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Make Ahead Banana Breakfast Cake

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Banana Breakfast Cake is my dream breakfast. My whole family likes it, it’s full of nutritious yet simple ingredients, and it works perfectly to double the batch to make a breakfast freezer meal. 

Make Ahead Banana Breakfast Cake

I’ve been making this breakfast cake for YEARS. It’s one of my go-to make ahead breakfast recipe ideas that my whole family will devour.

Think moist, sweet banana bread but in a cake form. I love to warm it up a bit and serve with a little bit of butter.

The best part: It is filled with banana and sneaky sweet potato! YES, you can get your crew to eat sweet potato for breakfast!

What’s in Banana Breakfast Cake?

As I mentioned before, this breakfast cake is made with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Bananas – The riper the better. Pro-tip: You can freeze ripe bananas for recipes like this! Here’s how to freeze bananas.
  • Cooked sweet potato – You can also substitute canned pumpkin or cooked butternut squash for sweet potato.
  • White Whole Wheat Flour – Please note that this is not just whole wheat flour. It needs to be WHITE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR variety. If you don’t have that, you can use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour as a substitute.
  • Coconut oil – Make sure it’s melted or substitute avocado oil.
  • Plain Greek yogurt – You can use full fat sour cream instead, if you want.
  • Mini Chocolate Chips – I’ve used dark chocolate chips before and loved it!
  • Standard baking ingredients: Eggs, vanilla, sugar (I used coconut sugar), baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Slice of banana breakfast cake on a plate

One thing worth noting on this recipe is that you will need a blender. This makes the batter SUPER smooth and hides all the sneaky produce.

How do I Freeze Banana Breakfast Cake?

We are huge fans of make ahead freezer meals. Not only have we written two freezer meal cookbooks, but we have a huge collection of freezer meals that are delicious, healthy, and easy! Banana Breakfast Cake is a recipe that freezes beautifully.

If you are already busting out all of the ingredients and utensils to make this breakfast cake, you might as well make two batches and freeze one for later. Here’s how:

TO FREEZE BREAKFAST CAKE: Bake breakfast cake just until done. Cool completely. Either cover the baking dish tightly in a few layers of foil or plastic wrap or carefully lift the cake out of the baking dish and wrap in several layers of foil or plastic wrap, pressing as much air out as you can.

TO PREPARE BREAKFAST CAKE FROM FROZEN: Thaw on the counter. Warm a slice in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and top with a pat of butter, if desired.

Banana breakfast cake in an 8x8 dish

What Should I Serve with Banana Breakfast Cake?

Our smoothies would be a perfect pairing with breakfast cake. Choose from one of the following flavors!

Another idea would be Oven-Baked Bacon. It comes out perfectly every time using our baking method.

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Banana Breakfast Cake

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: one 8x8 pan 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A deliciously moist banana cake that makes a healthy snack or breakfast. You will be surprised how fast your family will empty the dish on this one!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (sub: 1 cup wheat flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I often use unrefined coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cooked and mashed (about 1 cup) (sub: pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (sub: avocado oil or melted butter)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (sub: sour cream)
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (I used carob chips, since they are low in sugar and dairy-free)

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish (or a 9×13 baking dish, but note the shorter cooking time) with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a blender, combine the bananas, sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, and yogurt. Blend until smooth. (If needed, add just a splash of milk to help the blender get moving.)
  4. Using a spatula to clean out the blender, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir gently with a spoon just until combined (do not over mix). Batter will be thick. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly using a spatula.
  6. Bake for about 35-40 minutes (for a 9×12, bake 25-28 minutes). It’s done when a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool completely.

Freeze For Later: Bake breakfast cake just until done. Cool completely. Either cover the baking dish tightly in a few layers of foil or plastic wrap or carefully lift the cake out of the baking dish and wrap in several layers of foil or plastic wrap, pressing as much air out as you can.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw on the counter. Warm a slice in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and top with a pat of butter, if desired.

Young boy holding banana breakfast cake

Want more make ahead freezer meal breakfasts? Hop over to our freezer meal index and browse around!

(Healthy and Delicious!) Pumpkin Muffins With a Crumble Topping

By Polly Conner
A delicious pumpkin muffin recipe. I love that this recipe uses the whole can of pumpkin. The crumble topping puts it over the top! Double this and freeze one batch for the future--you'll want lots!

