Tag Archives: banana

Strawberry Banana Coffee Cake

I can’t seem to stop shoveling strawberries in my mouth.

Anyone else having this problem?

Okay. Good. Glad we are on the same page.

I love when you can tell the true changing of the seasons by how produce tastes. I took one bite of a particularly vibrantly colored, delicately sweet and meaty strawberry about a month ago and said, “You guys! It’s officially spring!” The Dude and Monkey looked up from their plates with little to no interest and continued on with their respective lunches.

Oh well. I’m not sure what kind of grand response I was expecting from my exclamation.

Okay that is a lie. I was actually hoping for a little mini fiesta break, like in that commercial for the taco shells.

The one where they are lamenting over the round taco shell and the little kid says in subtitles “why not make it flat on the bottom?” and then the commercial cuts to a little party where they fling him up in the air and throw confetti.

So yeah, that is what I was hoping for. A quick springtime party with confetti and a mariachi band.

Digress much?

So when I can hold on to a few strawberries without eating them, I actually really really love to bake with them. (Remember these little cookies?)

Here is my latest strawberry concoction. A lovely little coffee cake, if it pleases you.

Oh and yes you may notice that there does not appear to be a large amount of strawberries on this cake…well…I’ll be honest with you. I ate too many before I baked up this batch for the pictures. Woopsie. (P.S. It is also the reason that I have all of two pictures of the cake in this post. Hey. This is real life. And strawberries get eaten in real life.)

This cake is sweet and dense, offering a nice contrast to the crumbly struesel layer all over the top. And the nutmeg and cinnamon thing going through it all? Sign me up! I love the way that nutmeg tastes with strawberries. The spiciness stands up so well to the smooth sweetness of the fruit.

Love it!

Happy Spring, ya’ll!

Strawberry Banana Coffee Cake

1/2 cup (heaping) diced, fresh strawberries

1/2 tablespoon sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup (about 1 medium) mashed black bananas

2 eggs

1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl combine strawberries and sugar. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, while mixing the other ingredients.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine bananas, eggs, honey, vanilla, butter, and milk.

Dump the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into a well greased, 8×8 baking dish.

Drain strawberries and scatter them over the top of the cake batter. Gently press strawberries into the top of the cake with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle struesel (recipe below) over the top of the cake. Note: I only used about 3/4 of the mixture to top the cake.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Streusel Topping

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes

In a small bowl stir together the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and flour.

Then using your fingers or a fork, quickly work the butter into the flour and sugar until it becomes the consistency of cornmeal and only small pea-sized chunks of butter remain.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cookies

Shhh….come over here and let me tell you a little secret…

These cookies are…vegan!

What?!

Look, Ma! No dairy!

Yep. You are scared now aren’t ya?

Don’t be. I have totally been inspired by these healthy cookies that I have been making lately from Mama Pea and Joy the Baker. I love the idea of letting The Dude have a cookie whenever she wants, not worrying about how terrible it is for her, and actually getting something healthy in her as a bonus. We have been enjoying these cookies so much lately that I decided it was time to try to whip one up of my own. And I really like the results.

If you just give these a try I think you will really like them too. They really are somewhere in between banana bread and a cookie. Soft and slightly chewy. I am kind of on the fence as to whether or not to call these healthy because they do have a good bit of sugar in them (it’s a cookie for crying out loud!), but they have some redeeming qualities with the oats, whole wheat flour, flax, and bananas. And dark chocolate actually is better for you than milk chocolate (Bonjour, antioxidants! Enchante!).

So I’ll let you make the decision as to whether or not to call them healthy. You will definitely call them delicious.

First mash your banana. Then stir in the flax seed and wet ingredients. Set it aside.

Then mix up the dry ingredients.

Why yes, it was a tutu kind of day. Why do you ask?

Then stir the wet in with the dry and fold in the chocolate chips.

Did I mention the best part of making vegan cookies?

Frankly, we were lucky that we had enough dough left to make cookies at all.

Now that you have stirred the dough together, preheat the oven so that the dough has time to set up and bind for a couple of minutes. Then once the oven is preheated, place little balls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet.

Try to let them cool down enough so you don’t burn yourself before you eat these okay?

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cookies

1 banana
3 T flax seed
1 tabelspoon vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup (overflowing) dark chocolate chips

In a medium bowl mash banana with a fork until smooth. Stir in flax, vanilla and syrup. Set aside

In a separate bowl stir together flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar.

Combine wet and dry ingredients.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Preheat the oven to 350 after mixing the dough. This gives it has a couple of minutes to set up.

Place little mounds on a cookie sheet a couple inches apart and bake for 20 min.

Saturday Selections: Fruity Guacamole

Sometimes, we like to do things a little differently in this house.

Sometimes we like to do things that may seem a little crazy at first, but if you are willing to be open to the idea, you might just find that you like it a lot.

Take this example brought to us by The Dude.

