Banana Cream Pie

When I was a kid, I spent many a winter and spring break with my maternal grandparents in Arizona. Oh, how I loved those vacations.

I loved the fresh orange juice my grandpa would squeeze for us each morning, playing with my brother at the pool, and shopping with my grandparents. I also loved everything my grandma made us to eat. (My parents owned a pretty fancy restaurant so at home we ate things like confit of duck and scalloped potatoes. At my grandparents we got to eat “normal” food: like tacos and banana cream pie!)

Recently, I was thinking about how much I miss my grandparents. Missing them made me crave banana cream pie something fierce, so I decided to make one.

banana cream pie from scratch | healthy green kitchen

My grandma made her pie with a store-bought crust and vanilla pudding from a box: I thought it was the most delicious thing ever, but I opted to make mine with whole foods ingredients from scratch. (I used the recipe in Joy of Cooking because that’s where I turn for classic recipes.) My daughter helped me make it by slicing the bananas and placing them “just so”.

banana cream pie | healthy green kitchen

The verdict? It was pretty darn delicious and I will definitely be making banana cream pie again! Maybe next time I will change it up a bit, though…see the bottom of this post for some amazing-looking banana cream pie variations from fellow bloggers.

banana cream pie from scratch | healthy green kitchen

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Vegan Banana Muffins

I’m participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) which means I’m blogging every day of November, 2013!

I am really particular about my bananas. I love snacking on ones that are just on the verge of ripeness, but once they hit that ripe to slightly overripe phase? Blech: they kind of gross me out. So most of the bananas I buy end up being frozen to put into smoothies, or I let them blacken. Then I make banana bread or muffins.

Vegan Banana Muffins | Healthy Green Kitchen

I have been eyeing a recipe for Coconut Cocoa Banana Muffins over on the lovely blog Food Loves Writing for a while now. Yesterday I was going to make those muffins but then I realized I was out of eggs (yes, even those of us with chickens find ourselves without eggs sometimes!). So I decided to change up the muffins a bit and make them vegan, and to leave out the cocoa and coconut since my family really prefers simple to embellished when it comes to baked goods.

Vegan Banana Muffins | Healthy Green Kitchen

These vegan banana muffins really are exceedingly simple to make, and they are delicious! They have wonderful banana flavor and a dense texture I really like. I used Florida Crystals Demerara Cane Sugar to sweeten them, but you can use any type of granulated sugar, including organic cane sugar or coconut sugar, in yours. I tossed bittersweet, fair-trade chocolate chips into 1/3 of the batter, but accept my apologies for not measuring exactly how much I used (I am a terrible food blogger sometimes!) If you prefer to make these with an egg and butter, they won’t be vegan (but they will be yummy). We’ve been enjoying them with a smear of organic peanut butter on top.

Vegan Banana Muffins | Healthy Green Kitchen

Be sure to check out all of Shanna’s recipes. I frequently drool over her food and her writing! Speaking of her writing, she wrote one of the most beautiful ebooks I have read: it’s called Written Together: A Story of Beginnings, in the Kitchen and Beyond. I read it a few months ago and absolutely loved it…you will love it, too!

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Date Shake with Toasted Nuts from The New Persian Kitchen

I rarely eat the same thing twice. A food or drink has to be really and truly insanely delicious for me to make it more than once; I guess that says a lot about this shake since I blended it up four times last week.

Date Shake with Toasted Nuts from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

The shake recipe comes from a wonderful new book (that’s officially out today!) called The New Persian Kitchen. I received a review copy from Ten Speed Press a couple of weeks ago and I simply can’t get enough of author Louisa Shaffia’s beautiful writing, or her food.

This is Louisa’s second book. I adored her first one (Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life), too. In fact, I wrote extensively about Lucid Food in a series of posts back in 2010: this granola is one of the recipes I featured.

One of the things I like best about The New Persian Kitchen is how Louisa weaves exotic, traditional Persian ingredients into contemporary dishes. Some of the recipes I most look forward to making include:

Cold Pistachio Soup with Mint and Leeks
Whole Roasted Fish with Oranges and Saffron
Sour Cherry and Rose Preserves
Herb Frittata with Walnuts and Rose Petals
Grilled liver with Cumin, Garlic, and Fresh Basil
Pomegranate Semifreddo with Blood Orange Compote
No-bake Persimmon and Goat Cheese Cheesecake

Don’t these recipes sound amazing? I am also a big fan of the ways in which Louisa shares cultural and historical information in this book. And the photography? It’s positively dreamy, as is always the case when Sara Remington is behind the lens.

I simply can’t say enough good things about this book, and I am pleased to let you know that Ten Speed Press has generously offered to send a copy of the New Persian Kitchen to one of my readers! You’ll find the information about how to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.

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One Simple Change: How to Make a Healthy Smoothie

Welcome to Week 13 of One Simple Change: my year long series of weekly tips dedicated to enhancing your health and your life. If you are new to my blog, One Simple Change is a series I began early in 2012. I try to post something for OSC every Friday; I also post new recipes … Read more

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

chocolate peanut butter smoothie

I mentioned this drink in yesterday’s post, and it occurred to me that maybe you’d like the recipe. I’ve also been meaning to share some of my favorite tips for making healthy smoothies, so you’ll find those here, as well. If you’d like to enter the the iHerb giveaway I announced yesterday, comments here will … Read more