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Curve Balls and Ice Cream

Sometimes life can throw some serious curve balls at you.

One minute, you think you’ve got it all together.  You’re certain of yourself- you’re confident, happy.  You’ve got plenty of friends and family and everything is smooth sailing.

Then one small change can throw you right off.  All of a sudden you’re left questioning whether what you thought all along was real.  Something you thought was one thing seems to be something else entirely.  You start wondering if this entire time you were in the middle of some big joke that no one let you in on.

Yeah, sometimes life gives you not-so-pleasant and unexpected surprises.

And then sometimes it gives you ice cream.

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But here’s what we’re not going to do: We’re not going to tell you that this “ice cream” is as rich and decadent as a bowlful of Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s.  Sorry everyone, but that kind of sinful deliciousness cannot be achieved without the addition of cream and sugar, which doesn’t really work with the whole healthy food blog thing…

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However, we will tell you what it does have:  Banana, chocolate and peanut butter.  Some of you may think we’ve over-done that flavour combo over here, but we can’t disagree more!  You can never have too much peanut butter-chocolate-banana.  You just can’t.

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So although this may not be as indulgent as regular ice cream, this stuff makes for a pretty delicious, simple and healthy summer snack or dessert.  And that’s the honest truth.

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Because you know what?  Sometimes things happen that you wish hadn’t, and sometimes people disappoint you- but chocolate, peanut butter and banana will not.  So enjoy, friends!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream”

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Prep: 10 minutes
Chill: 2-3 hours (optional)
Serves: 3-4 people

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas
1/4 c. peanut butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk
pinch of salt

Directions:

Peel the bananas and place on a tray lined with wax paper.  Place in the freezer and chill for 2-3 hours, or until the bananas are frozen or almost frozen. (We recommend doing this with a whole bunch of bananas and then just keeping the frozen bananas in your freezer all the time to use whenever you’d like)

Slice the bananas and place them in a food processor along with all other ingredients.  Blend on high speed until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary.

You can eat it right away as soft serve, or you can pour the mixture into an air-tight container and freeze for 2-3 hours for a more “hard-scoop” kind of ice cream.

~twosaucysisters

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Summer Prep

Summer has arrived and while there have been a lot of days so far that hasn’t exactly felt like it, we have finally had a few hot ones over this past week.

And you know what that means?

Healthy no-bake treats, of course!

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Because who really wants to turn on an oven when its 30 degrees outside?  No one, that’s who.

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And like we said, when we had those few hot days last week, we were ready for them!  Because our freezers were full of chewy chocolate-peanut butter Rice Krispie treats.

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These bars are not crispy-crunchy like a traditional Rice Krispie square.  They are dense, they are chewy, and they are full of chocolate-peanut butter amazingness.

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You can keep your fluffy marshmallows- we’ll take our chocolate and peanut butter, thank you very much!

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We have also finally opened our pool, so between that and these freezer treats, we are set for summer to begin!  Now if only it would stop raining…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Freezer Bars

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 2 hours
Makes: 16 bars

Ingredients:

1/2 c. all natural peanut butter (you can use regular if that’s what you have)
1 ripe banana
2 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
1/4 c. cocoa powder
5 cups Rice Krispie Cereal

Topping:

1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

Add the banana, peanut butter and yogurt to a blender and blend on high until the mixture is smooth.  (If you prefer, you can skip the blender and simply mix it all by hand, just be sure to thoroughly mash the banana before mixing in the other ingredients!)

Transfer the peanut butter, banana and yogurt mixture to a bowl and add the honey and cocoa powder.  Stir until the mixture is smooth and all the cocoa powder has been absorbed.  Add the Rice Krispies 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition to ensure you get an even coating.

Line a 9×9 inch square pan with wax paper.  Press the mixture into the pan and smooth out the top. (Don’t press too hard, there’s no need to pack it in too much).

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on high for about 40 seconds-1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds or so.  Add the coconut oil and stir until the coconut oil melts into the chocolate. Drizzle the chocolate over top of the Rice Krispie mixture and place in the freezer for 2 hours before cutting into bars.  Store in the freezer in an air-tight container.

~twosaucysisters

Has summer weather arrived where you live?  How do you like to beat the heat?

Clusters of Awesome

Banana and peanut butter is a classic combination.

But there is another.  It is lesser-known, but not any less delicious!  That’s right- there is something else that is equally as delicious as peanut butter and banana.

So what is this magic combination?  Banana and tahini.

Since we started reading food blogs, we have been introduced to many new and wonderful ideas, and the banana-tahini combo definitely makes the list of the top 10 (if we were to make one, that is..).

