Quick Tip: Freeze Extra Bananas

Happy New Year’s Eve! Can you believe another year has come and gone? Seems like just yesterday that I was coming up with my New Year’s goals (updates in a later post!) and starting Anatomy and Physiology 1. Then again, this seems like a long time ago.

Anatomy and Physiology skeleton

I wanted to share a quick little tip that I have used thoroughly this past year: freezing bananas. Now, I know this isn’t a novel idea in the least (who doesn’t have these in the freezer door?), but I wanted to show you a slightly different way of doing it.

Frozen bananas

 

First, you’ll want to unpeel each banana. This will make defrosting them should you need them for banana-something or as sweetener substitute so much easier. Second, break them roughly in half and place in a container. Then, put on the top or seal the container and place in the freezer.

Bananas in container

The next time you want to add some banana to your smoothie or overnight oats, they’re ready to go. Just take them out of the freezer, chop up some small bits, and add them to your desired item.

Frozen banana

Bananas in smoothie

If you do plan on using them for a banana-bread type recipe (as I did for these muffins), I would suggest defrosting them on the counter or in the microwave whole as you’ll most likely need to mash them. Another idea is to simply blend the frozen banana with a little bit of milk for a faux soft serve!

I know this isn’t an Earth-shattering tip at all, but I’m telling you, it has made my smoothies, oats, and other baking more flavorful and easier to make.

Questions: Are you a banana-freezer? Any other freezing tips? Speaking of freezing (as it will be here tonight), any New Year’s Eve plans?

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December Send Me Gluten Free Box Review

Hi all! I wanted to check in a couple of times before the end of the year. First up is a look at the December Send Me Gluten Free box.

Send Me Gluten Free box logo

I had such a fun time with last month’s box, that I was really excited to see what was up for this month. The box opening was similar to the first one, in all its lovely orange and blue glory:

December Send Me Gluten Free box opening

Of course, I was mostly interested in the goodies underneath:

December Send Me Gluten Free box

Just like last time, I spied the chocolate chip cookie and snapped a bad pic in my hurry to gobble that thing down. Too bad the Lucy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies weren’t as good as the WOW chocolate chip cookies from the last box. I choked down the first one, trying to give it a chance, then threw away the second. It was really dry and didn’t have very good flavor. It’s a vegan cookie, so that may have had partially to do with it, but I’m not buying it. I’ve made vegan baked goods before and they can still be moist and taste good. I wouldn’t recommend these at all unless you like tasteless, dry cookies (no offense, Lucy’s).

December Send Me Gluten Free box contents

The Simply 7 Quinoa Chips (Sea Salt flavor) were just kind of meh as is, but I enjoyed them broken up on top of some soup (I usually like a crunch factor with my soup, especially if has little texture). WHH surprisingly liked them as is! One thing we could both agree on was the Sauce Goddess BBQ Sweet Heat Spice Rub. We used this rub made of brown sugar, salt, spices, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper and paprika on chicken and it was delicious! Just the right amount of heat and sweetness combined. The Blueberry + Flax Toasted Oat Granola was quite chewy as opposed to crunchy like most granola. True to fashion, I added this into some yogurt for an after-dinner treat, but it didn’t mix very well due to its chewy nature. I’m thinking it wouldn’t be great as cereal either, but it did have good flavor overall.

Next up:

December Send Me Gluten Free box contents

I just tried the Chebe Bread Focaccia Flatbread Mix last night as a pizza dough. Owing to the fact that I changed up how I cooked and used it, I’m not sure I can make a fair assessment. I liked the flavor, but I undercooked it so it was a bit chewy and it was too thick as a pizza dough. I’m sure it would be delicious as a bread on its own. I loved the herbs in the mixture.

Where was this French and Italian Cuisine Passport during our trip last year? This would have been fabulous to bring instead of having to print out a bunch of gluten terminology in French, Italian, and German. I will be holding on to this as we plan to go back to places where we would speak French and Italian!

