Category Archives: Banana

“Extreme” Walnut Banana Bread with Streusel Topping

7-30-12 243

My freshman year of college, I used to live for coming home to my mom’s banana bread.

I would force her to make it and I think she loved making it for me just as much as I loved eating it.

Sometimes, I would come home and it would already be baking in the oven and the smell was like… rich waves of heaven.. haha!

But really, I thought she was a baking genius.  When she showed me the recipe she uses, I decided to try it myself and add some streusel.  It of course wasn’t as good as my moms, but it’s still a really awesome recipe.

 

cookies cheesecake 8-5=12 062

7-30-12 253

cookies cheesecake 8-5=12 016

7-30-12 250

 “Extreme” Walnut Banana Bread with Streusel Topping

Adapted from:  All Recipes and Buns in My Oven

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup butter 
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large overripe bananas, mashed
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 8 tbsp butter, cubed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  4. Stir in the bananas, eggs, and walnuts until well blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, and stir just until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans.
  5. Make the streusel: mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
  6. Cut in the butter and mix until crumbly.
  7. Evenly crumble the streusel over the banana bread mixture.
  8. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the crown of the loaf comes out clean.
  9. Let the loaves cool in the pans for at least 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely.

*Tip- Wrap in aluminum foil to keep in the moisture.

cookies cheesecake 8-5=12 043

Cinnamon Flax Pancakes for One- How to properly fuel for a 5k

pancake4
If you guys read my previous blog post, you know that I ran a 5k on Saturday.

I wanted to be 100% prepared and I’m a nerd, so I Google’d “What to eat before a 5k.”

Here’s what I gathered. (Pick one… don’t eat all 4 or you’ll throw up.)

  • A banana.
  • Whole grain cereal.
  • Oatmeal.
  • Flax pancakes.

So, if you want to fuel up for a race, these are the pancakes for you.

They were delicious. I topped mine with peanut butter, bananas, and more cinnamon… yummmm.

I’m REALLY excited about the results of the race. My dad, who is 69 years old, ran the race in 36:06, which is a personal record for him.  I was so proud.

run2

I ran it in 26:03, 8 seconds faster than last year, and personal record for me.  And I got 2nd in my age division!

run

And here’s how you fuel:

pancake7

pancake6
pancake5

pancake3

 

Cinnamon Flax Pancakes for One

1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon flax seed
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup water (or more, if needed)
1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon Stevia (or more, if needed)

  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Place about a tablespoon of the batter on a heated pan on the stove.
  3. Flip when it bubbles.
  4. Eat!!

pancake2

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Hey all,

I’m having some technical difficulties with my blog right now.  I tried adding a new header, but for some reason I keep getting an ‘internal error’ and my picture won’t upload.  Until I can get a picture to upload, I’m testing a new format.  Let me know what you think of it.

Remember that awesome Healthy Pumpkin Flavored Cream Cheese I just made?  Well, if you’re struggling to find things to spread it on (which I’m sure you’re not) I have a few ideas.

  1. Rice Cakes.  My personal favorite to put it on is Apple Cinnamon rice cakes.
  2. Wheat Thins.  The salty and sweat combo = perfection.
  3. Toast. I think this one is a given.
  4. Bananas.  Such a healthy treat.
  5. Ice Cream.  Have you had the Ben and Jerry’s Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream?  Yeah, well, just mix this in with vanilla ice cream, and top with graham crackers and it tastes just like it.
  6. Pumpkin Banana Bread.  This is so good on pumpkin banana bread!  
Don’t have pumpkin banana bread? Luckily, Gina  is a gina-ious (ha ha) and has provided us all with a recipe:

Pumpkin Banana Bread
Ingredients:  

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with baking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, egg, bananas, pumpkin and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
  4. Add flour mixture and nuts (if using), then blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake on the center rack for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes, bread should be room temperature before slicing.
  7. Spread with pumpkin cream cheese.  Enjoy.

Super Soft Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Banana Bread

 

Food photography is something that every food blogger has probably done some research on.

