Banana Bread Blondies

Tis’ the season for bananas. At least it is in my book, because with summer long past and fresh berries and melon a distant, mouthwatering memory, apples and bananas become my go-to fruits. I eat a lot of apples whole or sliced with some peanut butter. Bananas, on the other hand, I’m not a huge fan of plain, and I tend to eat them alone only after a race when they’re the only gluten and nut-free snack available! So how do I incorporate them? Well, I take those bananas and put them into bread or brownies.  And sometimes, while I’m whipping up such treats, I accidentally create a new one, like these grain free Banana Bread Blondies.

 

Deliciously dense, moist banana bread blondies, grain free, dairy free, and a perfect winter treat.

 

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More Marvelous Muffins: Apple-Berry-Nana Edition

The winter chill is in the air, I’ve got some time off from school, and I’m in training for a race – let the muffin-making commence! Like their banana-maple siblings, these muffins are made with gluten-free rolled oats and Greek yogurt, resulting in a hearty morsel of goodness. Using apples and blueberries with less banana results in a slightly fluffier texture, and a few secret ingredients create a crisp, browned muffin-top that sets them apart. The fruit is definitely the star of the show with these muffins, perfect to grab anytime you’re feeling like a healthy treat.

 

All the fruit!

All the fruit!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1 small banana (roughly 6″ long)

1/2 cup chopped apple (about half of a regular-sized apple)

1/2 cup blueberries

2 oz unsweetened applesauce

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sweetener (I use brown sugar and stevia, but agave can also work great here)

6 oz 2% plain Greek yogurt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2-3 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

 

 

Muffin batter with fruit mixed in

Muffin batter with fruit mixed in

Instructions:

1. Dice apple and banana into small chunks.

2. Combine oats, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl.

3. Add eggs, yogurt, and applesauce. Mix the batter until it gets to a uniform color, about 8-10 good stirs. Add the fruit, and mix another 4-5 stirs. Once the batter is a smooth, uniform consistency with the exception of oats and fruit, stop stirring.

4. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

5. Let cool.

6. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Muffins fresh from the oven, tops nicely browned!

Muffins fresh from the oven, tops nicely browned! (I just had to taste test one immediately…)

 

 

 

© 2014 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

 

 

Marvelous Muffins: Banana-Maple-Oat Edition

As promised in yesterday’s post, my recipe for the warming winter edition of Marvelous Muffins! I love the banana-maple-oat combination because it just tastes a little like the start of the holiday season, with hints of maple candy made with syrup and snow, and the cinnamon sugar scent that wafts from all Chrismukkah-cookie kitchens. They’re a perfect breakfast or dessert, and so convenient to grab and go if you’re on the move and have an oatmeal craving you just can’t shake but have no time to indulge! So, without further ado…

 

Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins

Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (I love Country Choice Organic Gluten Free Rolled Oats)

2 large bananas (roughly 8″ long)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sweetener (I use my brown sugar and Stevia combination but feel free to experiment!)

6 oz 2% plain Greek yogurt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup maple syrup

2-3 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

Optional: sometimes I’ll throw in raisins or chocolate chips if I’m feeling decadent. I’m nut-free but if you’re lucky enough to be able to indulge, go right ahead with your favorite kind!

 

What the muffin batter should look like

What the muffin batter should look like

 

Instructions:

1. Chop up bananas lengthwise (in half) and widthwise (into 1/2″ slices).

2. Place bananas in a large bowl with all the other ingredients except optional add-ins.

3. Mix well until the batter is uniform. This should be about 12-15 good stirs. Don’t worry about completely smashing all the banana chunks, just get a uniform consistency. And once the batter is pretty smooth with the exception of banana chunks and oats, stop stirring – overstirring can result in collapsed muffins!

4. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

5. Let cool.

6. Enjoy!

 

Muffins in the pan -  two of them are raisin-topped for a raising-loving friend!

Muffins in the pan – two of them are raisin-topped for a raising-loving friend!

 

 

 

© 2014 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

Gluten Free Banana Maple Muffins

As promised in yesterday’s post, my recipe for Gluten Free Banana Maple Muffins! I love this flavor combination because it just tastes a little like the start of the holiday season, with hints of maple candy made with syrup and snow, and the cinnamon sugar scent that wafts from all Chrismukkah-cookie kitchens. These gluten free banana maple muffins are a perfect breakfast or dessert, and so convenient to grab and go if you’re on the move and have an oatmeal craving you just can’t shake but have no time to indulge. Then again, if you do have the time to sit down and savor a couple with your morning coffee…

 

gluten free banana muffins

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Rules of Running in the Rain

I woke up this morning to the sound of raindrops on my window, alternately plonking gently onto the glass and pelting it with the force of 25mph winds. But I was determined to get outside for my planned run – the Disney Half Marathon is just over a month away, and I have a 15K race scheduled for this Saturday as a warm-up!

 

The division between runners who enjoy the rain, runners who tolerate and train in the rain, and runners who go back to bed when they look out the window and see a wet world is probably no different than in the general population. I waver between the first two categories depending on the exact conditions.  As long as it’s not freezing rain that causes my running tights to adhere to my legs and require a hairdryer to remove (yes, like the kid who stuck his tongue to a frozen flagpole in A Christmas Story) I tend to enjoy it though.

 

Running in the rain can be magical because you’re moving in such a different atmosphere. Heading into Central Park, full of crowds at all hours on a sunny day, you look around and see just a few other people – a groundskeeper in his golf cart off to fix a fence, a few locals walking their dogs clad in slickers and wellies (sometimes the dogs also sport these outfits), and of course, the other runners, here and there, the others who wanted to get out into the fresh air no matter what, who you greet with a glance that says, “Yes, I am just that crazy, and so are you, and we love it!” before you head your separate ways. You tread the same path as usual, skirting a few lakes that have formed in the pavement craters, enjoying the sound of the raindrops and the lack of crowds, savoring the solitude to be found in a watery world.

 

Running shoes, wellies, and umbrella - necessities for the day!

Running shoes, wellies, and umbrella – necessities for the day!

 

Call me crazy if you want. But as long as you follow these few, entirely unscientific rules, I think you might just enjoy running in the rain along with me!

1. Thou shalt wear a water-resistant rainslicker with a hood, if it is 45 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

2. Thou shalt wear a baseball cap under said hood, to keep the raindrops from pelting thy face.

3. Thou shalt wear socks made of Gore-Tex or some other non-cotton synthetic fabric so that thou may run through puddles and not try in vain to skirt around them, only to plonk thy foot in at the last second anyway.

4. Thou shalt accept that thou will get wet no matter what thou wears, and remember that thou art not the Wicked Witch of the West, and this is okay.

5. Thou shalt ensure that warm gluten-free treats are waiting in the kitchen with a steaming cup of coffee when thou returns from thy adventures.

 

Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins (recipe coming soon!)

Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins (recipe to follow!)

 

(And remember – if it is actually a hurricane, ignore my crazy and don’t go outside. Even I skipped my run during Hurricane Sandy!)

If the trees are falling down, you can stay inside.

If the trees are falling down, you can stay inside.

 

 

 

 

© 2014 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.