Summer Sides! Tomato Salad with Savory Ancho Granola

savory granola tomato salad overhead horizontalBotanically a fruit, embraced as a vegetable, the vibrant and vitamin-packed tomato is tops when it comes to versatility. Tomatoes are enjoyed at the annual rate of 31 pounds per person, eaten raw on salads and as a key ingredients in sauces, salsas and many soups. Even my tomato-avoiding son gets his fair share in the form of ketchup!

I’m flashing back to one of my favorite easy recipes of summer, Tomato Salad with Savory Ancho Honey Granola. Get the recipe in an archived post FOUND HERE:

Tomato Salad with Ancho Honey Granola is a gorgeous and good-for-you side dish for your summer meals.

 

 

 

The Tomato Salad with Savory Ancho Honey Granola recipe can be avory Ancho Honey Skillet Granola is delicious eaten alone, but also makes a great crunchy topping for salads, soups and baked fish.FOUN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ancho Honey Skillet Granola recipe FOUND HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like using Love Grown Food”s Super Oats for this Ancho recipe — it’s packed with all sorts of extra nut and seed goodness!


I’m also putting this gorgeous Crab & Heirloom Tomato Salad on my dinner lineup this week — it looks so light and refreshing!

Crab and Heirloom Tomato Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomat-O, tomat-OH, what is your favorite way to eat tomatoes? Please share in the comments below. Also, who’s training for what — I’m looking for some fall half marathons! XOXO, Jennifer 

Spicy-Sweet Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola #GameChangingFlavor

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Ditch the chips and grab some Game Changing Flavors this football season! Enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Football Party Prize Pack, get great savings and ideas for delicious snack hacks at GameChangingFlavors.com .Smokehouse Bacon Almond GranolaWe take football SERIOUSLY here in Texas.  Friday nights are spent under the lights cheering on the hometown boys and socializing with friends. All day Saturday is set aside for tailgating and stomping boots in the fan stands of our hometown college team (or Pop Warner) and Sunday and Monday we gather ‘round the big screen to rally behind our favorite professional teams. Pop Warner Football - TheFitFork.com

So, during the season, it’s not uncommon to have four straight days of football. Oh, and the holiday bowl games – those may be the best because usually all the family and friends are around to celebrate! You may not believe this, but it’s TRUE – every year my family pushes our Thanksgiving feast from Thursday to Friday just so some of us can attend a very important collegiate game. Like I said, football is serious business in these parts.

Healthy Football Snack StadiumSecond to the serious excitement of the gridiron action is the snack table lineup. Actually, I know some (okay, maybe me) would say that good football grub is the most important part of the day – in fact, I go nuts for football food! Nuts, especially almonds, are always part of my starting snack lineup and they pair with everything from cold-cut sandwiches, pizza, wings and healthier things – including the over-the-top Healthy Snack Stadium I crafted for a big bowl game last year!

 

Salty Sweet Smokehouse Almond Bacon GranolaThis football season, I’m serving up Salty-Sweet Smokehouse Almond Bacon Granola – a real winner based on how many times I have to refill the bowl even before half-time!  People are like “bacon granola?!” and I’m like “heck, yeah!” – it’s spicy, sweet, smoky, salty, what more could you want? Everyone knows that bacon makes everything better, but so do almonds!  Almonds are little powerhouses of nutrition – a handful (about an ounce or 23 nuts) has 163 calories, 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of heart-heathy fat along with all sorts of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.  I especially like almonds for a snack because they are hunger-squashing and keep me satisfied until my next meal!

 Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola winning snack for game day.Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola

A bowl full of this Salty-Sweet Smokehouse Almond Bacon Granola is definitely going to satisfy the snack cravings of the biggest armchair linebacker or peppiest cheerleader at your party. The bacon definitely pushes this easy granola recipe into the Snacking Hall of Fame (okay, I made that up), but it is also balanced with healthy ingredients like whole grain oats, dried pears (or apples), quinoa, flax seeds, real maple syrup and more.

