Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Banana Recipe #5: Peanut Butter & Banana French Toast

This past weekend, Dave and I got to enjoy a lazy Saturday. We slept in and ate breakfast for lunch. Because we still had so many bananas, I decided to incorporate them into something breakfasty. I had seen peanut butter banana french toast before on some diner menus and wanted to give them a try. I found and adapted a recipe that was inspired by one of Bobby Flay's:


Serves 2
-4 slices of bread (I used whole wheat)
-peanut butter
-two small bananas or one large one, sliced
-2 eggs whisked together
-juice of an orange or 4 tablespoons of ready-made orange juice (I used fresh orange juice, so I also added some of the zest)
-a pinch or two of nutmeg (I used about 1/2 tsp)
-a pinch or two of cinnamon (I used 1 tsp)
-a pinch of cayenne (I used about 1/4 tsp)


Make two peanut butter banana sandwiches.

Whisk egg mixture together, and dip both sides of your sandwich in the mixture.

Place sandwich on a heated iron skillet or non-stick one that has had a small pat of butter melted on it. Allow to brown for 60 seconds or slightly longer on each side.

To garnish, you can sprinkle on powdered sugar and maple syrup. You can even use honey if you'd like.

I served this up with a few orange wedges, which compliments the orange juice that's already in the french toast and also cuts through the richness a bit. 


Monday, March 5, 2012

Banana Recipe #4: A Smoothie For Champs

As it's the 4th installment of the banana recipe series, I'm getting a little tired of baking. This is a bit of a stretch as bananas aren't really the star of the recipe, but they do play a big part in the texture and taste of the smoothie. This smoothie might seem a bit intimidating, but it's a berry-banana meets a green smoothie. It's tasty and really good for you. Feel free to experiment with your ingredients. The sky's the limit with these green(ish) smoothies.

(Yields two large glasses or 4 smaller glasses)

-1 12 oz can of coconut water
-1 1/2 cups water (more or less to your taste--how thick or thin you want your smoothie to be)
-1/2 cup frozen strawberries
-1/2 cup frozen blueberries
-1/4 cup frozen mangoes
-1 large banana
-2 big handfuls of collard greens (no stems)
-1 handful of spinach
-2 Tbl ground flax seed
-2 Tbl ground pysllium husk
-juice of half a lemon
-If you want the extra creaminess, you can add a 1/4 cup of vanilla or plain yogurt

Place everything in a blender and let it do it's thing until everything's blended and smooth. Drink up. (By the way, these are super filling!)

Banana Recipe #3: Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies

OK, before I mislead anyone to the point of no return. I need to preface that these cookies aren't what most would consider a cookie. If you've ever had a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, you'll know what I'm talking about. These are more cake-like in consistency; they're more like muffin tops (the delicious kind--not the kind you see peeking out over too-tight jeans). These have been preggo-friend-tested-and-approved :).



-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
-1/2 cup granulated sguar
-1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (I used dark)
-1 large egg
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (I used two for more banana flavor)
-1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
-8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (you can also used coarsely chopped chunks)
-1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted


Preheat oven to 375 F. Whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.
Put butter and sugar into the bowl, mix with hand mixer or in a stand mixer on medium until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Add in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and walnuts. 

Use a teaspoon and scoop rounded teaspoons onto your cookie sheet with about 1 1/2 to 2 inches between the cookies. Bake the cookies, rotating the sheet halfway through, until golden brown and just set (about 12-13 minutes). Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes; let cool completely on wire racks. 


Adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe

Banana Recipe #2: Chocolate Banana Bread

On to recipe #2. The banana brownies were a hit: I brought some to my students and sent some off to work with Dave to share with his coworkers. The feedback was that they were nice, dense in a good way, and not too sweet--just sweet enough.

I still had a bunch of bananas left to use up so I decided to look for a banana bread recipe but with the chocolate factor pumped up a bit. I found one for chocolate banana bread on this site:
(I usually bake at night and there's no natural lighting. When I wake up, I barely have enough time to get ready, so I just snapped a shot really fast with my phone.)

-1 3/4 cups flour (You can also do a combo of APF & whole wheat flour [1 cup APF & 3/4 whole wheat]
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 cup sugar
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 large eggs, lightly beaten
-1 stick butter, melted & cooked
-3 ripe bananas, mashed well
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Mix together the flour, coco, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Stir the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla together. Carefully fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chips (and walnuts or pecans if you're using them).

Pour into a greased loaf pan (I just use Pam cooking spray). Bake at 350 F for 55-65 minutes until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Let cool before serving.

[You can also store this in the freezer.]


Banana Recipe #1:If Brownies & Banana Bread Had Babies [Banana Brownie Recipe]

A week and a half or so ago, I went to my friend's son's 4th birthday party. It was Curious George themed, and there were monkeys, bananas, and men (OK, only one man--Micah's daddy) in a yellow suit all over the place. While the kids were leaving one by one as they had tired themselves out from the bounce house and experiencing their imminent sugar crash, my friend was trying to clean up and do other post-party musts. Since she had bought a plethora of bananas and didn't know what to do with them, she handed me two huge bunches. I could have just frozen them to make smoothies or do the typical banana bread, but I got the urge to try a series of new banana-related recipes. 

Recipe #1 came as the result of me having a craving for chocolate and bananas. I figured that there was no way I was the first person to think of banana brownies, so I googled the recipe and sifted through a few before deciding on which I one I wanted to try. 

I saw a few four-star recipes but then stumbled on a state-fair winning one that seemed like it'd be the one; I was right. They're delicious--like a fine marriage of fudge, brownies, and banana bread.  

(I realize the picture's not the best one to post, but it's the only one I took of this brownie. If it makes up for anything--that stuff you see smothered all over it is Fresh & Easy's roasted banana gelato :)).

Thanks to Gloria's state fair winning recipe:

-5 oz semi sweet chocolate (or a little less than 1 cup chips)
-1 oz bittersweet chocolate (or 3 tablespoons chips)
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
-1 cup packed light brown sugar (I used dark--didn't have any light)
-2 large eggs
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 of a small banana (I added a whole large one, so you can actually taste banana)--well mashed
-3/4 cup sifted flour
-1 Tbl unsweetened natural cocoa powder
-1/4 tsp. salt (if using unsalted butter, add an extra pinch)
-1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
-1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped pecans (I used walnuts)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray cooking spray on only the bottom of an 8x8 inch metal pan. 

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium low heat, then reduce heat to low and add 5 oz and 1 oz of chocolates. Cook and stir over low until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes.  

Mix flour, cocoa, and salt together and set aside.

Combine sugar, eggs, banana in a separate bowl--stir until combined. (Using a fork for this makes it pretty easy)

Add chocolate mixture to sugar, egg, banana mixture--stir until combined.

Stir in dry ingredients just until combined.

Fold in that last 1/2 cup of choc. chips and nuts. Bake 35-40 minutes. Check it at 35 minutes.

Cool before cutting. 


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