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Showing posts with label bananas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bananas. Show all posts

Monday, April 15, 2013

Oatmeal Banana Cookies

Liz found a recipe for these very easy and very good for you oatmeal cookies.  I have no idea where it originated, it's probably making the rounds on the internet/Facebook/Pinterest.  We going to lay claim to this version.  Liz made them with our son, Nate. The only credit I can take is for the photos!  These are less than 10 ingredients, you can probably make them with less, but they are easy and all that's required is to stir everything together, scoop and bake.  Next time we make them we'll probably make them as bar cookies, cutting them into squares or "granola bar-size" after they cool.

Oatmeal and Banana Cookie Ingredients:

  • 3 Very Ripe Bananas - mashed
  • 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce (or use an individual container size, approximately 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Cups Rolled Oats - Quick Cook is fine but not Instant Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Milk - we used skim milk
  • 1/2 Cup Craisins or Raisins
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Nuts - Chopped (we used cashews, but almonds, walnuts or pecans would be awesome!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a sheet tray or cookie sheet - line with parchment, foil or a Silpat. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas. 
  3. Add in the oats, milk, craisins/raisins, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nuts.  Stir the ingredients together.
  4. Use a cookie scoop and scoop out the mixture and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the cookies set and the oats begin to take on a hint of golden brown.
  6. Cool before serving.  Refirgerate and store in a tightly covered container.  Makes 1 dozen to 15 cookies, depending on size of cookie scoop. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Batter UP! One Batter + 2 Muffins = Home Run!

I'm experimenting with a low fat, low sugar whole wheat muffin batter.  I've had multiple recipe posts for my banana muffins as well as blueberry muffins.  After remaking a lemon and blueberry whole wheat muffin a few weeks ago, I realized that if I tweaked the main batter ingredients, I could use one batter to make a variety of recipes.  This past Sunday, Nate, my little Sous Chef, and I made two dozen muffins, one batch as the lemon and blueberry and the other into banana with chocolate and peanut butter chips.  Voila! We/I hit upon a versatile recipe that will now become The Bicycle-Chef's standby  muffin recipe. 

The recipe basics use brown sugar, non-fat Greek yogurt, whole wheat flour, a pureed or mashed fruit, baking soda/powders, egg, and non-fat milk.  I think I've hit upon the right combination of main ingredients to make this work with a variety of fruit purees.  I plan to do other interpretations such as using pumpkin, apple butter or other fruity-luscious flavors.  I'd love suggestions and comments.  Let me know what you want to try/use or what's worked for you!

Silicone Muffin Wrappers - use round ones only and spray the insides!
Version 1 with Blueberries & Lemon Zest

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffin Ingredients:

  • Non-stick cooking spray or 12 Muffin/cupcake liners
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup (or 1 small container) Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce (or 1 individual sized container 3.9 to 4.2 ounces)
  • 1 Large Egg - lightly beaten
  • Zest of 1 Lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 Cup Non-Fat Milk
  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur is best, or use a quality, low-gluten whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 Cup Quick Cook Oatmeal
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Blueberries - fresh or frozen (if frozen, keep frozen)
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 12 -cup muffin tin with the cooking spray or line with the cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the light brown sugar and yogurt.  Mix in the applesauce and the beaten egg.  Whisk to combine, then add in the lemon zest and non-fat milk.
  3. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients - whole wheat flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk to combine the dry ingredients.  
  4. Slowly incorporated the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, folding in the dry in 3 batches.  Fold the first batch in, then add in 1/4 cup of the blueberries.  Fold in the next mixture of flour, adding in more blueberries, reserving some blueberries for topping the muffins.  Fold in the last of the dry ingredients.  Don't over-mix the batter, it should be lumpy.
  5. Scoop out the batter using an ice cream scoop and divide among the 12 muffin cups.  Top each muffin with remaining blueberries, submerging them slightly but allowing the blueberries to remain almost on top of the muffin batter.
  6. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the muffins are slightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the muffin tin, then turn them out and cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Makes 1 dozen muffins.  These will keep for 3 to 4 days in a covered container in the refrigerator, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Banana Muffins with Chocolate and Peanut butter Chips - YUMMY!
Version 2 w/Bananas & Chocolate and Peanut butter Chips

