Yesterday I enjoyed the day grocery shopping, eating a huge greek lunch with tzatziki (my favorite!), and drinking a little white wine… or A LOT of white wine. No biggie. For a quality nutritious dinner, I destroyed a giant cup of frozen yogurt with four flavors: pistachio, cheesecake, vanilla bean, and red velvet cake batter. Seriously extraordinary.
But then today a little bit of magic happened.
Cause I made this banana bread.
And I made it vegan.
And irresistibly healthy.
Because I love you, duh.
This recipe was inspired by my dark chocolate raspberry oatmeal banana bread, which happens to be my favorite banana bread EVER. The ingredients call for gluten-free oat flour and I love making it myself; all you do is throw rolled oats (oatmeal) into your blender and blend until they oats are ground into a fine flour. Simple and easy!
I’ll never forget the day I fell in love with baking. I was 7 years old.
My Mom decided that we would make a homemade pumpkin pie for the holidays. We spent hours deseeding and roasting pumpkins. I always enjoyed our time together in the kitchen because she gave me the best tasks.
On that particular day, I was in charge of making the pie crust look beautiful and fancy. Using my small hands, I tried my best to mimic the pie crust I had seen on the Thanksgiving dinner table, which of course resulted in something unsymetrical and pretty funny looking. Nevertheless, Mom was beaming at my accomplished pie crust and I was too! Eating the pie was the best part though; each bite brought me comfort and happiness knowing that I helped create a little slice of magic.
And so my love affair with baking began.
These days I find myself so busy that baking seems like a daunting task. It’s time-consuming, and sometimes a little bit complicated BUT I have to remind myself the results of home-baked goods are always unmatched. Lately I’ve been wanting to get back to real baking, the kind that is more like a project. And what’s more fun and interesting then making bagels from scratch? Seriously!
Now surprisingly, I don’t own bread machine, so I kneaded the dough by hand (talk about a calorie burner!); I felt accomplished and proud. Although, using an electrical mixer (such as a KitchenAid) would also work with this recipe.
Alas! I’m here to convince you to make homemade (handmade?) bagels. I’ll take you step-by-step through the recipe so that you can make these too! It’s a wonderful weekend project and great to do with kids. These bagels also happen to be lower in calories than bakery style, plus they’re chewy and toast perfectly. It’s some serious magic.
And since it’s Fall, we might as well make them pumpkin bagels, right? Then top them with a homemade whipped cinnamon honey butter.
So, here’s how we start: we’re going to proof the yeast (basically activate it)! Begin by placing warm water in a large bowl and adding the yeast along with brown sugar. The yeast essentially feeds off the sugar.
After a couple of minutes add the pumpkin, spices, and 2 cups of bread flour and mix until a sticky dough forms (pictured above).
I woke up early this morning eager to bake a banana bread. I silently mashed bananas in my kitchen and watched the sunlight creep through the windows. I mean to be perfectly honest all I wanted to do was turn on Jay-Z’s 99 problems, sing loudly and change the lyrics to “I got 99 problems but BANANA BREAD AIN’T ONE!” Too bad my roommates were still sleeping or it totally would have happened.
Now that I think about it I’m kinda glad I didn’t as I can’t say that rapping is one of my talents. And if you don’t know who Jay-Z is then maybe we’ll just move on and talk about the real star here: Banana bread. With peaches. Annndddd cinnamon. A brown sugar topping too!
It just makes me feel all cozy and wonderful.
Since there are an abundance of peaches in August, I wanted to bring you a fun recipe. Of course peach pie is delicious and peach cobbler is amazing but those are classics, and I wanted to bake something a little creative to make you swoon. The answer happened to be staring right at me: ripe bananas on my kitchen counter! I don’t know, it’s like these bananas just beg me to be mashed into delicious breads or something. Or to be made into pie.
Either way I know that anytime there are ripe bananas around, magic is about to happen. Hehe.
Look at that crust on the top of the banana bread! No seriously, stare at it for a good minute.
The crust is simply perfectly golden brown and the result of sprinkling brown sugar on top before baking. The brown sugar caramelizes and hardens when baked then forms a nice crusty exterior for that superb crunchy topping.
Oh and the inside? So flavorful and moist! Plus who can feel guilty about this bread? Not me considering I already ate 3 slices.
This bread is downright sensational. The peaches add a juicy flavor and a gorgeous addition to the top. Of course the bananas are more prominent that the peaches flavorwise, but nevertheless the juicy bits of peaches surprise you with every bite and the cinnamon really makes the flavor pop.
