Banana-berry Muffins

What do you do with the entire pint of berries that your picky toddler won’t eat? Make muffins!

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The Simple Healthy Life : Banana-berry Muffins

I get really hopeful at the grocery store when I see that beautiful, shiny pint of blueberries on sale. I think, “she’ll try these because they’re blue…and round…and look like tiny balls.” Then, she crushes my dreams when we get home and she snarls her nose. Yep, it happens time after time. You feel me mama, I know you do. Instead of letting her completely win this battle, I decided to try to turn it into something that she would actually eat. So, I threw them in with some sure fire ingredients – sugar and flour, of course – and it was a win! No longer will she waste my precious $3 pint of blueberries…or blackberries. Yes, you can use this with any berry – so far, I’ve tried this same recipe with blueberries and blackberries, but I’m waiting for her to snarl her nose at raspberries so I can give them a try. *adding raspberries to grocery list…*

If you don’t have a mini muffin pan, I highly suggest you purchase one. The muffins are the perfect size for those little toddler hands. Plus, you won’t feel bad when you eat 3 of them.

Banana-berry Muffins

3 ripe bananas
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 egg
1⁄3 cup melted coconut oil or butter
1 cup berries (any kind)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 cups flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, egg, butter, and berries. Combine dry ingredients and gently stir into banana mixture. Pour into well-greased muffin tins or use muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes.

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4 Ways to Survive Grocery Shopping with a Toddler

Grocery shopping is my favorite pastime. When I get to go on a solo grocery trip you’d think I was going on a wild girls weekend – I get excited. Those trips are few and far between. Typically, you’ll find me in the bakery begging the girl behind the counter for another free cookie for my whining, but adorable, toddler that keeps saying “mo mo” because she wants MORE and she wants in NOW. More about that later. On these trips, I’ve learned a few lessons in my 17 months as a grocery shopping mother and I think these lessons need to be shared.

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1) Park Smart! It all starts in the parking lot. Forget the entrance, park close to the shopping carts. You can grab a cart and put your tiny human in the cart lessening your load immediately – everyone knows the diaper bag is already causing you early on-set osteoarthritis in your shoulders anyway. If you’re baby is still in a carrier, you can just sit the carrier in the cart. I remember the days of carrying that carrier until my arm was turning purple, so parking next to the carts was necessary. When you’re done, drive the cart right to your car and unload your groceries, load your child up and return the cart without having to abandon it.

2) Stop at the Bakery. Most grocery stores offer treats for kids and this always starts the trip on a good note. While I don’t advocate for massive amounts of sugar for kids, this one cookie will provide enough sanity for you to make this exception. If you don’t agree, you’re next best stop would be produce for a banana. Pack some extra snacks for when the cookie is gone though. I’ve recently been informed that Dum Dum suckers work great – leave the wrapper on and that will give you an extra 2 minutes of peace!

3) Don’t Shop on a Sunday. Monday and Tuesday’s are much less crowded than Saturday or Sunday meaning that you can zip through the store faster than having to dodge others to get to the best looking bunch of bananas. Oh, and less people to stop and talk to about “is this your only one” or “I can remember when mine was that little.”

4) Go prepared. This is my tip for all grocery shopping, with or without a child. Always have a list and try to stick to it. The average grocery store has over 42, 000 items, so having a list will help you get through quicker and more efficiently. If you need help preparing a list, shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to help you plan!

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to make your grocery shopping easier., mama. Now, shop on and don’t steel your kid’s bakery cookie!

Menu, Meal Plan, Whatever You Want to Call It!

Hi friends and Happy New Year! It’s been a very long while. I’ve been very busy being a mom, wife, full-time employee, and everything in between. Cooking has always been my way of feeling creative and in some ways I feel like it is my love language. Even though things are crazy busy and hectic, cooking helps me feel “normal” – if that even exists in motherhood.

Before I can cook, I have to go *dun dun dun* GROCERY SHOPPING! Those dreaded two words can be so daunting to people, but I’ve actually come to enjoy it. It takes some time each week to come up with a meal plan and shopping list, but it is worth it to have my kitchen stocked with healthy food for the week. I typically do my shopping on Sunday afternoons so that we can start the week off right.

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My method is pretty easy – I write down each meal I want to cook for dinner each night, add the ingredients to the list, and it’s done. My list is categorized by grocery store department to help me navigate quicker. We usually have the same thing for breakfast and typically eat leftovers for lunch, so those things are just added at the end. However, I know some of you like to mix it up, so I included this one on the menu template. To get a better picture of how I map this out download my Weekly Menu Template and Weekly Shopping List Template. You can certainly do this on scratch paper, but sometimes it’s nice to have a pretty layout! As you can see above, I write mine down on whatever I can find and it’s not always pretty.