Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

By Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team


Banana bread is a favorite to bake, eat and share with friends; zucchini is also a favorite that has been abundant in farmer’s markets this summer. So, with some extra zucchini and slightly browning bananas on hand, I decided to combine these two for one hopefully yummy experiment, and it worked! This is an easy (and tasty) way to incorporate fruits and veggies into your little one’s or your own day. Mashing a ripe banana, measuring dry ingredients and mixing are all tasks perfect for getting kids involved in the kitchen!



 Yields ~15 muffins

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup milk

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup shredded (or made into noodles and then chopped*) zucchini

½ cup dark chocolate chips

¾ medium ripe banana, mashed

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 egg

½ tsp salt




  1. Preheat oven to 350F, and grease or line muffin tin.
  2. In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients of flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix beaten egg, oil, milk, mashed banana, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir wet ingredients into dry until incorporated and moistened.
  4. Prepare zucchini using a shredder or by spiralizing into thin noodles and then chopping into ¼ inch pieces, for similar effect. Measure your 1 cup of zucchini now. Wrap measured zucchini into paper towel and squeeze out excess water–there will be a lot of it.
  5. Fold zucchini and chocolate chips into rest of mixture. Pour to fill muffin tins 2/3 of the way.
  6. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes.


Hearty Fruit and Nut Granola

By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, Author of The Diabetes Comfort Food Diet Book

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 11.06.48 PM

I’m excited to be sharing another recipe from my book, The Diabetes Comfort Food Diet Book! This is an easy, and tasty granola recipe that you can make ahead for the week, for breakfast, snacks and on-the-go!



1 1/2 cups old-fashioned (large flake) rolled oats

1/4 cup millet

1/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries

2 tbsp ground flaxseeds

1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

3 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cardamom



1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, millet, cranberries, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, maple syrup, cinnamon, and cardamom. Stir well to combine.

3. Spread evenly onto prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown, stirring carefully once or twice.  Remove from the oven and break up any large pieces of granola while it’s still warm.

4. Cool completely before sorting into airtight containers. You can store at room temperature for up to 1 week. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

There’s nothing much better for breakfast than a hot fluffy muffin right out of the oven. The only thing that can make it better, is baking them with your children! With Mother’s Day coming this Sunday, we wanted to help you get the day off to a fun start with family time in the kitchen. For a twist, top each muffin with a dried banana chip for that extra special touch.  We’re sure that everyone will love these Whole Wheat Banana Muffins.


Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light
Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light



  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 dried banana chips, optional



  1. Preheat oven to 375°F; mist a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper or foil liners. In a large bowl, combine both types of flour with baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix bananas with eggs, sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture just until combined and batter forms; do not overmix.
  3. Spoon batter into muffin cups; place a banana chip on top of each one, if desired. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.


*The original post for this recipe can be found here.





Mom's Pumpkin Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Chips

*This recipe was originally published on the Big City Moms’ Blog. To see the original please click here.

Mom’s Pumpkin Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Chips

by Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN, and Mom

Every week I whip up a batch of “homemade pancakes” for myself and my oldest son. Everyone loves these pancakes— including my clients who eat many meals with me. Make them Sunday morning and serve hot. Freeze or store the remainder in a Pyrex dish to serve each weekday morning. These pancakes taste so yummy that I can almost promise your kids will go to school having eaten a balanced breakfast. And while most moms don’t have to time to make everything from scratch, these pancakes are what I call “value added” or “nutrition added.” For time’s sake, I start with a basic wholesome pancake mix and then add in the nutrition.


See full recipe on the Big City Moms’ Blog.

Avocado Toast

Who doesn’t like toast for breakfast?  There’s toast with butter, toast with peanut butter but how about avocado toast?  We found this delicious recipe from Siggi’s Dairy.  Try this spin on toast – it’s a great way to start your day!

Siggi’s Avocado Toast

Makes one open face sandwich.

Courtesy of Siggi’s


  • 1 slice of whole-grain bread, toasted
  • ½ avocado
  • 3 tablespoons of Siggi’s plain-style yogurt (skyr)
  • 2 oz cherry tomatoes, halved salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes, optional



  1. In a small bowl, mash the avocado and yogurt together with a fork.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired, season with red chili flakes.
  3. Spread the mixture on toasted bread and top with tomatoes.  Finish with a touch of salt.

Not a fan of avocados?  Try some other Siggi’s recipes for something new!