I wanted to keep this bread lower in fat and calories so I used minimal butter and nonfat greek yogurt. I didn’t have any whole wheat flour in my cupboard, or I might have used some of that in the recipe instead of only using white flour.
Peach Banana Bread. Don’t miss out. I enjoyed mine with a drizzle of honey and a cup of hot coffee. Then I busted out the Jay-Z.
Succulent fresh summer peaches combine with a low-fat moist banana bread made with greek yogurt and a touch of cinnamon.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup finely diced peaches (about 2 peaches), plus about 8-10 thin peach slices for topping
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
2 tablespoons butter, browned or melted (you can also use coconut, olive, or canola oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup nonfat plain vanilla greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar until well combined. Add vanilla and egg and whisk again until well combined. Whisk in diced peaches. Add in dry ingredients and yogurt alternatively, folding together well combined.
Pour batter into loaf pan. Top with thinly sliced peaches and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar over the top. Dust lightly with cinnamon. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or toothpick comes out almost clean in center.
Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove from pan gently and transfer to wire rack. Cool completely. Cut into thick slices and enjoy!
Can replace some of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour. Bread is better the next day. Awesome toasted and drizzled with honey
I want to declare my love for this banana bread in some sort of outrageous way.
Hmmm maybe I should call Oprah and ask her if I can come jump on her couch like Tom Cruise did when he proclaimed his love for Katie Holmes?
Probably not a good idea. After all this bread is Scientology free and I don’t want people to think I’m nuts. Plus there’s absolutely no way to fall out of love with this bread.
We’ll just have to think of another way to tell the world about the best banana bread I’ve ever made.
In the case of banana breads, the saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ is completely true. I hadn’t baked banana bread in over a month and was dreaming of a unique recipe for you. Luckily the lovely people at Driscoll’s sent me some coupons for raspberries. I knew right away what had to happen. Raspberries and dark chocolate are a combination I can’t resist, but putting them into a banana bread was like an epiphany.
Since I’ve been trying to eat less wheat lately, I decided that I would use oat flour in my recipe (yes, it’s gluten-free). Can I just say WOW?! The oat flour brought a hearty, incredible flavor to the banana bread! Thankfully oatmeal is naturally high in fiber and protein, which means it’s not only good for you but also super filling. I surprised myself when I didn’t inhale the entire loaf right when it came out of the oven.
Oh and by the way, did you know that making your own oat flour is really easy? Simply throw rolled oats (oatmeal) into your blender and blend until they oats are ground into a fine flour. Done!
I don’t know if it’s biting into the sweet tartness from the raspberries and the creamy bittersweet notes of dark chocolate, or if it’s simply this whole oat flour thing going on, but this banana bread just tastes like heaven. I plan on falling in love with it all over again this weekend.
So here’s what I’d really like to happen: You make this bread and inhale it. Or share it. Just tell everyone you know about it!
Here’s why: Raspberries are good for your health. And a little bit of dark chocolate won’t hurt you; it’s an antioxidant! There is also zero butter or oil in this recipe, minimal sugar, and the only dairy is from the two egg whites (if you want to make it vegan, try it without them)!
I freaking love everything about it. From the way it smells to the way it tastes. Completely devour-able.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
Make oat flour: Place oatmeal into blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until oatmeal resembles flour. You may need to stop blender and stir oats a couple of times to ensure that all oats have been blended.
Measure out just 2 cups of the oat flour and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a separate large bowl, beat mashed bananas, dark brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs for 1-2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Gently fold in raspberries and dark chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and place on wire rack to finish cooling.
It typically takes 2 1/2-3 cups of oatmeal to make 2 cups of oat flour, so you may have some leftover. This recipe only calls for 2 cups.
To ensure recipe is gluten-free, use gluten-free oatmeal when making your oat flour
I purchased an Ostrich egg from Whole Foods. What?! I know. The egg is bigger than my head, cost $30 dollars, and could quite possibly feed a family the size of the Duggars. Soo… are you hungry?
Welcome to the world of Monique where I impulse grocery shop and talk about things that are just weird. Apparently I was utterly fascinated with this egg. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it now. Perhaps an Easter egg hunt? I would totally be excited to find an egg the size of my head.
Before I start talking about how ridiculously awesome homemade bagels are, I need your help!
I recently entered into a recipe contest for Food.com where I made Mexican Breakfast Tostadas with Avocado Pico de Gallo…. but I need your vote in order to win! So if you would all be kind enough to jump on over to the site, register, and give me 5 stars… I would greatly appreciate it. I might even come make you these tostadas which include cumin spiced potatoes, black beans, eggs, goat cheese, and a spicy avocado pico. You need a margarita too? I know how to use a blender.