 

 

What’s the craziest bacon recipe you’ve made or tried? What is your go-to game day snack? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola winning snack for game day.
Spicy-Sweet Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola
Print Recipe
Take game day flavor to the next level with with this bacon and almond granola that is spicy, sweet, salty, smoky -- and so amazingly delicious.
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes cooling
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes cooling
Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola winning snack for game day.
Spicy-Sweet Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola
Print Recipe
Take game day flavor to the next level with with this bacon and almond granola that is spicy, sweet, salty, smoky -- and so amazingly delicious.
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes cooling
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes cooling
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. In small food processor or with knife, chop 3 ounces of almonds (1/2 Blue Diamond can); leave other half of can whole. Set both aside.
  2. In large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high until moderately crispy (don’t over-cook). Remove bacon to drain on paper towels and coarsely chop up. Don’t dispose of bacon fat.
  3. Keep about ½ cup of bacon fat in skillet along with all the delicious crispy bits left behind. Add cayenne pepper and stir into bacon fat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add maple syrup to this mixture, stirring constantly and allowing to bubble up for about one minute. Remove from heat. In medium bowl, toss together oats, quinoa, flax seed, chopped bacon, dried pears, chopped almonds and whole almonds. Stir oat mixture into bacon fat - maple syrup mixture until evenly coated.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Spread granola mixture out onto baking sheet and lightly press down with back of spoon to compact a bit.
  5. Bake at 325 F for about 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes and them break into chunks
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Ancho Chile Honey Granola on Summer Tomato Salad

Ancho Chile Honey Granola adds a sweet and savory crunch to soups, salads, baked fish and more.If someone says “granola” and do you instantly think sweet, crunchy and  . . . spicy?  Probably not, but I’m here to share my recipe for Ancho Chile Honey Granola — it might just be the most delicious and versatile granola recipe ever. The secret is a dash of ancho chile powder — don’t worry, ancho chiles (referred to as poblano peppers when fresh) aren’t super hot, they are the sweetest of the dried chiles and most commonly used in authentic Mexican cooking.

Tomato Salad with Ancho Chile Honey Granola

Ancho Chile Honey Granola can be made in a skillet on the stove top in less than 10 minutes. Packed with pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds, this easy granola recipe is a fantastic way to get the benefits of the heart healthy fats that nuts and seeds offer.It’s lightly sweetened with honey to complement the mild ancho heat.Use the savory-sweet granola to top a tomato salad (as pictured), to add a crunch factor to green salads, atop soups, as a crispy topping on baked fish or chicken — or simply eaten straight out of the container!

 

Ancho Chile Honey Skillet Granola ingredients

Oh, and you’re going to LOVE that it’s super easy to make — just requiring 10 minutes in a skillet on the stove top rather than the lengthy baking of traditional granola recipes. I originally created this recipe for the Living Litehouse Blog at LitehouseFoods.com, check it out — I’m a big fan of their Instantly Fresh Herbs.

Have you every tried a savory granola? What is your favorite flavor of granola — spicy or sweet?  Please share in the comments below? XOXO, Jennifer 

 

 

Ancho Chile Honey Granola
Print Recipe
Add a slightly spicy, slightly sweet kick to your salads, soups and entree recipes with this savory granola -- also great for a "right out of the bag" snack.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ancho Chile Honey Granola
Print Recipe
Add a slightly spicy, slightly sweet kick to your salads, soups and entree recipes with this savory granola -- also great for a "right out of the bag" snack.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
For Salad
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add coconut oil to large skillet and bring to medium-high heat.
  2. Add pepita seeds, slivered almonds and chili powder to skillet and stir for 1 – 2 minutes or until beginning to toast. Add honey and stir to combine.
  3. Mix oats, chia seeds, dried cilantro and sea salt to skillet, stirring well to coat with honey mixture. Continue to stir over medium heat for approximately 5 – 6 minutes longer, taking care that honey doesn’t start to burn.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes in skillet. Transfer to air-tight container using spatula to break up any pieces stuck to skillet.
  5. Make salad by slicing tomatoes and sprinkling with yellow bell pepper and cilantro. Top with a dollop of ranch dip and ancho chile honey granola.
Share this Recipe
 
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Why You Should Workout with Your Sweetie + Partner WOD

Benefits of Working Out Together - TheFitFork.com

Most people don’t equate Valentine’s Day with working out, but maybe they should! Breaking a sweat with your sweetie is not only a fun “date” and good for your health, it also boasts bunch of benefits that will keep any relationship fit and strong.   Here are the three most compelling reasons, in my opinion, why couples who sweat together, stay together.