I am by no means a professional, but I have picked up a few tips along the way and in my photography class I took last semester, so I want to share with you guy’s what I’ve learned!!  Add me to the list of 3 million photography tips on the net. 🙂

1.  Use natural light.  This is the best piece of advice that helped me.  I was using flash in all of my photos and it was not pretty.  Wait until you have a great amount of light flowing in from a window, set up your food, and shoot!
2.  Get down on your foods level.  Make sure that you get down on the same level as your food when you’re photographing.  You’ll feel really weird all bent over, but the results are worth it!
3.  Don’t use too many props, but do use some.  I usually use a cute material and maybe a glass of milk or a fork or something.  Using too much distracts from the actual food.
4.  Get close.  Food photography is all about using macro.  The more detail we can see, the more we drool.
5.  Focus on the food, blur the background. Sometimes backgrounds can be distracting, so it’s important to use a shallow depth of field.
6.  Learn how to use Photoshop.  Even the best photographers do a lot of their work in Photoshop.  Even www.picnik.com will work! The tools that help me the most are the Color Balance tool, the Exposure tool, and the Focal Soften tool.
7.  Take tips from the pros.  Just look at your favorite food photographers pictures and try to mimic them.  Some of my favorites:  Joy the BakerKarly at Buns in My OvenDeb at Smitten KitchenRee at The Pioneer WomanJessica at How Sweet It Is. There are many, many more, but those are just a few!  This is not a food photography site, but I have a friend who is a great photographer and you may be able to pick up some tips from his site, too: Matt Rogers.

So, I had sour cream left over from that delicious Red Velvet Cake and 4 almost-rotting bananas and had no choice but to make some banana bread.  Although I said it’s boring and I’ve already made it a few times, I use a different recipe every time.  I must say this is probably one of my favorites!! I actually made it into muffins, but those all got eaten before I could even photograph them!  That should tell you how good these are.  Plus, this recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, so it’s automatically good.  Mmmm!!

Super Soft Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Banana Bread
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups of flour

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips


Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter and sour cream into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. 
2. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and cinnamon. 
3. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Mix in chocolate chips.  Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. 
4. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
Note: I split this into two mini-loaf pans. It took 45 minutes to bake two perfect halves, but of course, may run longer or shorter in your oven.


Double Banana Cream Pie from Scratch

What do you do with 4 completely overripe, disgustingly brown bananas?

My first thought is always banana bread, but banana bread is so boring.  Plus, nobody can make banana bread like my mom.  I remember the first semester of my freshman year of college, my mom would make banana bread for me when I came home.  I would wait in anticipation while the smell wafted from the kitchen and ask, a million times of course, “Is it done yet??” When it finally was, it was well-worth the wait.
But since I wasn’t up to the challenge of topping my mom’s banana bread, I settled for making banana cream pie.  In my house, we’ve always used the box mix pudding to make cream pies, but I wanted to do it all from scratch. I searched for recipes, but all of the banana cream pies used vanilla pudding for theirs and I wanted banana pudding, so I adapted.  It turned out really well!  I added extra vanilla to my whipped cream to contrast the strong banana flavor in the pie and it tasted great.  I really loved the ‘piece-y’ texture of the pudding and the sweetness of the pie was complimented well by the semi-salty crust.  If you can’t tell, I really liked it.  You will, too! 
P.S. I’m switching to collages for my step-by-step photos to make my page load faster.  I went to Numion, an online stopwatch to see how long it takes websites to load, and mine took 12 seconds, so I’m trying to cut that down a little bit!
What food does your mom or someone close to you make that can’t be beat?