Really though, making breakfast for the special people in my life is my way of showing them I care. A creamy bowl of oatmeal with blueberries to share with my grandma, or a simple bagel sandwich to-go for a friend. My mom is perfectly happy eating toast topped with peanut butter, sliced bananas, and cinnamon. It’s those easy, delicious bites that really demonstrate my appreciation for them.
Hi. I love you. I really do. I even had to make you a healthy banana bread to say so. Fresh blueberries, thick rolled oats, and a whole lot of soul went into making this bread.
Plain and simple, you people have made me incredibly happy! Ambitious Kitchen now has over 20,000 views thanks to you. And, just look at all these pins on Pinterest from my blog. Like, Holy crap! I’m totally blushing.
We had a solid two years together, but I think oatmeal and I are breaking up.
We spent nearly every morning together. Sometimes with peaches or bananas, but most of the time it was with cinnamon and blueberries.
I used to love waking up just so I could have it, but then I got bored. And this girl can never be bored. For reals.
This could be because I started thinking about all those remarkable breakfasts I had before oatmeal came into my life. They were delightful and spontaneous. They were fun.
…Crispy banana stuffed French toast, melt in your mouth buttermilk Belgian waffles topped with peanut butter, and of course those oversized bagels that were completely heavenly when toasted.
Yep, it’s time to get back to that.
I’m going on a breakfast binge. And I’m starting with this bread.
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread.
I’ll keep it simple. This bread is extra delicious for those are fond of cinnamon rolls yet probably shouldn’t to eat one every morning. That’s me. The smell of cinnamon toast is an amazing way to start the morning. Yowza.
But watch out this bread is good. Too damn good.
Toast it to perfection and top with your choice of spreadable love. Do it now.
Someone once told me that they didn’t like banana bread.
What? Everyone likes banana bread.
I think I stared at them in shock for a good 10 minutes. Because if you don’t like bread, then how can we be friends? It’s the BEST bread on earth. The bread that makes you remember what it’s like to be a kid and eat massive amounts of sweets when your mom wasn’t looking. It’s moist. It’s heavenly. It’s awesome. It’s in your face.
You know what else has been in my face a lot lately? Reality TV. Everytime I turn on the TV there it is. And you know what I think I secretly like it. It’s addicting. Don’t judge.
In fact I kinda want to be Giuliana Rancic’s best friend. Mainly because I want to raid her closet. But she seems nice and fun. And I bet she likes bananas. I’m going to tweet her and find out.
Ah the power of Twitter. You can find out if people like banana bread.
Speaking of social media…
Maybe I should have defriended the person that didn’t like banana bread. Because that’s what you do these days. You go on Facebook and defriend the people who don’t like banana bread.
Only kidding. That would be rude. But I am going to hug them next time I see them. They are missing out one of the best breakfasts in the world. That makes me sad.
Okay but really, you want to know why this banana bread is so great?
Because it has coconut in it.
And toasted coconut on top.
It also has greek yogurt in it.
And a splash of orange juice.
Plus it’s made with love.
And because it will be your favorite breakfast ever.
Oh, and did I mention it’s healthy? Yep that’s right. 115 calories per slice. Yes, I will repeat that for you. 115 calories per slice. I calculated it out just for you.
Why is it healthy you ask? Because I use egg whites, greek yogurt, and minimal oil. It’s a lower fat, healthy option for you. The coconut provides some good fats though.
It also provides a bomb of flavor goodness in your mouth. Moist, delicious tropical savory sweetness.
A healthy, low fat banana bread packed with coconut. Great for breakfast!
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 Large ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup + 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
½ tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup of brown sugar
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons skim milk
¼ cup fat free plain greek yogurt
¼ cup orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda together in mixing bowl. In separate large mixing bowl combine mashed bananas, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg whites and mix together until smooth. Next add oil. Then, slowly add in flour and combine until moist.
Next add greek yogurt and orange juice. Depending on the consistency you can add 2 tablespoons of skim milk. If you like your bread more dense than omit the milk, but if you like it more airy or lighter you can add it.
Lastly fold in ½ cup of coconut into batter. Pour into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of coconut on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and the bread is golden brown.
Optional: throw in ½ cup of walnuts to batter to help keep you satisfied all morning. Another option: Substitute ½ cup of regular flour with whole wheat flour. Make 16 slices.