Happy Weekend y’all! How about another meal prepping hack? Right, here goes my meal prepping hack #3. I am honestly mainly writing this now, because I have a work related issue on my mind that I can’t get out of my head right now. So here goes the distraction that makes sense vs. the “comfort food”, that doesn’t. Click here for my thoughts on “comfort food”.
So to say that I am actually “prepping” today’s meal prepping hack ingredient would be a little bit of an exaggeration. Or a lot rather.
That’s right. I am going to talk bananas today in order to avoid going bananas. Oh the irony! And yes, that is quite a lot of bananas. There is actually even some more in the bowl next to this one. And the “why” is exactly what I want to talk to you about today.
If you are a WW (Team WW aka Weight Watchers) or you are having a sweet tooth and do not love using refined sugar, bananas is what you want to have at hand. Always. Because you want to make sure you never run out of bananas. Firstly, on WW bananas are 0 points and they are already great as a plain and simple quick snack (meal prepping without the prepping part). Unless you are Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. She strangely does not like bananas. Poor thing! Secondly they are very versatile for baking and other food ideas.
So how do bananas become a meal prepping hack? Well they are the star in many of my meal / snack staples. Some, that I am actually prepping and some are just a quick daily fix.
Before I started my weight loss journey, I was not a huge breakfast person. I did have breakfast but I did not put much effort into it. A PBJ sandwich maybe or a quick buy in the bakery in the office building or our cafeteria. Nothing sustainable or healthy. But a lot of whole milk venti latte’s from Starbucks. I guess I was working hard for the weight I had put on. And this was a problem, when I started WW. Not having a good breakfast habit. I had to do something that I think is helpful in many ways. I had to develop a routine. Learn more about the benefits of routines when you click here.
So I came up with this breakfast idea, that my husband and I love so much, we are having it every single morning. Unless we are eating out or are mixing things up with some low fat whole grain waffles.
Yogurt and berries bowl
I have a confession to make: I do not like plain yogurt. No plain Greek yoghurt nor any other plain yogurt. It does not make a difference whether it’s fat free or full fat. But I love this breakfast bowl and the secret to this change of mind is banana and cinnamon. Here is my idea of the perfect breakfast:
- One container Chobani fat free plain Greek yogurt (1/2 cup)
- 1 large or 1.5 medium bananas
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 tbsp. almond slices
- A lot of berries (raspberries & blueberries)
I experimented quite a bit to get the mixture right. Cinnamon gives it a great flavor, but it also is kicking your metabolism in high fat burning gear and keeps insulin in check. And you want to do that, since bananas are 0 points but not 0 calories and absolutely not 0 sugar.
- In a breakfast bowl mash your banana until it has a creamy consistency.
- Add the cinnamon and mix well.
- Next add the yogurt and mix with a teaspoon until well blended with the cinnamon and banana mixture.
- Add the almond slices and stir them in. I am adding 2 tbsp. of old fashioned rolled oats to my husbands bowl for added energy.
- Top the bowl with your berries.
This is delicious and super filling. It is high in protein but also provides energy for a successful day. This usually gets me through until lunch without getting hungry again. And the good news is, this breakfast also travels well which admittedly is not really important right now as my couch-office is just next room from the kitchen..
I have a sweet tooth. Like the tooth of a sabre-tooth tiger. And whatever I am having to satisfy this sweet tooth, should ideally include chocolate as well. And I am having store-bought chocolate every night with my espresso after dinner. But it’s a very small portion, of course. I needed something else. Something that I can prepare in advance and freeze to have at hand all the time. There is different versions of this meal prepping hack #3 out there, I prefer the consistency of mine.
Chocolate chip muffins
Super moist muffins, using a short cut ingredient and a whole lot of bananas. In this case bananas should be ideally quite overripe. The riper the sweeter, of course. If your bananas are brown outside and inside, do not worry. They are still good and will be great in this recipe.
The shortcut ingredient is Kodiak cakes Power cakes Flapjack & Waffles Mix. It’s a great shortcut as it also packs a lot of protein. It’s of course pricier than flour, but at least you can get it at Publix, Target or online at Amazon. I am not paid for sharing this information.
- 6 bananas (medium)
- 1 egg (full)
- 1 1/2 Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Chocolate chip flapjack & waffles mix
- 1/4 Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Protein packed whole grain buttermilk flapjack and waffle mix
- 4-5 tbsp. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, 100% Cacao, Special dark
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
I like my muffins very chocolaty but you can use more or less of the cocoa powder. It’s not impacting baking time or anything.
- Firstly, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl mash your bananas to a creamy consistency.
- Beat one egg in a separate bowl and mix under thoroughly.
- Add vanilla extract and cocoa powder.
- Lastly add Kodiak cakes powder and mix till well combined.
- Fill into a regular size muffin tin (makes 10 large muffins)
- Bake for 30 minutes until muffins are set. Due to the large amount of bananas these are not very doughy muffins but super moist.
These muffins are great for 2 points on the WW green plan. And having something sweet and delicious handy will help prevent binges. Especially since these are already pre-portioned.
If I want a special treat, I am warming these up, put them in a small bowl, adding some fresh sliced strawberries and a little bit of light whip (I prefer So delicious light coconut whip i.e. from Whole Foods – click here for more).
So far bananas have made for a great breakfast staple and a sweet treat that can be prepared well in advance and even freezes well. And freezing is actually also the cue for our next “meal prepping” idea with bananas.
Banana Nice Cream
For this delicious treat, all you have to do is freeze a couple of overripe bananas. And when you are craving some ice cream, but do not have the points or do not have ice cream in the freezer, you are covered. Just pull out your frozen bananas, let them thaw slightly (not too long, they get mushy super quickly) and throw them in your blender or food processor and pulse until you have a smooth, ice cream like consistency.
You can enjoy this plain and simply as is or add some toppings (don’t forget the points) or mix in flavors in form of cocoa powder, PB2 powder, peppermint extract etc. while pulsing.
These are some of my ideas with bananas in my meal prepping hacks #3. Share your banana ideas in the comments! However there is a lot more you can do with bananas, I will share more ideas in future posts.