Thursday, November 17, 2016

Banana Bread

Food is a whole big thing at my house. My husband and I started our relationship eating like normal Americans. You know, grab the nearest box of mac and cheese and add the cheapest hot dogs money we had- because come on, we were broke- and you have dinner. Over the years, things have changed.

We started out having to go low sodium because SOMEBODY *cough, cough, Shaun, cough, cough* had to go and have a few high blood pressure readings. That one was fun. Goodbye delicious frozen dinners.

Then we added food dyes because I was getting migraines. Our middle son was getting migraines. Our daughter was getting super grumpy and even more dramatic than she already was. And our youngest was throwing himself on the floor with great abandon in fits. They had to go. Good bye delicious M&M's. I still miss you a little...

And then we added dairy free for ME because after four babies who couldn't deal with dairy in my diet for the first year of life, my body decided it wasn't feeling it for that particular food group anymore. Goodbye cheese, I still love thee from afar.

And since I am apparently a crazy person, I decided to add the majority of refined sugar to this list of things I no longer eat. I say majority because there is one thing I refuse to wave goodbye to. That beautiful thing that calls to me every night from the freezer is my dairy free ice cream. I just can't even say no. Maybe once I figure out a good homemade recipe...we'll get there. But I just can't let go yet.

That brings us to the reason why this blog is now here. I have a TON of recipes that I turn to in my everyday life. Some of them are very loosely based on other recipes I've found while others are entirely made up by me. I'll link you to the loose base when it comes up. ;)

This particular recipe for banana bread is one of those loosely based ones. It originally came from this with several changes: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/20144/banana-banana-bread/

But I have gone ahead and made a bunch of changes to it to make it Kristi Friendly. Here we have my fellow baker complete with messy, "we're baking here" kitchen:


Step one, you need to mash your bananas. Set them nearby because you are using them soon. But first, you need to mix the coconut oil and honey together. It'll look like this:

After that, you can add your bananas and applesauce. The applesauce adds sweetness with less sugar. No one will notice. Trust me. I have the King of Chocolate living in my house and he actually inhales this stuff. While I was writing this, he came home and shouted, "What are you making?" *sniff, sniff, sniff* "BANANA BREAD!" So I'd say this one's a winner. Haha.

From here, you'll need to combine the dry ingredients in a big bowl like so:


Once all is combined in each bowl, pour the wet into the dry and mix only until they are combined. Apparently overmixing here will lead to a brick-like banana bread loaf. Ain't nobody got time for that nonsense. You want light and fluffy.

And because I forgot to get a picture before it went in the oven, here is the banana bread before it was cooked but after I stuck it in the oven:


Here it is all pretty and fresh from the oven! Notice the nice puffy center with browning all over? The edges are pulled away slightly and it's springy to the touch. Oh, and a toothpick comes out clean, but I find the other checks more reliable.


Here's one more from the side so you can truly see the puffy top. ;)



Ingredients:

3-4 mashed medium bananas (I've actually used as many as 5 with good results)
2 eggs
1/2C honey
1/2C unsweetened applesauce (I use an applesauce cup from the cabinet)
1/2C coconut oil, solidified (you can sub 1/4C coconut oil + 1/4C Earth Balance vegan butter here too; I've done both)
1tsp pure vanilla extract

2C unbleached all-purpose flour
1tsp baking soda
1/4tsp sea salt
1.5tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a loaf pan (I used a stone loaf pan) with coconut oil.
2. Mix coconut oil and honey together in a small bowl. Add applesauce and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add eggs and bananas. Mix again. Set aside.
3. In a larger bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
*optional step: Add a small bag of chocolate chips (I would use dairy free here) or nuts or both.
5. Pour mixture into greased loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until the top is brown, the sides pull slightly away from the edges of the pan, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

**Mini-loaves take 25-30 minutes to bake to perfection. Muffins in liners take 18-22 minutes!

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