Really delicious half-eaten pumpkin loaf

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The first of the pumpkin loaves! I made one other pumpkin thing but this is more specifically FALL BAKING status. Because it’s suddenly freezing here and I’ve begun wondering how I survived in Oregon and also, where have all my warm clothes and layers gone?! I think I purged them from my wardrobe in a fit of frustration…. and now it’s become tank top, sweatshirt, scarf, fleece. Which is working tolerably well but… clearly I need help in the wardrobe department. Probably because whenever I try to buy sensible things I end up with boots and scarves and jewelry and don’t judge me, I know you have your weaknesses too, I see you over there on Etsy and Modcloth and Pinterest… oh wait, just me?!

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Also ps. Sorry for the slight awkwardness of the photos. I ate a bunch of the loaf before I realized it was good enough to share…. so you get half eaten loaf. I know that is sooooo appealing.

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On another semi unrelated note, I only have one more round of midterms and then it’s Thanksgiving! THANK GOODNESS. I have never been so grateful for the end of midterms in my life. Three rounds, so gross. I can’t really believe that I’m already only 3 weeks away from the end of the quarter. Can someone explain how that happened?! Mind blown. I have a feeling opera and jazzercise will get me through the last three weeks of medstats. And that will be my last three weeks of medstats EVER because obviously I am never doing that again.

I’ve been drawing again as a break from the madness:

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Jessie says hello, with drool:

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SO! Baking = coping mechanism. Let’s do this.

This bread is lightly sweet but so very fall-y and pumpkin-y and satisfying and delicious. I like the walnuts in there for texture but if that’s not your thing, chocolate would be just as good. It’s also stuffed full of beta carotene antioxidants, which is just generally fab.

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Quinoa Flour Pumpkin Carrot Bread

Vegan, refined sugar free, whole grain, can be gluten free! Friendly for IBS too since it has lots of great soluble fiber. Just in case you’re blessed with that sort of fun thing… it also might be fodmap friendly, depending on your fodmap tolerance; it was totes fine for me but it depends on you and your bod!

Yield: 1 loaf

  • 1 c quinoa flour, toasted*
  • 2/3 c whole spelt flour**
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • heaping 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 c pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 c pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 c coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water; let sit for 5 minutes
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1/4 c walnuts, chopped

*toasting gets rid of the natural bitterness — I do it in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes or until the flour smells toasty

** Replace with more quinoa flour for gluten free!

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a standard loaf pan with coconut oil or your greasing thingy of choice.

In a large bowl, whisk together toasted quinoa flour, spelt flour, baking soda and powder, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a smaller bowl, whisk or stir or whatever with your fave implement the pumpkin puree, maple, coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla, and gelled flax egg. Toss this whole bucket of delicious into your dry ingredients, and stir until combined. Add in carrots and walnuts about halfway and stir until the dry mix is incorporated. The batter will be pretty thick – spread it into your prepared loaf pan, and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. I had my timer set for 46 minutes, but my loaf came out perfectly at 42 — I started smelling it baking, and I don’t trust my super hot and uneven oven, so I tested it and it was actually perfect, so out it came. Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Leftovers store best wrapped in foil in the fridge.

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Bring on the Pumpkin

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The fall baking has arrived!

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Despite the weather not exactly cooperating (it sort of did yesterday…. I wore a light sweatshirt past 10 am. Omg. It was awesome), I have checked the box next to the ‘first pumpkin baked good for fall” box. Would have been earlier, but 90 plus temperatures don’t really lend themselves to pumpkin… I mean, they can but apparently for me they don’t.

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BUT. Solved that problem yesterday (made this, with a few tweaks: chopped dates instead of chocolate, omitted coconut flour; used difference spices and only 1/4 coconut sugar + maple), plus mashed potatoes, shredded ginger-rosemary chicken, mashed potatoes, rice, hardboiled eggs… And I also somehow found time yesterday to have brunch+a walk with a best camp friend, run a grocery errand, go to Target, clean my apartment, do laundry, read for epi, write more of my midterm paper, and finish my stats homework…. which as anyone in my cohort knows is quite a feat, 18 pages of SAS printout later… AND I made quinoa banana carrot bread, which is actually what this post is about, because I’ve now made it twice in two weeks so obviously it’s a winner.