I have a new addition to my favorite fall recipes. These pumpkin muffins are soooo good. I wish I would have doubled the recipe to have some to freeze and eat later. They are going fast around these parts. The muffins are hearty, flavorful, packed with nutrition, and fall tastes. Simply wonderful.

To be honest, I wasn’t even planning on blogging about these. Since we already have a few pumpkin muffin recipes (Banana Pumpkin Muffins & Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins), I wasn’t looking for another one to add to the blog. However, after I tried it I told Rachel that it was too good not to share.

When I stumbled on the recipe I saw that it had lots of healthy ingredients like wheat flour, oats, a whole can of pumpkin, and coconut oil. I ended up subbing 1/4 of my wheat flour with ground flax seed. (Why eat flax seed?) I also ended up making some other substitutions based on what I had in my spice cabinet. The end result? I said it already, simply wonderful.

A delicious pumpkin muffin recipe. I love that this recipe uses the whole can of pumpkin. The crumble topping puts it over the top! Double this and freeze one batch for the future--you'll want lots!

And just in case you need a little more convincing that these muffins are a bit coveted around our house, I have photographic evidence. I had a “helper” when staging the photo of these muffins. Those little hands were all too eager to get one in their possession.

A delicious pumpkin muffin recipe. I love that this recipe uses the whole can of pumpkin. The crumble topping puts it over the top! Double this and freeze one batch for the future--you'll want lots!
A delicious pumpkin muffin recipe. I love that this recipe uses the whole can of pumpkin. The crumble topping puts it over the top! Double this and freeze one batch for the future--you'll want lots!

The only thing I might do differently with my next batch is double the crumble topping. But that’s probably because I have a sweet tooth. Other than that, this recipe is going AS IS in the regular rotation.

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Pumpkin Muffins with Crumble Topping

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 18 muffins 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A delicious pumpkin muffin recipe. I love that this recipe uses the whole can of pumpkin. The crumble topping puts it over the top! Double this and freeze one batch for the future–you’ll want lots!


Ingredients

Muffin Batter:

  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup oats (quick oats work fine)
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups pumpkin puree (1 can of pure pumpkin)
  • 1 cup sugar (preferably unrefined/raw)
  • ⅔ cup oil (preferably avocado oil or melted coconut oil)
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Crumble Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Also could use mini muffins or square muffin tins for mini-bread loaves.
  2. Combine the flour, oats, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Whisk pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a separate large bowl.
  4. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture; mix well.
  5. To make the crumble topping, mix brown sugar with butter in a bowl until creamy and smooth. Mix in oats and 2 tablespoons flour, using a fork, into sugar-butter mixture until topping is crumbly.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins until about 2/3 full. Sprinkle each muffin with crumble topping.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a tooth pick and if it comes out clean then muffins are done. (Freezing instructions begin here.)

Freeze For Later: Bake muffins as directed in recipe. Let cool completely. Then place in a gallon-sized freezer bag or container, seal tightly, and store for up to 3 months. 

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw muffins in the refrigerator or warm in the microwave.

Want more pumpkin recipes?

With YEARS worth of content and recipes on Thriving Home, it can be easy to forget about some amazing pumpkin recipes that we have shared over the years. Here are our Top 10 Pumpkin Recipes that you simply must try!

collage image of top 10 pumpkin recipes

Zucchini Bread with Some Healthy Substitutions {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner

When your garden is bursting with zucchini, try this healthier version of zucchini muffins. Then put some in your freezer for a quick breakfast treat.It’s zucchini season! I’ve already picked 3 from my garden and I see a few more on the way. I want to make sure I put the zucchinis to good use so I’ve been trying to find healthy recipes that would help us use them up fast!

I’ll be honest, I used to HATE zucchini. I thought it smelled funny and was too slimy for my liking. However, over the years, I’ve grown to like it a bit more (especially when it’s grilled with a little Parmesan cheese!). In addition to that, the more I learned about zucchini, the more I forced myself to like it and include it in recipes when I can. Here are a few facts about zucchini that you might find interesting.