Unfortunately, we cannot remember on what blog we first heard about putting these two ingredients together, so if you are a food-blogger and have ever mentioned about eating banana and tahini at the same time, feel free to take credit for introducing this idea to us 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, tahini is sesame seed paste.  It’s kind of like peanut butter, except its made with sesame seeds instead (it also has no sugar or salt added to it).  It’s a very common condiment in middle-eastern cooking, and is a major ingredient in hummus.  It can be found in pretty much any grocery store, and has a mild, nutty flavour.

We could go on all day about how delicious and versatile tahini is, but today we’re actually here to talk about granola:

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You see, the other day we decided we wanted to make granola.  We had some ripe bananas that we wanted to use up, so our first thought was to make peanut butter-banana.  But then we decided that we wanted to try something a little different-and thus banana tahini granola came to be!

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We really can’t say enough about this granola!  There’s a slight sweetness from the banana that’s balanced perfectly with the nuttiness of the tahini.  If you’ve never had tahini before and you’re a little hesitant to try it, this is the perfect recipe to start with!  The tahini flavour is very mild in this granola- almost an after thought, really.

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In fact, if you didn’t know there was tahini in the granola, you probably wouldn’t guess that it’s there.  You’d just be wondering why this granola tasted so ridiculously delicious.  Then you would just accept it, and go on blissfully eating it by the bowl-ful. 🙂

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There is also one other very important thing that we must mention about this granola.  It has the best. Clusters. Ever.  The secret?  An egg white!  One single egg white.  Add it into the mix, and you’ll get those hearty clusters that are so highly coveted when making homemade granola!

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Would you just look at those clusters?  No need for a bunch of oil or sugar- because we don’t know about you guys, but when we have granola, we want to eat entire bowlfuls of it!  Stuff it full of sugar and oil and suddenly that becomes a not-so-healthy idea.  That being said, we didn’t add a tonne of sweetener to this, so if you’d prefer you can feel free to add a little more if that suits your taste 🙂

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So please do yourself a favour and go make a batch of this granola.  Then eat a bowl full of it.  In fact, you may even want to make a double-batch, because it is that good.

Banana and tahini- seriously, people.

Banana Tahini Granola

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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes: approximately 5 cups

Ingredients:

3 c. large-flake rolled oats
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. chopped almonds
1 medium banana, mashed
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg white

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350C.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, sesame seeds, walnuts, almonds, and cinnamon.  Stir until evenly mixed.

In another smaller bowl, whisk the banana and tahini together until smooth.  Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and egg white and mix until everything is fully combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir until everything is mixed and there are no dry spots left.

Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared pan, pressing down slightly.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir, breaking up the granola slightly, but leaving several large chunks.  Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven again and stir the granola so that the darker pieces are moved to the bottom and some of the less-baked pieces are exposed.  Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool (it will get crispier as it cools).

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever tried banana and tahini?  What is your favourite kind of granola?

Simple Sunday: Smoothie

Today is Simple Smoothie Sunday! (Say that ten times fast!)

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We have had more than one request for a smoothie recipe, and today we are finally honoring our multiple promises to put one on the blog- and with the weather finally starting to warm up, now is the perfect time for it! 🙂

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Because while cold weather makes you want to tuck into a nice, warm bowl of oatmeal, warmer temperatures call for a nice cold, thick and creamy smoothie!

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So let’s go over why smoothies are so awesome:

1. They’re so customize-able!  You can use any variety of fruit or yogurt, milk or juice, you can even throw some veggies in there!  The sky is the limit!
2. They’re delicious.  Honestly, if Orange Julius can base their entire (successful!) business of of them, they must be good, right?  Because who doesn’t love a thick, creamy drink that’s actually good for them?  Which leads us to our third point…
3. They’re healthy! (Well, most of the time…) And they make great post-workout snacks, and of course, amazing breakfasts, too!
4. If you do it right, they taste almost as good as milk shakes 😉
5. Oh, and we already mentioned it, but they’re so easy!

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So in celebration of the the much-anticipated and long-awaited arrival of spring, dust off that blender and pour yourself a nutrient-packed smoothie!

Basic Smoothie

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Prep Time: 5 min
Serves: 2 medium smoothies (or one very large one!)

Ingredients:

1 banana
1 c. frozen fruit (any kind!)
2/3 c. yogurt (plain, vanilla, fruit-flavoured, etc.)
1 c. milk (or juice, or half-juice half-milk)

Directions:

Throw everything into the blender and blend until it’s nice and smooth!

