Cookbook Preview: Banana Bread

banana bread

Let’s be honest…the expression “this is the BEST banana bread you will ever eat” has been waaaay over used. Everyone has their favorite banana bread recipe and I do not want to take anything away from your passed-through-the-generations sacred family recipes. And, of course, any banana bread will taste good if you mix in white flour, white sugar, and random fats for moistness(I know people who add mayo! ick!). But THIS banana bread…is amazing. And completely and utterly healthy. So I’m going to go out on a limb and claim that this is the BEST healthy banana bread you will ever eat! It’s in the cookbook. It’s easy to make. It does not disappoint. I make it all the time because I never mind my kids eating it because there is no sugar in it!

Banana Bread

Makes 1 large loaf or 2-3 mini loaves

1 1/4 cups spelt flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 large eggs

4 bananas, mashed

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

handful of chocolate chips or nuts(optional – but who opts out of chocolate?)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 1 large or 2 small loaf pans.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the rest of the ingredients(except chocolate) until well combined. Add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips if using.

Bake until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, approximately 45 minutes for large loaves and 30 minutes for small loaves.

Foodie Baby's favorite treat

 

 

Cookbook Preview: Maple Apple Cake

I am VERY excited to make a cookbook announcement…cooking/photographing production is DONE! I can barely believe it. I might add a few more once it’s all together, but for now…done. Now onto the easy task of writing/editing/graphic designing/publishing (right). No I am actually very pleased with how it’s coming. I love the content. They are recipes I’ve written and use frequently and am confident to pass on. My photographer is brilliant, her work pure art. And I’m just starting back into regular September life with preschool schedules, gymnastics etc, so it’s easier to plan to write from the MacBook wherever I may be instead of cook all afternoon in the kitchen.

So to celebrate the end of one part of this journey…a little cookbook preview! This was the last recipe I did and it is such a delicious cake, it disappeared before I had much of a chance for a photo. I honestly do not think that your guests or kids or whomever your critics may be will have ANY idea that this cake is pretty darn healthy. It uses a little bit of butter, but mostly yogurt, a teensy bit of raw sugar but mostly maple syrup, so….it’s a treat, but just barely.

Quickly Disappearing Maple Apple Cake

Maple Apple Cake

Serves 12

Cake

3 cups spelt flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup raw sugar

3 eggs

1 cup greek style vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup maple syrup (the darker the better)

2 cups shredded apples

Glaze

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 with a rack in the middle. Grease a bundt pan. Sift together first three ingredients into a medium bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add eggs one at a time and beat to incorporate after each addition, scraping the bowl down each time. Add yogurt and maple syrup and beat until incorporated. Add flour and beat on low until just combined. Stir in apples. Pour into bundt pan and bake until cake is set and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean approximately 50 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a rack. Turn onto platter.

Prepare the glaze: in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add maple syrup and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, swirling the pan frequently. Add heavy cream and bring back to a slow boil. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until glaze begins to turn a deeper shade of amber. Cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Assemble: With a skewer(a chopstick works great), pierce holes in the top of the cake so that the glaze will soak in. Pour the warm glaze over the warm cake. Serve.

Enjoy!

Cookbook Preview: Saskatoon Berry Crumble

Saskatoon Berries

I think of all the bounty that summer brings, berries are my absolute favorite. Last summer I bought some flats from the Farmer’s Market and froze what seemed to be a huge amount of berries. Sadly, they only lasted until November. So now I know. The freezer is already overflowing with frozen bags of pretty berries and I’m determined to cram as many in there as I possibly can, so we can enjoy them all winter. This week we’ve made saskatoon berry scones, saskatoon berry turnovers and saskatoon berry sorbet. Without doubt, though, my favorite way to eat berries (other than by the fistful) is in a crumble. This is my clean and healthy crumble recipe. Give it a try!

Saskatoon Berry Crumble with Maple Whipped Cream

Serves 6

4 cups berries, fresh or frozen

1 cup spelt flour

1 cup oats

1/2 cup coconut, unsweetened

1/2 cup almonds, sliced

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup honey

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions: Preheat oven to 350.

Pour berries into the bottom of a 9 inch round baking dish.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add melted butter and honey and stir until ingredients are slightly moist. You can add more honey, teaspoon by teaspoon until ingredients are all slightly moistened.

Pour onto berries and spread evening. Bake until crumble turns golden, approximately 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a mixer, fitted with the whisk, beat the whipping cream and maple syrup until soft peaks form. Serve crumble hot with a dollop of whipped cream.

Saskatoon Berry Crumble

Cookbook Potential: Vegetarian Strudel

Pesto Goat Cheese Vegetable Strudel

Today, Sexy Husband and I are celebrating 7 years of wedded bliss! So I wanted to make something nice and, let’s be honest, I never turn down a chance to experiment and maybe whip up something new for the cookbook. It turned out to be so so yummy so it may just make an appearance in the cookbook. I need to come up with some way of making phyllo pastry healthier(so basically I need a miracle), before it will really earn cookbook possibility. But I guess there’s always room for the odd treat. I haven’t written this down as a full recipe but here’s the basic idea in case you want to give it a try…

Make the pesto: In a food processor, pulse together fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt.

Prep the phyllo: Brush 8 layers of good quality phyllo pastry with a little bit of melted butter and layer them on a baking sheet.

Spread the pesto down the center of the pastry. Crumble a generous amount of goat cheese on top of the pesto. Layer with any vegetables you like. I used: zucchini, tomato, green pepper, mini patty pan squash, mushroom, onion.

Fold pastry over the vegetables brush with egg wash. Bake at 350 for about an hour.  This served four of us, as an entree with a little left over.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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