07/13/14
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chocolate orange banana bread

Thanks for your sweet comments on my last post.  Sometimes my mama heart likes to shine :)

Today is about FOOD.  It’s been quite hot here lately and I find my bananas turning brown more quickly than normal.  And more quickly than I like.  Does anyone else notice that happening with heat? Most of the time I’ll toss them into the freezer for later use, but this week I made some banana bread.  It’s flavored with cocoa and orange, which instantly brings me back to the hearth (or favorite restaurant).  They have a warm chocolate orange cake that is sinfully delicious.  The banana bread is healthed up a bit and the sweetness is taken down a notch.  We’ve been enjoying it as a dessert after dinner, and an afternoon pick me up.

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The recipe came from this month’s Secret Recipe Club blog An Affair from the Heart.  The author, Michaela write a beautiful blog and shares so many tasty looking recipes.  She’s a busy stay at home mom to four.  One of my favorite things I read in her about me page is that her family sits down together for dinner, no electronics allowed.  That’s been a new rule of mine I’ve been enforcing (on myself too) lately.  The family dinner is so important!

Anyways, I found her chocolate orange banana bread recipe.  To make it a little less dessert like (but still treat like!) I skipped out on the chocolate chips, cut the sugar down and used whole wheat flour.  The bread came out perfectly after baking for an hour.  Hunter and I cannot get enough of it.  Hope you enjoy it too!

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Chocolate Orange Banana Bread

adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, prepare large loaf pan with oil spray.
  2. Combine sugar, honey and oil in your mixer (or by hand with a whisk), add in eggs, bananas and orange zest, mix.
  3. Sift together all of your dry ingredients.
  4. Alternate dry ingredients and orange juice into sugar/banana mixture.
  5. Mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl.
  6. Pour into pan and bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

How do you like to use your brown bananas?

Heather

01/22/14
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banana custard oats how-to

I had a realization.  I talk about my favorite banana custard oats breakfast all the time, yet it’s not here to link to.  The horror!  Truth is, I’ve been having a tough time sharing breakfast recipes, mainly because it’s still super dark outside when I’m making and eating it in those wee early morning hours.  Pictures don’t look good, but oh well, it’s too good not to share!

Here is my all time favorite breakfast.  I’ve been eating it for a couple years now and still don’t tire of it!

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Banana Custard Oats

Serves 1 (you can easily double or triple the recipe with great success)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 yellow – ripe banana (at least not green – it won’t taste as good)
  • 1 egg
  • optional but highly recommended: natural peanut butter (best topping in my opinion!)

Directions

  1. Add the oats, water and banana to a small pot.  Turn the heat to medium and allow to cook.  Whisk every few minutes until the banana begins to break down and the oats look almost cooked through.
  2. Add the egg in and whisk-whisk-whisk!  You can turn the heat up a little bit now if you’d like.  Keep whisking until you have a little bit of boiling (it will look more like popping since it’s so thick) and it looks custard like.
  3. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite topping (AKA peanut butter).

And to make it easier, here are the step by step pictures + some variations I adapt to sometimes.  This is a double batch pictured below.

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Add the oats, water and banana to a small pot.  Turn the heat to medium and allow to cook.

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Whisk every few minutes until the banana begins to break down and the oats look almost cooked through.

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Add the egg in and whisk-whisk-whisk!  You can turn the heat up a little bit now if you’d like.

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Keep whisking until you have a little bit of boiling (it will look more like popping since it’s so thick) and it looks custard like.

Variations

  • For a super filling breakfast, add in 2 eggs
  • To lighten it up a bit but add more volume, go for 2 egg whites instead of the egg
  • Adding in 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder will take this breakfast to a healthy and delicious dessert like treat, especially with the PB
  • Quicker cooking oats will make the whole cooking process faster
  • You can add the same banana and egg additions to really any breakfast grain, but of course, oats are my favorite

If Jacob liked banana flavor as much as I do, I think he’d love this too, but he doesn’t.  He is missing out!  At least I have one person in the house who enjoys it as much as I do!