Optional Add-ins:

-spinach (yes, you can add up to a cup of spinach to this recipe without even tasting it!  Try it, you’ll suprise yourself!)
– protein powder (this makes for a great post-workout shake.  You may have to add a little extra liquid, depending on the protein powder you use)
– spices (try cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.)
– avocado (half an avocado makes this smoothie super creamy, and adds some healthy fats)
-Oats (for some whole grains to make this a meal- you’ll just have to add some extra liquid!)
– Fresh Fruit if you don’t have frozen- you just might want to add some ice so your smoothie will still be cold

~twosaucysisters

What is your favourite, go-to smoothie recipe?

Oranges, Strawberries, Bananas and Good Friday

It looks like our springtime and sunshine recipes worked – it is absolutely GORGEOUS out today! A Good Friday Miracle perhaps?

There is a lot good about this Friday, too! It’s Easter weekend, so we don’t have class today and are home putting in some serious fam-jam time, there’s chocolate EVERYWHERE, it’s potentially the most beautiful day we’ve had since the fall, and we’re sticking to our promise and giving you more of our pancake-in-a-jar recipes!

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Orange Strawberry Banana.
This has been on of our favourite flavour combinations ever since our dad first brought home a carton of Orange Strawberry Banana Juice. Delicious!

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This pancake kind of fits in really well with the weather, it’s just so bright and colourful!

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Beautiful!

You know, though, there are a lot of other good things about today. Like our family members’ health, as well as the second year of our new Easter tradition. You see, last year, shortly before Easter weekend, our aunt fell down the stairs early in the morning and broke several bones, it was quite a mess! Seeing as she is the one who usually spear-heads our family meals, but was clearly going to be in no condition to cook, we had to change the plan. My Grandma suggested we just do soup and sandwich – everyone brings a soup and then my other aunt, who agreed to host, would provide sandwich fixings, and the two of us would make bread.  It turned out so well, that we decided why not do it again this year? Our aunt has fully healed from her accident, and out of her accident came a brand-new family tradition! 🙂

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Needless to say, we are spending partially outside enjoying the day, and partially inside baking several loaves of bread! What’s better than that?

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Of course, don’t worry –  we have something else in the oven too, just in time for Easter. 😉 But for now, we hope you enjoy your day off and that you make this pancake-in-a-jar! We promise you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Happy Good Friday!

Orange Strawberry Banana Pancake in a Jar

Prep time: 10min
Cook time: 5 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 c. orange juice
1/2 c. milk of choice
zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp orange pulp
1 tbsp nut butter (almond or coconut would work well)

1 banana, chopped
1/2 c. chopped strawberries
2 tbsp orange pulp

Orange Syrup:

1/4 c. orange pulp
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp honey

Directions:

Chop up strawberries and banana and divide evenly into two medium sized mason jars.
Zest the orange, squeeze out the juice, and remove the pulp from the rind.
Divide 2 tbsp of the pulp evenly between the two mason jars, mixing with the strawberries and bananas.
In a medium sized bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Mix in orange juice, milk, zest and 1 tbsp of orange pulp.
Divide this mixture evenly between the two mason jars and then cook in the microwave for 5 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
For the syrup, combine the 1/4 c. of orange pulp and honey in a food processor or blender (we used our spice grinder), then add 1 tbsp of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Pour over the top of your pancake and enjoy!

~twosaucysisters

What’s good about your good friday?

Our Favourite Combo

Before we get into today’s post, have you read yesterday’s post yet? No?!? Well, you probably should! It’s about an exercise and nutrition symposium that we attended on the weekend, and we talked about some of the points that a couple of the speakers made regarding the paleo diet, healthy living and weight loss. You should check it out! Now, to today’s post! 🙂

We have made it no secret in the past that our favourite flavour combinations are peanut butter chocolate, peanut butter banana, chocolate and banana, and peanut butter chocolate banana. There really isn’t anything better! We also have a friend who shares this opinion (the reason we’re friends, obviously :P), so back when he came to visit us for St. Patrick’s Day, we knew just what to make for post Sunday-Funday shenanigans – Pancakes!

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Peanut Butter pancakes…

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with vanilla-flavoured “ice cream” (aka banana soft-serve)….

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and a little bit of healthy chocolate sauce…

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try a lot of chocolate sauce! 🙂

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And a few peanuts on top for the crunch-factor!
Seriously, do we need to even finish this post?

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You see, we had a deal with said friend: He buys us a couple of drinks throughout the day, and we make him breakfast in the morning (though should the fact that we allowed him to tag along with us throughout the day and crash on our futon not be enough? Just kidding, Trev! 😉 ).