Soulmates make the best ‘swolemates’. Opposites often attract and even similar-personality partners may not have many interests which overlap. However, exercising together is an activitity that can help every couple connect — it creates accountability, increases synchronicity, and promotes a shared passion. One study (Aron, Norman, Aron, & Heyman, 2000) suggests that couples who participated together in an exciting and challenging physical activity reported a higher level of love and relationship satisfaction.

More fun, less stress.  The never-ending responsibilities of adulthood can take a toll.  Instead of coping with worry, anxiety and conflict in an unhealthy manner, exercising is a positive way to shed life’s irritations . . . and maybe even a few unwanted inches. And, when you hit the gym, tackle the running trails, or go zen in a yoga class with your spouse or significant other, it’s like a date – and that’s fun!

Ooh, la, la endorphins and other hormones! The racing pulse, shortness of breath and sweatiness that comes from a good workout sounds a lot like the symptoms of romantic attraction! Researchers (Dutton & Aron, 1974) say that people can easily mistake the two – so if you’re feeling hot and bothered at the gym, this is why!

Here’s a partner workout you can try with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day – or any other day of the year!

Heart Pumping Partner Workout - TheFitFork.com

zooma buttonI also want to give a shout out the Zooma Women’s Race Series again – I’m back in my 4th year as an ambassador for this very fun and empowering race targeted to women. While there is a lot o she-power going on at Zooma, MEN are not excluded – in fact, they are welcomed! I especially love it when I see a couple running side by side, one giving encouragement to the other! So, round up your most loved running partner and enter the upcoming Texas race on March 28, 2015.  Pick from the half-marathon, 10k or 5k and don’t forget to toast each other afterward with complementary wine and bubbly at the finish line!  Register for the Texas race HERE and use discount code JENNIFER15 or 10% off any distance.

Here’s another fitness shout out – this time for Tommie Copper, a line of stylish yet functional compression wear that supports muscles for improved performance, recovery and relief. Look at some of these cute items I’ve been wearing to the gym and on my runs – and Tommie Copper has just as much gear for the guys! Right now a huge Presidents’ Day Sale is going off and you can save up to $40 on your order along with free shipping – check it outtommie copper jennifer fisher

Michele's Granola BarsReady to share a post-workout snack together? Well, if I was picking, I’d split a Core Power High Protein Shake with my hubby and one of these delish granola bars from Michele’s Granola. Made from scratch in small batches, these healthy treats are packaged 10 bars (assorted flavors) to a pack and can be ordered from Michele’s Granola web store. Ooh, the Cherry Chocolate is my favorite.

Disclaimer: I was provided product or sponsorship in return or my review and promotion of these products. However, all opinions are my own.

Gluten Free Goodness | Chia Berry Breakfast Crisp Recipe

This post is sponsored by Sverve and Walmart and I was provided compensation for my time. However, all opinions and recipes are my own. 

Gluten Free Chia Berry Breakfast Crisp - TheFitFork.comMy recipe for Chia Berry Breakfast Crisp with Stevia-Sweetened Vanilla Greek Yogurt puts the “able” in your morning table – especially if your diet requires you to steer clear of the gluten found in many traditional breakfast foods like bagels, pancakes, cereal and the like.  Even some granolas can be off limits if the oats are not certified organic, but eating Nature’s Path Gluten Free Granola or using it in a recipe will put your mind and body at ease because knowing that all the ingredients are free of gluten.walmart gf natures path berry breakfast crisp

So, you guessed it – I made this healthy fruit breakfast recipe with Nature’s Path Gluten Free Granola for some wholesome crunch with no worries of those little gluten buggars ruining my day. Eating a “crisp” or “crumble” might sound a bit unusual or induldgent for breakfast – but it shouldn’t. Served with a stevia-sweetened vanilla 0% Greek yogurt instead of high-fat and sugar laden ice cream, this morning meal solution also provides a hearty serving of protein for long-lasting energy.   Chia Berry Breakfast Crisp with Stevia-Sweetened Greek Yogurt is so simple to make, let me show you how:

walmart gluten free natures path berry breakfast cobbler mixing berries

Mix together berries, stevia and chia seeds. It’s okay if berries are still frozen.

