Banana Sweet Potato Bread

Banana Sweet Potato Bread 4
Some things you just get a gut feeling about. When you have too many bananas, and too many sweet potatoes and get that gut feeling about a sweet potato banana bread, you go with that feeling.
Banana Sweet Potato Bread
I had no reason to believe that this recipe would turn out even mediocre, because I was sort of making it up as I went, but it turned out marvelously! I love naturally sweetening by using sweet fruits and veggies. Nature has so many options. Sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, beets … the list goes on and on. Can’t wait to see where the next surplus of produce takes me.Banana Sweet Potato Bread 2
Banana Sweet Potato Bread
Recipe heavily adapted from The Minimalist Baker
Ingredients:
  • 2 large very ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree (I just bake mine whole until tender and scoop out the flesh)
 Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease or spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray. I like to put a strip of parchment paper that extends above the top of the pan for an easier removal at the end.
  2. Mash bananas and add all of the ingredients except the oats and flour, whisking to thoroughly combine.
  3. Add flours, oats, bran and flax. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. I added chopped pecans on top. Feel free to do the same, or chocolate chips stirred in would be wonderful.
  5. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a rack. Then slice and serve.

Banana Sweet Potato Bread 3

Advertisements

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pasta

When it starts feeling like Fall, I get that pumpkin fever. I got the fever, and the only cure … is more pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pasta 7

I decided today, spur of the moment, that I wanted pumpkin pasta for lunch and nothing else would do. I’m not high maintenance at all …

I don’t have a Kitchen Aid or a pasta maker, so I needed a recipe that was simple and easy to make without fancy equipment. I found the perfect one.

I only changed the recipe slightly – swapping in whole wheat flour for some extra nutrition, and omitted one of the egg yolks to lower the cholesterol. I also just happened to have homemade pesto in the fridge which I knew would taste wonderful atop this fabulous noodle (I was right). This pasta was incredible! Like, O-M-G good. It is so satisfying and hearty, delicious and flavorful, while still being simple and healthy. It’s basically the embodiment of everything I strive for in my life, in the form of a noodle. This pasta might be my soul mate.

The original recipe called for all-purpose flour, which would definitely make the dough much lighter. I used all-purpose for dusting but stuck to whole wheat for the substance of the noodle. The choice of flour is all yours. If you’ve never made or tried fresh pasta, you should know it tastes completely different than boxed store-bought pasta. It’s ten times more flavorful! It also takes hardly any time. I only boiled my pasta for 1 minute each batch. Don’t forget to salt your water – it makes a huge difference, I promise!

Pumpkin Pasta 4
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pasta 
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour (could also use all-purpose flour) + extra for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • Water
Preparation:
Add flour and salt to a food processor and pulse. Then add in egg yolk and 1 whole egg, and the pumpkin puree. Pulse until well combined. Then drizzle in water until a dough forms.
Pumpkin Pasta 1
Transfer to a very lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a little flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest.
After the pasta has rested, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously.
Cut the pasta into four pieces and begin rolling out into a loose rectangle, sprinkling on only as much flour as it takes to keep it from sticking. Mine was a fairly sticky dough (I might have added too much water), so I needed quite a bit of flour to hold it all together.
Pumpkin Pasta 2
Once the dough is nearly paper thin, cut it into any shape you want. I used a pizza cutter to cut mine into fettuccini-like strips.
Pumpkin Pasta 3
Cover with plastic wrap until ready to cook. Add pasta to boiling water and stir just to make sure they don’t stick together. It should only take 1 to 1 1/2 minutes to cook.
Pumpkin Pasta 6
Drain and transfer to serving plate. Top with pesto and parmesan cheese, like me, or you could toss with tomato sauce. Roasted chunks of pumpkin and sage would be a yummy combo, or just plain olive oil, red chile flakes and cheese would be great too!
Pumpkin Pasta 5
Usually I eat the same amount that 3-4 people would, but this pasta was pretty filling, so I had leftovers. Hooray I get pumpkin pasta round 2! 🙂
Pumpkin Pasta

Healthy Banana Bread with Walnuts and Dark Chocolate

This is a great recipe that you can feel good about. It’s perfect for breakfast, a snack, dessert, late-night craving …

If I don’t have healthy treats around that I can nosh on when I get the urge, things can get preeeetty dicey. Like, late night chocolate cake making or cheesy pasta dicey. If I have something like this delicious bread sitting around, I have nothing to worry about because it’s easy, tasty, and full of good things!

