Monday 23 July 2012

Chocolate chip banana bread

We have so many bananas that get a little too ripe, it's ridiculous. I continuously find myself wanting to use them up in baking. Sometimes in smoothies, sometimes in banana bread. Or sometimes, I eat them overripe. The other day, I did so with iced coffee, and came to a realisation: Coffee flavor goes really well with bananas! Chocolate, peanut butter, and now coffee! Is there any flavor that I don't like with bananas?

In my never ending quest to use up bananas, I made chocolate chip banana bread the other day, and added a little something unusual: a few teaspoons of instant coffee. The result was good! Although, if I'm honest, I could have used some more coffee flavour. As a snack today, I spread peanut butter onto a piece of banana bread, and it just took it to a whole new level. 
On a separate note, the only peanut butter that I like is natural peanut butter. I find it completely unnecessary to add anything else. Just ruins the flavour. 

Ingredients (adapted slightly from
1 1/2 cup mashed banana
1/3 cup greek yogurt
5 tbsp canola oil
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup flaxseed
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant coffee powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/ 3cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Combine banana, yogurt, oil, eggs in a large bowl. Add sugar, and beat until blended.
3. Weigh or spoon flour lightly into measuring cups. Combine with flaxseed, baking soda, salt, coffee powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to the banana mixture. Beat until just blended.
4. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into 9x5 inch loaf pan coated in cooking spray and tossed with flour. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes, until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.


So, a little break from tradition. I realised that a lot of what I use the blog for is to store recipes that I like, and keep them for future reference (particularly the recipe for granola, which I keep going back to!). The other day, I did a crazy workout with Yves, and it was really effective! The only problem is that it was so intricate, that I don't think I would be able to remember it if I tried to repeat it. Anyone who knows him knows that Yves is a beast. So if this workout helped him because as strong as he is, I'll try to do it too, so that I could also become strong like him. 
Since a lot of people who like healthy eating also like to keep fit and active, I thought I would post this workout for other people to be try it too! It is a total body workout, so you could split it up over a few days. I promise that you feel this the day after, you really do feel this workout. 
Make sure you bring some music along, this workout is long and tough. Even better, do it with a friend to keep you honest, and entertained!

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Pumpkin pancakes

I've had this recipe stashed for a while, but I've been delaying actually publishing it. We made them as a dessert a few weeks ago. We had some pumpkin purée left in the freezer from a while ago (we made some in November or December last year? at some point when I came home from school). I searched for a while for an appealing recipe and found one that I really like it. I adapted one from Prevention RD. I dressed them up with some Cool Whip and fruit. It was incredibly delicious. 

1 cup pumpkin purée
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
2 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, and buttermilk. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Stir in walnuts.
Cook in a heated pan, until small bubbles start to form on the top of the pancakes, and flip the pancake. Cook on the other side, until lightly browned. You can leave them in an oven on low heat to keep them warm while waiting to serve.
They freeze well for breakfasts in the morning. The nuts add a good crunch to the pancakes.

Home garden in progress

We already have a few plants on the windowsill, lavender, basil, spearmint, a sad little sage plant, and a sad little tomato plant that doesn't grow tomatoes. By far the most successful things that grow are herbs (save for the sage). 
Recently we decided to buy some new plants. We bought three kits like this one and planted them the other night. We ended up planting chives, oregano, marjoram, chia, and a few other things. this is the first step. 

I'm so excited for these to be ready! I love seeing the little green sprigs pop up full of promise of delicious herbs to come.