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chips Ingredients:
  • Non-stick cooking spray or 12 Muffin/cupcake liners
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup (or one 5 or 6 ounce small container) Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Cup to 1 1/2 cups (about 3 medium/large) Ripe Bananas - mashed
  • 1 Large Egg - lightly beaten
  • 1/2 Cup Non-Fat Milk
  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur is best, or use a quality, low-gluten whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 Cup Quick Cook Oatmeal
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Each Chocolate Chip and Peanut butter Chips (optional/if desired)
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 12 -cup muffin tin with the cooking spray or line with the cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the light brown sugar and yogurt.  Mix in the mashed bananas  and the beaten egg.  Whisk to combine, then add in the  non-fat milk.
  3. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients - whole wheat flour, oatmeal, baking soda and powders, salt and cinnamon.  Whisk to combine the dry ingredients.  
  4. Slowly incorporated the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, folding in the dry in 3 batches.  Don't over-mix the batter, it should be a bit lumpy. If the mixture is too thick, add in a bit more non-fat milk, 1/4 cup at a time.
  5. If using, stir in the chocolate and peanut butter chips, reserving some to stud the top of the muffin batter.
  6. Scoop out the batter using an ice cream scoop and divide among the 12 muffin cups.  Top each muffin with reserved chips, submerging them slightly but allowing the chocolate/peanut butter  chips to remain almost on top of the muffin batter.
  7. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the muffins are slightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the muffin tin, then turn them out and cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Makes 1 dozen muffins.  These will keep for 3 to 4 days in a covered container in the refrigerator, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Healthy Elvis Muffin - Peanut butter, Banana and Chocolate

While it is my official month of pumpkin recipes, I'm diverting from my October repertoire a bit to feature my other favorite ingredients, peanut butter, bananas and chocolate, together in one glorious muffin.  This is yet another variation of my nearly foolproof muffin or quick bread recipe, that works well with all bananas, pumpkin or a combination of both.  I'm experimenting with peanut butter recipes as I recently received 2 large jars of Planters Peanut butter from The National Peanut Board via the Tastemakers Program of FoodBuzz (my lovely blog sponsor.)  

Tofu Satay - to be posted soon!
So far I've made a delicious Tofu Satay, an Asian hybrid of bibimpap, Thai Satay and vaguely Chinese stir fries.  That post will be shared in a few days.  Then I made this quick batch of Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Whole Wheat Muffins, mostly so I could take some to a friend who was going to watch Nate for a few hours and to have some tasty baked goods in the house for the weekend.  

The dry base of the muffin or quick bread recipe is the same as my other whole wheat muffins as seen in previous posts; whole wheat flour and oatmeal or wheat germ, a leavening agent and salt.  The wet ingredients were varied by taking most of the banana puree out and swapping in peanut butter.  These aren't as low-fat as my other baked good recipes, since peanut butter isn't a low-fat protein.  However there isn't a lot of peanut butter in the recipe and all the fat comes predominately from it.  The wet ingredients include non-fat Greek Style yogurt, applesauce, eggs, a banana and a dash of vanilla extract.  Follow these ingredient directions until you become comfortable with the recipe to vary it on your own.  Once you make a batch let me know how yours turned out; I'd love to know what you think of this recipe.

The Healthy Elvis Peanut butter, Banana and Chocolate Whole Wheat Muffin Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour or Regular Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur Brand is excellent)
  • 1/2 Cup Quick Cook Oats or Wheat Germ or Flax Seed Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Peanut butter - heated to thin so it's pourable
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1- 6 ounce container (approximately) Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt (Fage, Chobani, Oikos, etc)
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce (a small individual sized container is perfect)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Medium Banana - smashed/pureed
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Semi/Bitter Sweet Chocolate Chips or Chopped Dark Chocolate or Chunks of Dark Chocolate Non-Pareils
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Use a 12 portion regular sized muffin tin (or two-6 portion tins) and line with cupcake liners/inserts; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the whole wheat flour, the baking soda and baking powder and salt.  Whisk in the oatmeal (or flax/wheat germ)  Set aside.
  3. Heat the peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl for 45 seconds or until it is thin and able to be poured easily.  Set aside and keep warm.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and the non-fat Greek yogurt to dissolve the sugar, then whisk in the applesauce until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  5. Whisk in the eggs, smashed banana and vanilla extract and blend until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Next, pour in the peanut butter and whisk to incorporate.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently fold about 10 times to incorporate into a thick batter. If using the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, fold 3/4 of the chocolate into the batter, reserving some of the chocolate to top each muffin.
  7. Use a spring loaded ice-cream scoop (1/4 cup to 1/2 cup measure) and fill each muffin liner with the batter.  Each liner should be filled almost to the top.  If using the chocolate add a few chips to the top of each batter filled muffin liner, gently pushing the chocolate down into the wet batter.
  8. Bake the muffins for 15 to 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin, then remove and cool each muffin on a wire rack.  Makes 1 dozen 4-6 ounce muffins. To keep, store the muffins in a tightly sealed container either out for 1 day or refrigerated for up to 4 days.  These will freeze beautifully and will keep for up to 3 months frozen in a freezer safe plastic bag.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Pure Dark Chocolate Slab pieces