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And I’m stealing the 10 minutes I have early early in the am when it’s still dark out and I’m not studying to share it with you because I love my invisible internet blog friends WAY more than I love doing homework.

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I also drew the next installment for the drawing challenge. Day 5: Best Friend. I have so many friends I couldn’t live without; and they all hold a piece of my heart!

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Also, sometimes this is what a grad school coping mechanism looks like (and yes, this app is still floating my boat) :

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extra dark chocolate, bbread with butter, food writing and a fun app = coping.

So! This bread. Is the right combination of not too sweet, just sweet enough, dense without being too dense, satisfying when you want a snack or dessert. It also has that great craggy top and slightly chewy sides that I think all quick breads should have, but that’s just me. It’s also fodmap friendly, IBS friendly, gluten free with only one teeny tweak, refined sugar free, and whole grain. YAY!

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Quinoa Carrot Banana Bread

Yield: 1 loaf. FODMAP friendly, IBS friendly, gluten free option (Just sub the 1/3 c spelt flour with an equal amount of quinoa flour), refined sugar free, high in beta-carotene and omega 3’s… and absolutely delicious. Inspired by Power Hungry, here!

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  • 1 c quinoa flour
  • 1/3 c white or brown rice flour (I’ve used both and either is delicious)
  • 1/3 c whole spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/6 c coconut sugar
  • 3/4 c (2 large) bananas, mashed
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1/4 c mostly-melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c unsweetened hemp milk (or non dairy milk of choice)
  • 1/3 c chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 (or 360 in the case of my abnormally hot and uneven oven), and grease a standard loaf pan with coconut oil.

Toast the quinoa flour in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until you can smell it: about 5 minutes (this is important! Quinoa flour can be a little bitter if this step is omitted); let cool for a few minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together toasted quinoa flour, rice flour, spelt flour, sea salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. In a smaller bowl, mash bananas, then add maple syrup, grated carrots, melted coconut oil, vanilla, egg, and hemp milk, and whisk vigorously to combine. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients, and stir to combine (the batter will be thick, which is fine). Stir in walnuts. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes (mine comes out of my stupid hot oven perfectly browned at 360 degrees and 46 minutes; but you most likely have a normal oven that heats appropriately…) Check for a lightly browned top and a skewer that comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

For storage, wrap this in foil and store it in the fridge for the 30 seconds that the leftovers last…

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Bread and Pegboards

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Julia Child would be SO proud right now.

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I have my very own pegboard!!!

And also this awesome new app that does really cool things to photos. Sorry… I’m addicted. Just bear with me….

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In fact, the main reason I’m posting a recipe at all is to actually feature my beautiful baby pegboard… because it is AMAZING. And courtesy of Vati’s superior constructional abilities, many thanks and rounds of applause to Vati! I do get credit for the spray paint, though. And now it’s amazing because I can actually get pots in and out of my cupboards.

What. A. Concept.

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No longer is it like playing pot tetris with the teeny cupboards, where I essentially have to stand on my head to see inside (and there is a support down the very center, which basically reduces the functionality of the storage space by half and makes getting larger pots in and out quite the skill)… NO! I now have only TWO pots stored in the pot storage space, and the rest get to hang out tidily on the pegboard. GENIUS. Absolutely genius. Thank you, Julia Child, for making this a thing. And I don’t care if she didn’t originally make it a thing — she made it awesome.

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So now I’m awesome.

Because I have a teal pegboard, just like Julia. Heeehee.

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I further have teeny mini loaves of tummy friendly quick bread! Because.. this is the ongoing game of finding a system of etting that makes my stomach happy. Which we still haven’t quite found, but I have hopes for getting there, at least. Long story short, this means reduced or eliminated fodmaps and a mega increase in the amount and timing of soluble fiber in my diet. SO FUN, GUYS, SO FUN. ….

