No-Bake Banana Bread Graham Bites

No-Bake Banana Bread Graham BitesI still don’t have a functioning oven so I had to get creative the other week with an almost-too-ripe banana that I didn’t want to spoil. These banana bread bites are rolled in crushed graham crackers and make for a perfect snack or healthier dessert. No-Bake Banana Bread Graham BitesNo-Bake Banana Bread Graham Bites

No-Bake Banana Bread Graham Bites

Yield: 10-12 balls

No-Bake Banana Bread Graham Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 c old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 10 pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp honey (can use maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 graham crackers, crushed

Instructions

  1. Pulse the oats in a food processor until they make a coarse flour.
  2. Add in all the other ingredients except the graham crackers. Process until you have a fully-combined sticky mixture.
  3. Form into 1-inch balls and individually roll in the crushed graham crackers, pressing firmly until coated.
  4. You can eat right away or refrigerate for 30 minutes first, which I recommend.

Notes

These are good without the graham crackers, too! They'll be sticky though, so it's good to roll them in something (try coconut--delicious option!).

http://pumpsandiron.com/2015/12/09/no-bake-banana-bread-graham-bites/

No-Bake Banana Bread Graham Bites

You can get creative with these. I’ve also rolled raisins in to the mixture after combining in the food processor and it was a great addition!

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Red Wine Vinaigrette from Salted (Make Ahead and Use for Weeks!)

Red Wine Vinaigrette - make ahead and use for weeks!Salted is like the Netflix of cooking school, and I was pumped when they reached out to me about working together. I love cooking but have no formal training and have always wanted to take a few classes to help me eliminate some of the ridiculous trial and error that comes along with every dish I make. For me, being in the kitchen is so much more enjoyable when I know enough about what I’m making to confidently improvise and adjust, not following a recipe perfectly.

One area I really want to master is sauces, dressings and marinades because they’re so versatile and can take a boring plate of veggies (or anything, really) to the next level. Plus, you can prep a big batch at the start of the week and then have it on hand to use for days or even weeks. Today, I wanted to share a red wine vinaigrette recipe I got from Salted that I love. It’s so easy to make and I’ve been using it on salads, to marinate fish, and to dress veggie stir-fries. Red Wine Vinaigrette - make ahead and use for weeks! Red Wine Vinaigrette - make ahead and use for weeks!

Red Wine Vinaigrette

Red Wine Vinaigrette

A versatile vinaigrette from Salted.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oregano, chopped (ideally fresh, but I use dried)
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped)
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add chopped herbs and garlic to a mason jar.
  2. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into the jar.
  3. Add the vinegar and oil to the jar.
  4. Add a large pinch of both salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Shake vigorously to combine all the ingredients. The vinaigrette can be used immediately, but for the best flavor, allow it to sit overnight.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2015/12/04/red-wine-vinaigrette-from-salted-make-ahead-and-use-for-weeks/

Red Wine Vinaigrette - make ahead and use for weeks!

But Salted is far more than just recipes (although there are a ton on there). It also has videos on skills and lessons—everything from an introduction to gluten-free flours to house to char-grill vegetables. It’s an online cooking school with 100+ top chefs contributing lessons and recipe demonstrations. SaltedTV

One trick I picked up from Salted is to squeeze a lemon with it facing your hand so that you catch the seeds. Game changer! I used to always first squeeze the lemon into a separate bowl, pick out the seeds, then transfer to the bowl with other ingredients. Red Wine Vinaigrette - make ahead and use for weeks! Red Wine Vinaigrette - make ahead and use for weeks!

So let’s talk details. Salted is $9.99/month or $99/year and members get access to exclusive classes, tutorials, and a VIP chef hotline that provides answers to any culinary questions you might have in under 30 minutes. If the price sounds like a lot, just think that cooking classes will usually run you about $100 and I don’t even know what actual culinary school would cost—$50k total? Nonetheless, I’m here to save the day and give you a break on the price …

Salted Discount for P&I Readers

The first 25 readers to sign up for Salted using THIS LINK and the code PUMPS will get 3 months free!

Happy cooking!

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Salted. While I was compensated for my time, all opinions—as always!—are 100% my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that support P&I! J

Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup - naturally vegan & gluten-freeI’ve got a busy teaching day today (12pm Power @ Burn and 5:25 Row, 6:20, 7:20 & 8:15 Tone @ Btone if anyone wants to come play!) so I’m just popping in quickly on the blog to share this super easy slow cooker butternut squash soup recipe I made the other day.

I freestyled the whole thing, basically just throwing a bunch of random stuff around my kitchen into the crock pot and hoping for the best, and the result was a delicious, filling soup that Joe and I have been eating all week. Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup - naturally vegan & gluten-free Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup - naturally vegan & gluten-free

This would make for a great Thanksgiving dish if you’ve got a vegan or vegetarian at your table! Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup - naturally vegan & gluten-free

Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings

Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash (pitted, peeled and chopped)
  • 2 large apples (peeled, cored and chopped), I used Honeycrisp
  • 1 yellow onion (peeled and diced)
  • 4 large carrots (cleaned, stems removed and chopped)
  • 4 large stalks celery (cleaned, ends removed and chopped)
  • 1 box low-sodium vegetable broth (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I usually am super generous with the pepper!)

Instructions

  1. Put everything in the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours. Squash should be soft and easily squished with a fork.
  2. Transfer to a blender (you'll probably have to do this in two batches) and blend until fully combined. If you have an immersion blender, it'd probably be easier to use that right in the slow cooker.
  3. Serve warm. I like to top mine with croutons and parmesan cheese!
http://pumpsandiron.com/2015/11/18/easy-slow-cooker-butternut-squash-soup/

Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup - naturally vegan & gluten-free

Before I get yelled at for classifying this as vegan and gluten-free, yes, I’m aware that the cheese and croutons in the pictures don’t fall into that category. I’m just talking about the soup itself. :) If you meal prep each week, this is an awesome one to add to your plan! It makes a huge batch of soup that you can store in the refrigerator and reheat all week long for a quick lunch, dinner or snack.

What’s your current favorite slow cooker recipe? My oven is broken so I’m in desperate need of slow cooker and stovetop ideas!

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