banana bread, plant-based

It was back to school this week for me and I decided to try to find some plant-based baked goods that I could grab and go in the morning when I don’t have time to eat at home. I just finished reading through the Forks Over Knives cookbook and when I hit the dessert section, there were some fantastic baked goods in there that could easily be used as a breakfast. The first recipe I tried, since I had all the ingredients at hand, was the “Better-Than-Mom’s Banana Bread”. It’s made with whole wheat pastry flour so it’s a lot more bread-like than banana bread I’ve had in the past, which I think is closer to cake than bread. It was still very good and tasty, but I think I want to experiment with the recipe in the future to see if I can get it as moist as the banana bread I’m used to.

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better-than-mom’s banana bread

from Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook

ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup plant-based milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Have ready an 8×4-inch nonstick or silicone baking pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the mashed banana, maple syrup, applesauce, milk, and vanilla.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients, mixing just until everything is evenly moistened.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Distribute the batter evenly along the length of the pan but don’t spread the batter to the edges; the batter will spread as it bakes. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. (Mine was done in 50 minutes). It’s hard to test for doneness with a knife because the banana tends to stay moist, so judge by the edges of bread. They should be golden brown and pulling away from the sides of the pan.

6. Let the bread cool for at least 30 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and carefully invert the loaf onto a cooling rack. Be sure it is fully cooled before slicing.

 

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banana wheat berry breakfast

20130724-153612.jpgI like to put quinoa in salads to make it a meal, mix it into yogurt for breakfast, or use it as a side at dinner. I have been meaning to branch out into other grains like barley, farro, kasha, wheat berries, etc., but haven’t done much cooking so far this summer. When I returned from all of my summer traveling last week, my parents informed me they were starting a new eating plan: Vegan Before 6. This is more of a lifestyle change than a diet–eat vegan for breakfast and lunch, then allow yourself some meat at dinner, but think of the meat as a side, and the vegetables as your main. There are great health benefits to this plan that you can read about in Mark Bittman’s book, and it’s not that difficult to do. Rather than becoming a full time vegan, you can still have your meat, dairy, cheese, etc., but in moderation, and for one meal. And he says it’s okay to cheat once in a while, so what’s not to love? Especially if you’re a tried and true carnivore like me. Since I usually eat a few meals a week at my parents’, I thought I would give VB6 a try as well.

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breakfast of champions

What’s better on a Saturday morning than a giant bowl of fruit for breakfast? How about a giant bowl of fruit with fresh-squeezed lemon juice?

20110910-110015.jpgYou could put any kind of fruit you want in here. I used what I had on hand which this morning was kiwis, nectarines, grapes, banana, avocado, and watermelon. And of course, fresh lemon juice. Not only does everything taste bright and fresh, if you are preparing a fruit salad several hours in advance, the lemon juice will keep your fruits from turning brown. You could also add nuts, yogurt, granola, quinoa, honey, etc. The possibilities are endless!