Double Banana Cream Pie from Scratch
adapted from: Food.com

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • cups milk
  • egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • tablespoons butter or tablespoons margarine
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 overripe medium bananas
  • 2 ripe (but still firm) bananas
  • 9 inch pie shell, baked
  • whipped cream 

  • Directions:
    1. 1. In a saucepan, combine sugar, flour, and salt; stir in milk and mix well.
    2. 2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil; boil for 2 minutes.
    3. 3. Remove from the heat.
    4. 4. Stir a small amount of cream mixture into egg yolks; return all to saucepan.
    5. 5. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly; remove from the heat.
    6. 6. Add butter and vanilla; mix well; allow to cool slightly.
      7. Beat the two overripe bananas into the pudding mixture until texture is fairly smooth.
    7. 8.. Slice the remaining 2 ripe bananas and place evenly in pastry shell; pour cream mixture over bananas.
    8. 9. Cool; before serving, garnish with whipped cream.
      10. Refrigerate any leftovers.

    Caramelized Pecan Banana Bread

    Hey, friends!

    Sometimes I get on Blogger with the intentions of posting a really awesome recipe, I get to the “New Post” page and realize, “Wow, I really have nothing interesting to write about.”

    And then I sit here… and I sit here… and I sit here… and still have nothing interesting to write.  Sometimes I wonder if people even read what I write, since this is a food blog and most of you are most likely here for a recipe… and then I start feeling sorry for myself because nobody wants to read what I have to write. (That’s called catastrophizing…don’t do that.) But then I snap out of it and realize that if you all just wanted a recipe, you could go to AllRecipes.com or Food.com and I feel better.

    But, then I still have nothing to write about, but, hey, at least I’ve taken up 5 minutes.  Please tell me I’m not the only person who does this.  If I am… lie to me.

    So here I am today with an awesome recipe and no story to go behind it except the pity party of a girl with writer’s block.

    Here’s what I can tell you:  This is banana bread.  It’s really good.  Like, the bomb.  And it has caramelized pecans in it… basically candy.  Really moist candied banana bread that will make your house smell like a big, hot caramel-y banana.  How appealing does that sound?  I’ll work on it.

    Do you guys ever have those days when you can’t think of anything to write??

    Caramelized Pecan Banana Bread
    adapted from: Betty Crocker


    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt

    1         tablespoonbutter2         tablespoons sugar1         cup pecan halves2         tablespoons ground cinnamon

    1. 1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.
      2.  Add the tablespoon of butter and let melt in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the sugar, pecans, and cinnamon, and mix until the pecans have been coated and the sugar has started to stick. Set aside and let cool.
      3. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into pans.
      4. Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. (Good luck!) Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 6 days.

    Fruity Banana Smoothie? Sorbet? Ice Cream?

    Sometimes you just have to stop and relax.

    It’s harder to do than you think.  Most of us are constantly on the go and never have any down time.

    Think about the last time that you just sat down for 20 minutes doing absolutely nothing but relaxing.

    Was it a long time ago?

    If so, I’d advise you to do some relaxing.  Just sit down for 20 minutes and maybe even meditate.  Meditating isn’t some weird thing freaks do, I promise.  I do it all the time (not that that proves anything.)  Meditating is just controlling your breaths and releasing all thoughts.  It’s been proven to reduce Cortisol levels and Cortisol is what (apparently) causes stress and mindless eating.  So, there you have it.  Take some time for yourself just to relax.  You deserve it!

    And before you head off to relax, make a banana mango smoothie.  Check out the title… I wasn’t quite sure what to call it because I couldn’t decide if it’s a smoothie, sorbet, or ice cream.  It’s just like the “1 ingredient banana ice cream” except it’s got 3 ingredients… so does that make it a smoothie?  Or a sorbet since one of the other ingredients is frozen fruit?!  Don’t ask me; I’m obviously confused!  Whatever it is, it’s so simple, delicious, and healthy.  I’ve made one almost every day for the past two weeks.  And if you make it, please tell me what you’d call it.  🙂

    Fruity Mango Smoothie/Sorbet/Ice Cream


    1 frozen banana, chopped up
    1/2 large frozen mango, chopped up (or fruit of choice)
    1/4 cup yogurt

    1.  Chop your banana and mango.
    2.  Put in freezer a couple of hours or until frozen.
    3.  Blend all ingredients in a food processor.
    4.  Enjoy!