Top berries with granola. Then mix together yogurt, vanilla and stevia.

Top berries with granola. Then mix together yogurt, vanilla and stevia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chia Berry Breakfast Crisp with Greek Yogurt - TheFitFork.com

Chia Berry Breakfast Crisp with Stevia-Sweetened Greek Yogurt Recipe

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. In an ungreased 1 quart baking dish, mix frozen berries, chia seeds and 1 ½ teaspoons of the stevia together until fruit is coated.
  2. Sprinkle top of fruit with granola and lightly pat down.
  3. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until top light golden brown and fruit bubbling.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare yogurt by stirring together yogurt, vanilla extract and remaining 1 ½ teaspoons of stevia. Store in refrigerator until serving.
  5. Remove crisp from oven and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt mixture per serving. Serves 4.Chia Berry Breafast Crisp - Guten Free - TheFitFork.com

There is so much to love about Nature’s Path Organic Summer Berries Granola. First of all, and most importantly for many with gluten and wheat allergies and intoleances, it’s totally gluten-free without scrimping on taste. It’s also certified organic, non-GMO verified and free of synthetic preservatives and additives.  But, another big selling point of Nature’s Path Granola is that it’s easy to find and affordable – I picked up my bags at Walmart.

Nature's Path Gluten Free Granola at WalmartIn fact, Walmart has a surprisingly large selection of Gluten-Free products for less including Udi’s, Glutino, Van’s, Nature’s Path and more! As a frugal mom and healthy food blogger, it’s my job to create and prepare recipes that speak to the dietary needs of those on the other side of the fork and for all budgets. With huge increase in those living a gluten-free lifestyle, I take my responsibility to suggest ingredient swaps,  recommend balanced pre-packaged foods, and offer meal planning ideas, all free of gluten, very seriously.

I’ve found that Walmart has really stepped up to the plate when it comes to addressing the needs of their gluten free customers.  If you don’t see what you need on the shelves, swing by customer service to fill out a product request form. And, if you DO see the gluten-free products that you need, but they are cheaper elsewhere – bring in the other store’s advertisement for Walmart price matching! Later this month, Walmart will be holding a Gluten Free Event at participating locations – check out the event information, find the participating store nearest to you, and discover other useful information for your gluten free journey on the Walmart Gluten Free for Less website.

What are your favorite brands for gluten free living? Let me know in the comments below. Also, please feel free to share your own gluten-free recipes on social media with #gfwalmart – enjoy!

Fruit & Nut Holiday Couscous Mix – DIY Gift for Foodies

Fruit & Nut Couscous Mix - TheFitFork.comI am here to rescue you from last-minute gifting stress and solve holiday side dish dilemmas – both at the SAME time! You can thank me later. In my opinion, there’s nothing more tasteful than a healthy gourmet gift, and my recipe for Fruit & Nut Holiday Couscous Mix will delight all the fit foodies on your list. This homemade gift looks like a lot of time and effort went into it, artistically arranged with jewel-toned layers of cranberries and pistachios between pearled whole wheat couscous. In reality, it’s super simple to make (like a kiddy sand art project) and, for my craft-challenged self, more time and effort went into tying the bows and making gift tags!

jar of cranberry pistachio couscous mix for giftsYou can use a new mason jar, recycled glass jar or any container of your choosing – get creative! Also, I’ve made the same mix and swapped out other types of dried fruit and nuts for the cranberries and pistachios with excellent results. Consider combinations such as Apricot & Almond, Apple & Pecan or Date & Almond – the possibilities are nearly limitless!
Gift Tag for Fruit & Nut Holiday Couscous MixHere is a gift tag you can print out on sticker paper and place right on the jar – or use with card stock, write your personal sentiments on the back, and then tie around the neck of bottle with ribbon.

