Posts Tagged ‘bananas’

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Cooking Light magazine recently had a feature on Banana Bread recipes.

I frequently have a freezer full of too-ripe bananas, just waiting to be turned into Banana Bread. (This has never been more true than lately; I think we’ve got about 12 frozen bananas in there!) I have an old standby recipe for banana bread from David’s family, and I’ve made other types of banana bread before, but I was excited to try some of the Cooking Light varieties, especially after seeing their outstanding reviews. The first one to catch my eye was this Peanut Butter Banana Bread.

I’ll admit, I made some tweaks. For one, I didn’t have chopped peanuts, or creamy peanut butter, so I cut out the middle man and used chunky peanut butter. Worked great. I’m not a fan of super-sweet desserts, usually, and Banana Bread is more of a breakfast treat to me than it is a dessert anyway, so I skipped the extra sweetness from the peanut butter glaze, though I’m sure it would’ve been tasty. I liked the way it turned out. Moist, rich-but-not-too-rich, with just a hint of peanuty goodness. The peanut butter added flavor without overpowering the bananas. The most successful Cooking Light recipes are ones that don’t seem “light,” and this definitely falls into that category. I’ll probably make this one again–if I was making it to give to someone else or to bring to a party or something, I’d probably try the glaze, too.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Adapted from Cooking Light, October 2010

For the Bread:

  • 1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3  cup  vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 1/3  cup  crunchy peanut butter
  • 3  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
  • Cooking spray

For the Glaze (optional):

  • 1/3  cup  powdered sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  1% low-fat milk
  • 1  tablespoon  creamy peanut butter

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare bread, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until blended.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a standard 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool.

4. If you want to make the glaze: combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over bread when cooled.

Nutritional Info: Calories: 198; Fat: 7.4g; Protein: 4.7g; Carbohydrate: 29.7g; Fiber: 1.9g

Lightened-Up Banana Bread

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

I love banana bread, and zucchini bread, and everything in that family, but most recipes I come across are insanely unhealthy. My grandma’s recipe for zucchini bread worked out to 15 points for a one-inch slice. Yummy, but yikes!

I tried this recipe with a healthy dose of skepticisim. I am suspicious of fat free cream cheese, for one. And I wasn’t quite sure how the baking mix would turn out in this.

It turned out great. The loaf made the house smell amazing, and I couldn’t wait for it to be finished so I could try it. It was one of those things I had to struggle to let cool before I tried it. Fortunately, it was worth the wait. The texture was light and crumbly–a little less dense than a traditional banana bread, and a little lighter in color. Otherwise though, the flavor was excellent. Next time, I think I’ll try it as muffins or mini-muffins, for a little built-in portion control. As it was, baked in the traditional loaf pan the nutritional info worked out to about 160 calories, 4 grams of fat, and less than one gram of fiber per slice, or 3 points.

Lightened-Up Banana Bread

1 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package fat-free cream cheese
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium)
2 large eggs
2 cups reduced-fat baking mix (such as Bisquick)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add banana and eggs; beat until well blended. Add the baking mix and walnuts, and stir just until moist.

Pour batter into a 9-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Tent bread with foil, and bake an additional 15 minutes.or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Note: I think this recipe came from the Weight Watchers message boards, but I’m not 100% sure. If anyone knows the source, let me know and I’ll be sure and give credit. This would be great with chocolate chips, dried cranberries, or any of the other classic additions to banana bread.

Does anyone else have any favorite “light” baked goods recipes?

Blueberry Pancakes

Friday, August 14th, 2009

I do most of the cooking, which means most of the time, I make my own breakfast.

During the week, that means cereal at my desk at work, primarily. And on the weekends, I make myself eggs, or sometimes this bacon, egg, potatoes & cheese scramble that I really like. Maybe I’ll share it with you sometime. But that’s besides the point.

As much as I love to cook, and as much as I need breakfast in the morning, sometimes it’s hard to be motivated. That’s why, I’m here to say, I believe that waking up to a breakfast that someone else has cooked is one of the most luxurious feelings. I have been lucky enough to wake up to breakfast a few times in my life. When I was little, it was one of the best parts of staying overnight at Grandma and Grandpas house (so much so, that we’ll still ask them to make breakfast for us every now and then). And occasionally, my dad would make himself breakfast and get suckered in to cooking for everyone else on a Sunday morning. These days, it doesn’t happen often, but every now and then David will make me breakfast. When he does, it’s usually pancakes.

One fantastic weekend morning last week, I woke up to David making pancakes. Blueberry pancakes. And banana pancakes. Fantastic pancakes. He’d even had to go out shopping for ingredients–the buttermilk and the blueberries. Still, he made pancakes.

It’s probably not surprising that David makes Alton Brown’s pancakes. One of the great things about Alton Brown’s recipe for pancakes is that it starts with making your own pancake mix. Once you’ve done that, you’ve got enough mix for several batches of pancakes for later use. All you do is add eggs , butter, and buttermilk to put together the pancake batter.

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Alton Brown’s “Instant” Pancakes

To make the “Instant” Pancake Mix:

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (check expiration date first)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a lidded container. Shake to mix.

Use the mix within 3 months.

To make the pancakes:

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups “Instant” Pancake Mix, recipe above
  • 1 stick butter, for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups fresh fruit such as blueberries, if desired

Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees F. Heat oven to 200 degrees F.

Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter.

Combine the buttermilk mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix. Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together. Don’t try to work all the lumps out.

Check to see that the griddle is hot by placing a few drops of water onto to the griddle. The griddle is ready if the water dances across the surface.

Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.)

Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle and sprinkle on fruit if desired. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set.

Serve immediately or remove to a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Hold in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

Yield: 12 pancakes

Note: We’ve made these pancakes several times, and they’re my absolute favorite ones. No contest. This batch had blueberries in some, and banana slices in others, but the plain ones are just as good.

Banana Bread

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Everyone knows that over-ripe bananas mean banana bread. So when I found myself with an apartment full of guests and several over-ripe bananas, I decided to throw some together last weekend. And it was pretty near close to perfect, if I do say so myself. It made the whole place smell amazing!

Banana Bread
adapted from Molly Wizenberg’s “A Homemade Life”

  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter (I used salted, because that’s what we keep on hand).
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cps mashed bananas (from about 3 large ripe bananas)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnut halves

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Line a loaf pan (9 X 5 inches) with parchment paper

3. Now take your butter, put it in a skillet or a small pot and melt it on a relatively low heat.

4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, the sugar, the baking soda, the salt, the ginger and the cinnamon.

5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs lightly. Add the mashed banana, the buttermilk, the cooled butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well.

6.  Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir gently with a rubber spatula until it’s just combined (don’t overmix). Gently stir in the walnuts. Now scrape it into the prepared loaf pan.

7. Bake it in the oven for about an hour and 15 minutes until a tester comes clean.

8. Cool the loaf in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes then let it rest on a cooling rack until completely cooled. If you can. 🙂