Behold! Banana Bread

For as much as I love to bake, there has been one item that never seems to turn out the way I want, and it’s name…. Banana Bread.

I’ve tried tons of recipes, with minor tweaks to fit my lifestyle, and they have all been less than par.

Can’t a girl just get herself some banana bread where she tastes more banana than refined sugar?!

I took a leap and tried a recipe a bit outside of my comfort zone, making my adjustments, and I’m never going back.

Banana Love Boat

Adapted from FatGirlTrappedInASkinnyBody
Serves 16
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup granulated Splenda
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar or white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar (or ¼ light brown sugar)
  • 4 egg whites16522258_10158176838340228_2136179329_o
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (unless using another flavor profile)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease, or non-stick cooking spray (I love Baker’s Joy), a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan* and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the applesauce, Splenda and sugar. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating after each addition, and then the vanilla and almond extract.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, alternating with mashed banana and coconut milk.

Mix until just combined. Stir in the flaked coconut. Pour the batter to the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 45min to 1 hour and 15 minutes, when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, depending on your oven, elevation, and type of pans used.

Let completely cool before slicing.

*OR 4 mini loaf pans (45min) OR bundt pan (45min) OR muffins (45min)

Nutrition (1/16): (does not include add-ins)

Calories: 129, Fat: 2.6g, Sat. Fat: 2.3g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 138.3mg, Carbs: 23.6g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 7.1g, Protein: 3g

The shredded coconut added this extra texture not typically found in banana bread (and I’m a texture girl). But I think its the coconut milk that really adds that extra umph of richness and flavor.

Since the first batch six months or so ago, I have continued to utilize this recipe to make tons of flavor profiles: peanut butter chocolate cinnamon chip, pumpkin spice butterscotch, Chinese 5 Spice, and even lavender. Yes, lavender! (You all know I need as much help in the “chill” department as I can get).

The photo above is a 50/50 bread of peanut butter chocolate cinnamon chip and pumpkin spice butterscotch, I omitted the original cinnamon in the recipe, above, and divided the batter in two.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cinnamon Chip20170205_152113

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter baking chips
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon baking chips
  • 1 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Add the following to the above nutritional facts: Calories: 47, Fat: 2.1g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 14.1mg, Carbs: 6g, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugars: 5.3g, Protein: 0.8g

Pumpkin Spice Butterscotch20170205_151222

  • 1 1/5 Tbsp pumpkin spice baking morsels
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butterscotch baking morsels
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp toffee bits (also in the baking section)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice

Add the following to the above nutritional facts: Calories: 51, Fat: 2.5g, Sat. Fat: 1.7g, Cholesterol: 0.9mg, Sodium: 12.3mg, Carbs: 6.9g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 4.9g, Protein: 0g

Using a chopping knife, chop through the baking chips/morsels (they start to look more like shavings).* Add them, along with the spice, to their appropriate bowls. Fold them into the batter, pour it into the prepared pan and bake.

*I like this method because I get flavor in every bite rather than just those with a whole morsel in it.

**Keep in mind these measurements are for half of the batter. If you choose to make the entire banana bread one flavor profile, please double the measurements.**

More recently, I made Strawberry Banana Muffins, and, yes, they taste as good as they sound.

I am ahead of my assignments at the moment, so I want to take what time I can to check in with everyone. This blog has been such a staple in my recovery process. There is no way I am forgetting about it or you.

Look for follow-up posts with the recipes to make more of those flavor combos I mentioned above.

God Bless and thank you for always welcoming me back!

 

Chocolate Covered Anything

OK, lets think this through…

Pretzels + Chocolate= salty sweet

Peppermint + Chocolate= refreshing

Cherries/Raisins/ Nuts + Chocolate= bring it on

Peanut Butter + Chocolate= no brainer

Ants + Chocolate = uhhh, not so much

The point of the story? Today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day! In honor of this tasty day, I’d like to share one of the winning recipes I made last week during my baking frenzy! Its no secret that I love Chocolate Chunk Rice Krispie Treats, but I will admit that they are NOT satisfying. Luckily, this recipe is sweet, salty, and filling!