    I also made one with about a cup of frozen strawberries.  Delicious!

    Banana Blondies with Nilla Wafer Crust



    I was leaving Wal-Mart the other and while I was standing in the checkout line, I was looking at all of the items in my cart.


    I glanced at the Nilla Wafers and had a revelation.  My mind said “Katie, make banana blondies with Nilla Wafer crust.”


    So I did.


    Make fun of me if you want, but I know you other food bloggers can relate.  🙂


    I was expecting a masterpiece, but I will admit the recipe needs a little work.  They were good, but not the flavor/texture I was looking for.  I’ll give you the recipe I used today, but I’ll be fixing it in the near future and I’ll post the new one then!  





    Banana Blondies with Nilla Wafer Crust


    Crust:  
    2 cups crushed Nilla Wafers
    1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)


    Blondies: 

    4 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 grams) butter, melted
    1 mashed banana
    1 cup (218 grams or 7 3/4 ounces for light; 238 grams or 8 3/8 ounces for dark) brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    Pinch salt
    1 cup (4 3/8 ounces or 125 grams) all-purpose flour

    1/2 cup white chocolate pieces (I’m obsessed, okay?)

    1. Butter an 8×8 pan.
    2. Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.
    3. Add salt, stir in flour. 
    4. Mix in mashed banana.  (I mixed mine in with the sugar and butter… don’t do that!!)
    5. Add in white chocolate.
    6. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle.

    Healthy Banana Nut Bread

    I WON A GIVEAWAY!!!
    I wouldn’t call myself an unlucky person, but I never, ever win anything, so winning this just completely made me day… week, even.  I’ve been reading Cindy’s blog for a while now and I love it.  Her recipes are mouthwatering and her photography skills are definitely something I’m envious of. I’m just waiting for summer to roll around so I can make her cantaloupe sorbet. Thank you, Cindy! 🙂 🙂

    In other good news today:

    I really enjoyed the sermon today at church.  Sometimes I feel bad because I walk away not getting anything from it, but today I did.  It’s days like today that remind me to keep believing because it’s worth it.  “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6:34.  So true!!

    After church, I had a wonderful lunch with Kellen and his family.  I always do; they’re such great people and I’m lucky to be able to be around them.

    Also, it’s raining, which means I’m sleeping with the windows open tonight!

    All of these good things today are really helping me procrastinate studying for the tests I have this week.  Oh well, take the good with the bad. Haha 🙂

    I’m going to be a copycat and ask a question of the day:


    What’s your favorite summer treat?
    and
    If you go to church, do you ever walk away feeling like you didn’t get anything from the sermon?  and 
    If you don’t go to church, what have you walked away from, feeling bad, that you expected more out of?

    Just feelin’ a little curious today, I suppose.

    In other news, check out Katie’s giveaway!

    Make flaxseed mixture.

    Sift the dry’s.

    Melt your banana, if you want.

    My favorite part!  Mix everything together and do some quality control.
    Wonder why your cat was hiding in the spice rack…

    Just stoppin’ by.

    I made a little topping of 1/4 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup chopped nuts, 1/8 cup flour, 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1/8 tsp baking powder)

    Bake!

    Healthy Banana Nut Bread
    Adapted from: Ecurry

    Ingredients: (yields one loaf in a 9 X 12 pan)

    1. 3 cups whole wheat flour + more for dusting
    2. a pinch of salt
    3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
    4. 1/3 cup flaxseed powder
    5. 1/3 cup + 1 cup orange juice or milk (I used almond milk)
    6. 1/4 cup applesauce
    7. 1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract (I used vanilla and it turned out really well, but next time I think I’ll use almond, just to try it)
    8. 1 cup sugar, or 3/4 cup agave or honey
    9. 1 cup mashed banana, about 3-4 bananas depending on the size (I microwaved mine until they got melty, then added them)
    10. 1 cups chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