  • Zucchini helps asthma, as it contains Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Zucchinis have high water content (over 95%), high nutritious value and contain a very low amount of calories, so they make the perfect snack item for people on a diet.
  • The vegetable contains useful amounts of folate, potassium, and vitamin A, necessary for proper functioning of the human body.
  • Zucchini contains Vitamin C and lutein, both of which are known to be good for the eyes.
  • Eating zucchini is known to help the body in supporting the arrangement of capillaries.
  • Regular consumption of the vegetable can help protect the body against colon cancer.
  • Zucchini is believed to be beneficial in preventing heart disease and related symptoms, such as high cholesterol.
  • The vegetable proves to be a good source of magnesium and phosphorus, the nutrients essential for building and maintaining healthy bones.
  • Zucchini is rich in vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant that can provide protection against cardiovascular disease.
Crazy how healthy zucchini is, isn’t it!

Well, in an effort to find a way to sneak some zucchini into our food, I began to look up some zucchini bread recipes. However, as most yummy breads are, the recipe was loaded with empty calories.

I’m always a little nervous to tinker with recipes. I don’t want to waste an entire batch of something because I tried to make it a tad bit healthier. However, I was feeling adventurous and decided to play around with a zucchini bread recipe I snagged off of allrecipes.com. Well, the odds were in my favor that morning because I am proud to say that my healthy substitutes resulted in some DELICIOUS ZUCCHINI BREAD!

As you’ve probably noticed, I cooked the bread in the form of muffins in order to make them easier to freeze. We are always looking for on-the-go snacks for my little lady so a zucchini muffin is ideal. She loves them too!

When your garden is bursting with zucchini, try this healthier version of zucchini muffins. Then put some in your freezer for a quick breakfast treat.

Hope you give these a shot!

If you’re looking for other recipes to use up those zucchinis, try out these:

Zucchini Succotash

Double Chocolate Zucchini Waffles

Zucchini Flaxseed Muffins

Here is a printable version of the health(ier) zucchini bread recipe

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healthy zucchini bread recipe

Zucchini Bread with Some Healthy Substitutions

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: About 15 muffins 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Need a great recipe to use up some fresh zucchini? Try this healthier version of zucchini muffins (or bread) that is filled with flaxseed, whole wheat flour, and coconut oil.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (can sub vegetable oil if needed)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts why eat walnuts?

Instructions

  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans or muffin tins. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  4. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool. (Since I cooked mine in muffin tins, it only took 23 minutes.)

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Bake muffins or bread as directed in recipe. Allow to cool completely. Then place in freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months.

To Prepare:
Thaw in refrigerator or microwave before serving.

Pumpkin Protein Waffles {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Pumpkin Protein Waffles are an easy breakfast idea your family will love. They are crispy on the outside yet moist throughout and make a great healthy freezer meal. A delicious way to get more protein and nutrition into your breakfast!

pumpkin protein waffles

These perfectly crisp, yet light pumpkin waffles were an accident gone right.  They started out as whole wheat pumpkin pancakes using my Sweet Potato Pancake recipe.

You know how I like to tweak recipes, though. I was out of whole wheat flour, so I subbed almond meal (ground almonds). Almond meal is a great way to add protein, calcium, and minerals into any baked good.  You can sub up to 50% of flour with it.  My other changes to the original pancake recipe were using pumpkin in lieu of sweet potato (but I put in more than called for) and coconut oil in place of butter. But, all of these changes made for healthy but gooey-in-the-middle-and-easily-burned pancakes.  🙁

So, halfway through the double batch of nastiness, a light bulb went off.  I decided to fire up the waffle iron. Low and behold, I found out that this batter made the perfect healthy pumpkin waffles!  They were moist, flavorful and passed the husband taste test with flying colors (a small feat).  I hope you enjoy this happy accident as much as we did.

pumpkin protein waffle on a plate with strawberries

You can usually find almond flour in the health food section at your grocery story. If you want it delivered to your door, you can find the link to the almond flour I use in our Top 10 “Health Food” Amazon Prime Favorites.

Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Protein Waffles {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 16 square waffles 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Waffle Iron
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Pumpkin Protein Waffles are crispy on the outside yet moist throughout. A delicious way to get more protein and nutrition!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I prefer coconut sugar or sucanat)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups almond milk (or any other kind of milk)
  • 4 teaspoons melted virgin coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (1/2 a can)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour through salt).
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (milk through vanilla).
  3. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until combined.
  4. Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes.
  5. Grease a hot waffle iron and pour about 1/3 cup batter per 4-inch waffle. Cook each batch according to waffle iron directions (mine took about 4 minutes.)

