Has anyone seen the Banana Bread?

What's left of my baking!
What’s left of my baking!

I’m fairly sure I just made a loaf but I seem to have lost most of it already! As you can see from the photograph I needed an apple to help prop up what is left of something not even 24 hours old. This recipe is a firm family favorite and is so easy to make. I’ve made it for school occasions and every time I’ve had teacher come and ask me for the recipe because the kids devoured it in a matter of seconds. The house fills up with the gorgeous scent of baking and I don’t even have to tell anyone what I’m doing as they will suddenly get a whiff of baking banana bread and come running through to the kitchen to ogle the oven.

I know I mentioned this delicious treat in a previous post when I wrote about healthy foods for my kids but I thought I’d go one step further and share with you the recipe. This will give you the basic banana bread but you can jazz it up by adding fun things like chocolate chips or nuts to it, even changing vanilla essence for almond essence as I’ve sometimes done. This recipe makes one loaf of bread and good luck keeping it more than a day!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 ripe bananas, mushed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee chips, almond slivers, or raisins

Step One: Pre-heat oven to 350/190

Step Two: In a large bowl combine all ingredients except flour. Mix well then add flour.

Step Three: Pour batter into bread tin lined with parchment paper or greased with butter and dusted with flour.

Step Four: Bake bread for 50-60 mins, turning loaf halfway through. At around 45 mins start checking your loaf to see how it’s doing; everyone had a different oven and some cook faster/slower than others so you may find some need more or less time in the oven. Your loaf should be a beautiful golden brown.

Step Five: Remove from oven and allow to cool before turning out onto a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

Like I said, if you have small kids who love a good snack this is a champion! I’ve had fun experimenting with different versions and naturally the chocolate chip version is a favorite, hotly followed by the toffee chip version.  This is also a great addition to lunch boxes if you want something a little less processed and a lot more made-with-love-at-home. If you try it let me know how it worked out for you. I also love to hear if you jack it up in your own way!

Have fun!

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Food, Healthy Food!

Blueberry Muffins

Yeah, a food blog episode!

No cleaning today, I’m busy trolling the internet for new ways to organize stuff so I’ll get back to you on that. What I did do today was become a baking madwoman and now my house smells like a bakery crossed with a fresh garden!

My husband and I agree that we don’t enjoy sending our daughter off to school with a lunchbox full of processed foods, so this term I decided to actively start making healthier (and cheaper) snacks for her to have at school. Firstly she really loves good old-fashioned PBJ sandwiches but as we all know you can’t send that to school due to allergies, so we found an alternative called WOW Butter. It’s ‘peanut’ tasting soy butter and she really likes that so one problem already solved. Health and Safety all in one!

Granola Bites

The next issue was snackables; she really enjoys having granola bars, chewy cookies and bite-sized biscuits but they get expensive so I looked to the cook books and came up with some really lovely recipes. A firm favourite is banana bread and if I don’t make it while children are sleeping then I’m lucky if it lasts 24 hours! The recipe calls for vanilla extract which I just happened to have run out of so I thought of the next best thing: coconut extract. Well, bananas + coconuts = Pina Colada! Apparently you can also add a shot of espresso but I wouldn’t recommend it for a child’s snack! You can now find this recipe in my post “Has anuyone seen the banana bread?”

Today I made the most delicious carrot cake muffins. We seemed to have a lot of carrots left over from 3 weeks ago so what better way to use them than in a yummy muffin? Even my 3 year old son who is the King of Picky Eaters liked these muffins. The recipe, which you can find heremakes roughly 12-14 decent sized cupcakes. I kept 6 out and froze the other 6 so they ready and waiting.

Next came apples which ended up becoming apple chips. Sprinkled with a little cinnamon and a touch of brown sugar these tasty treats again needed to be made without attending children! So easy to make and worth the time in the oven. You’ll find my favorite recipe hereBut you can use more than just apples; try using pears or strawberries or raspberries. And you can also do the same with vegetables. I made carrot chips which disappeared rather quickly!

All this is fun and makes you feel good when packing up a lunch box that then comes home empty. You do need time though which you may or may not have. If this is the case makes things in big batches that you can freeze and take out when needed. Usually I dedicate a weekend day for my snack making then I’m set to go for the week.

Food blog over – I hope you enjoy a few of the recipes I’ve found. If you have any other healthy kid foods that would make a good lunchbox item please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.