New Food Obsessions for the New Year

If you know me, you probably know I go through obsessive phases like nobody’s business. When I discover a new show on Netflix, I will just sit and watch it until it’s done. When I discovered Doctor Who, people wanted to STRANGLE me for the way everything related to the Doctor. Ditto that on Pretty Little Liars and (shame shame) Vampire Diaries. But it isn’t just TV. I go through crazy food phases like you wouldn’t believe.

I’ve been on a health kick for a while now, trying to change the way I think about and interact with food so that I can be my healthiest me. And that has involved hours and hours of scrolling through my beloved Pinterest food category, weeding out healthy and low fat recipes for everything under the sun. It was there that I encountered my two new obsessions: green smoothies and spaghetti squash.

One of my major diet flaws is the lack of veggies. It’s not even that I don’t LIKE veggies. It’s just that I rarely think to eat them. The same with fruit, but on a lesser scale. And then I noticed the prevalence of putting spinach (and other veggies like lettuce and kale) into a smoothie, all masked with fruit. So one morning, following THIS handy guide I found on Pinterest, I started throwing things in my blender. A banana. A handful of spinach. Some oats, some ground flaxseed. A cup of vanilla greek yogurt. A few ice cubes. A generous dash of cinnamon and a sprinkle of Stevia extract. Ground it all up to a terrifyingly bright green. And then I took a taste.

Today’s (banana & apple) spinach smoothie.

It was amazingly delicious. I was so pleasantly surprised (even though my family made fun of the fact that I was sucking down a bright green drink) that I got up the next morning and repeated the combo. The morning after that, I decided to use an apple, instead. The result tasted surprisingly like apple pie. My obsession was born. Now I simply can’t get enough smoothie to satisfy me. I’m even starting to enjoy the fact that it’s bright green.

My second food obsession is a mild one, due to my lack of experimentation thus far. But I recently learned of the existence of spaghetti squash. I was quite skeptical when I heard about it, and I still maintain it is only like spaghetti in appearance, but I was definitely amazed when I poked the insides of a vegetable with a fork and it started falling into spaghetti shapes in the bowl in front of me. The only recipe I’ve used it in thus far was a spinach and chicken bake, but it was amazingly delicious.

I definitely have big plans for experimentation in 2013, trying some different flavor combos with spaghetti squash and mixing up some new smoothie combos. Here’s to an even healthier new year!

What A Sight For (Hungry) Eyes

Hello hello. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, it’s been a while. I’d make excuses, but I think you’ve all memorized them by now (school, work, apathy… the sudden disappearance of all forms of caffeine ever, etc). But! Things are going pretty well for me actually, despite how busy I’ve been.

What’s adding to my general well being, you ask? Well, after a long and difficult search, I have finally found it. True love… in the form of the perfect banana bread recipe. I’ve been toying with the right balance between healthier choices and deliciousness for a while now, and many a banana has gone into the search. But then I found this great recipe for cinnamon sugar banana bread  and made a few little tweaks to make it a little bit healthier/lower in calories. I fearfully put it in our notoriously fitful oven, waiting an agonizing fifty minutes and then the sweet scent of cinnamon sugar gloriousness filled the air, trumpets sounded, and I tasted heaven in the form of banana bread.

Needless to say, I figured I’d share the recipe (complete with my alterations) with you lovely people as penance for having taken so very long to update you on all things Will Blog for Food related. Without further rambling, I present: “Healthier” Cinnamon Sugar Banana Bread.

Ingredients
For bread:
3 over-ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup applesauce (preferably natural, unsweetened)
3/4 cup Truvia (or similar all natural low calorie sweetener)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
Dash salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour

For swirl:
1/3 cup Truvia (or similar)
1 Tbs cinnamon

Method
1) Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan, set aside.
2) Combine bananas, applesauce, Truvia, egg and vanilla. Add baking soda and salt, then stir in flour, just until combined.
3) In a small dish (I like to use a mug) combine your sugar and cinnamon for the swirl.
4) Add about 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan, then sprinkle a little over 1/2 of your cinnamon swirl over the batter. Add the rest of the batter, then top it off with the rest of your cinnamon sugar mixture.
5) Bake for about 50-60 minutes. I recommend checking it often, as loaf pan sizes and oven temperatures can vary (especially if you live in a cheap apartment like I do) and you don’t want it to burn. It’ll get pretty dark on top due to the cinnamon sugar and the prevalence of wheat flour, but as long as nothing smells like its burning you’re probably all right.

Tah-dah! (Excuse my poor food photography skills)