Now here she is playing in a toy that is clearly made for her sister’s enjoyment. A little strange and weird. But when you stop and think about it, it’s pretty darn cute and funny. When she first saw me watching her, she totally froze like she thought she would get in trouble. And I’ll be honest, my first instinct was to get mad at her and tell her to get out of there. But after I thought about it for a second, I thought she certainly isn’t hurting anything. Why not just let her stay? She is just a little kid trying to mix things up a little bit and have a good time.

When I get in the mood to mix things up, I don’t usually contort myself into Monkey’s toys…usually.  No, if I’m feeling funky I will shake things up in the kitchen.

Take this sweet and fruity guacamole for instance.

The avocado gets all sweetened up with a banana and a touch of honey and vanilla. Then you fold in some strawberries and mangoes. Serve it up with some cinnamon sugar tortilla chips, and bam. Delicious.

It took no time to put together, and the chips are a no brainer too. You remember back when we made Cuban Nachos? Well I used the exact same method to make the chips only I sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar before I popped them in the oven. I used a two to one sugar/cinnamon ratio and put in just a pinch of salt.

Fabulous.

So if you are in the mood to shake things up a little this Saturday, I suggest you try out this sweet and healthy dip… it’s only slightly more fun than playing in baby activity centers.

Fruity Guacamole

2 medium avocados

1 medium ripe banana

1 small lime

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped strawberries

1/4 cup chopped mango

Mash avocados and bananas together with fork or in a food processor until smooth.

Stir in lime, honey, vanilla, and salt.

Fold in strawberries and mangoes.

Serve chilled with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.

Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

Well it is officially fall now!

(Which, if you live in the South, doesn’t really mean much. It is still pretty hot during the day…we get a little bit cooler nights though…)

If you pay any attention to food blogging trends, you will notice that around the end of August, people start throwing pumpkin recipes out at you left and right. While pumpkin is admittedly quite tasty, I prefer sweet potato.

So in honor of my first official fall food blog post, I give you one of my favorite sweet potato recipes.

These muffins are so super moist and tender. The sweet potato, cinnamon, and ginger give it a nice warm flavor and aroma. Perfect for fall baking. You are just going to love these.

And I want you to go make them.

Now.

So, no cutesy story or pictures of my kids.

…oh yeah…that’s right. I’m getting serious now…

In your mixer, beat together a ripe banana and a baked sweet potato, until fully combined.

While that those two are getting fully acquainted, stir all of your dry ingredients together.

Then add all of the wet ingredients to the banana sweet potato mixture and blend.

Now dump in the dry ingredients.

Fill up greased muffin tins with the batter and sprinkle them with a small handful of oats. It looks pretty, plus it adds a nice little bit of textural interest. Lightly toasted oats are ever so slightly crunchy and nutty.

Please set a few aside without oats on the top for The Dude. She thought that they were nuts, and consequently picked them all off or spit them out.

Some three year olds are just hard to impress I guess.

(Oops. OK. That’s the only kid story…)

These will make about 14 muffins, depending on the size of your muffin tins. Since I only have one regular sized muffin tin right now, I actually made up a dozen regular muffins and one dozen mini muffins with this recipe.

Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

makes 14 muffins

1 medium sweet potato, baked

1 medium ripe banana

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup old fashioned oats (plus additional for muffin tops)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup canola oil

2 eggs lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 400.

Beat together sweet potato and banana.

In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.

Stir honey, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla into sweet potato mixture.

Fold in dry ingredients.

Fill greased muffin tins with batter and top with additional oats.

Bake for 16-18 minutes (12-14 minutes for mini-muffins).

Blueberry Muffin Granola Bar Parfait

Phew….I have posted a great deal of junk as of late.

Let’s detox a bit shall we?

Look, I tried to tell you way back when I first started this blog that I am all over some homemade granola bars.

And I’ll be honest, these are kind of a mistake. When I first made them, I was really going for something else (I’m not giving up on the other ones though…stay tuned!). But I kind of liked the end result anyway. Then, yesterday morning I was totally in the mood for a yogurt parfait and knew that these would be just the thing to take one over the top.

It was nice and filling, not too sweet. A very satisfying way to start the day.

Here are all of your ingredients for the granola bars….

Woa now!

I swear to you, I did not stage this….I was taking pictures and she all of a sudden showed up in my view finder.

Ummm…excuse me, Ms. Dude….

(she’s got pretty eyes huh?)

Anyway, you start off by mixing all of your dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.

The only one that takes any effort before hand is the ground almonds. I tossed a handful in my food processor, and pulsed it up until it looked like this.

OK. So this totally cracked me up. I have to share.

The Little Dude walked up when I was taking this picture and said, “Hey Mommy what is that?”

I told her, “Ground almonds.”

She said, “Can I try some?”

Now, I already know that there is something about the texture of nuts that The Dude just cannot deal with. But at our house, trying stuff is super encouraged, so I grabbed my camera and scooped out a little taste for her.

Hahahaha! They were immediately spit onto the floor. Poor kid.

So I gave her some water to help flush the taste out of her mouth. (See? I’m not totally heartless!)

