Oatmeal Banana Bread

Like most toddlers, my son goes through phases of being obsessed with a particular food and then wanting nothing to do with it. These phases can last weeks or just days, which makes it difficult to plan for. But in an effort to keep the peace, I aim to have his usual favorites on standby knowing I’ll end up eating whatever has fallen out of his favor that week. This week he has decided he hates bananas and this left me with a bunch of browning bananas and a craving for banana bread.

What I love about this particular banana bread is that it is hearty enough for breakfast. I have never been one of those women who could eat a croissant, sip a small coffee and be satisfied until lunch. I need real food to hold me over – oatmeal, heavy Greek yogurt, whole wheat toast with nut butters and tons of fruit. And tons of coffee. So I was surprised the first time I made this recipe that the single slice of banana bread with almond butter held me over until lunch. The oatmeal adds a denseness that is satisfying while the yogurt and banana keep the bread soft and moist. I love it with simple almond butter and strawberries but I am guessing this will also make AMAZING french toast.

banana bread

Also, I strongly suggest adding chocolate chips, dried fruit and/or nuts into the batter as well. Anything your family loves! I kept it simple this time as my husband and I disagree on toppings – he prefers jellies or butter and I am all about almond butter and sliced strawberries. So if I keep the bread plain we can go our separate directions.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
3 bananas, mashed
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup oats

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and prep a loaf pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, mashed bananas and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in one egg at a time then the vanilla.

In a second bowl, combined all dry ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to the banana mixture, stirring until just combined. You would add your mix-ins at this point if you want.

banana bread

Pour the batter in the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I tented mine with foil about 30 minutes in to prevent it from getting too dark on top. Full disclosure, I should have tented about five to ten minutes sooner.

banana bread

Let cool for ten minutes in the pan before removing and placing the loaf on a cooling rack to cool completely before packing up to store. I keep this on the counter in an airtight container for about four days, or a bit longer in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Banana Muffins

Sunday mornings in my house are made for curling up on the couch with my son watching cartoons and sipping coffee. Since we are quickly approaching the Terrible Twos, Sunday morning seems to be the only time we can get him to sit still for more than a few minutes. This may be because he is still partially asleep but I’ll take any cuddle time I can get!

I also like to take the time on Sunday morning to actually make breakfast. Most mornings we are rushing out the door so I like to take advantage of the mornings I can slow down to bake a batch of muffins. These banana muffins are super simple and the classic banana bread flavor is a favorite in my house. Also the fact that the banana muffins are whole wheat with no refined sugars is a big plus in my book. While I am not above feeding my son chicken fingers from time to time,I try to feed him healthier options whenever I can. Slather some almond butter on these muffins and he is a happy boy!

banana muffins

Ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 bananas, mashed
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
Option mix-ins: chocolate chips, almonds, pecans, dried cranberries…

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and set aside a prepared muffin tin.

Begin by mixing all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, mix all of the remaining ingredients until completely combined. A note on the banana, if you prefer chunkier pieces of banana in your muffins feel free to leave it a little less mashed!

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stirring until just combined – do not over work the batter! You can also add in some nuts or chocolate chips at this point if you’d like.

banana muffins

Pour into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

banana muffins

Breakfast Cake…. Cake for Breakfast!

I am on a dessert for breakfast kick. And before you judge me for eating brownies with my morning coffee – though I have done that in the past – I’ve transformed cake into wholesome and filling breakfast. Yes, cake. The bananas, whole wheat and oatmeal make this a great breakfast option while the fact that its cake makes it just plain fun. Top a slice with some almond butter and chocolate chips or dip in your coffee as is. Any day is a good day when it starts with a slice of a cake!

Breakfast banana cake
Ingredients
1 ½ cups quick oats*
1 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed banana, about 2 medium
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup milk
Optional add-ins – almonds, coconut, chocolate chips, dried fruit… anything!

*If you only have regular oats, simply toss them in the food processor and give it a few pulses to break them up a bit. This will help them absorb the liquid while baking.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9″x9″ pan with nonstick spray.

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl – oats through salt – and set aside. In a second bowl combine the remaining ingredients except milk. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients and milk, alternating like you would with a real cake batter.

At this point you can add in any of your additional add-ins.

Spread the batter in your pan and bake for about 23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before slicing.

breakfast cake

Enjoy!

Espresso and Almond Banana Bread

Weekends are for banana bread in my house. There is something about the smell of freshly baked banana bread that feels so warm and comforting. And since I am usually the first up on Saturday mornings I take the time to bake and use my French press for a good cup of coffee. So by the time my husband and son are up – the house smells like fresh bread and I’ve already enjoyed my coffee in a quiet kitchen. I get some alone time and they have fresh banana bread – we’ll my husband does since my son doesn’t have enough teeth yet.

The below banana bread recipe is actually healthy. The banana and apple sauce replace the need for oil and the butter is cut down to reduce the fat even further. But this bread by no means tastes healthy. And I like to add the espresso powder for some extra flavor.

And on a side note – this is amazing warmed up with some ice cream on top. Just saying!

Banana Bread

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant expresso powder
3 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tablespoon butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2  cup almonds, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and expresso powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar together. Add bananas, apple sauce, egg whites and vanilla. Slowly add in flour mixture and almonds. Mix until just combined.

Banana Bread

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 45 minutes. The bread will be done if a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

IMG_5201

Enjoy!