Healthy Crème Brûlée

Oxymoron? Not today, my friends.

This is a must-have in your dessert-fix arsenal. This recipe definitely assaults the classic crème brûlée in terms of preparation, tradition, and overall authenticity, but who has the time (and patience) to make this burnt-top custard on the reg? Not I.

And this recipe’s taste is rich, texture creamy, and the caramel touch makes it borderline addictive.

You’re only four ingredients away from this:

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Hidden at the bottom is your favorite fruit preserve. Today I had apricot jam on hand, but I’m usually partial to strawberry, blueberry or raspberry.

Healthy Yogurt Crème Brûlée

by GK

Cook Time: 10 minutes under broiler

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 8 oz yogurt
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Banana for garnish

Instructions

Assemble the ingredients and begin layering, first coating the bottom of a ceramic bowl with a fruit preserve.

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Then comes the yogurt. I use full-fat yogurt always, as I find the low-fat variety of most things less delicious and ultimately less real/healthy. Plus, you’re cutting corners in so many other ways, it’s worth it to use the full-fat!

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Atop the yogurt, sprinkle the brown sugar. You can use turbinado sugar as well.

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For a crispy, caramel finish, put under the broiler on its highest setting. Depending on how powerful your broiler is, the crisp-factor could be a little low. If you want that guaranteed crack-with-a-spoon experience, use a blow torch to flash caramelize the top of the crème brûlée.

Alas, I don’t have a blow torch – to say nothing of my oven’s sub-par broiling skills. But, it did the job!

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Ta da!

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Let sit in the refrigerator for an hour or until completely cooled throughout. Garnish with banana (or apricots, if you can find any/they are in season). Any complementary fresh fruit of your choice will work.

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Now all I need is a spoon…

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

This is more like a cool pudding. It’s refreshing, a great way to start the day. The carrot and pumpkin spice give the ice cream some depth and festive flavor while the bananas provide the creaminess and sweetness.

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Ingredients:

– 2 bananas, peeled, cut into fourths and frozen

– 2 carrots, chopped

– 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Serves: 2

Directions:

Food process the bananas until rich and creamy, then add the remaining ingredients until fully processed.

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Serve elegantly:

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The perfect light holiday breakfast or snack.

Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Vegan Banana & Quinoa Pancakes

I love pancakes, but truth be told, they aren’t an ideal way to start any day – traditional recipes call for sugar, white flour, eggs and milk. Fortunately, you can have your (pan)cake and eat it too.

This recipe is vegan, save for the butter I used to cook it in, and uses almond milk in place of traditional milk and cooked quinoa and buckwheat flour in place of white flour. The quinoa gives the pancakes added protein and fluff.

I used bananas, but you could replace them with blueberries, strawberries, chocolate… you name it!

Vegan Banana & Quinoa Pancakes

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup buckwheat flour

3/4 cup cooked quinoa (according to package instructions—nix the salt and butter/oils)

1 1/2 cup almond milk (<click to learn how to make it yourself)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

2-3 dates, pitted, soaked (1-2 hours)

1 banana, crushed

2-3 drops of liquid stevia or 1 packet of powdered stevia

Serves: 2-4

Directions:

Mix everything together. That simple. Then cook evenly on both sides.

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Serve with bananas sliced on top and drizzle with honey Smile with tongue out

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Bon appetit!

xo Aylin

Cinnamon Banana Soft-Serve Crepe

Sunday mornings aren’t complete without a hearty breakfast. And it can be guiltless when using fresh, simple ingredients! Who says you can’t have ice cream for breakfast?

This recipe uses a thin crepe with nothing but a few ingredients (no eggs, milk or white flour here) and brings the cinnamon flavor that Mr. Banana knows and loves too well. Banana soft serve is the easiest and most surprisingly decadent desert to have up your sleeves. It’s a crowd pleaser without the compromise in taste or texture. Together, the crepe and banana ice cream make the most satisfying and healthiest Sunday treat!

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Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup of homemade banana soft serve

– 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or any flour of choice)

– 1/2 cup water

– 1 tsp honey

– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

– dash salt

– 1/2 tbsp butter

– 1 tsp honey

Serves 1-2

Directions:

Combine the flour, water, cinnamon, pinch of salt and honey.

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Combine well and then spread evenly into a circular shape over melted butter in a pan on medium heat.

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When cooked through, drizzle the other tsp of honey on one side of the crepe.

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Have the banana ice cream ready to plop on top of the honey.

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Fold.

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And indulge.

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Sister tested. Sister approved!

