Sunday, April 24, 2011

Banana Bread - The Catch-All of My Life

You have to love the constancy of leftovers in the house. No matter how well we try to plan our shopping trips each week, we always have the two parallel situations of "oh my gosh we're out of that?" and "I didn't know we already had (x number) of that". Either way, the end result is usually some limp veggies (hello, stock bag!) or over-ripe fruit, a few tablespoons of yogurt, a few dribbles of milk. I have lots of "pantry" leftovers, usually remnants from previous recipes that aren't enough to stand alone, or mixes of things I used as coatings (like for my Monkey Balls). Rather than throw out the bits and pieces (really, it's just wrong to waste like that), I usually resort to one of my go-to "use up" recipe formulas, which I think I've talked about before. That, of course, is the ubiquitous banana bread.  

Oddly enough, I made this first one ages ago - I don't actually remember when exactly, but never posted it. I guess it's because I figured then (and to some extent still do) that because it's one of those "throw it all in" recipe types, nobody ever really follows a set "list" of ingredients anyway, and there is a fair bit of super-saturation on the web when it comes to the snack. But, once I realized that inspiration is just as good - if not better - than a concrete set of instructions, I figured, what the heck. I mean, really, if you're doing any Easter shindigs (or the hooferaw as I called it on Twitter - I personally detest any holidays but that's just because I'm socially awkward) you're going to have stuff kicking around anyways! Not to mention that depending on the amount of partying and rich food around, you might be looking for a few slightly healthier snacks in the coming weeks. Bring on the fibre and fruit, I say! 

Brawny Banana Toffee Loaf
Serves 12
4 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp concentrated butterscotch flavouring (such as LorAnn's) - I love this stuff, but you can add another 1/2 tbsp of vanilla or a different flavour if you like
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 cup 100% bran cereal "twigs"
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup toffee baking bits

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine bananas, sugar, vanilla, butterscotch flavouring, yogurt, milk and cereal. Set aside 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together flour, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the banana mixture, stirring only until just blended. Fold in the toffee pieces.
  5. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until tests done.
  6. Cool 10 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a rack and cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 192.7
Total Fat: 2.9 g
Cholesterol: 4.0 mg
Sodium: 65.3 mg
Total Carbs: 43.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.7 g
Protein: 5.5 g

This loaf came about after my aforementioned food demo - I had a leftover mixture of sesame seeds and oats I had been using to coat the finished balls, and really didn't want to waste any of it because it was really just oats and sesame seeds! Originally, I thought to do cookies, but when I saw the bowl of very "sad-looking" bananas we had when my mom was away I was inspired. A quick dig through my arsenal and a whack-load of additions later, I came up with this. I can really only call it a "Kitchen Sink 'Nana Bread"!


"Kitchen Sink" 'Nana Bread
Serves 12
3 large over-ripe bananas
2 tbsp sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp vanilla
pinch salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup peanut "flour" (like PB2)
1/3 cup quick (not instant) oats
1/3 cup Kamut flakes (or more rolled oats)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup crushed whole wheat graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup crushed peanuts
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips

For topping:
1/2 banana, sliced
1 tsp raw sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a large loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, mash bananas with sunflower seed butter, yogurt, almond milk, vanilla, salt and sugars.
  3. Mix in the peanut flour until it's dissolved, and set aside.
  4. In another bowl, mix the oats, Kamut flakes, flour, graham crumbs, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. Add dry ingredients all at once and stir just to combine, then fold in the sesame seeds, cranberries, peanuts and chocolate chips.
  6. Scrape into the loaf pan and top with the sliced banana. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
  7. Bake for 1 hour on the lowest rack of the oven.
  8. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then unmould onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 241.3
Total Fat: 8.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.1 mg
Sodium: 76.5 mg
Total Carbs: 40.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.2 g
Protein: 6.7 g

1 comment :

Pamela said...

Sounds and looks yummy. Thanks for sharing.

Lets have some fun. Take the test Your Snacks Personality and find out which of these snacks do you prefer? I have taken the test and enjoyed a lot. Hope you too will enjoy it. Have Fun!!