fruit (and veggie) smoothies

This is not so much a recipe … more like a miracle.

My daughter won’t eat a piece of raw fruit unless it’s an apple. And until a couple years ago it had to be a peeled and sliced Granny Smith apple or nothing. She’s since branched out to other varieties of apples, and doesn’t peel them any longer, but that’s still it as far as whole fruits go.

Banana? Only if I pay her. A peach? Never. Strawberries? No way. Not even chocolate covered strawberries! What’s wrong with this girl?!??!

But somehow, and I truly don’t remember when this miracle occurred, but somehow this same girl will make a fruit smoothie every single day. Yes, a smoothie made with fruit. Every. Single. Day. Makes me cry just thinking about it.

Into a blender she’ll put a cup of orange juice, a scoop of plain yogurt, and frozen fruit, and sometimes ice cubes. Usually the fruit selection includes frozen strawberries, peaches, and blueberries. Sometimes she’ll add raspberries,pineapple, and mango if we have them.

One of my best mom moments — you know, when you get that imaginary pat on the back, knowing you’ve done something right — was when my daughter said these words: Mom, next time you go to the store, please buy mangoes and raspberries and any other fruit that looks good. Thanks!

To make this even better, she started tossing in raw veggies into the daily smoothies. And if you think she was picky about fruit, she was even pickier with veggies!

In her smoothies she’s tried different veggies, but usually it’s a few slices of raw carrot. So now my non-fruit and non-veggie eating daughter is consuming fruit and veggies every single day. This is huge people! If you had any idea how many months (*cough* years *cough*) went by when this child ate nothing that wasn’t a nugget or a fry, you’d be as shocked as I have been. To go from #1 Picky Child in America, to having a fruit and veggie smoothie very day, well, that’s a miracle!

banana muffins with chocolate chips

My kitchen currently looks like a bakery exploded. Magic cookie bars. Sugar cookies. Banana muffins. And as I type this my daughter is making a pudding pie.

We don’t always have this many baked goods in the house at once. The pudding pie is for a friend, to go with the meal I’m delivering to her house tomorrow night. The other cookies and muffins are being sent to three college campuses — two in Virginia and one in NYC. When my oldest son went back to school after the winter break, he specifically requested that we send sugar cookies in our next care package. This week I took inventory of my baking cabinet and found I had more than enough chips to make magic cookie bars. He loves those! And yesterday I had two bananas that had seen better days, so banana muffins were made last night.  All these goodies are being packaged up and sent to him, and to three of his friends that I saw over the break and who happened to mention they love baked goods.

As I was making these banana muffins, I thought back to when I first got the recipe. My oldest son, the one now in college, was a newborn. Yes, it was 19 years ago when I had my first newborn and my wonderful cousin brought over warm banana bread for us. Up until then I hadn’t been a banana bread fan, but her version was melt-in-your-mouth yummy. I can’t remember if that one had walnuts and/or chocolate chips (you can make this recipe with either), but I’ve always made them with chocolate chips. And I prefer to make these in muffin pans rather than bread pans. I’ve also changed the recipe just a tiny bit, by using both regular flour (I prefer unbleached) along with whole wheat (or white whole wheat).

Nineteen years of making banana muffins. Wow. Time really does fly!

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Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips

1 ½ sticks butter, softened

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 or 3 bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork

3 ½ cups flour (2 cups white unbleached + 1 ½ cups whole wheat)

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 to 2 cups chocolate chips (I prefer to use mini-chocolate chips)

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Heat oven to 350F.

Beat butter and brown sugar.

Add eggs, vanilla and banana.

Add dry ingredients gradually.

Stir in chips.

Use paper muffin liners.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes for regular size muffins (makes about 30), or 12 to 15 minutes for mini-muffins — great size for a snack for toddlers!

all packed up and ready to mail!