Posts made in February 20th, 2012
Does anyone else out there hate ripe bananas? Yuck. I do. I will not touch a banana unless it still has a nice tinge of green to it. Brown spots? Fahgettaboutit. Those suckers make me gag. Too sweet. Too mushy. Too banana-y. Just thinking about eating one gives me the willies.
Thankfully, ripe bananas work perfectly in baked goods. The high sugar content helps to sweeten the dish and the mushy texture of the fruit means it incorporates nicely into the batter. So grab your nearest spotted banana and let’s make some banana bread!
I’ve taken to calling this bread “super bread” because it is packed with an insane amount of super foods. Blueberries in general are a great nutritional choice because their dark skin packs in antioxidants that help block free radicals from damaging our cells. But wild blueberries have almost twice the amount of antioxidants over regular, cultivated blueberries.
From a taste perspective, I think wild blueberries are a game-changer. They are small, sweet and firm. I love using them in recipes because they tend to keep their shape and offer an amazing burst of berry flavor in the final dish. Wild blueberries are actually pretty easy to find. Check out the frozen fruit section of your grocery store and look specifically for “wild” written on the package. I’ve seen them both at Kroger and Walmart.
Beyond the blueberries, I also took the opportunity to get in some super seeds and replaced 3/4 cup of the flour with ground flaxseeds. The flaxseed meal adds a subtly nutty flavor and a small amount of chew and a ton of omega-3 fatty acid. There are two essential fatty acids that humans need to consume to keep their bodies running smoothy—omega-6s and omega-3s. The typical American diet provides us with plenty of omega-6s thanks to eggs, nuts and cooking oils, but we usually lack omega-3s. Any dish that packs in the omega-3s is a good thing (chia seeds are another awesome source of omega-3s.)
Most breakfast breads or coffee cakes are so loaded with sugar and refined flour that they aren’t exactly appropriate for a healthy breakfast–this recipe is. The bread is sweetened by the banana and blueberries and accented with a small amount of honey. The flours are 100% whole grain. If you want to go 100% clean you can skip the confectioner’s sugar glaze, but I think it adds a fun, flavorful accent. And 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar never killed anyone. At least that I know of.
Wild Blueberry Banana Super Bread with Lemon Glaze
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minute
Makes: 1 loaf
Inspired by: Clean Eating Magazine
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 3/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 2 egg whites (about 1/4 cup liquid)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- Cooking spray
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a medium bowl, mix together banana, flax seed, egg whites, honey, buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together baking soda, salt, and flour. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir until just mixed. Fold in blueberries.
- Pour batter into a cooking spray-coated loaf pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let rest for 10-15 minutes in pan, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make glaze, mix together confectioner’s sugar with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add a teaspoon more of lemon juice at a time until it reaches a glaze-like consistency. Pour over cooled bread.
Do you like ripe bananas?
Happy Monday, friends!
The Cook for the Cure Raffle is over. The donations are all in. The winners have been notified (check your e-mail!). I am absolutely in awe of the numbers I saw last week. We raised a total of $1520 to fund research and prevention programs in the fight against breast cancer. $1520! You know how much good the Avon Cancer Crusade can do with $1520? Here are some examples:
- Fund 15 mammograms for women without health insurance or with inadequate health insurance.
- Help support the Y-ME breast cancer support hotline. The only 24/7 staffed breast cancer support hotline in the world.
- Pay for one MRI or biopsy for a woman who couldn’t otherwise afford it.
- Help fund Indiana University Health and its research to identify risk factors that should indicate who needs to be screened more frequently.
- Partially fund the Helping Her Live program, an initiative in Chicago to help educate and prevent breast cancer deaths among black, Latina and low-income women who may not have otherwise had access to education, preventative care or disease treatment.
I was not kidding when I said that your donations are literally saving lives. They are. I am so filled with love and pride because of you guys. Thank you SO much for your support! You should have seen my Mom’s face when I told her how much the raffle had raised. Your generosity is making my whole family beam with joy.
If you didn’t get a chance to participate this time, you’ll have another chance! We’ll be doing it all over again in a few weeks but with different (even bigger!) prizes.
Edit to add: I just heard back from the winner of the mixer and I had to share this story. She is currently in cancer treatment (this week is her last week) and she’s going to give the mixer to her cousin as a thank you for sitting with her during her chemo treatments. I know a lot of folks wanted to win that mixer, but hopefully hearing that it is being put to a GREAT use will help ease the blow. The world works in awesome ways sometimes.