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We get quite excited about breakfast.  When I make the double batch, I put Hunter’s bowl into the fridge to cool (or freezer if he’s already awake), which thickens it up even more making toddler oatmeal eating less messy.

I’ll usually give him servings in another bowl because I don’t quite trust him with a gigantic bowl of oats.  That morning we split an orange too and this was all that he had left in his bowl.

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This boy eats as much breakfast as I do!  Except I always finish mine. :)

Now you know my all time favorite breakfast (and can turn it into yours too).  Tell me, what’s your go-to-never-tire-of breakast?

Heather

06/4/13
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baby’s first smash cake {healthy no sugar banana cake}

Well hi!  I feel like I’ve been away from my little bloggie for a while now.  The weekend went by in a zoom at BodyCombat training.  Whoa.  Remember when I went through BodyPump training?  That seemed like nothing compared to this.

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Thankfully, I PASSED my initial training, which means now I need to work on learning the entire release, start teaching and film my video assessment within 2 months.  This is just the beginning…. :)

Over the next few weeks I’ll be popping in here and there.  We have a camping vacation coming up, a big farewell party for my brother who’s going oversees with the air force and lots of stuff to catch up on around the house.  It seems like when something’s gotta give, it’s the blog that does.  Oh well!  Onto today’s yummy topic.

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For Hunter’s 1st birthday party I knew I wanted to make his cake with no sugar.  I try to limit the amount of sugar he eats and I want to limit the super sweet things as long as I can.  Like until he’s 20. ;)  For inspiration I did what I normally do – go to google!

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I came across this recipe on Our Haven Hill, which you could totally make with no changes.  However, I really liked my enhancements to it.  For Hunter’s cake I baked about half the batter in 4 mini tart pans.  The extra batter turned into cupcakes for the party.  The 4 mini tart pans made the perfect size baby cake.  If you have them, I highly recommend it!  If you don’t have the mini tart pans, just use an 8″ or 9″ cake pan like the original recipe calls for.

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This cake doesn’t have to be just for birthdays, it really is an every day yummy banana snack cake!

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Healthy No Sugar Banana Cake  {AKA Baby’s First Smash Cake}

adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 4 or 5 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup natural no sugar added applesauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (grind rolled oats in blender, then measure)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Mash the bananas in a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate large bowl, mix the flours, baking soda, and cinnamon together.
  3. Add the mashed bananas, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla to the flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated.
  4. Coat your 4 mini tart pans + 6-8 muffin pans (or 2 8 or 9″round pans) with oil.
  5. Spread the batter into the bottom of the pans.
  6. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes.  Check with a toothpick for doneness.
  7. Cool the cakes before frosting.  If you used the 8″ or 9″ pan, then use an overturned smaller bowl to cut out small cake rounds.

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Healthy No Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

recipe from here

This made enough frosting for the cake + 8 cupcakes I made.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) no sugar added apple juice concentrate
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Soften the cream cheese.
  2. Whisk the cream cheese with the apple juice concentrate and vanilla extract until creamy.

For Hunter’s cake I stacked all 4 layers with a layer of frosting in between them, then covered the entire cake in frosting.  For his ‘ONE’ on top of the cake, I used blueberries!

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The frosting was actually pretty delicious.  The whole cake was really.  It’s hard to believe there was no added sugar in the cake or frosting.  Apple juice concentrate worked so well at sweetening it up!

I’ve made the banana cake (without the frosting) a couple times now just to have around as a snack cake.  It’s very much mommy approved. :)

Soooooo Make it Monday didn’t happen yesterday (I was away all weekend so I made nothing!).  The next Make it Monday will be on June 24 (I tell ya, busy times ahead), which gives us all a few weeks to prepare for it.

That’s all for today!  I hope you are all doing well.

Tell me what you’ve been up to, something fun you’re planning for this month or if you have a favorite naturally sweetened cake recipe. 

Also, I’d love ideas of what your kids have made for Father’s Day presents.  If they’re young like Hunter, what did you ‘help’ them make?

Heather