Healthy Banana Muffins with No Refined Sugar Added




Banana Bread MuffinsTo say that weekday breakfast is chaos would be a gross understatement.  My girls are all very picky and typically don’t eat much dinner so when they wake up in the morning they are all quite famished (and usually pretty cranky as a result).  On top of that, my oldest daughter needs to be at school by 8am so we all need to be fed, dressed and out the door (with lunches packed) by 7:40.  Therefore, I need a strategy for getting a healthy (and preferably not messy) breakfast on the table quickly.   That’s where muffins come in to save the day.  All three of my girls love banana bread muffins and I love them because they are something I can make ahead and fill with some healthy ingredients to get their day started right.  

Speaking of healthy ingredients, I should probably take this opportunity to tell you about my latest cooking philosophy.  Going forward, I probably won’t be posting any recipes that contain refined sugar.  I participated in a 30 day cleanse recently and one of my take-home messages from the experience was that sugar is bad.  Therefore, these muffins are sweetened with bananas, dates, applesauce and orange zest.  If you are used to eating typical banana bread you might not find these to be super delicious since they may not be as sweet as you are used to (if that’s the case, you could always leave out the dates and use 2/3 cup sugar instead.  I’ve been trying hard to decrease the amount of sugar we eat over time and so my family eats these happily and for us they are plenty sweet.  And now for the recipe… Read More


Kale Pesto Recipe

kale pestoMany of you may have noticed that Frugal Organic Mama has been silent for the past 6 months.   I’d like to apologize to my readership for letting this site slip into oblivion, hopefully you can give me some leeway as I’ve been in the trenches of raising 3 little girls.  However, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel; with my oldest now in kindergarten, the middle in preschool and the baby on a regular schedule, I’m optimistic that I can carve out a few hours a week to give this another go.  

I’ve had a lot of time to think about what recipes I wanted to share with you and today I wanted to give you my all time favorite pesto sauce recipe.  This pesto recipe uses less cheese and oil than traditional pesto sauce recipes and also incorporates some healthier ingredients like kale and nutritional yeast (if you don’t have nutritional yeast, you can double the parmesan cheese).  My daughters’ pediatrician shared a version of this recipe with me last year during one of our visits when I complained about my girls’ unwillingness to eat anything healthy.  From the very first time I made this, my 5 year old was hooked and now her favorite kind of pizza is kale pesto pizza.    I make a batch of this probably about once a week around here.   Read More


Frugal Organic Meal Plan – June 9, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan

I’m happy to report that we didn’t have any further experiments with markers as makeup this week, but two of the three girls did get very sick.  Both our middle daughter, Monkey, and the baby, Ladybug, came down with fevers over the course of 3 days.  Then Ladybug cut her first teeth at the same time Monkey developed a cough and runny nose.  It was a long week and I’m so glad it’s over.  The weekly meal plan from last week was successful for the most part with the exception of the Thai Fried Rice which I didn’t get a chance to make after a sleepless night followed by an endless day of playing nurse to some sick, tired and cranky girls…my husband took pity on me and picked up take-out that night.  Therefore you will notice that recipe is on the list again this week.  

After the prep work I did last Sunday, all meals went very smoothly and I’m pretty sure I was able to prepare everything within the 30 minutes allowed.  I say pretty sure because it never fails that I start working on dinner and I get called away to settle an argument, answer the phone or change a diaper.  All I care about in the end is that everyone was fed and I wasn’t stressed out by complicated recipes or too many dishes.   Read More

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Weekly Meal PlanI had a brainstorm earlier this week where I thought about starting a new blog to post pictures of the mischief my girls got into while I was trying to do other things…like when I tried to vacuum for literally 3 minutes and realized they had put marker all over each other’s lips and then kissed paper to make lip marks.  It’s cute in hindsight, but frustrating in the moment.

The point of this story (yes, I have a point) is that my life is hectic (whose isn’t) and it’s time to slow down.  

Confession time…I am a real mom with 3 real kids and a real budget. I want to be like other moms I see on Pinterest, making wholesome gluten-free meals using beets and cauliflower, but my kids won’t eat that…and frankly neither will my husband. I want to make beautiful crafts with my children and decorate my house with things I DIY’d but I’d just wind up with toilet paper tubes strewn around the house and hot glue strings in my hair. Read More


Blueberry Feta Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad RecipeI first heard about quinoa as a superfood back in college when the graduate student teaching my 100 level biology class was conducting breeding experiments on the grain as part of her doctoral thesis.  I quickly dismissed the food as some strange hippy thing and didn’t really give it a second thought.  Fast forward 15 years and the grain is becoming a mainstream staple.  It’s a fast cooking and gluten-free whole grain food that can be served hot like rice, cold in salads, or even pureed with veggies and fruit for baby food.  

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Ditching The Post Baby Body – Part 2

PicMonkey Collage

A little more than thirty days have passed since I decided to drop the post baby body and I’m feeling pretty good.  As you may recall, my game plan was to attend classes at  The Dailey Method Carlsbad 3 times per week and also to cut the refined sugar out of my diet.  To read more about my initial plan and intentions, check out my earlier post entitled Ditching the Post-Baby Body.

So what’s the result you may ask?  While the before and after photos above may not reflect an infomercial-grade transformation, I can tell that there is a difference and I think it’s pretty good progress  for just 30 days of making some minor changes.  The camera angle is slightly different between the two pictures but I think my arms are slimmer and I look taller.  My posture has definitely improved and while not totally visible from the picture, my core is rock solid (unfortunately there is about 2 inches of belly fat over the top of my core, but I’ll keep working on that).  I’ve received compliments from both my husband, friends and one of the Dailey Method instructors over the past 30 days about how my body is changing.   I’ve lost about 2 pounds and I’m able to button most of my pre-maternity pants again. Read More