I will just say, that I love this banana bread, with a hint of sweetness and a crunch of poppy seeds on the tongue.
BANANA POPPY SEED YOGURT LOAF
Yields 1 loaf
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (see note)
1/2 c. yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
Scant 1/2 c. brown sugar (adjust if you prefer a more or less dessert-like bread)
1/4 c. poppy seeds (or more as you like)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan.
Combine the mashed bananas, eggs, yogurt and vanilla in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet and stir in the poppy seeds.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool before slicing.
*Note: I like to keep frozen sliced bananas on hand for smoothies and oatmeal. Just take some out, let them thaw, and mash them for the bread.
These may look deceptively simple, and possibly even basic, but they got rave reviews from all tasters this weekend. I’ve made a version of these bars before from Karen DeMasco’s book, The Craft of Baking, but they were much more buttery and shortbread-like. This version is lighter. The recipe called for jam, but I was all out and had a quart of fresh strawberries, so I roasted them with raw sugar and a pinch of salt. The kitchen smelled amazing and the fruit gets jammy and dark-edged. Mixed with more raw sugar, they make a much better substitute for jam. They have a deep roasted flavor and I think using fresh fruit is the key to making these bars great. The dough seemed too crumbly to hold together at first, but press it carefully into the pan, and once they cool, I recommend refrigerating them overnight. Once they have chilled, they hold together perfectly.
ROASTED STRAWBERRY OAT BARS
1 quart fresh strawberries
2 heaping tablespoons raw sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Slice and quarter your strawberries. Toss them with the salt and raw sugar and spread them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, until jammy and starting to brown on the edges.
Increase oven to 375 degrees. Butter and line an 8 inch round baking dish (I used a cake pan; you could substitute a larger dish for thinner bars). In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the flour, oats, butter, sugar, baking powder and salt (you could also do this by hand). Once the dough is crumbly and well-mixed, press 2 cups of the dough into the pan. Make sure it is all pressed down. Add the roasted strawberries on top with a couple extra tablespoons of raw sugar (depending on how sweet you like it). Mash the strawberries into a jammy layer. Add the remaining dough on top and press lightly.
Bake for 25 minutes, until the top begins to get golden brown. If you eat it warm, it will be a little looser in texture. So perhaps over ice cream? With cream? Go wild.
I love ginger. I love the smell and the pleasant burn in my throat when I consume it in large quantities. This smoothie can be tweaked to your liking as you go along. It’s refreshing, creamy, and packs a ginger-y punch!
Banana Chai Ginger Smoothie (1 large serving or 2 small)
About 1 frozen banana
About 1/4 cup chai tea concentrate (black tea, vanilla, spices, and honey–available at most grocery stores)
About 1/2 cup milk
Fresh ginger to taste, sliced (I use at least one 2-inch chunk)
Puree all and adjust the ingredient amounts until you’re satisfied!
LEMON ALMOND COOKIES
Adapted from Good Things Grow
2 1/2 c. almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
4 tablespoons honey/maple syrup (I used half of each)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 large lemon
Whisk the almond flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, combine the coconut oil, honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest, mixing well. Pour into the dry mixture and stir until everything is well moistened, the dough will be slightly crumbly, but should hold when pressed together with hands.
Lay out a piece of parchment and use your hands to sort of squeeze the dough together and transfer to the parchment. Carefully roll into a large log about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Place in the freezer for 1 hour or until firm. You can freeze the dough overnight or for a few days. Make sure to thaw it slightly before you use it.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking pan with parchment.
The dough is tough to slice because it crumbles very easily. You can either pinch of pieces and roll them into balls, which will give you a shape like the second photo above, or you can unwrap the chilled dough and cut into 1/4-inch slices, then lay the parchment back over each slice, one at a time, and roll it out flat with a rolling pin. Then they will look more like the top photo (I prefer this method).
Place cookies on lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Make sure to check after 8 minutes, and take them out once they start to brown around the edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack, as they are very delicate and will break if they aren’t cool yet.