Banana Cranberry Breakfast Bread

Banana Cranberry Breakfast Bread 1

After all the Christmas treats I thought it was time for a “healthier” snack.  I also needed to get rid of some grossly black bananas and the cranberries that have been sitting in my freezer since October.

I’m proud of this recipe. I usually am not able to combine ingredients in a way that produces edible food– I’m a recipe follower– but this time I remembered some of my mom’s tips about health-i-fying recipes and actually made something tasty.

The best part is, it’s not too bad for you, so you don’t even have to feel guilty about eating it for breakfast.

Banana Cranberry Breakfast Bread
Makes one 9×5 loaf

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries**
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (can sub all-purpose or whole wheat, but the texture will be slightly different)
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.  In a medium bowl, mix cranberries in flour, oats, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside

In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars until light-colored and fluffy.  Add applesauce and blend.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in mashed banana.  Add cranberry/flour mixture to shortening/sugar mixture and stir until just combined.  Spoon batter into prepared pan

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

**TIP: Any berry can be subbed in here! I imagine apple, peaches and mango would be great too.  Let me know in the comments how your experiments go.**

My recipe, inspired by Allrecipes

Banana Cranberry Breakfast Bread 3

Carrot Cranberry Muffins

No, this is not a pumpkin recipe (as promised in my last post), but in my opinion, carrot cranberry muffins totally encompass the essence of fall and all of its hearty goodness.  Fall cuisine, if i may, is entirely about the stick-to-your-bones, curl-up-next-to-the-fireplace feelings that accompany each luxurious bite you take.  Some of my usual favorites are my mom’s beef and potato stew and hot crusty breads.   And from now on, my fall diet will also include carrot cranberry muffins.

These  muffins are jam packed with carrots, banana, coconut, cranberries and pumpkin seeds .  How could these not be the perfect fall treat?  Pop one in the microwave for 10 seconds, top with a little jam or pat of butter and scarf it down (I mean, take small dainty bites and enjoy your muffin like a lady…? Ha.).   Fall perfection.

Carrot Cranberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon course salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup shredded coconut
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I like the Smart Balance oil)
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
4 medium carrots, shredded
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the oats, cranberries and coconut. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.

Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add the wet mixture. Stir until just combined.

Fill your muffin cups, either lined with paper cups or sprayed with cooking spray, with 1/4 cup of the batter and sprinkle with additional pumpkin seeds. Bake at 400°F for about 20-25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart 

Chocolate Tofu Pie

Given my life-debilitating handicap (lactose-intolerance! I’ve been feeling very sorry for myself during my everlasting hunt for Lactaid cottage cheese), I’m typically very willing to try any recipe that is not chock full of dairy products.  I’ve experimented with a lot of strange sounding ingredients, but I’ve still found that coconut milk and cashew cream usually can’t fill the void that things like cream cheese and butter have left in my life.

I often still miss my cheesecakes, milkshakes and slow-churned ice cream, but I can say with confidence that I’ve found my new guilty pleasure in the form of this delectable, dairy-free treat!

Chocolate tofu pie has a rich chocolate flavor, a cheesecake-ish texture and tastes absolutely divine.  The recipe requires no baking, and is made in a food processor in under 10 minutes. There are only six ingredients, and one of them is tofu… weird right? I threw mine into a vegan oreo crust for an extra chocolate punch, but you can probably do a graham cracker crust, pastry crust… or go crustless and forgo those extra calories!

I found this recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie, and while she loves to share her ingenious recipes with the foodies all over the web, she does ask that other bloggers don’t re-post her recipes on their sites.  I tweaked the name a little bit, she originally called it the Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pie, but I thought that Chocolate Tofu Pie might be a little bit more enticing for my readers:).  I didn’t change any of the ingredients though, so if you would like to try it for yourself (which I highly recommend), you can find her recipe here!