Banana bread gets a nourishing boost with oats and flax seed! This Chocolate Oat Banana Bread makes for an awesome snack or breakfast! @cookinRD |

Chocolate Oat Banana Bread

‘Tis the season for pumpkins, but I’m making banana bread. Not because I don’t love pumpkins, but because I had bananas and well, you know the saying, “if you’ve got brown bananas, you must make banana bread.” What? That’s not a saying? Oh well, it is in my world. And I love bananas and banana bread as well as oats and chocolate chips – so yeah, here comes Chocolate Oat Banana Bread!

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

What? Another quick bread recipe? Oh yes, yes it is.

You know why? It’s because my family loves a good snack, so I’m always looking for new ways to nourish them. Since pumpkin season is officially over, I’ve moved on to bananas.
Like pumpkin, bananas are incredibly versatile and add great moisture, interest and natural sweetness to baked goods. I love them for that and for the nutritional goodies they supply.

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Short and Sweet Series: Banana Mango Coconut Smoothie Recipe

Why I made this recipe: Because I love trying new smoothie recipes and mango is one of my favorite fruits.

Why I love this recipe: This one is super creamy, and the touch of coconut makes it feel indulgent and tropical, like you’re on vacation, laying on a beach, reading a good book, under the shade of a palm tree…you get the picture.

How this recipe is healthy: Oh, it’s healthy alright. If you read the ingredient list, you’ll know that this smoothie is jam-packed with good nutrients. It’s loaded with healthy fats from the avocado and flax seed and it’s bursting with powerful vitamins like A and C and important minerals like potassium. And don’t forget the calcium, it’s in there too, thanks to that healthy dose of low-fat milk.

And here are the pretty pictures:









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Banana Mango Coconut Smoothie

  • Author: Sara Haas


  • 1 small banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 mango, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk (or other non-dairy milk alternative)
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 2 tablespoons grated or flaked dried coconut
  • 2 teaspoons honey


  1. Spread the sliced banana and mango cubes evenly out onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. (If desired, this step can be done advance, just be sure to transfer partially frozen fruit to a re-sealable freezer bag to prevent it from sticking to the paper).
  2. Pour the milk into the bottom of a blender and add the frozen fruit, avocado, ground flax seed, coconut and honey. Puree until smooth. Pour into cups and serve immediately.


  • Makes 3 cups.
  • This smoothie isn’t mind-numbingly sweet. But if you’re looking for some additional sweetness, add a little more honey.


  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 188
  • Sugar: 23
  • Sodium: 52
  • Fat: 7
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 30
  • Protein: 5
  • Cholesterol: 5

Pe-anna-berry Smoothie

Some people don’t see over-ripe, bruised fruits as having any potential. Not me! I see them as an opportunity! Case in point, I had a peach (leftover from my last post) and a banana sitting on my counter looking quite sad, but still viable. Knowing I needed to act fast, I did a little brainstorming and heeded the warning from my growling stomach, and decided upon a smoothie.

Luckily for me, it was fit the bill for what I was craving. I love the subtle flavor of the peach and the sweetness of the blueberries and banana. Adding the flax seed was a way to get some healthy fats and additional fiber in. And spinach just seems like an easy thing to add and I always enjoy the thought of drinking my spinach. For some reason, I think that’s fun. Yes, I am a little quirky like that.

I have to say it was a hit at my house. I enjoyed mine and had even more fun watching my 2 1/2 year old enjoy hers. So next time you see fruit on your counter and you’re considering tossing it, I challenge you to use it instead. Most fruits make a great base for smoothies, and if you happen to have a peach and banana lying around, try my recipe for Pe-anna-berry Smoothie!

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Pe-anna-berry Smoothie

  • Author: Sara Haas


A delightful way to start the day or finish a workout. Bursting with fruit, flax seed and even a little spinach. Why not make what you’re sipping a little more nutritious!



  • 1 cup almond milk (or any other milk, preferably low-fat)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • 1 ripe peach, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup ice
  • 1 tablespoon honey (if desired)


  1. Place the milk, spinach, flax, peach, banana and blueberries into a blender and pulse until combined. Add the yogurt and ice (and honey, if desired) and puree until smooth.
  2. Pour into a fun glass and enjoy! (Fun glass is of course optional)


  • Makes 3 cups.


  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 219
  • Sugar: 30
  • Sodium: 59
  • Fat: 5
  • Saturated Fat: 1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 41
  • Protein: 7
  • Cholesterol: 4