Category Archives: Recipes

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream (Dairy Free)

how to make homemade strawberry banana ice cream, how to use frozen bananas, recipe with frozen bananas, recipe with frozen strawberries

This is a delicious alternative to traditional ice cream, and a great way to use frozen strawberries or bananas! Compared to traditional ice cream, it is dairy and fat free, lower in calories, and much more nutrient dense, with lots of potassium and Vitamin C!


2 frozen bananas
4 large frozen strawberries
2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips

Substitutions: You can use frozen cherries instead of strawberries for a delicious cherry chocolate ice cream (one of my favorites)! Cacao nibs can be used instead of dark chocolate chips.



  1. Allow bananas and strawberries to thaw for 10 minutes (so they are only slightly thawed; do not let them thaw longer, or the ice cream will be mushy).
  2. Insert ingredients into the Yonanas maker in the following order: 1 frozen banana half, 1 frozen strawberry, ½ Tbsp dark chocolate chips. Place a bowl beneath the Yonana maker, where the ice cream will come out.
  3. Turn on the Yonanas maker to process ingredients, using the plastic plunger to push ingredients through.
  4. Repeat steps 3 more times with the remaining ingredients, letting the ice cream fall into the bowl you placed beneath it.
  5. Place ice cream into serving dishes and enjoy!!



*Add 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk and 1 extra strawberry

(When using a blender, I recommend using frozen banana slices instead of banana halves, which may be easier for the blender to process.)

  1. Place frozen bananas, strawberries, and milk in blender, and allow fruit to thaw for 10 minutes before processing.
  2. Gradually turn your blender to high speed, and allow it to blend at high speed until ingredients are mixed together into an ice cream like consistency, or use the frozen desserts option on your blender if it has one. If needed, with the blender turned off, use a spoon to intermittently scrape down the sides of the blender in between blending until an ice cream like consistency is achieved. I used the tamper on my Vitamix while it was blending.
  3. Add dark chocolate chips to the blender, and pulse or mix at medium-high speed until the chocolate chips have become small bits incorporated throughout the ice cream.

Strawberry Milkshake

frozen bananas, Healthy strawberry banana milkshake, how to use frozen strawberriesI thought of this recipe as a last minute idea, because a strawberry milkshake sounded really good to me this afternoon! So I decided to tweak a favorite homemade banana-strawberry ice cream recipe, and turn it into a homemade milkshake instead. It turned out delicious! Note that you can make this dairy free, simply by using a dairy-free milk instead of cow’s milk. I often use almond or coconut milk, or a blend of both, in a recipe like this, but any kind will work great depending on your preference.

The great news is that this shake is so healthy for you! This recipe serves 4 large glasses, with each glass containing 150 calories, which is less than a third of the calories in many fast food small milkshakes. Each serving also has 30% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C, as well as lots of potassium, calcium, and other nutrients. So think of this as a great alternative the next time you are craving your favorite fast food milkshake! It is also a great way to use your frozen bananas.

(Serves 4)


1 ½ cups almond milk (any other kind will work too)
9 large strawberries (fresh or frozen)
3 frozen bananas
3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

Substitutions: If you want to make this with zero added sugar, you can substitute raw cacao nibs for the dark chocolate chips.


  1. Add milk, strawberries, and bananas to a blender. Allow the bananas to sit for about 10 minutes, to defrost slightly before blending. (If you try to blend the bananas straight from the freezer, it will be more difficult because they will be rock solid, and your blender may have a hard time processing it.) Turn blender on high speed, and allow to blend until ingredients are fully blended into a smooth milkshake. Turn off blender.
  2. With blender turned off, add 3 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips. Turn blender on low speed, and blend chocolate chips into milkshake for about 20 seconds, or until they have blended into tiny little pieces throughout the shake. (Blending the chocolate chips slowly helps them to stay in small pieces. If you want to blend them completely into the shake, to make this more of a chocolate-strawberry smoothie, you can add the chocolate chips at the beginning and blend them at high speed with the rest of the ingredients.)
  3. Enjoy!!

TIP: You can add less milk if you want your shake to be thicker, and more of an ice cream shake.

Healthy Chocolate Almond Smoothie

how to use frozen bananas, healthy chocolate smoothie

I love this smoothie for a healthy treat, and it is also the perfect way to use frozen bananas in a tasty recipe! It is a much healthier option than many desserts, because it uses mostly whole food ingredients that are packed with nutrition. If you want to add even more nutritional value, add a handful of spinach before blending – I often do this, and you can’t even tell!

(Serves 2)


2 whole, frozen bananas
1 1/2 cups milk (I prefer an almond-coconut blend)
2 Tbsp toasted almonds
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 70%, or as dark as you prefer)
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 pitted dates
Dash of nutmeg (optional for serving)


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. The bananas should be used frozen, but allow them to thaw for 5-10 minutes in the blender to allow for easier blending. Turn the blender up to high speed, and mix at high speed until ingredients are blended and smooth.
  2. To serve: Pour the smoothie into glasses, and serve with a dash of nutmeg if desired. The smoothie is best if served right away, when it is still chilled.

Banana-Oat Pancakes (Gluten and Sugar Free)

gluten and sugar free pancakes

I got this recipe from a friend of mine, and it is now my favorite pancake recipe! It is so easy, and is a perfect way to use ripe bananas that you have on hand.