So once you feel that you have sufficiently tortured your Little Dude for one day, you can mix up all of the dry ingredients.

Then stir in some frozen blueberries.

And now fold in your milk and vanilla.

Spread them into a pan and bake them up for about 30 minutes.

Cut them into bars once they come out of the oven.

Once they have cooled a little bit, you can eat them just like this. They are perfectly delicious this way.

But crumbled up with some yogurt and bananas?

Dank-ness.

I crumbled up one granola bar in the bottom of a bowl.

Then topped it with some sliced bananas.

Then a little Greek yogurt sweetened with a bit of honey.

Then, in true parfait fashion, repeated the whole process.

Sprinkle the whole thing with some of those ground almonds, and baby, you just fixed yo’self breakfast (or lunch…hey, I’m not trying to tell you what to do)!

Blueberry Muffin Granola Bar Parfait

Serves 2

2 blueberry muffin granola bars

1/2  banana

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon ground almonds (optional)

Combine honey and yogurt.

Crumble one bar into bottom of bowl, top with banana slices, and 1/2 of yogurt. Repeat. Sprinkle with ground almonds if desired.

Blueberry Muffin Granola Bars

Makes 8 bars

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup wheat germ

3 tablespoons milled flax seed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup milk (I used coconut)

1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients.

Gently stir in blueberries.

In a measuring cup stir together milk and vanilla.

Fold into the other ingredients until they are wet.

Spread into a greased 8×8 pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Immediately cut into bars.

Breakfast is served!

Avocado Banana Bread

One of the things that I try to accomplish as a Mom, is to pack in as much healthy stuff into my kids (and on the happy, rare occasion, the Hubs) as I possibly can with any bite of food that goes into their mouths. Muffins and breads are a good resource for this purpose because you can sometimes hide things that would otherwise remain uneaten on plates.

Here is what I can tell you about the health benefits of avocado. (Because I am a Mama and I know these things…and because I know how to look up stuff on the internets. Be impressed.)

It contains a large amount of the healthy fats that you always hearing about. You know, the ones that are good for your heart, that can help reduce cholesterol, and can fight crime and such.

It contains more potassium than bananas.

It is high in fiber, and vitamins K, B, and C.

And you know what else? It tastes freaking awesome with bananas.

I started feeding mashed up avocados to the Monkey Mode about a month ago and on the days that I would mix it in with mashed bananas, I realized that I was having a hard time keeping myself from sticking my pinky finger in to sample another bite.

So naturally, my mind started wandering to the various ways I could add more avocado into what we are eating.

This is sooo yummy, ya’ll.

Moist, soft, sweet. You are going to want to lock yourself in a room away from screaming children, sit down with a cup of coffee, and savor each morsel.

And just in case avocados aren’t your bag, don’t worry. You definitely don’t take a bite and smack yourself in the forehead, screaming “AVOCADO!” It is really just more of a textural thing that happens here. It makes the banana bread even more moist and tender.

(And may I mention again, the lovely health benefits that the creamy, green fruit provides?)

You start off with basic quick bread ingredients: whole wheat flour (Oh yeah, that’s right. Whole wheat. And the bread is still delicious, and I bet if I hadn’t told you it was in there you wouldn’t have even noticed. So get over it!), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. You mix them up in a medium bowl and set aside.

Then pour your Little Dude a little snack because baking makes her hungry.

Now you get to do the fun part. Mash up the banana and avocado (or “appocado” if you want to be more like the Dude) together.

“Soylent Green is people!!!!”

…yeah…sometimes I wish I cooked with people who are old enough to get that joke.

As it is, I cook with people who are more interested in Dora toys, than Mommy’s amazing wit and tireless knowledge of popular culture. As evidence, I give you exhibit A:

Dude and Map

Whatever.

Once the banana and avocado are well blended, add in the oil, vanilla, eggs, and honey. Mix until just blended, scraping the sides once.

Dump in the dry ingredients and gently mix together.

Pour this mixture in to a well greased loaf pan and bake for 65-70 minutes. I started watching mine around the one hour mark just to make sure I didn’t over bake it.

Wanna see a behind the scenes shot?

The steamy, fresh banana bread was understandably too much for the Dude to take so she begged me for a piece pretty much the entire time I was taking pictures. And once I felt satisfied with my images of the loaf I gave her a piece (don’t you feel bad that because of you, I made my child wait to eat??). Then, someone got jealous and tried to come snag a piece too….not yet my Monkey Mode…you have to wait a few more months.

But you, friend, you get to go bake this up and eat it today.

I’ll leave you it.

Avocado Banana Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (about 2 small to medium) mashed, ripe bananas

1/2 cup (about 1 medium) mashed avocado

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, bakind soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In mixer, beat together banana and avocado.

Blend in honey, oil, eggs, and vanilla, scraping the sides once.

Stir in the dry ingredients.

Pour in to well greased loaf pan.

Bake for 65-75 minutes, until toothpick or knife comes out clean.