Friday, December 2, 2011
I have done the "make and freeze" in the past but have been a bit of a slacker as of late. Big red flag for me the other day was pouring the last of the mini peanut butter cracker sandwiches from Trader Joe's into a snack cup for my two year old after just buying the box three days prior. Um, that's way too fast for us to blow through a box of convenience snacks. I didn't have any other snacks prepared to give him hence the peanut butter cracker binge. I'm all about my "medium food" philosophy, that's why the crackers we're on hand but not having any homemade options available isn't the balance I strive for.
So yesterday I kicked my plan in motion and started with a new banana bread recipe, utilizing my new jar of coconut oil as well. This recipe came from a blogger that has gained a lot of press over the last year or so, Lisa at 100 Days of Real Food. I've followed her journey since the beginning (originally following her Food Illusion blog) and was split on how I felt about the reality of what she was writing about. Not the "real food" part of it but the reality of busy families and more importantly busy families on a budget achieving the real, organic, grass fed, $5 a loaf bread, etc. lifestyle. It was evident that Lisa had a large budget. Which was the discouraging part. Eventually though, she did a budget series (likely inspired by other readers that shared my feelings) which helped by making what she was writing about seem more feasible.
No matter what, 100 Days of Real Food's strategy is in-line with mine even though I make a few adjustments in approach (weaving in some medium food items) and often times opt for some less expensive versions of certain items. Organic ingredients or not, the best of the best ingredients or not, the recipes Lisa has published are smart and healthy. The few I've tried are fantastic. They are simple and contain no or very few processed ingredients. This Whole Wheat Banana Bread is a perfect example. I made it, the family has tried it and it gets five stars. Don't expect a super sweet piece of banana bread because this is not. You will taste the wheat, the banana and a touch of sweetness from the honey and that is it. Brilliant.
I'll be back soon with more successful recipes to help you fill your freezer. Meanwhile, I encourage you to give this recipe a try. If you do, let me know how it goes.
Whole Wheat Banana Bread
Adapted from here.
Makes one standard loaf
2 1/4 cups White whole wheat flour (or whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 tsp. Baking soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
3 Bananas, very ripe, mashed
1/4 cup Plain yogurt (I used organic fat free)
1/4 cup Honey
1/3 cup Virgin coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled (swap 1:1 with other oil if desired)
2 tsp. Vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine mashed bananas, yogurt, honey, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla.
Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Be gentle, don't over mix. Pour batter (or scoop - batter is on the thick side) into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Mine was done at 43 minutes. Let cool then slice and enjoy.
If freezing, I suggest cooling completely and slicing prior to putting in freezer.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
|$5.99 at Trader Joe's|
From what I gather, early studies were done on partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which creates trans fats. Virgin coconut oil, is not the same thing. Much of the saturated fat in coconut oil is in the form of lauric acid, a saturated fat that raises blood cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of good cholesterol. It is also found in breast milk.
Even though coconut oil fell out of favor and was deemed an "artery clogger" for a while, it has made its way back to the top. I mean when Trader Joe's offers a private label version of the good stuff (organic, virgin), it's gotta be okay, right? Insert a tiny bit of sarcasm in that last statement. Seriously though, I think there's enough evidence that proves coconut oil is good choice. Be sure to pick the virgin oil and if you get a chance, Google it and read more about its many health benefits.