2 whole, ripe bananas (if using frozen bananas, allow them to thaw first)
1 cup rolled oats
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
Dash of salt


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high speed until the mixture forms a smooth batter.
  2. To cook: pour pancake-sized amounts of batter onto a lightly greased skillet or frying pan that has been heated to medium-low heat. Cook the pancakes until small bubbles start to form on the top (about 1 minute), and flip them over to cook for an additional minute on the other side, or until the pancakes are lightly browned on each side. (Note: These pancakes cook faster than some traditional pancakes, so be sure to keep your eye on them!)
  3. Serve pancakes with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Whole-Grain Pumpkin Muffins

how to use canned pumpkin, whole-wheat pumpkin muffins, whole-grain pumpkin muffinsThese muffins provide tons of nutritional value from whole grains, pumpkin, and added calcium from the powdered milk (as well as Vitamins A and D if the milk was fortified with these vitamins). The ones pictured here were made using previously frozen pumpkin puree. Ones made with canned pumpkin tend to look a little darker.


1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin (or 2 cups frozen, thawed and drained pumpkin puree)
⅓ cup honey
⅓ cup coconut oil
½ cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Optional: Add 2 Tbsp dry powdered milk for extra calcium
Optional: Add ½ cup dark chocolate chips or raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease muffin tin (enough for 12 muffins).
  3. Place pumpkin, honey, coconut oil, water, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan. Heat mixture on low heat until coconut oil is liquid, and you are able to stir all ingredients into a smooth liquid mixture.
  4. While liquids are warming, mix whole-wheat pastry flour, baking soda, salt, and optional dry powdered milk in a large bowl.
  5. Pour liquid mixture into the bowl, and stir well until mixture forms a thick, batter-like consistency. Add optional chocolate chips or raisins if desired.
  6. Fill muffin tins with batter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If using previously frozen and thawed pumpkin puree, add an extra 10-15 minutes to the baking time.

Orange-Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

pumpkin smoothie, how to use frozen pumpkinThis is one of my favorite smoothies now! I love the protein and calcium from the yogurt, and the vitamin A from the pumpkin. A fresh orange and banana give added vitamin C, folate and potassium. I also love that it requires very little added sweetener to be delicious!


1 cup Greek yogurt (or substitute with your favorite milk)
¾ cup pumpkin (fresh puree, or frozen and thawed puree is best)
2 medium oranges (peeled)
1 ripe banana
½ cup ice cubes
½ tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of cinnamon (optional)

Ingredient Substitutions (If you don’t have the above ingredients on hand, you can use the following substitutions for an equally tasty treat!):

1 cup Greek yogurt = 1 cup of your favorite milk
¾ cup fresh pumpkin = ¾ cup canned pumpkin, carrots (raw, or cooked and mashed), or favorite squash puree
2 medium oranges = 6 clementines (peeled) or 1 cup of orange juice


Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend on high speed until liquid is smooth. This is best if served immediately, while it is still cold. Top with a dash of cinnamon to serve, if desired.


Best Garden-Fresh Tomato Soup (from frozen!)

homemade tomato soup

This is my favorite tomato soup recipe, and I can enjoy it with fully ripe, garden or locally grown tomatoes all year round using the tomatoes I froze during the summer/early fall. I found this recipe on the Food Network, but I altered it to be dairy free and to be more conducive to easily stored ingredients.


3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 1/2 lbs (or about 5 large) frozen tomatoes, thawed
1 ½ tsp white sugar
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp dried basil (or ¼ cup fresh basil if you are lucky enough to have it!)
3 cups chicken broth
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
¾ cup full fat coconut milk

Ingredient substitutions:

3/4 cup full fat coconut milk = can be substituted with heavy whipping cream, lite coconut milk, or half-and-half, depending on your preference


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the onion and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Prepare the tomatoes by removing the top centers (where stem was attached) from slightly thawed tomatoes. Cut them in halves or quarters while they are still slightly frozen, enough to withstand pressure when cut. Add the cut tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken broth, salt, and pepper to the pot and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.
  5. Add the coconut milk to the soup. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to process the soup until mostly smooth.
  6. Reheat the soup over low heat (if needed) just until hot. Serve with julienned basil leaves or whole grain orzo pasta if desired.

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Zucchinni Bread

Healthy zucchini bread

This recipe makes 2 loaves – one for eating right away, and one for freezing. I tweaked some other recipes until I developed this one. I like this recipe because it is lower in sugar and fat compared to many zucchini breads, and it is made with whole grains. I feel like I can enjoy it on a regular basis, rather than a treat to be eaten only once in a while. Enjoy!


4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup brown sugar
2 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cacao)
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
4 Tbsp butter (melted)
2 cups applesauce
3 cups finely shredded zucchini

Ingredient Substitutions (If you don’t have the above ingredients on hand, you can use the following substitutions):

4 cups whole wheat pastry flour = 2 cups regular whole wheat flour mixed with 2 cups white flour
¾ cups brown sugar = ¾ cups coconut sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Mix together well.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. While the butter is melting, combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl from the dry ingredients – vanilla, eggs, applesauce, and zucchini. Gradually stir the melted butter into the wet ingredients.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients by pouring the wet ingredients into the larger bowl with dry ingredients. Stir well with a spoon until all ingredients are combined into a batter-like consistency.
  5. Lightly grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  6. Place pans on middle oven rack and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

STORAGE: After bread has completely cooled, wrap loaves that you would like to freeze in tin foil, and then place them in tightly sealed plastic freezer bags, being sure to press out all of the extra air before sealing. You can freeze this type of bread for 2-4 months to retain full flavor and nutritional quality. If it is frozen for a longer period of time, it will still be safe to eat, but some of the quality may be diminished. When you are ready to eat the frozen bread, allow it to thaw completely, and it is ready to slice and serve for any meal or snack!