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Mostly, I’m just bored stiff with my current diet, and am trying to slowly find things that are acceptable to brain and bod. This is one! Zucchini-banana spelt bread, with walnuts and cinnamon. Mmm. High in the good fiber, fodmap friendly, and refined sugar free. It’s also higher in protein than most quick breads, which I consider a plus. Whether you have tum issues or not, this is one delicious bread. I like the flour blend here because it yields a bread that is moist HYDRATED and dense in just the right way, without being stick-to-the-roof dense or too hydrated. Because there is such a thing and I hate overly hydrated quick bread. It should be able to stand on it’s own, and not just keel over into a soggy lump when you cut it. Just no.

But this one is a great balance between the two — and it’s egg content makes it just that bit… airy? Fluffy? Hard to describe but nonetheless delicious. Let’s go with densely airy just because, well why not. Don’t let my lack of appropriate terminology deter you… it’s amazing. And easy. No excuses!

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See. I told you.

Zucchini-Banana Spelt Bread with Walnuts and Cinnamon

Fodmap friendly, high in soluble fiber, and refined sugar free. Feel free to adapt the flour blend as needed — this could easily be gluten free with a gf blend. This is a remarkably forgiving bread, given that I pretty much improvised as I went along and it still came out fabulously. Yield: 2 mini loaves or 1 small 9 by 5 loaf. A Wait are those Cookies original.

  • 1/2 c quinoa flour
  • 1/2 c white rice flour
  • 1/2 c whole spelt flour
  • 1.25 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • scant 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 egg whites, beaten until foamy and light (I use an immersion blender for this)
  • heaping 1/6 c coconut sugar
  • 1/6 c coconut oil (liquid)
  • 1 heaping tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 c grated, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1/4 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325, and lightly grease either 2 mini loaf pans, or 1 standard size.

In a smallish bowl, whisk together quinoa flour, rice flour, spelt flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. In a larger, non-reactive bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Whisk or mix in coconut sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, and maple. Stir in mashed banana and grated zucchini. Add walnuts, and stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with as few strokes as possible, until the batter is incorporated. Pour into the prepared pans, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is firm and a tester comes out clean. Mine were perfect at exactly 37 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in the pans, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool complete. Store them wrapped in foil in the fridge for best leftovers!

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Ready, set… PUMPKIN

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Pumpkin!! And stuff. But actually… mostly just pumpkin.

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Because the air finally smells different, the wind is cooler, scarves are necessary, and the leaves are starting to change and fall. This is my FAVORITE time of year, especially since it gives me an excuse to wear an excessive amount of scarves and boots and eat mass amounts of pumpkin. Also fall = flannels, hot tea, holidays, and eatingcookingeatingbakingeating.

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The other day/night it was really fallish weather here, so I was cooking with the windows open so I could smell the air at every opportunity. It didn’t hurt that the neighbors had a wood fire going somewhere, and obviously that smelled delicious.

And the best part of all this means I can use pumpkin for baking with reckless abandon. Which I’ve already started doing. Two pumpkin breads in less than a week? Oh yeah. Easy money. Bring on endless cans of squash puree, and I will speedily dispatch them. Ooooh I love this season!

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Also. Food is more fun when it’s colorful, don’t you think?

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Apparently everything I eat from now on is going to be orange. A spanish tortilla happened last night and this is partly what went in it. Ooooorange!!! Ha.

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This bread is delicious—light, but densely moist (let’s stick to hydrated, mmk?) and spiced. It’s grain free, gluten free, vegan, and refined sugar free [they’re sweetened only with dates!], so there are no excuses not to enjoy. It’s also full of healthy fats and good squash-carbs, as well as enormous amounts of Vitamin A and beta carotene. Wheeee!