Speaking of our trip, one brand I happened to encounter in a Swiss health food store was Schar, so I was happy to see this Penne included, which I have not yet tried. Seeing how it’s mostly made of corn, I’m going to guess it’s pretty similar to most corn pastas. I also haven’t yet tried the Massel 7’s Vegetable Bouillon Cubes, but I know they will come in handy this winter based on how much soup we’ve made so far!

There was another Massel item included:

December Send Me Gluten Free box contents

The box also included Massel Concentrated Liquid Stock (chicken style), another item that will come in handy. I sometimes like to use stock to cook lentils, rice, quinoa, or other dried items, just to give it a little extra flavor.

Since I dislike gummies in general, I gave WHH the Smarty Pants Gummy Vitamins to try, which he enjoyed for a change. I appreciate that the vitamins include omega 3, as we both have take an omega supplement in addition to our daily multivitamin. The additional vitamin D concentration isn’t enough for me, but I love that for a gummy vitamin, there isn’t any added sugar, HFCS, preservatives, artificial flavors, or artificial colors.

Upon looking at the Mum-Mum Apple Cinnamon Snax, I couldn’t figure out what it was. It was apple cinnamon, but apple cinnamon what? All I could think is that it looked like a McDonald’s hash brown patty. Upon opening the broken snack, I figured out it was some kind of rice cake. A tasteless rice cake. A rice cake that went in the trash after a couple of bites. Disappointment #2.

The Wowbutter, a peanut-free toasted soy butter, was much better than the snax. It definitely tasted like toasted soy nuts and I appreciated the change from my usual peanut, almond, and sunflower butter, but probably wouldn’t buy it in the future as I try to avoid soy in my diet. In addition to most of the soy products in this country being GMO, it’s also a goitrogen, which should be avoided for those of us with hypothyroidism.

Some extra items included in the envelope were:

December Send Me Gluten Free box contents

As well as:

December Send Me Gluten Free box contents

  • Gluten Free label sample and info card from glutenfreelabels.com. These would be great for parties!
  • An additional recipe card from Chebe

And coupons! Who doesn’t love coupons? Included were some for some box items, as well as  for Nona Lim products.

December Send Me Gluten Free box coupons

I have to say that I didn’t enjoy this box as much as last month’s. There just seemed to be some doozies in it (I’m looking at you, cookies and snax!). I do still feel it has a high value for the price and that all items are quality. I’ve loved discovering new and interesting gluten-free foods and companies. Trying the different items in the boxes has gotten me to up my game in the kitchen as well, so that’s been fun.

Questions: Have you tried any of these items before? Are you partial to subscription boxes or think they’re a waste of money? Have you ever gifted one or been gifted one?

Please note: Although I received this box free of charge, all honest opinions are my own. This post also contains an affiliate link.

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances (Friday Favorite)

Have you heard of the book, “The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances“? If you’re a runner and you haven’t, you must go out right now, find it, and read it. And if you have read it, I bet you know a runner who would love this for Christmas, a birthday, or really any occasion.
The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances

I’m guessing you’ve read some running books or articles that are quite similar to some parts of his book, such as inspirational messages:

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances book page

So what makes this book different (and, IMHO, better)? Well, take a look at the page that follows the one above:

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances page

Few books, comics, or movies can make me genuinely laugh out loud, but this page got a huge guffaw from me. This is exactly how I feel this time of year. All I want to do is hibernate and borrow as these cold, dark days go on.

Some of my other LOL moments included the page below. I’m sure we all know someone like this:

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances over-accessorize

It’s not all fun and jokes (though a lot of it is). Some is also a bit more serious. I just love the unapologetic honesty with which he writes and draws, such as when he writes about getting off your butt and going out for a GD run:

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances happy juice

And he perfectly captures some big reasons I run. Seriously, is this guy in my head or something? This is me to a T!

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances demons

He has a bit more of the book on his website. But seriously, for just $11 on Amazon, go out and buy the book.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (okay, maybe you won’t cry, but you’ll definitely laugh), and you may have found the perfect gift for someone. Happy reading!

Questions: Have you “read” this book (do you consider comics reading?)? What are some of the weird or hard to explain reasons that you run?

This post contains an affiliate link.