Butterfinger Krispie Treats

makes 12 large squares

  • 1/4 cup Brummel & Brown, or Blue Bonnet Light, soft spread, divided
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Better n’ Peanut Butter, low sodium
  • 1 Tbsp toffee bits, or more
  • 5 cups Chocolate 80 Fiber One Cereal
  • 1 cup puffed wheat cereal
  • 2 Tbsp Butterscotch chips
  • 2 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolates

In a large pot, over medium-low heat, melt 3 Tbsp of the buttery spread. Stir in marshmallows and peanut butter, stirring frequently. Once the mallows and peanut butters melt together, add the toffee bits, the remaining 1 Tbsp of buttery spread, and the cereals. Mix until thoroughly combined!

Spray a 9 x 13 pyrex generously with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer the cereal mix into the pyrex and flatten into all corners of the pan. Add water to the empty pot and bring water to a boil. Place a bowl over the pot to create a double bowler. Add the butterscotch and chocolate chips to the bowl and continuously whisk until smooth and melted.

WP_004856

Once melted, use a basting brush to brush the melted mixture over top the cereal treat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting.

This was a big hit with everyone who tried it: Dad, Barry, the girls at work….

Nutrition: per square (1/12 recipe)

Calories: 193, Fat: 6.5g, Sat. Fat: .7g, Cholesterol: 0.2mg, Sodium: 162mg, Carbs: 34.4g, Fiber: 5.6g, Sugar: 16.2g, Protein: 3.1g

Good Ideas with Daddy

Once again, I woke up with a recipe in my head. Dad, too, woke up with a breakfast in mind. We combined our ideas and it was fantastic!

I prepped everything at my house and walked to my dads to start our Sunday. By the way, “Get Ready” by the Rare Earth is a great power walking song.

Dad bought these Honey Ham steaks off the managers rack for like 69 cents and really wanted that with eggs. That sounded pretty darn tasty to me and I knew this concoction in my head would play perfectly with the sweet and salty ham.

Blondie Protein PancakesWP_004361

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 eggs whites, or 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 Tbsp SF FF Butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1/2 Tbsp PB2, or 1 tsp creamy PB
  • 2 Tbsp cottage cheese
  • splash of water
  • 1 tsp Toffee bits (optional)

Blend all, except bits, in a food processor until smooth. The PB and pudding makes this batter a bit thick, so I recommend a splash of water. Spray a heated and sprayed skillet. Fold in toffee bits if desired,  and dollop the batter and use the back of the spoon to spread batter.

WP_004362 (1) WP_004362

In my opinion, these dollar stacks did not need butter or syrup. I drizzled the slightest bit of SF syrup over it. Just like I expected, the salty sweet honey ham paired perfectly with the salty sweet butterscotch and peanut butter!

Breakfast was packed with protein and deliciousness, and was completed with a mug of coffee.

Following breakfast, I dove into household chores, like laundry, flipping the mattress, changing the bed linens, and over all, house cleaning. We then ran a few errands, while listening to the Eagles/Dallas game on the radio. Upon arriving back home, I had a bit of a chill. Its a beautiful sunny day, but still breezy. I really don’t know I’m complaining about a little 10 mph wind, when yesterday I had 120 mph wind whipping at me body…

Either way, another daddy-daughter combo idea came into fruition. “Have you had those pumpkin pie pop tarts, yet?” dad asked. Nope. “Why don’t you throw one in the toaster to hold us over until dinner.” Hey, want to split a mug of hot chocolate? “Sure.”

Two words: Good Ideas!

The pairing of the warm, toasted poptart, which actually did taste like pumpkin pie, and the warmth of my special hot chocolate was absolutely perfect to warm us both up! I mean, it sounds so simple but I’m still impressed. Haha!