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Pumpkin-Almond Butter Bread

Grain free, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free. It might also be paleo, but I’m not the authority on that business. Makes 1 loaf or an 8 by 8 pan (I used the latter, so the cook time below reflects that. Add at least 10 minutes for a loaf pan and check as needed). Recipe inspired and heavily adapted from the Roasted Root, here!

  • 1 c pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 c unsalted almond butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed meal+3 tbsp water; let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 c pitted dates, soaked if needed
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp extra dark chocolate chips

Lightly grease an 8 by 8 inch pan and preheat the oven to 350.

If your dates are super hard, soak them in near-boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drain nearly all the water out, but reserve about a tablespoon or two. Puree the dates and reserved water in a food processor until mostly smooth, then set aside. Make flax egg, and set it aside as well to gel.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, almond butter, vanilla extract, and flax egg, then stir in the date paste. In a smaller bowl, whisk together cinnamon, allspice, ginger, sea salt, baking powder, and coconut flour. Toss dry into wet, add chocolate chips, and stir until everything is just combined. Scoop all that goodness out into your prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 35-37 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. The top should spring back just slightly when touched.

Let cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes, then run a knife around the pan, top the pan with a cooling rack, and CAREFULLY (it’s delicate!) invert the bread onto the cooling rack to cool completely (you don’t have to flip it back over unless you want to…). Once it’s completely cool, I store it back in the pan I baked it in. Leftovers only lasted a day in my house, and I recommend storing this one in the fridge.

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Just for laughs, guess how many jars of nut butter I have…

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Guys. My songza playlist is SPOT ON tonight. Actually it’s so perfect it’s frightening. I got a bunch of funk up in here, perfect for a Thursday-almost-Friday-weekend-time.

Or let’s be real.

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Funk is perfect ALL the time. Fact.

Just like these.

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Welcome to end-of-summer-I-have-so-much-zucchini-someone-help. Or actually don’t. Really actually give me ALL YOUR SQUASH so I can make this bread over and over and over.

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Because the whole pan was gone in pretty much four hours and there were only three of us.

And I really don’t feel like I got a justifiably large amount. So obviously this has to happen again. I have a question to pose to you: Is baking a bread out of nut butter and then putting more nut butter on your bread redundant?? Because that’s basically the story of my existence. I don’t even want to know how much nut butter I consume on average (thank you, GRE studies, for immediately making me think of mean, median and mode. No, I will NOT be calculating the ‘real life word problem’ of my nut butter eating. Just… no.) Do you know how many jars of nut butter are in the fridge right now? I bet you can’t even guess.

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SEVEN.

And that’s not including the coconut butter in the cupboard (no need to refrigerate that sucker). I think I have a problem…

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So make that eight different types of nut butter. There are two types of peanut butter. And two types of almond butter. And a few medleys. And some sunflower butter… oh god.

Um okay so new subject.

Bees!!! Hooray for new jobs and local bees!! Welcome to my morning:

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If you want some, you know where to find me!

And you know what local honey would be amazing on??

THESE BARS.

They’re freaking fantastic. They’re even good by themselves!! Though obviously superior with a  smear of extra nut butter (obvi NOT the nut butter you used to make them, because how boring. Don’t you have six other choices to pick from?!). Super fast to whip up, which is basically as close to instant gratification as you can get with baking biz.

Side note: Playlist is reading my mind. “don’t stop till you get enough”… nut butter?! Right on, Michael, you are soooo right.

Anyway. Bars. Eat yo’ veggies! In something that is grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free, and full of healthy fats and fiber and all that good stuff! And they taste kind of like gingerbread?! Which is baffling considering there is no ginger to be found in them. Whatever. They’re delicious and I didn’t eat enough last time sooooo…. does someone have any extra zucchini lying around they want to chuck my way? Puhhleeez??

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Almond Butter Zucchini Bread

Recipe only a teeny bit adapted from Hummusapien, here! It was so perfect I didn’t want to futz too much, though next time I might try them with a flax egg just for funzies. Gluten free, grain free, flour free. Paleo, refined sugar free, healthy fats, good source of fiber and sneaky veggies! Makes about 9 good sized bars in an 8 by 8 pan.