    1.  Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly grease a 9 X 12 loaf pan.
    2.  Sift flour, salt and baking powder.
    3.  Combine flaxseed powder with 1/3 cup orange juice/milk/almond milk (depending on what you are using), and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
    4.  In another large bowl combine oil, sugar (or honey), mashed banana, and the rest of the juice/milk/almond milk, vanilla/almond extract. Add the flaxseed powder mix to this and stir to combine.
    5.  Add the flour mix to this wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended. This is going to be a sticky gooey mix.
    6.  Dust the the nuts with flour. Carefully fold them into the dough.
    7.  Spoon the dough into the loaf pan and bake for about an hour to hour and a half or till the toothpick comes out clean (it took 60 minutes in the convection oven).
    8.  Cool completely for about 15 minutes before turning the bread over. Slice only when completely cool or it will fall apart.


    Healthy Banana Nut Bread

    I WON A GIVEAWAY!!!
    I wouldn’t call myself an unlucky person, but I never, ever win anything, so winning this just completely made me day… week, even.  I’ve been reading Cindy’s blog for a while now and I love it.  Her recipes are mouthwatering and her photography skills are definitely something I’m envious of. I’m just waiting for summer to roll around so I can make her cantaloupe sorbet. Thank you, Cindy! 🙂 🙂

    In other good news today:

    I really enjoyed the sermon today at church.  Sometimes I feel bad because I walk away not getting anything from it, but today I did.  It’s days like today that remind me to keep believing because it’s worth it.  “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6:34.  So true!!

    After church, I had a wonderful lunch with Kellen and his family.  I always do; they’re such great people and I’m lucky to be able to be around them.

    Also, it’s raining, which means I’m sleeping with the windows open tonight!

    All of these good things today are really helping me procrastinate studying for the tests I have this week.  Oh well, take the good with the bad. Haha 🙂

    I’m going to be a copycat and ask a question of the day:


    What’s your favorite summer treat?
    and
    If you go to church, do you ever walk away feeling like you didn’t get anything from the sermon?  and 
    If you don’t go to church, what have you walked away from, feeling bad, that you expected more out of?

    Just feelin’ a little curious today, I suppose.

    In other news, check out Katie’s giveaway!

    Make flaxseed mixture.

    Sift the dry’s.

    Melt your banana, if you want.

    My favorite part!  Mix everything together and do some quality control.
    Wonder why your cat was hiding in the spice rack…

    Just stoppin’ by.

    I made a little topping of 1/4 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup chopped nuts, 1/8 cup flour, 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1/8 tsp baking powder)

    Bake!

    Healthy Banana Nut Bread
    Adapted from: Ecurry

    Ingredients: (yields one loaf in a 9 X 12 pan)

    1. 3 cups whole wheat flour + more for dusting
    2. a pinch of salt
    3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
    4. 1/3 cup flaxseed powder
    5. 1/3 cup + 1 cup orange juice or milk (I used almond milk)
    6. 1/4 cup applesauce
    7. 1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract (I used vanilla and it turned out really well, but next time I think I’ll use almond, just to try it)
    8. 1 cup sugar, or 3/4 cup agave or honey
    9. 1 cup mashed banana, about 3-4 bananas depending on the size (I microwaved mine until they got melty, then added them)
    10. 1 cups chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

    1.  Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly grease a 9 X 12 loaf pan.
    2.  Sift flour, salt and baking powder.
    3.  Combine flaxseed powder with 1/3 cup orange juice/milk/almond milk (depending on what you are using), and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
    4.  In another large bowl combine oil, sugar (or honey), mashed banana, and the rest of the juice/milk/almond milk, vanilla/almond extract. Add the flaxseed powder mix to this and stir to combine.
    5.  Add the flour mix to this wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended. This is going to be a sticky gooey mix.
    6.  Dust the the nuts with flour. Carefully fold them into the dough.
    7.  Spoon the dough into the loaf pan and bake for about an hour to hour and a half or till the toothpick comes out clean (it took 60 minutes in the convection oven).
    8.  Cool completely for about 15 minutes before turning the bread over. Slice only when completely cool or it will fall apart.