetables on the grill or in a grill basket and grill while basting vegetables with extra marinade. Grill until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, cook the couscous. Bring the water to a boil and add couscous. Remove from heat, stir, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes until the couscous absorbs the liquid. Drain any extra liquid and cool.

When the vegetables are cool, slice the asparagus and carrots into diagonal bite sized pieces and slice the mushrooms. Combine with couscous.

To make the dressing, whisk together ginger, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, cayenne pepper and scallions. Dress the couscous and garnish with cilantro. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 1-cup servings.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Pereg Gourmet.*