Snacks Matter….Banana Bran Chocolate Chip

Snacks,  as I have mentioned in a previous post by the same name continue to be apart of our healthy eating plan.  I found this recipe 10 years ago in a newspaper (adjusted to include less oil and more fibre) is easy to make and a great way to use up those over ripe bananas.  Fibre packed, filling, moist and just sweet enough to satisfy the sweet toothed (not sure if that is even a word) members in your household, is the most requested muffin in our house.  You can leave out the nuts if you need to. You can substitue the cocoa and chocolate chips for  1 cup of  frozen blueberries for a whole different taste.  I usually double the recipe.

Best of all, it is a homemade muffin and you know exactly what went into it:)


1 egg (or substitute ¼ cup applesauce with 1/2 tsp baking powder mixed in)

¼ cup grapeseed or canola oil

1 cup unsweetened soy milk + 1 tbsp vinegar or 1 cup buttermilk

1 ½ tsp vanilla

1 cup mashed banana (2 1/2  ripe med. bananas)

¼  cup liquid honey

1 ½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup oat flour or oat bran or whole spelt flour 

¾ cup natural wheat bran

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

1/2  tsp salt

½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

1/2 cup dark mini or regular sized  dark (not milk) chocolate chips


1.   Whisk egg or applesauce with oil, milk, liquid honey and vanilla. Stir in banana.

2.    In a large bowl use a fork to mix flours, bran, cocoa, soda, baking powder, salt, nuts.

3.    Pour banana mix into dry mix  and  stir only until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

4.    Bake 400 for 16 minutes or until done


  • Great breakfast idea for kids that don’t like to eat breakfast. Add some sliced fruit or a fruit smoothie and give them a great start to their day. The big kids in the house will also appreciate this as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.



Asparagus Soup…..mmm good!

I have been looking for a good Asparagus Soup for awhile now… found this one online, tried it and loved it.  Enjoy… the season for asparagus is short.


Creamy Asparagus Soup- Jamie Oliver

800 gms asparagus, woody ends removed

2 tbsp olive oil

2 medium white onions, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped

2 leeks, trimmed and chopped

8 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Chop the tips off of your asparagus and put these to the side for later.  Roughly chop the asparagus stalks.
  2. In a large deep soup pot heat olive oil on medium and add the onions, celery & leeks and sauté for about 10 minutes, until soft but not browned.  Add the chopped asparagus and stock and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.
  3. Remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender until smooth or put into blender in batches (be careful –it’s hot!)
  4. Season the soup bit by bit with salt and pepper until just right. (This is important, just do a little at time (I used about 1 tsp in total of salt).
  5. Put the soup back on medium high heat and add the asparagus tips and bring to boil, then simmer for a few more minutes until the tips are tender.


Delicious!  Best Asparagus soup and it’s dairy freeJ

Asparagus…springtime favorite

Asparagus…harvest time is now in the Okanagan and ohhh so delicious!  Our favorite recipe is to simply rinse then  snap off the tough bit which is usually not much when fresh and in season locally, then lay them side by side on a parchment lined cookie sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil, top with cracked pepper and roast for 5-7 min for thin stalks, 10-12 min for medium to thick stalks at 350 degrees. They should be tender crisp and can be served hot or used in a salad cold the next day.

We also like them steamed. Rinse and snap just as before. Place in a large saucepan with just a little water in the bottom, not to cover the asparagus.  Bring water to a boil, then turn off the stove and remove the pot from the heat. Do not open the lid, just let them steam for about 3-5 minutes. Drain, and serve with fresh squeezed lemon juice, cracked pepper and some minced garlic.

Or add them to a stir fry… this recipe uses lots of vegees which you can change up to add or remove your favorites. Asparagus takes center stage. Use lots while it is fresh and in season.

Enjoy and as always, it is great knowing exactly what went into the meal.

Asian Greens and Tofu Stir-Fry

 4 green onions, chopped

2 tsp olive oil

4 baby bok choy or 1 cup green cabbage chopped coarsely

2 carrots, chopped

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup broccoli florets

Large handful thin asparagus

¼ cup vegetable stock or water

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

½ tsp toasted sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp sesame seeds toasted

toasted peanuts (optional)


1 recipe sesame baked tofu….see previous post


In a non-stick skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook the white parts the green onion for 30 seconds. Add the all the vegetables except the broccoli and asparagus. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. 

Mix together in separate bowl the stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, add to the wok and let cook for a few more minutes. Add the broccoli and asparagus and let steam until tender-crisp. Add garlic and ginger. Toss. Drizzle vegetables with rice vinegar, sprinkle  green onions and sesame seeds and add cooked tofu cubes. Serve hot over steamed brown rice.