  • 3/4 c almond butter [mine was roasted and very lightly salted]
  • 1 giant zucchini, grated [1 heaping c shredded zucchini]
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 c pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 c raw coconut nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt [adjust accordingly if your almond butter is salty]
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8 by 8 baking pan with coconut oil or whatever your thing of choice is.

In a largeish/mediumish bowl thing, combine almond butter, egg, maple, coconut nectar, and vanilla. Whisk together until combined. Add in baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt and whisk all that goodness in too. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips until combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake for just about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

Let cool for a few, then flip out onto a cooling rack. I store it in the original baking pan after it’s fully cooled, with foil over the top  in the fridge (Not like I needed to since it all disappeared in about thirty seconds anyway, but you know…). Leftovers keep for… I have no idea. I didn’t have any.

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What to do with quite demanding vegetables

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I have very demanding, rampaging vegetables on my counter.

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Cue late summer, bountiful garden harvest booty sitting in the kitchen yelling at me. Sort of. As much as a vegetable can ever yell at you, which is actually very little… except when it isn’t. Which is what’s happening right now as two extremely spotty, very disgruntled looking bananas clamor for my attention [helloooo, can you SEE how spotty we are?! Obviously you should make us into banana bread] right next to several massive, rando summer squash things that sprung from the compost and are slightly less delicious than zucchini. Who of course want to be made into zucchini bread. Or I guess technically that would be ‘random green-squash-variety bread’, but don’t tell them that. They were giving me enough dirty looks for a vegetable as it is. And threatening to roll all over the place and off the counter. Rude little suckers, aren’t they?!

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So I did what any sensible person would do when confronted by mass amounts of demanding produce…

I made BANANA ZUCCHINI BREAD. So there, clamoring veggies and spotty bananas. You have a baked goods home now, please leave me alone?!

Except don’t because having an excess of produce is probably the best thing ever.

At least in my life, it is.

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I had a friend over the other day and as I opened up the fridge, she goes, “Oh my god you have the most produce in your fridge I’ve ever seen!!” bahahha. Best situation ever. You can NEVER have too much fresh stuff. Even when it starts haranguing you to make it into things. Homemade chicken stock does that too, there are several jars in there wanting to become soup but ick it’s a thousand degrees outside and I already ran the oven like an idiot so no.

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I’ve just realized the amount of grammatically (no autocorrect, not dramatically) incorrect things in this post… too bad!! Studying for the GRE means I don’t have to be coherent in my personal blog space.

I told you I was pretty much five years old on the inside, right?! Well yeah. Case in point. But hoooomg was it delicious.

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So anyway. It’s hot and if you have an abundance of late summer produce, bake away! regardless of the fact that it will make your kitchen nastily hot. Don’t sweat it, just have a dance party in there while you’re baking and it will be like you’re sweating on purpose. Clearly I’m a genius.

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Banana Summer Squash Bread

I baked this in an 8 by 8 pan just to be different, though a loaf pan is totes fine too. Yield is about 9 good sized squares from the square pan. Can easily be adapted to be gluten free with all oat flour. Refined sugar free, whole grain, and vegan. Hooray! Also you get sneaky veggies, and who would say no to that?! The recipe is adapted from Hummusapien, here!

  • 1 c oat flour [I grind my own in a food processor]
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed+6 tbsp water
  • 1 c mashed, overripe bananas (the super spotty ones that are being annoying on your counter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut nectar
  • 1 c grated summer squash variety, squeezed [I use a paper towel] after grating to remove moisture
  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease your pan of choice (I used coconut oil, as always).

