I've been absent from blogging after attending two 3-day conferences back to back - the first was on hearing loss (effective communication, learning & advocacy for my four year old) and the second was our denomination's annual Pastor's Conference. All my good intentions for an "Everyday Active" have gone out the window this last week. Regular exercise takes some serious commitment!!! I admire those of you who don't let travel or change in schedule throw you off your routine. **applause**
If talking about regular exercise is making uncomfortable thoughts rise up within you, here's something to soothe your pain....what's more comforting that warm, fresh, homemade banana bread straight out of the oven? When we returned home from our Pastor's Conference we had about one hour before our house would be filled with a pile of young adults who we mentor weekly. And they are generally hungry. Starving, even. Some of them exist on pizza pops and "frozen whatever". I must admit, it felt "back to my wonderful normal" to put my apron on and quickly make up something yummy and healthy to feed people I love.
"It's So Good You Don't Need to Put Butter On It" Whole Wheat Banana Bread
½ cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups mashed very ripe banana (3-4 medium to large bananas)
¼ cup honey
2 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or dried cranberries if desired..I had neither on hand, but it turned out fine without.
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
- Beat together the butter, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Add the banana, honey and eggs, beating until smooth. Add the flour and nuts, stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and let it rest at room temperature, uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Bake the bread for 40 minutes or until outside starts getting dark. Lay a piece of foil gently across the top and bake until a cake tester (like a toothpick) inserted into the center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes more.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.
This recipe that I found on a website called Breadtopia turned out fabulous! I always struggled with burning the outside of my banana bread in order to get the inside cooked through. I had never been told to simply cover with foil. Duuuuuuhhhh. I was patient and made sure to let it cool enough before slicing and it didn't crumble into a million pieces. The entire loaf was gone in about 5 minutes and got rave reviews from even the pickiest eaters of our young adults group. One of them was shocked that something with whole wheat actually tasted good and another said, "It's so good you don't even need to put butter on it!" (Hence the name....)
So, if you still aren't convinced that whole wheat baked goods can be as moist and fluffy as those made with white flour I dare you to try this recipe. And if you really need help making the switch from white to whole wheat, simply STOP BUYING WHITE FLOUR at the grocery store. It's amazing how quickly you'll start loving baking with whole wheat.