Tag Archives: banana

Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze

I can’t make Banana Bread. And by can’t, I mean shouldn’t. Does anyone else have a problem not eating an entire loaf of banana bread in one sitting? I think I have everything under control until I pull the pan out of the oven and the aroma that envelopes the entire house cradles me and slides me into the Land of Absolutely No Willpower. I’ll just cut a slice off the end. I’ll just slice one more piece. Okay, just one more and I’m done. Well, that piece was lopsided so I might as slice this off. Now, that looks weird so I should cut another piece. Have I really almost eaten half of this bread? What’s one more slice? You know what I mean. When I see a recipe like this Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze, I tell myself I shouldn’t make it. I even convince myself I won’t make it and consider for a second not keeping the recipe. But then when I have those dark brown bananas sitting on my counter, well, I’m not going to throw them out. And putting them in the freezer for smoothies is just not a train I can get on. I hunt down that recipe.

The bananas are sautéed in butter with brown sugar until thick and caramelized. The gooey goodness is mixed with your standard quick bread ingredients (oh, and a little rum) and baked until puffy and golden. Then, to take things over the top, butter that is cooked until toasty brown is mixed with half-and-half and powdered sugar. This brown butter glaze isn’t needed, but you’ll be glad you added it. When you slide that glaze over the bread and watch it as it seeps into it’s deep, crusty crevices, you’ll be thankful. Just try to contain yourself and eat one piece. Just. Try.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and bananas; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Place banana mixture in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

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Combine buttermilk, oil, rum and eggs. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined.

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Scrape batter into a 9 x 5-inch metal loaf pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan, and cool on wire rack.

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Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 3 minutes or until butter begins to brown; remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and half-and-half, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

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Drizzle glaze over bread. Let stand until glaze sets.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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Banana-Almond Butter French Toast Sandwiches

I was in Vegas two weeks ago and one morning my friends and I went to breakfast. (This doesn’t always happen). It was our first morning there and we hadn’t yet been sucked in to all the Vegas has. Not that I’m going to tell you anything that happened there – but I will tell you that I came thisclose to ordering French toast that morning. French toast is one of those things that I ate quite often when I was a kid but rarely do anymore. I always consider it when going out for breakfast but never order it. Thankfully, it’s easy to make at home. Got eggs and bread? You can make French toast. These Banana-Almond Butter French Toast Sandwiches are different twist that are a fun alternative to your standard breakfast. Maybe even your Easter breakfast.

Almond butter, maple syrup, and banana slices are spread between two pieces of break and then dunked in a mixture of eggs, almond milk (or regular milk), cinnamon and vanilla. Grilled until golden brown and slightly crispy, these sandwiches are packed with perfect salty-sweetness. Think of a peanut butter and banana sandwich marrying French toast. So yummy. Surprise your kids with these on Easter Sunday. They’ll be happy they are portable while they are off searching for eggs.

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Crack eggs into a shallow bowl. Add almond milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; stir with a whisk to combine.

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Combine almond butter and maple syrup in a small bowl. Cut banana lengthwise into 4 thin slices; cut crosswise into halves. Spread almond butter mixture evenly across bread slices. Top 2 bread slices with 4 banana pieces. Place remaining 2 bread slices over banana, sandwiching almond butter and bananas inside.

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Heat a panini press to 425°F or grill pan at high heat. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture, and let excess drip off.

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Lightly coat grill plates of panini press or grill pan with cooking spray, if needed. Arrange sandwiches on press or grill. Push down gently to flatten.

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Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until sandwiches are browned on the outside and hot in the center.Place sandwiches on a cutting board. Cut in half diagonally. Serve hot.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Peanut-Butter Banana Bread

Is February, and winter for that matter, over yet? Since it snowed all day on Saturday, I had no motivation to do anything but watch a Parks and Recreation marathon and bake. I’ve been on a random peanut butter kick lately and realized that I have four – yes, four – different kinds of nut butters in my cabinet. And that isn’t even counting the powdered peanut butter I put in my protein smoothies everyday. Since there were a couple of bananas hanging out on my counter and today is National Banana Bread Day, I pulled out one of those jars of peanut butter and decided since it was cold and snowy outside that I needed to bake this Peanut-Butter Banana Bread.

Peanut butter is not just mixed into the batter but it is also mixed into the sweet drizzle that coats the soft, warm banana bread. I mean, bananas and peanut butter isn’t just for Elvis. This banana bread was insane. And I say was because I may or may not have eaten the entire loaf over the coarse of the weekend. Good thing I’m hitting the gym today. But seriously, since most people have peanut butter hanging around, next time you make banana bread, give this a try. And just try to eat only one piece. Elvis knew what he was doing.

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Preheat oven to 350°F.To prepare bread, combine peanut butter, yogurt, bananas, butter and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until blended.

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Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and spices in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Stir in nuts.

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Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F 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.

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To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over bread.

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Additions: None

Omissions:

  • Flaxseed

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Banana Pumpkin Smoothies

After all of the cheese and wine I consumed last week in Buenos Aires, I need to get it together. Quite frankly, I’m tired of chicken, have no desire for salads, and can’t eat any more eggs. When I get into an eating rut like this, where I want to eat healthy but can’t stand to eat the same old, same old, I like to replace a meal with a smoothie a few times a week. It’s the middle of October so it feels completely appropriate to break out the pumpkin. This Banana Pumpkin Smoothie is the perfect fall meal that tastes more like a treat and keeps my pants fitting.