Fruity Baked Oatmeal: A breakfast my kids adore!

Fruity Baked Oatmeal: A breakfast my kids adore!
By Adina Pearson, RDN

Breakfast has long been my kids’ best meal. And by best I mean they tend to have good appetites and rarely reject anything.  It’s also the meal with the least variety, which my husband prefers and I do not.  I had been wanting to try baked oatmeal for some time, but just never got around to it.  Mostly because..let’s face it, baking always takes more time than a quick stove top boil and simmer.  Plus at least half the time my husband takes care of our morning pot of porridge so why fix what isn’t broken, right?

But my desire for variety got the best of me one day and we found a breakfast dish that all four of us love.

The first time I made it, I decided to add fruit to the bottom of the pan.

It did not disappoint and turned out quite pretty if I do say so myself!

The fruit has varied based on what I had available.  Usually blueberries and canned peaches.  The first few times I made this our family of four ate through at least 3/4 of a 9×13 pan.  It’s almost like a cobbler, but less rich and more breakfast-y.

*To read the rest of this blog please click here to be redirected to

Pumpkin-Applesauce Muffins

Even though Halloween has passed, we are still enjoying pumpkin! Take a peek at this delicious recipe from our contributor Christie Caggiani!

Pumpkin-Applesauce Muffins
From the kitchen of Christie Caggiani, RDN, LDN, CEDRD

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12


Serve with a glass of milk or Greek yogurt, and banana or other fruit for a quick breakfast or snack!  These are even better the next day, and they’re a super way to jazz up your kids’ palate when you mix-in some fruits and veggies.



  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup chopped raisins (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts (optional)


  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease 12 muffin cups, or line the cups with paper muffin liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.  Combine the brown sugar, oil, applesauce, pumpkin, buttermilk, and beaten eggs and mix until well blended.  Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Fold in the raisins and nuts, if desired.
  3. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared muffin pans.  Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan.


Other mix-in options: dried cranberries, granola, apple pieces, chocolate chips, pumpkin or sesame seeds, shredded carrots or zucchini, peanut butter….or get creative and try something new!

Fun with Fall Flavors!

Fun with Fall Flavors!

With Halloween around the corner and the weather cooling down, there’s nothing better than mixing the wonderful flavors of fall into all your cooking! Chia pudding is a delicious and nutritious breakfast, but here I’ve switched it up and used Qi’a superfood blend, a combination of chia, buckwheat, and hemp seeds, to make a harvest breakfast pudding great for warming bellies on cold mornings!  

Photo courtesy of Natures Path

Qi’a Pudding
Serves 1


  • 2 tablespoons Qi’a Superfood Mix
  • ½ cup almond milk (or your favorite milk)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice


Combine Qi’a, almond milk, and pumpkin puree; let stand for five-ten minutes. In blender, mix Qi’a mixture, spices, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!

On-The-Go Breakfast Burrito

We all know how hectic weekday mornings can be. You’re rushing to get everyone out of the house dressed and with their homework, that sometimes breakfast can feel like a difficult task. In hopes of finding an easy, yet delicious and nutritious breakfast recipe, we went to our friends at Cooking Light for some inspiration. And boy did we find some! Their Grab-and-Go Quick Breakfast Recipe page is a great resource when you’re stuck in a weekday morning breakfast rut. While this recipe contains pico de gallo, feel free to omit if your little ones don’t approve.


Pico de Gallo:

    • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomato (about 1 large)
    • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    • Dash of crushed red pepper (optional)


    • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
    • Cooking spray
    • 1/4 cup chopped onion
    • 4 (6-inch) whole wheat tortillas
    • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese


  1. To prepare pico de gallo, combine ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. To prepare the burritos, combine chopped fresh oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add egg mixture and 1/4 cup onion to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes or until eggs are set, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat; stir egg mixture well.
  4. Heat the  tortillas according to package directions. Divide the egg mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons shredded cheese and about 1/3 cup pico de gallo (optional).
The recipe and photo featured in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To read the original recipe please click here.

Back-To-School Pancakes

We love to make pancakes for breakfast on the weekends at our house. The kids each have their roles in the preparation and we all get to sit down and enjoy a leisurely breakfast together. One thing I love to do is make large batches at one time and save them for the week! All you need is a zip-top bag or a food container and you’ve got weekday breakfasts at the ready. Check out this video of my son and his friend helping me with a fun pancake recipe.


What is your favorite pancake recipe or topping? Let us know in the comments below!