Over the weekend I had invited an old friend to come to my house for brunch.  It's easier to entertain at home these days since Nate has become a rambunctious 17 month old toddler.  I had not seen this friend in over 20 years and I wanted to roll out all of my culinary tricks to woo her.  I didn't have the energy or time to whip up a five star-breakfast-at-the-Ritz meal.  However I had just enough time and all of the ingredients to make my whole wheat banana muffins.  Plus I had a secret ingredient that I really wanted to utilize — a fabulous "Slab" of 70% Cacao chocolate from Pure Dark.  It was the 2nd chocolate sample I had received from FoodBuzz and I had not even opened the package yet — talk about will-power!  I was hoping to use the chocolate in a recipe and this one seemed like the perfect pairing.  The slab of chocolate worked even better than I would have guessed.  I cut the chocolate slab using a serrated knife and kept some pieces in chunks; the rest of the chocolate was finely chopped.  The results were amazing; pockets of dark chocolate pieces and feathers of chocolate throughout each muffin.  TASTY!

Whole Wheat Banana and Chocolate Muffin Ingredients:
This is version 3 of my banana muffins — you cannot go wrong with this recipe.

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour (or White Whole Wheat all-purpose Flour such as King Arthur brand)
  • 1/2 Cup Quick Cook Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Non-Fat Greek Style Plain Yogurt (use as much as a 6 ounce container if that's what you have)
  • 2 Large Eggs or 1 Whole Egg and 1 Egg White (it depends on what you want-or of course, you could use egg substitute liquid)
  • 1 & 1/2 Cups Banana Puree - about 3 Medium/Large Bananas. (It's okay to use a bit more, up to 2 cups, if that's what it measures)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 to 3 Ounces Pure Dark Chocolate Slab - cut into chunks with a serrated knife (or use a good, dark chocolate, 60% to 72% cacao)
  • 12 Walnut Halves to garnish each muffin (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Use a 12 portion regular sized muffin tin and line each with cupcake liners/inserts.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, flours, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar and the yogurt and whisk to "cream" the sugar — incorporating the dairy product with the sugar to help the sugar to dissolve. Mix in the eggs, banana puree and vanilla. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is frothy.
  4. Gently fold in the flour mixture and the chopped chocolate into the wet ingredients, folding to combine.  The batter will be wet, but should not be too loose.
  5. Using a spring loaded ice-cream scoop, fill each muffin insert to the top with the mixture. It's easier to fill the muffin cups with the ice-cream scoop.  Add a walnut half, (if using) on the top of each muffin, pressing gently to slightly submerge the walnut half into the batter.  Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Cool muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes before removing them. Turn out and cool the muffins on a wire rack completely before serving. Makes 1 dozen 4-6 ounce muffins.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

All-Bran Flakes Banana Bread

Yet another variation on a low-fat, low-sugar, high-fiber quick bread.  This time I was inspired to make this banana bread by several different sources and reasons; my favorite cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, the many varieties of All-Bran Cereal I've had on hand and because I had too many overly ripe bananas.  I've said many times I'm not a fantastic baker but I do have a few tricks and treats that I can bake and vary with great results; this banana bread is definitely one of my better baking experiments.  It adapts easily and turns out consistently moist and tasty.  I've tweaked it enough that I know it will stay moist without the need for butter or oil, it's sweet enough that it doesn't need much added sugar and you can amp up the fiber content by using whole wheat flour, oats and All-Bran cereal.