Vanilla yogurt, canned pumpkin, orange juice, and frozen banana are the basis of this smoothie which is jazzed up with warm spices and a hint of brown sugar. Right around now, you can find all kinds of recipes for pumpkin pie smoothies but what makes this one unique and different is the addition of the banana and fresh orange juice. I always have slices of frozen banana in my freezer just for smoothies like this but if you don’t, a fresh banana will work fine, you just may want to add extra ice. I never thought to combine orange and pumpkin together but the flavors marry perfectly, giving this drink a light freshness you don’t typically get with fall pumpkin flavors. I’m sold.

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Combine yogurt, pumpkin, ice, orange juice, brown sugar, spices, and banana in a blender, and process until smooth.

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Garnish with dash of ground cinnamon, if desired. Serve immediately.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Quick Banana and Milk Chocolate S’Mores

A little over three years ago, I bought my first home, a condo. A month later, this blog was born. I was so excited to finally own a place after renting so many apartments. I searched design blogs and poured over websites looking at furniture and paint colors. Well, this past weekend, I spent every minute cleaning every nook and cranny because I’ll be putting my sweet little condo on the market. I accepted a job in Atlanta about three weeks ago which I’m really excited about but getting a home ready to list for sale is purely exhausting. I passed up on a concert, barely ate any meals and drank way too much coffee. Late Saturday after realizing I’d eaten nothing all day, I picked up Chinese food and almost fell asleep eating it. Yesterday I decided I needed to make something for the blog so instead of making something healthy and sustaining, I made these Quick Banana and Milk Chocolate S’Mores. Only because they were quick.

Graham crackers are topped with milk chocolate, banana slices and marshmallow which is then toasted under the broiler for a quick minute and a half when everything becomes soft and gooey. Eating these s’mores reminded me of when my friend Lori and I used to make s’mores in the toaster oven at work. The smell would waft throughout the office and at one point our CFO came over and asked what we made that smelled so good. Everything about these s’mores takes me back to that time. The milk chocolate is creamy, the marshmallow is oozing, and the banana is toasted and mellowed out. Yes, this was my dinner last night. And considering I still have a little more to do, it just might be my dinner tonight.

Have some left over marshmallows? Try this Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake!

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Preheat broiler to high. Place graham cracker squares on a foil-lined baking sheet. Divide chocolate evenly among 4 squares; top evenly with banana slices. Spread 1 tablespoon marshmallow crème (or place 1 marshmallow) on each of 4 remaining squares.

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Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate just begins to melt and marshmallow creme lightly browns.

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Carefully top banana with the marshmallow-topped squares.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Whole marshmallows

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Just about every January or February, right when I think I might snap from the cold winter weather, I find myself driving to the nearest candle store to buy the biggest coconut candle I can find.  The scent of coconut takes me to back to summertime when it was warm and suntan lotion filled the air.  It’s something I do to try to trick my brain into thinking it’s not so cold out.  Well, we are in Spring now and the temperature outside is 80 one day and 30 the next so when I went to Target the other day, I didn’t realize until I got home that nearly everything I bought had coconut involved somehow: coffee creamer, air freshener, instant iced tea, chocolate, and coffee (see my Instagram picture of this collection here). Obsessed with coconut much? Well, it just seemed like an appropriate time to breakout the actual coconut and make this Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze.

Sweetened coconut flakes are mixed with basic banana bread batter, which is made with low-fat yogurt and pumped up with some dark rum. A little extra sprinkling of coconut tops the batter which is then baked until golden brown.  Once cooled slightly, the bread is given a little extra sweetness with a simple lime juice/powdered sugar glaze which adds a whole other layer of flavor.  I almost left off the glaze because the bread was so perfectly beautiful without it but I’m glad I added it.  The citrus flavor really complements the coconut making this a real island-y banana bread.  Coconut is one of those things that people either love or hate. I don’t think I could live without it.

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Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.  Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

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Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended.

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Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut.

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Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan.

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Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely on wire rack.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Whole-wheat flour for half of the white flour

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

It really is a shame that when I have browning bananas, my first instinct is to make cupcakes with them instead of a healthy smoothie.  This, my friends, is why I struggle with my weight.  But then again, it’s not really about the final product so much as the process.  Making cupcakes and frosting is just more satisfying than blending a bunch of fruit together.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I’ve tried making banana cupcakes in the past but each time they ended up tasting more like banana muffins.  Then I came across these Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.  These cupcakes are light and cakey like a cupcake and not at all dense like a muffin.  Finally!

Because I didn’t expect these cupcakes to turn out as well as they did, I didn’t document anything but the final product.  I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.  And I’m not going to sugar coat it – the only thing reduced-fat about these bad boys is the reduced-fat cream cheese I used in the frosting.  The rest is butter, sugar and white flour.  I’m not even going to kid you that these are good for you.  But look at it this way, since they are cupcakes, they are already portion controlled.  Just try to only eat one!

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • 1/3-less fat cream cheese

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Baking Bites blog

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