 

 

 

Cranberry Pistachio CousCous - TheFitFork.com

While you’re busy making batches of these jar food gifts to give friends, family and neighbors, don’t forget about stocking your own pantry. The Cranberry & Pistachio Couscous makes a fast and festive side dish that pairs beautifully with beef, chicken, pork and more and can be completed from pot to plate in just 5 minutes. I’m serious!

Fruit & Nut Holiday Couscous Mix Recipe

Supplies needed: 3 approximate 12-ounce jelly or mason jars, ribbon, gift tags.

  • 1 tablespoon dried mint*
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley*
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes*
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes that have be smashed into powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups regular pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • • 1 cup raw shelled pistachios (can sub any nut)
  • • 1 cup dried cranberries (can sub any dried fruit)
  1. In small bowl, mix together mint, parsley, dried onion, crushed vegetable bullion and pepper.
  2. Pour approximately 2 tablespoons of spice mix into the bottom of clean, dry jar. Repeat for total of 3 jars.
  3. Layer ingredients in a manner that pleases you until ½-inch from top. The approximate measurements I used for my layers were 1/3 cup for each couscous layer and 3 tablespoons for each fruit and/or nut layer.
  4. Screw lid tightly on and decorate with ribbon.
  5. Makes 3 gift jars that serve 2 – 3 people each.
  6. Cooking directions on gift tag (above).

*Litehouse Food’s line of Instantly Fresh Herbs work very well in this recipe and actually they’re having a Pinterest Sweepstakes where you can win the entire line of Instantly Fresh products plus a $250 Amazon gift card (but hurry because winner will be drawn on 12/23/2014).

micheles granola

Also, I want to share with you a delicious granola that I was recently sent to sample – Michele’s Granola! I tried the Cherry Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice flavors and they were both oh-so yummy (better than cookies!) that I can’t wait to munch on every other variety of this handmade, small-batch granola. Michele’s Granola is made with 100% organic whole grain oats (most other ingredients are organic too) and everything is also GMO-free, preservative-free, dairy-free, wheat-free and peanut-free.

micheles granola logoYou can find Michele’s Granola at natural food retailers (Whole Foods in Austin), grocery stores or online at MichelesGranola.com. Use promo code FRESH10 to get 10% off your online order.

 

 

 

Do you make any homemade food gifts for the holidays? Please share your ideas!

 

 

12 Ideas for Hosting a Healthy Holiday Breakfast or Brunch

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – it’s a season for eating and greeting and spreading good cheer! If you are hosting a morning get-together over the holidays, it needn’t be fancy or fussy to be successful. In fact, some of the best memories I have are sitting around in my pajamas after the stockings have been unstuffed and ribbons unraveled to share a leisurely breakfast with family and reminisce about the glories of yore.  When I’m in town, I also like to don my most festive “ugly” sweater and invite the neighbors over for a holiday brunch.

Check out 12 Ideas for a Healthy Holiday Breakfast or Brunch

by The Fit Fork at Foodie.com


I have to admit though, the thought of hosting breakfast or brunch sometimes intimidates me – especially knowing I’m not a graceful waker-upper. So, I like to have many of the menu items prepped ahead of time so I’m not running around like an overworked, grouchy elf in the morning. Make-ahead egg casseroles are ideal as are muffins and quick breads that can be baked a day or two earlier. Even pancakes can be cooked and kept in the freezer for a no-stress holiday breakfast celebration. Some of my favorite breakfast recipes are included in the Healthy Holiday Breakfast and Brunch collection I created for Foodie.com.