After watching a terrible Eagles performance and finishing up a bunch of cleaning, dad had another good idea. I say its a good idea because I’ve been craving sushi! He had been craving the Chinese Buffet. And, after all, it is International Foods Week. Mexican yesterday, Asian today. We met Barry for dinner at the Hibachi Grill and Buffet. Sunday dinner is the best time to go because they amp up the seafood selection! I loaded up on sashimi and vegetables! I hit up the raw bar and I hit it hard! Mussels, tuna, salmon… and then green beans, shrimp, mushrooms, spinach and such from the hot plates.

WP_004365 WP_004366 WP_004367

I was starving and, oh, so, happy, with our decision to some out to the buffet! MMM I was in veggie and sushi heaven… times 3!

 

(Not) Down with the Sickness

Did you know March is National Noodle Month? Neither did I.. but it worked out that I brought a noodle dish for dinner last night. Last night I brought Smart Ones Shrimp Marinara and bulked it up with some Fettucine Tofu Shiritaki Noodles and broccoli. I’m glad I spiced it up a bit. The shrimp was a little chewy, also. I don’t see myself getting this one again…

WP_001431

Eating was pretty decent last night, thank God! I got all my work done so quickly that in my down time I watched a lecture! Woo Hoo!

I have sooo much work to do this weekend! I need to kick some serious butt.

Today came with sleep deprivation, stress, but uber excitement! I was watching my goddaughter today! It has been so long since I’ve seen her and she got to play with all her Christmas presents over here!

Before I picked her up, I made dad and myself a cup of coffee. I also whipped up last night’s smoothie for dad, while I enjoyed a little sweeter Apple Crunch shake:WP_001432

1/2 frozen apple, cubed

1Tbsp toffee bits

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla PDM

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1 Tbsp sugar free Vanilla pudding mix

ice

water

1/8 tsp xanthum

I loved having Kinley over! She is so smart! She shocked me when she grabbed a coaster and put her cup on it, or at lunch when she out her napkin on her lap! She only a year and a half! My baby girl is a genius!

WP_001437 WP_001453 WP_001457 ???????????? WP_001462 WP_001467 WP_001471 WP_001488

Isn’t she beautiful?

But I have to say, I felt exhaustion kick in around 11am. Luckily, mom said she would watch Kinley while I took a power nap! I haven’t seen my mom with this much energy in a long time! I woke up with a bit of a scratch throat. Oh no! I can not be getting sick! I immediately brewed up some ginger and lemon tea and shot back a glass of Airborne. It was only a matter of time until the stress of the past few weeks, plus working with kids with respiratory illnesses, caught up with me. Fingers crossed- I’ve nipped this in the bud!

Right as we arrived back at Kinley’s house, she was passed out! And I had worked up quite an appetite! Frank, my step dad, called while I was out at the supermarket picking up a few things and asked if I wanted Chinese food. I LOVE Chinese food! On the occasion  I’ll make it from scratch, but I had been wanted Chinese food for the past few weeks, and, hey, he was treating! I opted for one of my favorite and more health conscious choices: Steamed Vegetables with Shrimp, and a side of garlic sauce! This meal NEVER disappoints! I love the sweet and spicy bite of the garlic sauce, the protein from the shrimp (no meat of Fridays), and the fresh, crisp, crunch of the veggies. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, “I just don’t know how these places get their veggies so perfectly steamed!” (My stepdad always gets the ribs, so I had to sneak in one of those!)

WP_001492

The immediate dessert was, duh, a fortune cookie. Later, it was a salty sweet favorite: 94% fat free Kettle Corn popcorn and nutella drizzle!

The remainder of the evening is going to be spent ATTEMPTING to watch renal failure lectures, without falling asleep (I’m in desperate need of solid sleep!) and winding down with some chamomile and honey tea.