In a smallish bowl, whisk together flax and water and set aside to gel for your flax egg. In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, whole wheat, almond flour, salt, baking powder and soda, and cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, mash bananas and stir in vanilla extract. Pour wet into dry, add flax egg, and stir until mostly incorporated. Fold in grated squash and chocolate chips. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean (the time will be closer to an hour for a standard loaf pan). I found that a tester came out clean in mine at 20 minutes, but it would have been way too gooey so I stuck it back in for another 10—your call if you like SUPER gooey bread. I turned mine out onto a cooling rack immediately, but watch for breakage. Store in the fridge for super freshness! I like mine cold anyway, preferably with a good smear of almond butter.

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Happy Tummy Conga Lines

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YOU. GUYS.

I know I have like umpteen zillion banana bread recipes on the blog, but seriously. Ignore the other ones (well, not really–they have their merits too.. just for today!)

THIS is my favorite. Hands down, I’ve-already-eaten-two-slices-and-am-heading-for-another-one-someone-stop-me kind of bread. Like, half the loaf is gone (I’ve had help, let’s be real here).

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And besides that, it is FAB with blackberry jam. Especially when that jam is handmade and acquired from a lovely local source. I’ve never put jam on banana bread before now but I’m probably not going back. Ever.

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Luckily for me, not only is this one a fast and easy one to whip up, but it’s full of healthy for me things like coconut oil and buunahhnuhhsss and whole grains and honey.  Good thing too that we had literally two bunches of dead bananas spread out between the fridge and the freezer and they were looking so sad and dead and brown… clearly they needed to go into something delicious like this. They’re much happier now, they wanted me to tell you.

Go make your dead bananas happy. Bake them into something that then makes your tummy do a happy dance! Mine is, we could have a tummy conga line. Umm yeah okay this is getting out of hand with talking bananas and gastrointestinal conga lines, but seriously. Make, eat, love!

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Why is it gone?!

Coconut Oil and Honey Banana Bread

If you’re not a coconut fan, don’t worry! There’s no coconut flavor noticeable in the bread—I used refined coconut oil for baking, as it can take high heat. This bread is SUPER hydrated (remember, we don’t use the m word), but not squishy. It’s the perfect balance between hydrated and dense, with a nice crumb. It only has a 1/4 c of honey added, so make sure your bananas are deady-dead-dead. The deader the bananas, the sweeter the bread! Mine were literally black. So gross…until they aren’t! This makes one loaf, and the recipe is (ever so slightly modified) from Relishing It, here! SO happy I found it.

  • 1/3 c refined coconut oil
  • 1/4 c honey (mine was local, yay!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 c mashed, dead bananas (I used about 5)
  • 1.75 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • a few sprinkles of chia seeds (can be left out)

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Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a loaf pan (I use more coconut oil).

In a mediumish bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sea salt, and chia seeds. In a smaller bowl, have fun mashing up all of your dead bananas and trying not to be too disgusted by how brown they are. Ahem, moving on…

Stir together coconut oil and honey until they’re creamy and mixed. Slightly beat eggs and then stir them in as well, followed by vanilla. Mix lightly until combined, then stir in dead banana mashup. Adding the dry ingredients a bit at a time, stir them in until the dry is just incorporated–don’t over mix! No one wants tough buhhnahhnuhh breadz.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and pop it into the oven for just about 45 minutes—mine came out at 45 but probably could have gone for a few more. Let cool in the pan for a bit, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. I’m sure it stores well, but as mine is rapidly disappearing I’m sure we’ll have no issues on that front…

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Vociferous Bananas.

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Hello there gluten and eggs, it’s been WAY too freaking long since you’ve been friendly with my stomach gremlins. That ends… NOW! Wheeee!!! Good news/bad news, but whatever. I’m not worrying about that now, just enjoying my gluten-tastic lifestyle.

So I made… this.

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Holybatmanyum.

Besides, I had some buhhhnahhhnuhhhhsss vociferously begging me to use them. You don’t believe me that bananas are vociferous? Yeah, right. You don’t live around here:

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See? Vociferous bananas.