Snow Men Milk Bottles - Kid's Craft - TheFitFork.comIf your gathering is anything like mine, there will probably be at least a dozen kids racing around the Christmas tree high as flying reindeer jacked up on candy canes. I have an entertaining little activity that will slow down these busy bodies for a just a few minutes and also provide the opportunity to pump them with a wholesome glass of milk (soy, almond or whatever!).  These Snowman Milk Bottles are adorable and a super easy craft that most any youngster can make with minimal supervision – however, I suggest pre-cutting the felt and assisting with the glue gun lest there be no emergency room trips on a holiday. And, BTW, TheFitFork.com has not turned into a DIY Craft blog, but these were just too fun not to share!

Snowman Milk Bottle Christmas Craft - TheFitFork.com

Supplies needed for each Snow Man Milk Bottle:

  • Empty mini milk bottle (available at craft store or recycled Starbucks Frappuccino bottle)
  • 1 ½ inch x 8 inch piece of colorful felt
  • 3 black buttons
  • Glue gun or glue dots
  • Scissors
  • Striped paper straw

For the scarf, use scissors to snip ½” long fringe into each end of the felt. Wrap around neck of bottle and knot to one side; secure with glue or glue dot if needed. Glue three buttons down front of bottle.  Fill with milk and add colorful paper straw.

So, what do you like to serve on Christmas or holiday mornings?  Do you have a once-a-year special holiday recipe or do you stick with your standard-issue morning meal?

This post was sponsored by Foodie.com, however all recipes and editorial comments are my own.

Bunch of Healthy Recipes for Banana Lover’s Day

Happy Banana Lover’s Day!  I really NEED to celebrate this “a-peeling” food holiday – my potassium levels need a boost thanks (or no thanks) to all this hot weather running. In addition to keeping muscle cramps away, I think bananas are just a great all-around fruit. Not only are they cheap and tasty, but bananas are filled with fiber, antioxidents and other nutrients needed for optimal health.  Bananas are also a great source of tryptophan which the body converts into serotonin to get you in a good mood!

So, let’s peel a banana and get happy! Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy bananas:

banana milk and cereal

Eat a banana on or with your cereal. Better yet, pour banana-flavored Core Power over healthy cereal for an extra punch of protein.

banana peach smoothie with cinnamon

Cinnamon Banana Peach Protein SmoothieAdd ½ frozen banana ,frozen peach slices and a sprinkling of cinnamon to your choice of milk (almond, soy, Core Power) and blend with ice until smooth.  It’s the cinnamon and natural sugars that help with alertness and brain function.

jennifer fisher - grilled bananas - main photo option1

Grilled Chocolate Raspberry Banana Boats  – Say goodbye to the end of summer grilling with these warm and gooey sweet treats – kinda like s’mores, but so much better!

banana protein balls

Baked Banana Protein Donut Holes – Take one step out of the morning rush by baking a batch of these mini-bites the night before – just grab a coffee along and you’ve got a decent breakfast to eat on the go.jennifer fisher -thefitfork.com - multigrain pb banana muffins

Multi-Grain Peanut Butter Banana Muffins The kids love to discover these moist muffins in their lunch boxes and often request them as an afternoon snack –I like to eat mine as a refueling reward after a workout. So delicious and they freeze well, too!

honey granola with chocolate, almonds and banana protein

Not So Chunky Monkey Granola This healthy granola recipe uses mashed banana as the binder and is speckled with freeze-dried banana chunks and chocolate chips – yum!

banana foster parfait

Bananas Foster Parfait  Check out this scrumptious yet sensible treat from CookingLight.com made with Greek yogurt, pecans and bananas — I won’t even tell if you use rum! If you don’t have enough BANANA INSPIRATION yet, check out this collection of 75 Banana Recipes!

Wrap crown of banana bunch with plastic wrap to delay over-ripening.

Wrap crown of banana bunch with plastic wrap to delay over-ripening.

Did you know if you put plastic wrap around the crown of bananas, the bunch will keep for 3 – 5 days longer. I learned that fruit-lovers fact, along with some other really freakin’ awesome ways to keep produce fresher longer, from fellow Fitfluential Ambassador Jill Conyers.   Also keep in mind that bananas produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit; so, you’ll want to keep them alone in their own area on the counter to maximize freshness – not in a mixed fruit bowl!

So, how many bananas do you eat a week? What is your favorite banana recipe?