Monday, September 29, 2008

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I have had three black, ripened, frozen bananas in the freezer for about two months now just dying to be made into bread. I actually use to have about six but little by little I used them up in oatmeal when the fresh bananas were all gone. I knew it would be overwhelming to narrow in on just one banana bread recipe (just try googling healthy banana bread), the options are endless. Thankfully in my daily blog reading I had come across rave reviews for Fitnessista's homemade whole wheat banana bread.
Here we go:

Servings: 48 Makes: 2 loaves
• 4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
• 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
• 1 egg
• 1 1/4 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar of your choice)
• 1 cup golden raisins
• 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray glass loaf pans (2 - 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5) with cooking oil spray.
Mix the dry ingredients, then add the wet. Stir until blended but don't over mix. Pour into loaf pans. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 - 8 minutes. Remove from loaf pans and cool completely. Slice and serve. Wrap with plastic wrap keep moist.
Per Serving: 71 Calories (maybe less because I omit the oil the original recipe calls for) 2g Fat 1g Protein 13g Carbohydrate 1g Dietary Fiber trace Cholesterol 79mg Sodium

So now for my minor changes (mainly due to my lack of supplies). I thought that I had a full cup of nonfat yogurt, but I only had about 1/2 :(. I opted to make up the difference with fat free sour cream...this subsitution completely worked! Also I had to leave out the golden raisins because we didn't have any in the house. I thought about adding in walnuts, which we did have in the house, but erin isn't a huge fan of nuts in bread. I did go ahead and add a bit of ginger to the spices just to add a bit more flavor (i was feeling adventurous haha). The mix was quite thick and I added a few splashes of skim milk just to make sure all the flour was fully incorporated.

This bread turned out really great! I thought about freezing one loaf but the way that baked goods go around this house there really was no need! I always worry with whole wheat baking that it will be too dense, or lose any moisture overnight, but three days later and it is still really yummy.

I couldn't believe that the calories were so low for this bread, especially because the flavor was so good. I think you could also choose to add in raisins, nuts or other dried fruit of your liking. The possiblities are endless. This will be a must bake again for me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

baking chocolate chip bars

sometimes subsitutions DO work out! I wanted to start off with that bold statement because after my skinny cookies let me down I was determined to bake something good to statisfy my sweet tooth. I work from home on Thursdays and normally I hit a lull in the afternoon and need something to fix my boredom. Since I always find so many great looking recpies in the blog world I decided to try and attempt one each thursday afternoon. This week it was a great looking chocolate chip cookie bar recipe for none other than Eating Well!

really how can you go wrong with a little bit of flour, chocolate chips and an oven. these sure didn't dissappoint. I couldn't seem to find the recipe again online when I searched so I listed it below:
Chocolate Chip Bars:

  • 2/3 cup of flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbl of Butter (I used Brumel and Brown)
  • 1/4 cup of Fat Free Cream Cheese (the recipe calls for less fat cream cheese but I always use completely fat free and it never seems to effect the outcome)
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chopped up

Pre-heat oven to 375 and spray a 8x12 pan. Stir together flour, bk soda, salt. Melt butter in a sauce pan and then add to cream cheese, sugars and mix well. Add egg and vanilla. Add together with dry ingrediants and stir in chocolate chips. (the batter at this point was very thick) Pour into pan and spread out to cover the pan. Bake for 20-25 mins.

After them came out of the oven and cooled I cut them into bars for all to enjoy. These were a mix of chocolate chip bread and cookies. Erin and her family really enjoyed them, so I guess they passed the test.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pumpkin Spiced Coffee

it's here...fall is almost here. To prove it this morning after my workout, and on my way to over an hour commute to work, i stopped and got a pumpkin spiced coffee. YUM. I tried to take a picture during my commute, but I am still working on figuring out my camera phone.

As I was drinking down that Honey Dew goodness (that's right not everyone in New England is obsessed with DD) I started to thinking about all the recipes I cannot wait to blog about this fall. Not to mention the beverages that have similar fall flavors. (after starting this post erin and i had a surprise visit from my parents for the weekend and they bought Shipyard pumpkin ale at the local, amazing, liquor store...yes!!!).

When I started this blog last year I had just come off from a pretty inspiring season of cooking. Needless to say this fall will hopefully be a repeat of last year with lots and lots of blogs!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

skinny cookies...skimpy taste

I have been adamant about reading food blogs lately because it really keeps me motivated to keep cooking, blogging and trying new recipes. With that in mind I was working from home the other day and came across Tina's blog entry for Skinny Cookies! Now how could I pass up an amazing tasting cookie with hardly any fat?! Since I was working from home it was easy to take a thirty minute break and attempt...they seemed easy enough!

So she calls for a pureed peach in the mix, which I didn't have, so I opted for applesauce (someone had commented that it would probably be the same basic's a pureed fruit). Also, and I think this was the downfall, but I was all out of normal I had to use Splenda. Now I know most people have strong feelings about this one way or another...but baking splenda (which I used) is suppose to have the EXACT same effect on recipes as sugar. I also added a little bit of oats because i just love them so much....

Mine did not turn out as expected. The first indication that they were "different" was the fact that unlike Tina's cookies mine didn't expand outward but more upward. They were thicker than her picture and cooked a bit faster too. So when my taste tester came home (erin)and I made her try them she said she liked them (not love though)! Her mom and dad also thought they were good. Me, not so much. It's not that they tasted bad...just seemed to lack taste to me. They had a cake like consistency and just didn't seem to be quite delish enough.

back to the baking board...