All-Bran Cereal Banana Bread Ingredients:

  • Cooking Spray or Light Butter & All-Purpose Flour - for greasing loaf pan
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Cup of  Crushed All-Bran Cereal Flakes or Twigs- crushed or pulsed in a food processor into a coarse grain or powder 
  • 1/4 Cup All-Bran Cereal Buds - crushed or 1/4 Cup Quick Cook Oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Light or Dark Brown Sugar - firmly packed
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 Cups Banana Puree - about 3-4 Medium/Large Bananas
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use and 9-inch loaf pan and grease or spray it with cooking spray and dust it thoroughly with flour; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients - 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 full measured cup of the crushed/pulsed All-Bran Cereal Flakes, 1/4 cup of crushed All-Bran Cereal Buds or oatmeal, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; whisk well to thoroughly combine.  Set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the 1/2 cup brown sugar and the 2 large eggs until the sugar dissolves and the eggs are foamy.  Mash the bananas until they are smooth and most lumps are gone then whisk them into them into the brown sugar/egg mixture.  Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Gently fold in the flour mixture, in thirds, into the wet ingredients.  Incorporate the flour mixture by folding it into the sugar/egg/bananas before adding more.  Stir to combine but do not over mix, otherwise the batter will become tough.  The batter should be loose and runny, this is normal.  The flour, cereal and oatmeal will absorb the wet ingredients and will set up as it bakes keeping the bread remaining moist and tender.
  5. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean with only crumbs sticking to it.  Let the loaf pan cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before turning the banana bread out of the pan.  Cool completely before cutting and serving.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to keep the  banana bread moist.    
  6. This banana bread slices and freezes beautifully!  It is also terrific with low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Embellished Banana Muffins with a Twist

Bananas are my favorite fruit. Compact, easy to carry, and they come in their own disposable/biodegradable container. Bananas are high in potassium; they are thought to help ward off the a cyclist's dreaded leg cramp known as a "Charlie Horse"; excellent food to eat for an immediate energy boost; and they help with high blood pressure control. South America's greatest export. I absolutely believe in a banana a day as my daily medicine, though an apple a day is much more filling. I've previously posted that I am not much of a baker and tend to stick to the things I do well and that are easy. Quick breads and crisps and the occasional pie. I could post several entries on the "Mess-Cake" series. Treats that taste mostly good but are not photo or blog-worthy. Maybe the next time I'm stuck for an entry, I'll publish some of my memorable-but let's never talk about it again-baking experiments gone awry. This recipe is firmly in the category of works every time, tastes great, and guess what? it's really good for you. A retooled Deceptively Delicious Banana Bread recipe, I've worked it up to lower the fat even more, added in more fiber and kept the muffins low-cal and incredibly moist. I'm tooting my own shofar here - These muffins are my best baking effort yet! I have been making the recipe in a regular sized 12 portion muffin-pan; keeping six plain, and adding chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and or nuts to the other six. This way if Liz wants a plain muffin that she can add a schmear of peanut butter to, it's there. I prefer banana and chocolate - a more perfect combination I know not.

Banana Muffin Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Wheat Germ, Flax Seed Flour or Quick Cook Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Light or Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Non-Fat Greek Style Plain Yogurt, or Regular Non-Fat Plain Yogurt (or use a small container - 4.5 to 6 ounces total)
  • 2 Large Eggs or 1 Whole Egg and 1 Egg White (it depends on what you want- or of course, you could use egg substitute liquid)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Banana Puree - about 3 Medium/Large Bananas. (It's okay to use a bit more, up to 2 cups, if that's what it measures)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Optional add-ins: Walnuts, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Peanut butter Chip
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Use a 12 portion regular sized muffin tin or two 6 portion tins and line each with cupcake liners/inserts.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, flours, wheat germ or oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar and the yogurt and whisk to "cream" the sugar - incorporating the dairy product with the sugar to help the sugar start to dissolve. Mix in the eggs, banana puree and vanilla. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  4. Gently fold in the flour mixture and stir to combine. If the mixture appears too wet and loose, feel free to add in more flour, oatmeal, wheatgerm or flax seed flour - by the quarter cup. The batter will be wet, but should not be too loose or liquidy.
  5. Using a spring loaded ice-cream scoop, fill each muffin insert to the top with the mixture. It's easier to fill the muffin cups with the ice-cream scoop. If adding in nuts and chips, scatter over the top of the muffin batter and gently push down into the wet batter, submerging part-way. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Cool muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes before removing them. Turn out and cool the muffins on a wire rack completely before serving. Makes 1 dozen 4-6 ounce muffins.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Grilled Tortillas with Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Bananas

