Tag Archives: banana

Roasted Banana Breakfast Cookies

I was lolling around the house this afternoon, trying to talk myself into productivity, when I realized it was time for a cookie. True, I call these gems “Breakfast Cookies” in the title of this post but what’s to keep me from eating them at all hours of the day? It’s not like I respect food-related social norms when it comes to regular breakfast (I like toast for lunch and pancakes for dinner).

I made these cookies yesterday and was disappointed in them as soon as I started mixing the batter…or rather dough. Truthfully, this started as a banana bread recipe. I’ve made the recipe before and remember it being on the bready side for my banana bread taste. It was good, though, and I like the recipe’s simplicity. It seemed like a good testing around for my roasted bananas.

Did I say bananas? I meant apple bananas. You can see from the picture that these short, stubby fruit don’t look like normal bananas. That’s because they came from a little grocery store down the street that sells Latin American products. I used to buy bananas like these when we were sailing in the Bahamas. Apparently they’re called apple bananas and their flavor can resemble that of apple or strawberries when they are very ripe, which they pretty much have to be to be sweet enough.

I thought some roasting might do these three some good and I was right! It was all I could do to keep from eating the hot, gooey banana goodness before baking the bread, er, I mean cookies.

Back to my disappointment upon mixing my ingredients. The intended bread batter was more like a dough – thick and threatening to dry out upon baking. I thought I struck out with yet another recipe (I’ve been doing that a lot lately) but I decided to shape the dough into giant cookies and bake it anyway. The smell while the cookies baked alone was worth it and the result was a huge surprise.

These babies stayed moist and soft after baking and the roasted banana flavor did not disappoint. Even with only a scant amount of honey these cookies, as I’ve become more and more comfortable calling them, are perfectly sweet. The nuts seem to have roasted as the cookies baked and taste better than any nut I’ve ever had in a cookie before.

Since yesterday I’ve staved off evening munchies with a cookie, refueled after a run with yet another cookie, and will probably quell my dessert cravings with another cookie tonight.

This recipe is adapted from the Banana Bread in The Yoga Cookbook

Roasted Banana Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 very ripe apple bananas or regular bananas
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup barley flour (or another flour of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/ teaspoon each nutmeg and cardamom
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted, or oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts and pecans)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil (this could get messy) and place bananas, peel on, onto the foil.
  3. Prick peels with a knife to avoid explosions.
  4. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Remove bananas from oven and allow to cool.
  6. Meanwhile, combine flours, oat bran, salt, baking soda, and spices in medium bowl.
  7. Place butter in a heatproof dish and put it in the oven to melt.
  8. When bananas are cool, peel them and mash them in a large bowl.
  9. Add honey and mash thoroughly to combine.
  10. Add dry ingredients and butter, mixing completely.
  11. Divide mixture into 8-12 equal pieces, depending on how large you would like your cookies to be.
  12. Arrange them on an oiled or otherwise nonstick baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown
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Sometimes the Classics are Best

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What kind of muffin do you crave when I see stacks of them in bakery windows? For me, it’s blueberry. As much as I love to experiment with different flavors and ingredients, sometimes I have to go with the classics. When there are two over-ripe bananas on the counter and a bag of fresh from the farmers market blueberries in the fridge, what could I make but blueberry banana muffins?

Also, I was hungry and had muffins on the brain. These came together quickly and made a perfect mid-morning snack. I ate my muffin hot, with gooey, scaling blueberries popping in my mouth. It was pure muffin heaven! If you want a moist, sweet, fruity, whole-grain muffin, these hit all those high-points and then some.

I changed the recipe I started with enough to make this one my own. There is no added oil and very little sugar. I doubted that 1/3 cup brown sugar would make these sweet enough but I went with it anyway. Turns out 1/3 cup was plenty of sugar! I guess my bananas were plenty sweet.

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Blueberry Banana Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour, your choice (I used 1 cup graham flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large or 3 regular-sized bananas, mashed
1 egg
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Stir together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, add egg, sugar, an yogurt to mashed bananas, beating until mostly smooth (might be little banana chunks in there)
Stir vanilla into wet ingredients.
Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring until just combined.
Fold blueberries into batter.
Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Eat HOT from the oven…but don’t burn yourself on a blueberry!

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Banana-Berry Fig Bread

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Food lingo is interesting. I’m trying to learn the language of bread baking, much of which is French and therefore somewhat comprehensible to me since I took many years of French in school. Assigning names to dishes has it own peculiarities, though.

This bread, for example, contains one too many fruits (or maybe one too many syllables worth of fruit names) to include all of them in a nice-sounding title. Strawberry Banana Fig Bread just doesn’t sound right to me. How many ingredients is too many to include in a dish’s name, anyway? I would say 4. I can’t think of any name that lists more than 3 primary ingredients.
Then there’s the arrangement of those fruit names. Whenever strawberries and bananas are involved, strawberry banana forces itself into our brains.

Strawberry Banana Fig is the preferred order
Banana Strawberry Fig sounds wrong
Fig Strawberry Banana sounds very wrong

Chop the straw- off of strawberry and Banana – Berry (or even Berry-Banana) becomes acceptable.

I can’t really explain any of this. I remember just enough linguistics from school to get all dorky about it every once in a while but not enough to really give an informed explanation for what I find so fascinating.