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze:
Cook waffles on waffle maker as directed. Place waffles on a baking sheet (that’s covered in parchment or waxed paper) in a single layer. Flash freeze the waffles long enough for them to be solid. Then place in freezer safe bag or container separating each layer of waffles with waxed paper. Freeze up to 3 months.

To Prepare:
Thaw waffles in fridge or warm slightly in microwave. You can warm them in toaster or microwave.

Homemade Popcorn

By Rachel Tiemeyer

The best homemade popcorn that only has 3 ingredients and cooks in a flash!

A few years ago my sister turned me on to making my own popcorn on the stove vs. the microwave.  It’s unbelievably cheaper for one thing.  For another, it’s safe and healthy, unlike microwave popcorn which is linked to cancer-causing substances.  Most importantly to me, it tastes just like, or even better than, movie theater popcorn!

There are a few secrets to perfect popcorn I’ve learned.

Want to know what ingredient gives popcorn that movie theater taste??

The best homemade popcorn that only has 3 ingredients and cooks in a flash!

Use coconut oil!  This is crucial and what gives it the movie theater taste.  An added bonus is that coconut oil is incredibly good for you and the safest oil to cook with.  I usually buy something like Nutiva Certified Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil — 54 fl oz in bulk or you can get a smaller amount like NUTIVA Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil 15 oz.

The best homemade popcorn that only has 3 ingredients and cooks in a flash!

Another tip to making awesome homemade popcorn is to buy a nicer grade of popcorn.  I’ve tried the cheap stuff and the more expensive varieties.  I can definitely tell a difference.  I’ve even found a local, organic, non-GMO variety at my local health food store.

Lastly, use a large heavy-bottomed pot to make your popcorn, if possible.

Here’s my pseudo-recipe…

Best Ever Homemade Popcorn

1) Heat about 3 tablespoons or a heaping spoonful of coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.  Make sure the oil coats the bottom of the pan.

The best homemade popcorn that only has 3 ingredients and cooks in a flash!

2) Add a few kernels of corn and put the lid on.

3) When they pop, add enough kernels to mostly cover the bottom of the pot.

The best homemade popcorn that only has 3 ingredients and cooks in a flash!

4) Using oven mitts, use one hand to continuously shake the pot by the side handle.  Use the other hand to crack the lid (the pic doesn’t show this because I was taking the picture at this point!), allowing the steam to release.  Releasing the steam is important so that the popcorn doesn’t get soggy.

The best homemade popcorn that only has 3 ingredients and cooks in a flash!

5) When the popping slows down quite a bit, pull the pot off the heat.  Dump it into a bowl immediately, so the bottom pieces don’t burn in the pot.

The best homemade popcorn that only has 3 ingredients and cooks in a flash!

6) Season with sea salt to taste.  That’s it.  Nothing else is needed for the perfect bowl of popcorn!

I’ve found that the popcorn stores for about two days in a ziplock.  It’s a great nutritious snack for the whole family.

The best homemade popcorn that only has 3 ingredients and cooks in a flash!

Here are some more healthy snack ideas from our recipe index. Enjoy!

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homemade popcorn with coconut oil

Homemade Popcorn

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

The best homemade popcorn that only has 3 ingredients and cooks in a flash!


Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of organic, non-GMO popcorn kernels
  • 3/41 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Heat about 3 tablespoons or a heaping spoonful of coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Make sure the oil coats the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add a few kernels of corn and put the lid on.
  3. When the kernels begin to pop, add enough kernels to mostly cover the bottom of the pot (approximately 1/2 cup).
  4. Using oven mitts, use one hand to continuously shake the pot by the side handle. Use the other hand to crack the lid, allowing the steam to release. Releasing the steam is important so that the popcorn doesn’t get soggy.
  5. When the popping slows down quite a bit, pull the pot off the heat. Dump it into a bowl immediately, so the bottom pieces don’t burn in the pot.
  6. Season with sea salt to taste (approximately 3/4 -1 teaspoon).