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February 23rd is National Banana Bread Day. This is my all time favorite banana bread recipe. It is quick and easy to make and no one will notice that healthier ingredients were used.
When learning to bake, banana bread was one of the first things I tried. It is the most delicious, moist bread I have ever made.
What makes it healthier?
- The banana bread is sweetened with bananas and honey rather than refined, white sugar. Honey has a lower glycemic score, is minimally processed and contains more nutrients. Honey also has antioxidants, amino acids and electrolytes.
- Butter is replaced with grapeseed oil, a neutral, minimally processed oil, high in polyunsaturated fat and Vitamin E.
- For a denser, less refined and darker bread, replace half of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour. Whole wheat pastry flour is a good option.
You can add chocolate chips or chopped walnuts into the batter. For an even more chocolatey bread, replace 2 tablespoons of the flour with unsweetened cocoa powder.
Make it vegan by substituting maple syrup for the honey and flax egg or JUST Egg for the eggs.
Use very ripe bananas for a sweet, moist bread. For each loaf, use 3 medium-large ripe bananas.
Making loaf breads is so simple and doesn’t require any equipment. A bowl and a fork will do the trick and result in a chunkier consistency, that gives the banana bread a nice texture. Mashing bananas with a food processor, hand mixer or standing mixer will result in creamy mashed bananas, and combining the ingredients with a mixer will save some time stirring, but I find that the clean up isn’t worth it and there is a chance the batter will be over mixed, resulting in a heavy, chewy bread.
- Mash the bananas and set aside to get started on preparing the batter.
- In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients;unbleached all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Give them a few stirs with a whisk to aerate the flour. This will result in a light and fluffy banana bread.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the room temperature eggs, oil, honey and pure vanilla extract. I find it is helpful to warm the honey before adding to the egg and oil mixture. To warm honey, place the jar or bottle of honey in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes until it is thinner in consistency and easier to stir.
- Add the the mashed bananas to the egg mixture. Stir until combined. Add the mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until combined and batter is smooth.
- If using mix-ins like chocolate chips or nuts, stir them into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan*. Can sprinkle some more chocolate chips or nuts on top of the banana bread before baking it.
- Place in on a middle rack in an oven preheated to 325ºF for an hour to an hour and a half. Test at one hour with a skewer. If it comesout cleanish, and the top of the bread is golden and springs back when touched, the bread is done.
- Remove from oven and cool on a rack with air circulation underit to stop the baking process. After 10 minutes or so, removing the bread from the pan and place on a metal rack to continue cooling.
- Slice and enjoy!
*The pan you use for bread loaves yields different results. A glass baking dish will result in a darker bottom and faster baked bread than a metal pan.
To prepare the pan, lightly spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan. I like to line to then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. This way, the finished bread can be lifted out of the pan with ease and little chance of sticking or breaking. I give the parchment paper a light spray before adding the batter.
Healthier Banana Bread
- 9x5 inch loaf pan
- parchment paper
- 1 ⅛ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- ½ cup honey
- 2 eggs large eggs at room temperature
- 3 bananas medium-large ripe bananas, peeled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325ºF
- Prepare loaf pan by lightly spraying, lining with parchment paper and lightly spray the paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside
- In a small bowl, mash bananas using a fork until they are creamy with small chunks remaining.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the wet ingredients; oil, eggs, honey and vanilla extract.
- Add the bananas to the oil and egg mixture. Stir to combine.
- Stir in the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined.
- If using mix-ins, gently fold them into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle top with mix-ins if using.
- Bake for an hour to hour and a half, checking at one hour. Bread is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for at least 10 minutes on a wire rack. Transfer loaf from pan to rack to continue cooling before slicing.
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- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 28 oz cans, whole peeled plum tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1-2 tbs fresh basil
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic, reduce heat to low, sauté until garlic is softened, but not brown.
- Pour tomatoes into a bowl and squeeze with hands to break up. Add tomatoes and juice to the pan. If prefer, pulse several times in a blender rather than using hands.
- Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Simmer on low and let simmer for 40-45 minutes until thickened. If starts to become too thick, add water, a few teaspoons at a time.
- Taste for seasoning and add if needed. Option to add a few pinches of oregano.
- Use on your favorite pasta or vegetables and top with fresh chopped basil.
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This healthy, quick and easy, no cook breakfast, snack or dessert is perfect for supercharging your day. Made with nutrient rich chia seeds, this delicious parfait is packed with fiber, protein, calcium, and antioxidants. Chia seeds are a superfood, simply put, they are beneficial to your health and well-being.
The secret to this Chocolate Chia Pudding Parfait? Dates. This Chocolate Chia Pudding Parfait is sweetened only with dates, a natural fruit. There is no need to add any other sugar to the unsweetened coconut milk and cocoa powder. I like to layer my pudding with whipped coconut cream, made with 2 ingredients, coconut cream and maple syrup.
Chocolate Chia Pudding Parfait is creamy, chocolatey, indulgent, yet so nutritious and it’s vegan. Top it with whipped coconut cream, berries, nuts, shaved chocolate or unsweetened coconut chips.
You will want to make this Chocolate Chia Pudding Parfait time and again!
Chocolate Chia Pudding Parfait
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk, preferably full fat
- 3-5 Medjool dates, pitted
- 3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao
- 3 tbs chia seeds
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped, or ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Coconut Cream Topping
- 1 can unsweetened coconut cream, or 1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled
- 2-3 tbs pure maple syrup
- In a blender, pulse until smooth the coconut milk, dates, cocoa or cacao powder, 1 tablespoon of the chia seeds, vanilla seeds or extract and salt
- Stir in remaining 2 tbs chia seeds. Let stand for 10 minutes. This allows the chia seeds to bloom.
- Pour pudding into 6 glasses. If making a parfait with a cream layer in the center, reserve some chia pudding to place on top of the cream. Option to top with shaved chocolate, berries, coconut flakes, nuts and coconut cream.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to enjoy. Chia pudding will stay for 5 days in the refrigerator.
Coconut Cream Topping
- If possible, chill the can of coconut cream overnight.
- If using coconut milk, scoop out thickened cream from the top. Set liquid aside for another use*.
- Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream on medium/high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until light and fluffy. Be careful not to over mix.
- Add maple syrup and mix again, just until blended.
- Serve on top of the chia pudding or layer to make a parfait.
- Keep any unused coconut cream covered and refrigerated.
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