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I promise this bread makes any naming confusion totally worth it. I was giddy with excitement at the one over-ripe banana I managed to hide from myself this week. It hung out with the other bananas on the counter (I really need a fruit bowl) until enough other ingredients presented themselves and the right recipe came along. The California figs I bought at Costco needed to go into something, asap. I’ve been keeping strawberries on hand at all times since returned to California (t’is the season!).

I’m not out to make fat-free baked goods, believe me. Any whole food is fine with me in moderation and healthy fats are definitely a must. That said, there are several ways to make a quick bread, muffin, cake, or cookie moist and delicious without copious amounts of butter or oil. Banana certainly helps, plus it adds sweetness. Applesauce is another good oil substitute. Yogurt is quite possibly my favorite. I always have a tub of some kind of plain yogurt in the fridge. This week I happen to have Trader Joe’s Plain Goat’s Milk Yogurt. YUM! It my sound weird but if you like goat cheese you must try goat’s milk yogurt. The taste is subtle and the yogurt is creamy without being overly rich. The bread I made today doesn’t taste like goat’s milk yogurt but I like knowing it’s in there.

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Banana-Berry Fig Bread

Adapted from The Daily Garnish

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ripe banana
1 cup ripe figs, quartered
1/2 cup strawberries, diced

Combine flours, wheat germ, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Peel the banana and mash it in a separate bowl.
Add the figs and mash them as well (they don’t have to be completely liquified – you can leave some fig hunks)
Beat the eggs into the banana-fig mixture
Add the brown sugar, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir until completely combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring gently until barely mixed.
Fold in the strawberries.
Pour the batter into one large loaf pan or 4 small loaf pans (I used 2 small loaf pans and 2 tiny baking dishes from my grandmother’s kitchen)

Bake at 350 for 45 min. (small loaves) to 1 hour (large loaf) or until lightly browned on top.
Cool on a wire rack, remove from pans, slice, and devour!

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Chewy granola bars

When life gives you smashed bananas, bake something!

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That’s my new favorite saying and these are my new favorite thing to make with smashed bananas. In June, when I was hit by a car on my bike in Annapolis, MD, I made banana bread with the battered bananas that had been in my backpack. This is probably the easiest way to produce baking-worthy bananas around here, since I eat them up faster than they can ripen.
This time the beautiful bunch of perfect fruit I bought at Trader Joe’s in Manhattan went for quite a ride in our latest sailing disaster. By the way, I was so excited to find my favorite store blocks from where we were moored. I stocked up all my usual TJ’s fare. The sailing disaster was the scariest experience of my life so far. I’ll give the short version here but the full account is on my other blog, Pirat.
It was 6pm, very dark, and Lee and I were finishing our dinner in the cockpit. I looked over my shoulder to see a breaking wave about to hit our boat. Chaos ensued. We had come upon an uncharted shoal off the coast of New Jersey (Who knew New Jersey could be so treacherous!). Several walls of whitewater knocked our boat on it’s side and the keel (heavy thing on bottom of boat) thunked against the bottom a couple of times. I thought we were going to be smashed to bits and have to be rescued. We made it off, though, and pulled into Atlantic City, where we’d been heading in the first place, within a couple of hours.
Among the things to go flying down below was the bunch of bananas. I think Lee stepped on them while they were on the floor. I just stepped in the remains of my sweet potato from dinner. Yum.

On to the baking! These granola bars were next on my list of things to make anyway so I was actually kind of excited to have all the ingredients ready. It was very satisfying and therapeutic to whip up a sweet treat during our recover day.
I based my bars on quite a few granola bar recipes from all over the place. As with granola, finding the perfect recipe seemed impossible. I’m too picky about what goes into a good granola bar. I did like the idea of using mashed bananas and they made the end product fabulously soft and chewy. After enjoying the tasty combination of banana and coconut oil in my Banana Bran Scones, I opted to use coconut oil in the granola bars as well. It’s flavor is much stronger than in the scones and I love the banana-coconut fragrance these gave off when baking.
Nut and fruit additions are totally customizable. I used slivered almonds and no dried fruit but I think chopped dates and walnuts or pecans would be delicious. I may try toasting the nuts for more flavor next time and adding a little vanilla or almond exratact.

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Featured on Baking is Hot

Chewy Granola Bars
Makes about 12 bars

Dry Ingredients
2 3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Wet ingredients
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave syrup or honey
2 soft bananas
1 egg (or egg replacer equivalent for vegan version)
Additions
1/2 cup slivered almonds
optional: 1/4 – 1/2 cup dried fruit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Melt coconut oil in a medium-sized saucepan over very low heat.
When it is completely liquified, add bananas and mash them thoroughly.
Add agave and egg and beat well till everything is combined.
Pour the oatmeal mix into the saucepan with the wet ingredients, stir everything up, and add the nuts and fruit (if using).

Time to get messy!
Scoop about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the mixture into your hands. Shape it into an oblong bar (I found cupping my palms together worked well) and place it on cookie sheet with a non-stick baking surface (silicone mat or parchment).
I got 13 bars of about the same size out of my mixture but you can make them as big or small as you want. They also don’t have to be bar-shaped – make them round and they look like cookies! I do think shaping them rather than spreading the whole mixture in a pan and cutting it after baking is a good idea. The bars seem crumbly but they firm up nicely.
Bake for 15 minutes at 350.
Place on a wire rack to cool, and try a bar right out of the oven. Yum!

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