One of my guilty pleasures is a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich, along the lines of a vegetarian Elvis-style sandwich. I adore peanut butter, love bananas and the combination of the two is nearly perfect. At times I may add a drizzle of honey or if I'm feeling really decadent, I'll add my other most guilty pleasure to the sandwich - Fluff or Marshmallow Cream. I can eat this on soft whole wheat, on toast, without the bread or in this latest offering, on a wholewheat tortilla, lightly grilled with light canola oil butter and sprinkled with luscious oozing dark bitter chocolate. I'm drooling as I write this! Don't be too alarmed though at the thought of something fattening or unhealthy. A good quality peanut butter, in moderation, is full of protein and necessary fat. Fluff, while pure sugar, is non-fat and a good source of a quick burst of energy. I like to take a peanut butter and fluff sandwich with me when I bike. Bananas are high in potassium, helping to lower diabetes and keep leg cramps at bay. Dark chocolate, in 68% or higher cocoa ratios is good for the heart - there's less sugar, little milk product and higher antioxidants. Whole wheat tortillas and bread should and could be higher in fiber. Hey, I'm not advocating cheap Skippy with a Hershey bar on wonder bread here!


For tonight's dessert, we wanted a little something but it was too cold for ice cream, light low-fat ice cream mind you. So, having seen versions of this and eaten a few as well, I decided to make one for dessert to share. We had one whole wheat flour tortilla in the refrigerator, some very ripe bananas, a bar of Scharfenberger Dark Chocolate, Simply Jif Peanut butter and Land O'Lakes Canola Oil Light Butter Spread. The recipe is easy - spread some peanut butter onto the tortilla, add banana slices on top, sprinkle with one square of chopped dark chocolate (or use chocolate chips); fold the tortilla in half and grill on a lightly buttered grill pan or griddle for a few minutes on each side until the tortilla is lightly browned and the peanut butter and chocolate start to ooze. Enjoy! (But only once in a while. It may be dark chocolate, fruit, lighter peanut butter and butter on a whole wheat non-fat tortilla, but it's still decadent!)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Banana Bread with Pureed Cauliflower

I think that my newest mission is to test out and write about the recipes in the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook, Deceptively Delicious. While I've only made 3 recipes thus far, each one has been amazingly good and easy to make. Her banana bread recipe is yet another recipe that didn't fail my taste expectations. It was also another good recipe to tweak and adapt to a variety of flavors and add-ins. I am not much of a baker, though I LOVE baked goods, cakes, pastries, cookies. It's definitely my downfall food group; the hardest food to curb back on my Weight Watchers program. So, when I saw a recipe that could be a tempting sweet that had healthy ingredients, I was more than willing to try it. Even though I'm not a great baker, I do have a few standby baked goods that I can make really well, banana bread is chief among them. The recipe as it was published is not that different from my two favorites - loaded with bananas, low fat and low in refined sugars and bleached white flour. I've changed the recipe slightly, that's the beauty of this book - you can always find a way to make it just a bit more healthy and of course, Weight Watcher friendly. The banana bread is incredibly moist. I suggest that after it is cooled, you refrigerated it so it doesn't spoil and develop mold. We're not making penicillin bread after all!

Banana Bread with Pureed Cauliflower Ingredients
  • 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar - Firmly Packed (light or dark - the darker the sugar the more flavor and color your banana bread will have)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Banana Puree - mash 3 or 4 bananas by hand with a potato masher or the back of a fork rather than pureeing them in food processor or blender
  • 1/2 Cup Cauliflower Puree (or you can use Butternut or Acorn Squash Puree)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract - BEST QUALITY!
  • Cooking Spray and Additional Flour to prepare baking pan

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9 inch loaf pan or 2 mini loaf pans with cooking spray and dust completely with flour to coat evenly. This will ensure the banana bread will release from the pan cleanly and easily.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. You will need both the baking soda and baking powder to ensure the cake rises and doesn't fall during the baking time. Baking powder starts to react when the wet ingredients are mixed with it; baking soda begins working once the mixture is put into the oven.
  4. In another large mixing bowl beat the eggs with the brown sugar until the mixture is lightened, frothy and the sugar appears to have dissolved slightly into the eggs. Beat in the banana and cauliflower purees and the vanilla.
  5. Slowly fold in the flour mixture, incorporating it with the wet ingredients. Be careful not to over beat the mixture so the batter doesn't get tough.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans and put into the center of the oven immediately. Bake for 50-60 minutes, (25-35 minutes for mini pans) rotating the pan half-way through the baking time. The banana bread is done when a skewer or cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then release from the pan and cool on a rack for 1 hour before slicing. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate the loaf once it has completely cooled.

Flavor add-ins: Chopped Walnuts or Pecans; Raisins, Dried Cranberries or Golden Raisins; Chocolate Chips or Peanut Butter Chips; Toffee Pieces; Applesauce in place of the cauliflower or butternut/acorn squash purees.