I know I’ve been over this a few times, but really. I think I need to lower my banana bread standards. I am almost never satisfied, unless I find one that I know is bad for me but that I still love. But then I don’t love it because I know it’s bad for me. See? Ridiculous. Except. I found THIS one! Which has just the perfect amount of sweetness (ie not that much), the most ideal amount of banana (a lot), and a hint of almond flavor, which I love as I associate it with bear claws and almond croissants. Oh wait, and besides all that? It’s good for you! Whole grains, low(er) in sugar (all of which is non-refined), healthy fats, and potassium. Helllooooo, breakfastsnacklunchdinnerdessert.

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Banana-Almond Bread

I very slightly adapted the recipe gratefully from Very Culinary, here! Makes one loaf.

  • 1.75 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/3 c almond butter (Mine happened to be creamy unsalted)
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 1.5 c mashed bananas, (ripe if you please) about 3
  • 1/2 c low fat buttermilk (or milk bev+lemon juice or vinegar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp sugar, for a crunchy top

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a standard loaf pan (I use unrefined coconut oil).

In a largeish bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and set aside. In a smallish bowl, microwave the almond butter and honey together until melty. Set that aside too. In a mediumish bowl, mash up yo’ buhhhnahhnuhhs, whisk in egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and almond butter+honey. Stir.

Toss wet into dry, and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes (Mine went for about 48). Let cool in the pan for 10ish minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling rack for rapid consumption.

IMG_4514

IMG_4515

I am NOT a hoarder (except where black bananas are concerned…)

are you jealous yet?

I’ve been hoarding black bananas again.

And despite it being another one of those mega awful hot days, I was waaay jonesing for some banana bread. I blame Great Harvest entirely, since mom and I got a slice there the other day (their banana bread is BOMB), and ever since my black bananas have been singing their siren song from the fridge. I had to relegate them there anyway, since they were ridiculously ripe. Aka perfect for banana bread, mmm. At least the fog rolled in this evening, so that by six turning on the oven was actually feasible… I didn’t exactly think that baking banana bread in my car was going to be a terribly successful operation. I mean, maybe if I left it in there long enough… but no. I needed banana bread. NOW.

My only issue with banana bread is that I’m still on the hunt for the best ever. I’ve lost track of how many recipes I’ve tried, but more often then not they end up in banana bread pudding, and I wind up disgruntled and still jonesing. Either the flavor isn’t right… they’re healthy but too ‘hydrated’ (a nice substitute for the word moist, don’t you think? Ewww. Moist. What an unappealing word), or delicious but nutrient-free. Ugh. Nothing more annoying than a dissatisfying banana bread.

soooo symmetrical. 

Luckily, this time I found a winner! This ranks high up on my favorites list: it IS really tasty. The next test will be how it tastes tomorrow… And it’s not insanely bad for you, at least. I was pleased with it for another reason as well—-the center didn’t sink! Finallyyyy, a banana bread that didn’t end up with a sinkhole for a center. Bleh. SOME people might like the goopy undercooked center… but I am sooo not one of them. My favorite part is crust, hands down. This banana bread is just sweet enough without being overpowering, and is (I think) the perfect consistency (not too hydrated…). I like the addition of vinegar—it brings out the banana flavor wonderfully. This bread’s also decently okay for you (Not wonderful, but hey. Indulge a little!), with whole grains and a bit less fat than usual, as well as slightly less sugar. And duh, it’s got buhhhnahhhnuhhs! Potassium, heyheyhey! Who doesn’t like a good hit of potassium hidden away inside a baked good? Especially when you make an ice cream sandwich out of your bread. Oooooo. Brilliant.

//

Perfectly Hydrated Banana Bread

Delicious plain…but really, are you going to pass up ice cream after I showed you the pictures?! No, I thought not.

Very slightly adapted from The Galley Gourmet.

  • 1 1/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • just over 1/2 c sugar (or 1/3 + 1/4ish)
  • 5 tbsp butter or Earth Balance (I happened to use EB for this one), soft-ish
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c mega ripe mashed banana (I used 2.5 largeish ones)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • turbinado sugar for sprinkling, if you have it

my ice cream is rocking its asymmetry 

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a standard loaf pan, or mini loaves if you’re feeling fancy.

