My Favorite Healthy(ish) Banana Bread
Happy fall, friends! The weather is finally perfect and my fall baking and cooking are in full force. Breads, cookies, pumpkin treats, soups, stews and savory dinners are coming in hot over here. This time of year brings me so much joy for so many reasons, on top of welcoming our sweet baby girl in a less then two weeks! (WOAH).
One thing I have been trying to accomplish in the next thirteen days is preparing some easy meals: soups, stocks, casseroles and breads I can prepare ahead of time for dinner when we have a newborn in our household once again. I currently have a pot of homemade vegetable stock simmering on the stove, perfect for those nights when I want to throw together a delicious, fall soup with out having to run to the market for broth (recipe at the bottom of the page).
My Favorite Banana Bread (Healthy-ish)
My son absolutely adores banana bread, and I truly love making it for him. One thing I don't love about banana bread is all of the SUGAR that every recipe out there uses. Bananas are already sweet - especially ripe ones - why all the sugar? Stop the madness! I love this recipe from Quaker oats but given the recent quaker oats, weed killer, mishap, I use organic oats. I have made this recipe so many times that I started making a few tweaks in the tastes to make it my own. I like the general concept of the existing recipe because of the sugar content, this recipe is slightly modified from the Quaker Oats website. I often double this recipe and freeze a loaf for later, to thaw, simply leave on the counter for a couple hours.
1 cup Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked), Plus 1 tbsp for topping
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Heat oven to 350°F.
Spray bottom only of 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
Combine oats and milk; stir. Let stand 10 minutes.
While your oats are resting, mash your bananas and beat the eggs. Once your oats are ready, add to the bowl.
In large separate bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; mix well.
Add dry ingredients to the wet; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened (do not over mix). Pour batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with some oats for decoration.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely.
Store in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months.
Quick and Easy Veggie Broth
Are you tired of buying chicken/veggie/beef broth? I don't know about you but I cringe when I have to pay almost $5 for a small container. In a bind I often use bouillon cubes BUT I also keep all my scraps of onions, carrots, celery (etc.) in a container in the freezer for a rainy day. You can make this simple, vegetable broth in an hour and store it in your freezer for months!
2 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves minced garlic
3 tbsp chives
12 cups water
1 tbsp parsley
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp pepper
Scraps of carrots, celery, onions and whatever else you have on hand!
Add the olive oil to a large stock pot, sauté garlic for 1 minute.
Chop of the carrots into large chunks, add the chives ( if you don't have chives use an onion). Sauté for 4 -5 minutes.
Add 12 cups of water. Then add your scraps, parsley, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Simmer on low for one hour, once your broth is complete strain over a large container or pot. Use immediately or freeze for another day!