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Healthy recipe swaps: Banana ‘Nice’ Cream, Avocado Egg Salad, Veggie Mac & Cheese

CLEVELAND, Oh -- Making small changes in your diet can add up to big results in your health according to Akron Children's Hospital dietician Lindsay Bailey.

Lindsay shared three recipes with Fox 8's Kristi Capel that she says are so full of flavor, you won't even notice what's missing.

Banana “Nice Cream”

For 1 serving:
2 ripe bananas, chopped and frozen
Milk of your choice (approximately ¼ cup) unsweetened almond milk was used in this recipe
“Mix ins”:
1 Tbsp peanut butter
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey or maple syrup
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:
In a food processor, add frozen bananas and “mix ins” of your choice.  Add in ¼ cup milk.  Using the “puree” setting, puree the mixture until it is soft serve consistency.  Use additional milk for thinning out mixture if too thick.  Serve immediately or can be frozen and thawed out for ~15 minutes to be eaten at a later time.

Avocado Egg Salad

For 1 serving:
½ ripe avocado, mashed
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
Splash of lemon juice
Dash of salt, dash of crushed red pepper

In a small bowl, mash together avocado and hard boiled egg.  Add a splash of lemon juice for flavor and to prevent browning of avocado.  Mix in a dash of salt and crushed red pepper.  Spread mixture on 1-2 slices of whole wheat toast.   Optional: add sliced tomatoes and arugula.

Veggie Mac and Cheese

1 box whole wheat noodles of your choice (penne, spiral, macaroni), cooked
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small acorn squash or small butternut squash, peeled and diced
3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small white onion
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼  cup milk of your choice
¼ cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: boil cubed sweet potato, squash, and chopped carrots.  Cook until soft, drain, and set aside.   Sautee chopped garlic and onion in olive oil over medium/medium-high heat.  Cook until translucent and set aside.  Add the cooked vegetables to a food processor.  Add milk, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, and seasonings.  Puree until smooth.  If sauce is too thick, add additional broth.  In a large saucepan, heat sauce and add cooked pasta.  Stir to combine.  Optional: add steamed broccoli for extra veggies.  Pasta can be eaten as is or transferred to a greased baking dish and topped with mozzarella or cheddar cheese and baked at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

March is National Nutrition Month and dieticians from Akron Children's Hospital also helped us recently learn about surprising amounts of sugar in some popular foods and drinks. Click here to see that story from Fox 8 News in the Morning.