In a medium-ish bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and powder, and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together sugar and butter until fluffy and combined. Add in flour mixture in two batches, beating to combine. Once incorporated, beat in eggs until combined (avoid overbeating! No one likes tough banana bread… and besides, overworking the dough can negatively affect the rise).

In the recently vacated bowl that previously held flour, mash bananas. Add in vanilla extract, vinegar, and yogurt and stir to combine. Toss the contents of this bowl into your larger bowl, and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake for 50-60 minutes. Mine was perfectly done at just 50, but check to be sure your oven’s cooperating anyway. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Wait until cool to scarf… or not!

melty and delicious.

Now what?!

Nuts for coconut?

I can’t even believe I’m going to type these words…

Wait for it…

I FINISHED MY THESIS! For realzies. 92 pages? Check. Bound and printed? Check. Coherent (and relatively humorous) presentation? Check. Wait. NAILED. (Despite feeling I was going to go into cardiac arrest for the first few sentences, ha). I feel a thousand pounds lighter! [and mildly exhausted… this may be on account of running on adrenaline for the last 24 hours] Or maybe that’s just the removal of the pile of books that is now off my living room floor and back to the library…? It’s like my child. I sort of want to frame it, and keep it up on the wall forever and ever.

So…

I love the way citrus looks.

Now what?! So much free time, what to do, what to do?! Oh wait. That’s right. Bake more! And alternatively get more creative with dinner. Because I’m stuck in a dinner rut the size of the Grand Canyon. Except not tonight. Because tonight is a fancy-schmancy department dinner! YAY! Celebration time. And time to do all the fun senior-type things at the end of the semester (which is rapidly approaching, sheesh. Sloooowww for the cone zone, please). Which means that I have an excuse to bake a ton… in order to mitigate the amount of food to be carted back down to California when Kira and I move out, of course. You have to admit, this a is a perfectly valid excuse. Not that I really ever need an excuse to bake.

Except today. I was celebrating :)

mmm.

Coconut-Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Mega thanks to Christine for showing me this (and for several ingredient donations)! It’s adapted from Cooking Light. I made 1/2 the batch and ended up with 2 mini-loaves, though putting it all in one loaf pan would be fine as well (just increase the bake time). I reduced the sugar quite a bit, as sweetened coconut is already pretty sweet. This bread comes together quickly and is DELICIOUS. Just sweet enough, with a pronounced coconut flavor… mmm. It’s also decently not so bad for you, considering it comes from Cooking Light. Win all around :)

look at all that toasty coconut

Acquire:

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • very heaping 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 c Earth Balance (or butter)
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4ish cup mashed ripe bananas (the riper the better, obvs) (about 1.5 bananas)
  • 1/8 c plain, lowfat yogurt
  • 2 tbsp rum (don’t leave this out, it’s YUMMY!)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/4 c shredded sweetened coconut + 1 tbsp (mine was probably closer to 1/3 c… I loooove coconut)
  • optional: chocolate chipppies! (But really… why would you leave these out?!)
  • 1/4 c powdered sugar
  • juice of one lime

/

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease your loaf pans of choice. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl, combine Earth Balance and sugar with a hand mixer until fluffy. Beat in the egg until well combined. Add in banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla, and beat to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add in flour until just combined. Stir in 1/3 c coconut and chocolate chippies, if using. Pour batter into the prepared pans, and top with remaining tbsp of coconut. Bake for about 30 minutes for the mini loaves, until a tester comes out clean. (Or about an hour for a larger loaf).

While the bread is cooling/baking, combine powdered sugar and lime juice, and whisk until smooth. When the bread is cool, drizzle the glaze over the top of individual slices, or poke holes in the bread and drizzle over the whole loaf… up to you!

Mmmm… post thesis and post workout zen :)

creative storage, heheh...