This bread is one of the best healthy banana bread recipes I have tried. The recipe I used as inspiration had unsweetened applesauce instead of Greek yogurt and olive oil, but I improvised and used what I had. I am a big fan of using applesauce in baked goods though – it’s perfect for adding natural sweetness and moisture. If you omit the chocolate chips in my recipe (which I clearly could not do), this is pretty much guilt-free. I don’t even feel guilty for the chocolate though, because it’s good for the soul. #truth. 

banana bread

Healthy Banana Bread with Walnuts and Dark Chocolate 

Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen 

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 mashed banana (overripe is best)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt (Fage)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (more or less to your liking)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (more or less to your liking)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick olive oil cooking spray.

In large bowl combine mashed banana, yogurt, olive oil, honey, egg, almond milk and vanilla until well combined and creamy. In separate medium bowl whisk together whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached.

Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely. Keep bread tightly wrapped to maintain moisture.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips

Zucchini bread

The whole food internet world is lamenting over their excess of zucchinis. Every other day I see a post that tells you what to do when you’re fed up with zucchini, or how to control your squash population problem. It’s a serious crisis. Everyone needs to just calm down and take a breather. Stop making ribbons, stuffing, and pureeing. Just get back to the basics and make a damn cake. That’s basically what zucchini bread is anyway. Who gets tired of cake?

Zucchini bread is so welcoming, fragrant and charming; how can I say no when my zuke is just begging to be made it into a bread? This one is not quite as healthy as my last, but it’s still mostly healthy! It’s hard for me to abandon my health-nut nature entirely, so I simply lowered the sugar content by swapping in naturally sweet applesauce in lieu of more sugar, and used whole wheat flour and olive oil. I threw in dark chocolate chips for good measure, without measuring.

Although I studied other recipes in making this one, I’m proud to say this recipe is entirely my own!

One trick I find helpful, that I haven’t seen in other zucchini bread recipes, is to add the salt for the bread directly onto the grated zucchini. This draws out excess moisture.

While the zucchini is draining, get all of your other ingredients ready.

Zucchini Bread 1

Mix all of the wet ingredients.

Zucchini Bread 2

Then mix all of the dry ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix well. Then distribute between loaf pans, muffins tins, or whatever else you might be using.

Zucchini Bread 4

Zucchini Bread 3

Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. It could be more or less time, depending on your oven.

Zucchini Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips

Yield: 2 loaves, or; 1 large loaf and 6 large muffins, or; 24 small muffins 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grated zucchini (1 large or 2 medium)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (more or less to your liking)
  • Optional: chopped walnuts or pecans

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8×4 inch loaf pans. Or if, like me, you only have 1 loaf pan; grease 1 loaf pan and a muffin tin.

First things first, wash your zucchini and then grate on a box grater into a strainer. I mix the salt with the zucchini at this point, because it helps draw out some of the moisture. Let the zucchini sit and drain for about 10 minutes, then take a thin kitchen towel or cheese cloth and squeeze the excess water out.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in the applesauce, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Then stir in the grated and drained zucchini.

Combine the flour, spices, baking soda, and baking powder. Add in the chocolate chips at this point too so the chips get some flour all up on them and don’t sink to the bottom when they bake.

Stir the dry mix into the wet mixture. Divide the batter into the 2 prepared loaf pans, or into 1 loaf pan and a muffin tin. You can also make ALL muffins if your heart so desires!

Bake loaves for about 50 minutes. It might need more or less time, but at this point test and see if a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Muffins will only take about 20 minutes, but test them the same way to ensure they are done.

Zucchini Bread 2

Zucchini Bread 3

Zucchini bread open

Zucchini bread open 2

Nom nom

Zucchini Bread 5