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Bon appetit!

xo Aylin

One Ingredient Guiltless Ice-Cream

Yes, that’s right. This one has been getting a lot of steam these days, and it’s totally worth the try! All you have to do is freeze the bananas, food process/blend them, add whatever else you want to the mix, and serve! The beauty of this recipe is that the possibilities are endless. While there is a banana taste, it is not overpowering. By adding dried fruit, chocolate, nuts, or any other topping/mix-in of your choice, you completely change the dessert. I like to blend mine with cocoa powder to make a chocolate version, but bananas alone do the trick.

I topped the finished banana cream with some chopped dried figs and apricots.

Banana Ice-Cream w/Dried Figs and Apricots

Ingredients:

– 3 bananas, chopped and frozen

– chopped dried fruit (your choice!)

Serves: 2

Directions:

Peel, chop and seal the bananas in a plastic bag.

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Put into the freezer overnight or at least 4-6 hours.

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The next day…

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Remove the bananas and food process them until the mixture is creamy and ice-cream like.

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Serve:

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Time to add whatever you like. You could mix the toppings with the mixture in the food processor or just add to the top of the finished product. I used dried figs and apricots.

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Guiltless and SO good. You can eat this for breakfast too!

Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Banana & Peach Green Smoothie

This Sunday I woke up to sunshine. And what better an accompaniment than a fresh green smoothie with peach and banana? That’s what I said. It’s a fabulous start to a fabulous day, as it concentrates green leaves in about 2 cups of a smoothie and is a great way to get the fiber/vitamins/nutrients, satisfy a sweet tooth with the fruit, and hydrate and strengthen your body.  Drink up!

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Ingredients:

– 1 head of romaine lettuce

– 1 handful of parsley (w/o stems)

– 1 large peach

– 1 1/2 – 2 cucumbers

– 1 banana

– 4-5 drops of liquid stevia or 1 tsp honey

Servings: 1

Directions:

Assemble the ingredients and blend in a food processor or blender. You might have to add the greens in rounds, as they require more work to break down.

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Adding the rest of the greens after round 1 of blending…

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I always add the banana last because I don’t like to overblend it. I like the random banana chunk here and there. Smile

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The stevia adds a bit more sweetness, since we are going heavy on the greens. I also add the stevia last just to see if I even need it.

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Serve in a wine glass, cuz its classy. Winking smile

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Slurp! It’s the ultimate thirst quencher and as healthy as breakfast can possible get.

Got greens?

xo Aylin

Banana Chocolate Dunks

A few nights ago I spent the evening with my best friend watching tv, lounging around and doing what we do best–chocolate. Yeah, we’re kinda connoisseurs. Aficionadas if you will. We take chocolate very seriously.

Let’s just let the pictures speak for themselves here.

Banana Chocolate Dunks

Two ingredients:

About 1 cup of chocolate morsels
2 bananas, sliced

Serves .0001 — yeah, there is just never enough

Directions:

Use a double broiler to melt the chocolate–smaller pot on bottom boils water as the pot on top holds the chocolate and melts them into chocolateuphoria.

Let the magic happen…

Understandably, I never really get passed this step. I just have spoon-fulls of melted chocolate here and there until I realize it’s all gone and pretend it never happened…because it didn’t.

But, for this dessert, I wanted to hold out on the temptation and complement the chocolate sweetness with the light texture and aroma of a raw banana, or 2.

Bananas are an interesting topic of nutritional conversation. Your body will only benefit from eating a banana if it is ripe enough. A green banana will make you constipated, to be blunt. If you wait until the banana has brown spots on the skin (but not on the flesh after you peel it) then the sugars have developed enough for it to be at its optimal benefit for your body.

Too ripe= constipation= not fun.

Brown spots= regularity= caramelized yumminess.

Now, after you peel and cut, you can see there are no brown spots on the flesh–simply on the skin, which is a good indication of it being ready to eat 🙂

Time to dunk!

Put the banana chocolate chunks on parchment paper to cool. You can freeze or put them in the refrigerator to harden like candy.

I’ll be honest, I don’t have that self-discipline to wait for the chocolate to harden. I also prefer them ooey and gooey and delicioso. An urgent chocolate craving calls for a quick finish.

But, for the purposes of showing that this can indeed be a great snack to bring to a party or make look prim and classy, I did the first two like this–individually coating them and setting them on the parchment paper.

Pretty, right? You can use any fruit really and garnish with mint if you’re looking to win some cutesey poopsey points.

But let’s get real here.

Mixed it up a bit.

I stood there and ate ’em (I swear I shared) as such, from the pan with a spoon. Was messy, was delicious, was just what I wanted. The glory of this recipe is that you can make it classy by presenting it clean and perfect on a plate with possibly an array of fruits and even dipping the chunks in chopped walnuts. Or, as I highly recommend, you can do what I do, and get your chocolate fix without the hassle 😛

xoxox <<<also a good chocolate brand–I tell ya, my mind is chocolate-centric!