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Since he held up his end of the deal (perhaps too much) we obviously had to keep ours. But here at the Two Saucy Sisters house, when we promise someone breakfast, we don’t just make sure we have their favourite cereal and hand them a bowl and some milk, no sir! We came out firing on all cylinders – Peanut Butter Pancakes with Vanilla Banana Soft Serve and a healthy Chocolate Sauce.

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We think we did a pretty good job holding up our end of the deal, don’t you?

Peanut Butter Pancakes a La Mode

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Prep time: 10min
Cook time: 10min
Serves: 3

Ingredients:

For the Banana Soft Serve:

2 frozen bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Pancakes:

2/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. peanut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash salt
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 whole egg
1 egg white
2 tbsp honey
1 c. milk of choice
1/2 tsp vanilla

For the Chocolate Sauce: (based off of Heather at Kiss My Broccoli)

3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
4-5 tbsp water

Directions:

Slice your frozen bananas (if not already sliced) and add to food processor or high powered blender. Add vanilla and blend until smooth. Place in the freezer until everything else is ready to serve.

Pre-heat pancake griddle or frying pan.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, combine the wet. (Optional: separate egg whites and beat until they form a stiff peak and fold into batter after wet and dry have been mixed for a fluffier end result).
Pour wet into dry and mix until just combined.
Spoon batter onto griddle and flip once bubbles form on the surface and bottom of pancake is lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Combine cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla. Add water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency that you desire!

Scoop banana soft serve and place over each person’s pancake stack. Top with chocolate sauce and peanuts, if desired.

~twosaucysisters

What food (breakfast or otherwise) do you make when you have a house guest?

Bread Pudding

One of our favourite desserts ever since we were little kids was pudding.  If it was a contest between jell-o and pudding, pudding won every time- hands down.  Of course, we always associated pudding with the thick, creamy stuff that comes in a bowl and you eat with a spoon.  So when we first ever heard of bread pudding we were a little bit confused.

We just couldn’t figure out how you could take bread and turn it into a smooth, rich, creamy dessert.  In fact, we both kind of thought the whole idea of “bread pudding” was kind of gross (picture slurried bread- not exactly appetizing).

But when we finally tried bread pudding for the first time, all of our pre-conceived notions of what bread pudding was were completely abolished!  It was delicious!  And no, it was nothing like slurried bread 🙂

So obviously it was only a matter of time before we set out to create a healthy version!  And obviously  our version was going to contain chocolate…

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And what goes better with chocolate than bananas?  (and peanut butter, of course, but more on that later…)

So it just made sense to make chocolate-banana bread pudding, right?

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Right.  And since we knew you’d want to make this and eat it all for yourself, we thought we would save you the trouble of explaining why no one else is allowed to eat any, and make it single-serving!

But then, we thought that might actually get you into more trouble, because you only made one for yourself, and we wouldn’t want everyone to be jealous, so we decided this recipe should make two single-serving puddings 🙂 (well, that and the fact that there’s two of us…)

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Now everyone’s happy, right? Right!  Because dessert’s more fun when you enjoy it in the company of someone else isn’t it?  (why Julie and Brittany, you’re right again!) 😉

So instead of blabbering on and on about whether or not you should share your dessert, let us just give you the run-down on these things:

– They’re creamy.  Yes, we said it- the bread is creamy by some kind of wonderful phenomenon that we will not question.
– There is a layer a thick, gooey banana in the middle.  Sort of like a pudding-within-the-pudding.
– There are basically chocolate chips running through the whole sha-bang.  If that doesn’t sell you, then you’re a lost cause!
– They’re healthy.  But that’s kind of the name of the game over here, isn’t it?

So if you’ve never tried bread pudding before or it’s just been a while since you’ve had it, we give you this delicious version that will love you just as much as you love it. It doesn’t get any better than that! 🙂

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

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Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 20min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2 thick slices of your favourite whole-grain bread
1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 banana
1/2 c. milk of choice
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Cut bread into 1-inch chunks. Place half of the bread chunks on the bottom of your ramekins.
Slice banana and divide evenly between the two puddings. Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips over both. Top with remaining bread chunks and chocolate chips.
Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla in a glass measuring cup and pour over each pudding.
Place on a baking sheet (precautionary measure in case they boil over) and bake for 20minutes or until the pudding is set.

Layer One: Bread!

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Layer Two: Banana and chocolate chips!

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Layer Three: more bread and more chocolate 🙂

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Now poooouuuurrr…

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~twosaucysisters

Have you ever had bread pudding?