Rock-a-Bye and Good Bites

By: Reba Ray

Trouble sleepin’? Food can help – or it could be the culprit. Too much fat and a heavy meal before bedtime can deprive ya of a good night’s rest. If it’s been three or more hours since yur last meal, you need about 200 calories in yur tummy to take off that hunger edge. Here are a few simple recipes, usin’ proven sleep-inducin’ foods that work like a dream.

Nanner* Milk

In yur smoothie maker or blender, combine:

½ cup milk

¼ cup vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt

one ripe nanner – overly ripe nanners’r good for this recipe

¼ tsp. vanilla

1 teaspoon of honey, molasses or brown sugar

a dash of cinnamon – optional

Push one of ‘em buttons on the blender for about 15 seconds and yur done!

Nanner Instant Oatmeal

Now you know I don’t normally adhere to instant oatmeal, but we’re ready for bed, dern it, and who wants to cook oats! So just for a bedtime snack:

One package instant oatmeal – maple and brown sugar flavor is the best

One ripe nanner, smushed to smitherines

¼ c. vanilla yogurt

Cook oatmeal, usin’ milk instead of water, about 15 seconds more in the microwave than the directions say. Now cool it down with the smushed nanner and yogurt. Belly warmin’!

Nutty Nanner Toast

Are you beginnin’ to see a pattern here? Don’t worry, if you don’t like nanners, you could make this without – same for the oatmeal – because oatmeal and toast are also good sleep-triggerin’ foods.

One piece of toast

1 tbsp. peanut butter

One ripe nanner, sliced in ¼-inch rounds

Assemble in that order and drizzle with honey, if yur feelin’ crazy.

Chantilly Nanner

This is so easy, I’m not even gonna put it in recipe form. Just peel a nanner and shoot a dollop of whipped cream on each bite. Mmm Mmm! Be sure to use real whipped cream in a can.

Cherries Royale Crepe

Who’d thought cherries could help a person sleep? But get a load o’this. According to MSN’s Health page: “Fresh and dried cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body’s internal clock to regulate sleep. Researchers who tested tart cherries and found high levels of melatonin recommend eating them an hour before bedtime or before a trip when you want to sleep on the plane.” Well, cherry-o! Bring ‘em on in this elegant, yet healthy dessert.

¼ cup fresh, pitted cherries – or dried cherries, microwaved in ¼ cup water for one minute, then drained

¼ cup vanilla yogurt

¼ cup pancake mix (the kind you only need to add water to)

milk

Whipped cream (the real stuff in a can)

“Reba,” ya say, “What’s up with endorsin’ all this processed food? That’s not like you!”

Oh, you know me so well! I surely don’t like to use a boxed mix or cream from a can, but let’s be real, Girls, we’re talking one hour before bedtime. Reba’s exhausted. Kitchen’s already been cleaned. We need to cut to the chase here. I’m big enough to admit that there are times when the processed stuff comes in handy – and this is one of ‘em.

Mix yur cherries and yogurt together in a small bowl. Stick it in the microwave and heat on 50 percent power for 45 seconds, just until it’s warmed through. Take that pancake mix and add enough milk so that it’s a little on the runny side for pancake batter. Now heat up a 6” nonstick skillet and spray it with cookin’ spray. Pour in just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan. Flip the crepe when ready, cook the other side and then flipp’er out of the pan, onto a plate, then under a cloth napkin or clean towel. Don’t worry, you’ve got enough batter here to mess one up learning the ropes. Spray yur skillet and go again – until all the batter is gone. Should just make a few crepes. Now assemble by dividing your cherry/yogurt mixture evenly between the crepes. With the crepe laying flat, plop some innards on it, then roll it up and leave it layin’ on the seam so it dudn’t flop open on ya. Shoot those suckers with some whipped cream on top – take a picture to share on Facebook or Twitter – and then dig in.

Nighty-night, Girls!

*Also known as bananas in some circles

http://health.msn.com/health-topics/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100245939&imageindex=1

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