Buckwheat Almond Banana Bread

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A sad group of stolen cafeteria bananas lingered on the top of our fridge the other day. They kept staring at me as I busied about the room, cleaning up laundry and making my bed. One minute they had been perfectly yellow beauties, with no spots to speak of, and now they were mushy and brown (thanks to our good friend ethylene…I am so glad that the plant physiology unit in my biology class has come to a close. Now we are dissecting fetal pigs, so don’t plan on seeing any pork recipes on the blog anytime soon).

Gross bananas have two main uses: smoothies and bread. It is still a bit too cold to be thinking about smoothies, so I decided to play with a recipe from My New Roots. I had to improvise on several levels due to lack of ingredients; thank goodness for the versatility of this simple yet comforting loaf.

I had to part from the heavenly smell of the bread to go to track practice; this was probably a good thing because it forced me to let the loaf cool before devouring. After a nice hot shower, I settled onto the futon in my room with a blanket, hot cup of coffee, and thick slice of the still slightly warm bread. I allowed the heavenly moment to clear my head of chemistry tests, running injuries, and lingering homesickness.

Buckwheat Almond Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/4 milk of your choice (I used part almond, part coconut)
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup yogurt (to make vegan, sub this with soy yogurt or another 1/3 cup of non-dairy milk – although the batter may be less thick the product should still turn out the same)
  • 6 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium sized bananas, approx. 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups trail mix (I used Sweet and Savory trail mix from Trader Joes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a blender, add milk, melted oil, yogurt, vanilla, and bananas and blend on high until smooth (for chunkier banana texture in the bread, leave the bananas out of this step and mix into batter by hand). In a separate bowl, stir together flours, powder, soda, salt, and coconut sugar. Then add wet ingredients to dry and fold gently. Sprinkle in trail mix and then pour into a prepared loaf pan, muffin tin, or (as I was forced to use due to lack of supplies, and luckily it still worked) a 9×13 inch cake pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and then slice and serve. This can be frozen and enjoyed several weeks later as well.

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(Almost) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These are not your ordinary chocolate chip cookies. They have a nutty taste, outer crunchy edge, and inner chewiness. A slight nutty taste and dense texture makes these morsels quite satisfying. They are suitable for breakfast or dessert. I just had one while groveling through chemistry notes and will likely have another one (or two) with a cup of joe tomorrow morning before class.

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Mother’s Day

Emma here. I thought I would share a few tidbits about this past weekend, mother’s day, and several cooking adventures. It began Saturday morning with a whining puppy. I didn’t want her to wake up the whole household, so I got out of bed, pitter-pattered into my parent’s room, took her out of the crate and into the backyard, the grass already sparkling in sunshine. It was then that I decided it was a good morning for blueberry muffins. As quietly as I could (not very), I grabbed ingredients, bowls, and measuring cups, and I whirlwind of flour, sugar, blueberries, and sour cream ensued. These muffins are delicious, but let me warn you – they are addicting. It took my father a matter of minutes to consume four of them. Yikes. That is a lot of muffins.

Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 12 standard muffins

2.5 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened, plus 2.5 tablespoons coconut oil (You can use butter or coconut oil for all 5 tbsp, I split half and half and the texture was just right.)
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces or 191 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon (7 grams or 1/4 ounce) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces or 105 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, don’t bother defrosting)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then sour cream and zest. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries. The dough will be quite thick, closer to a cookie dough. Bake for 22 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean.

*Note: These freeze great! I had taken one out of the freezer yesterday morning, and by the time I got back from my AP Government test (thank goodness, it was the last AP test I will ever have to take) the defrosted muffin was perfect with a cup of coffee!

After a beautiful mid morning surf session on Saturday, I returned home to fully sprouted quinoa and buckwheat draining in glass jars over the kitchen sink. My attempt at sprouting grains which had begun the night before was now complete! I turned the oven on to a low 115 degrees, spread out the sprouts onto two baking sheets, and added soaked dried blueberries and pumpkin seeds in addition to agave syrup and coconut. Fast forward six hours later, and I had crunchy, raw, sprouted granola!

This granola is just as addicting as the blueberry muffins, but hopefully a slightly healthier addiction. I have had it three days in a row for breakfast, once with Straus yogurt, then with slightly warmed homemade cashew milk, and this morning on top of an acai bowl made in my mom’s new Vitamix blender (her mother’s day gift from the dog). Look for the recipe in an upcoming post!

The last cooking (more like baking) adventure of the weekend occurred spontaneously on Sunday afternoon after a Mother’s Day brunch. I was left to entertain my sister and seven-year-old cousin and was brainstorming things to do. I asked them what they wanted to do, and my cousin piped up that he wanted to bake something, and his favorite cookies were ginger. What better way to pass some time, then, than to whip up a batch of those ginger molasses cookies I made a few months ago? I had two great little helpers all the way through the baking process, but unfortunately lost their attention a little while later to Mario Kart Wii. Oh well, short attention spans yield more cookie dough for me I guess. I am telling you, I am really surprised I haven’t come down with a severe case of Salmonella yet.