How to Make a Banana Message

How to Make a Banana Message

These banana messages are so much fun!  They only take a minute to make and kids get a kick out of them.

It’s really easy to draw a message onto the banana.  All you have to do is bruise the skin by dragging a toothpick over it.  If you’re out of toothpicks, you could use a knife instead.

If you want the message really dark, you can break the skin, which is what I did for the banana pictured above.

Also, since it darkens as time goes on, I actually do this at night and slip it into my daughter’s lunch box for the next day.  But you could do it that morning, as well.

She also enjoys getting a banana that has her name carved into it, or with fun stickers attached to it.

And if you’re looking for more fun food ideas, check these out:

Heart Shaped Strawberries and Sandwiches for Kids Lunches    Peppermint Polar Bear Paw Treats and the Books That Inspired Them 5

CuteZCute Animal Palz Mini Bento Sandwich Stamping Cutter 2  Teddy Bear Toast 3 Octopus Dinner Rolls 1

Have fun!  And I’d love for you to share your creations with me on Facebook!

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Garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

Garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

I pretty much love anything that’s flavored with garlic and Parmesan (esp. my Garlic Infused Parmesan Popcorn), so I wanted to give roasted chickpeas a try.

I thought they were great.  Crunchy on the outside, soft and smooth on the inside, and with a nice spice to them.

They do get a little soft after a day or two, so I suggest serving them the day you make them, like for a dinner party.  But if you want to make them ahead of time, or just for yourself where you’re not going to eat the whole batch in one sitting, then you can broil them briefly before serving them, stirring them and keeping a close eye on them.

Garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

There are only a few ingredients.

Just some butter to help the cheese and spices stick to the beans.

Garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

Draining and drying off the chickpeas only takes a couple of minutes.

It’s important, though, because you don’t want all that moisture from the can on them.  They won’t roast as well.

Garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

See?  Only a handful of ingredients.

Garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

When you pour out the chickpeas onto the pan, be sure to sprinkle any remaining cheese from the bowl over them.  This extra cheese will melt and cook onto them.

Garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

Can’t you just see the yumminess?

Garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

Ingredients:

1 can (15.5 oz.) chickpeas
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Drain the can of chickpeas and pat them dry with paper towels.

In a bowl, mix the chickpeas with the melted butter.

Stir in the garlic and pepper, mixing well. Then stir in the cheese until all the chickpeas are coated.

Using parchment paper, line a medium baking pan with raised sides. Pour the chickpeas onto the pan, spreading them out, and pour over them any remaining cheese from the bowl.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until browned and crispy.

Store covered.

[Note: These are crunchiest the first day. If they get too soft after being stored, broil them for 5 or 6 minutes before serving.]

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To print the free PDF copy of this recipe, click here:  Garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

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Honey Granola with Quinoa

Honey Granola with Quinoa

I know many people eat granola all by its lonesome, just in a bowl with milk, but I prefer it with yogurt.

The first time I saw someone eat it this way was when I was at a hotel breakfast buffet in Germany.  Someone spooned yogurt into a dish and sprinkled granola over the top.

I was intrigued.

And then I was addicted.

The silky smooth, fruity yogurt intensified the sweet and crunchy granola.  It seemed an ideal breakfast, indeed.

But I hadn’t made my own from scratch yet.  That needed to change.

Honey Granola with Quinoa

I began with a recipe by David Lebovitz that was based off a recipe by Nigella Lawson.  Then I made some changes.

I knew I wanted to increase the amount of honey, and I wanted to incorporate quinoa.  Plus, I love walnuts, so I swapped out the almonds for them.

You can see these changes in the photo above, which shows the dry ingredients, minus the spices and sugar.  Incidentally, I used dark brown sugar, although light brown sugar would work as well.  I prefer the stronger flavor.  And I used honey-roasted sunflower seeds instead of plain sunflower seeds – again, to increase the honey-ness of the granola.

Honey Granola with Quinoa

The long list of ingredients can appear a little intimidating at first, but the process is incredibly simple.

You mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a small saucepan.  Heat the wet ingredients, then pour them over the dry ingredients, and mix well.

Honey Granola with Quinoa

Spread the granola over two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, and bake for an hour, stirring occasionally.

That’s it:  you’ve got homemade granola!

Honey Granola with Quinoa

And, of course, I suggest serving it over yogurt for breakfast.  Strawberry yogurt, specifically.  But feel free to play with it.  Perhaps you’d prefer it over vanilla ice cream?  Leave a comment to let me know how you enjoy it best!

Honey Granola with Quinoa

Here’s the recipe, and scroll down for the printable version:

Honey Granola with Quinoa

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup honey roasted sunflower seeds
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 300ºF (150ºC).

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients:  oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds, quinoa, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

In a small saucepan, mix the applesauce, honey, and oil.  Stir over low heat until just warmed and combined.

Pour the applesauce mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined and all the dry ingredients are coated.

Pour granola evenly over two cookie sheets.  Bake for one hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

Cool completely.  Store covered for up to one month.

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Get the free printable PDF of the recipe:

Honey Granola with Quinoa

Enjoy!

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