Pumpkin Maple Peanut Butter Panini with Bananas


Busy morning school routines combined with dwindling daylight hours can make waking up in September a challenge. My boys have become snooze button beasts, but not anymore! They are up and at ‘em earlier with much more enthusiasm now that I’ve added some yummy breakfast eating options to the morning menu.

Pumpkin Maple Peanut Butter Panini with Pepperidge Farms Swirl Oatmeal Bread

We all are totally loving the new Pepperidge Farm Swirl Oatmeal breads, the thick and hearty whole grain slices make a yummy foundation for slathers for spreads, sandwich fillings, and such. Today, I’m sharing ways to use this delicious breakfast bread, including my Pumpkin Maple Peanut Butter Panini with Banana! Continue reading

Pardon Me, is That a Parsnip Apple Muffin?

Agave Parsnip Apple Muffins recipe thefitfork.com

When the kids came home from school today, they opened the door to a delicious scent – home baked muffins straight out of the oven! As I let them dig in and reveled in the rare compliments that seem to only come my way when I bake goodies, I chuckled silently under my breath. Yup, these muffins held a special secret — I snuck some parsnips in there!

apple veggies bowl

Despite the trickery, my recipe for Parsnip Apple Muffins is a winner with shredded sweet apple and bits of delicately flavored parsnip, a close cousin to the carrot. I’m always looking for new ways to add extra fruit and veggies to the family table. Personally, I could eat a huge plate of lettuce and vegetables with every meal, but sometimes it takes a bit more creativity to convince my children – for example, baking parsnips, carrots and beets into crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside fries was a big hit (check out the Baked Root Veggie Fries Recipe here).

WholesomeSweeteners.com has lots of yummy Organic Raw Agave Syrup flavors.

WholesomeSweeteners.com has lots of yummy Organic Raw Agave Syrup flavors.

Instead of white sugar, I used raw agave syrup. I’ve been having lots of success using this lower Glycemic index ingredient in both raw preparations and baked goods – agave syrup adds sweetness, but without the huge blood sugar spike. I’ve also found that not as much agave syrup is needed to replace sugar; I’m happy with about ¾ cup agave syrup, or a little less, as a substitution for 1 cup of sugar.

Parsnip Apple Muffins Recipe

  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ cup Wholesome Sweetener Raw Blue Agave Nectar – Cinnamon*
  • 2 cups shredded fresh parsnips
  • 1 cup shredded apple
  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½  teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two (12-ct) muffin tins with paper liners or mist with baking spray; set aside.

In large bowl whisk together eggs, oil, applesauce and agave syrup. Stir in shredded parsnips and agave. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined.

Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until deep golden brown and toothpick inserted in center pulls clean, approximately 20 minutes. Cool muffins on a wire rack.

*If using unflavored Agave syrup, add 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to recipe.

‘Better-For-You’ Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Looking for a quick banana bread recipe that is not too fat-laden yet moist and tasty enough to go ape over? Several years ago, I gave a makeover to my favorite banana bread recipe by replacing some of the fat with applesauce and a fat-free sour cream substitution. The success of the swap was as clear as the crumbs left in the pan – it was a winner with my family for a breakfast treat and afterschool snack. Plus, I’ve even been known to sneak a piece on occasion– hey, it might be a cheat on the Paleo, Zone and other low-carb diets, but you have to live a little people! Recipe written by yours truly, Jennifer Fisher, and originally published in Country Woman February/March 2010, p34.  Enjoy!


‘Better-For-You’ Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips


In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs; mix well. Beat in the bananas, sour cream, applesauce and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture just until moistened. Fold in chips. Transfer to two 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

Nutritional Facts: 1 slice equals 155 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 16 mg cholesterol, 148 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.