Archive for the ‘Bananas’ Category

What to bake when the weather decides that it is no longer summer and suddenly dives into fall and does a complete 180? Pumpkin things? It should happen. Warm soups? I’m still not on the band wagon. Apple treats? Definitely fall like.

What do I opt for? Strawberries. Just trying to bring back the warm weather and the excitement that last June brought. You’re all welcome/could I be any more backwards?

Quite a while ago, a friend on my soccer team brought homemade banana bread to one of our games to share post-victory (best teammate ever award goes to Carla).

Side-note, banana bread pairs much better with soccer than the typical half time oranges that I never was a fan of. Good thing my mother was my childhood team’s “orange lady” and decided that hot chocolate was a good idea for half time too. Thanks mom for encouraging my fat years.

Back to the banana bread. It was amazing, I wanted the recipe, I got the recipe, I altered the recipe, I devoured the entire loaf to myself. What else is a girl to do when she’s home alone for a month!? This loaf would be delicious no matter what you throw in, I decided to get creative (a rarity) and opted for strawberries AND chocolate chips alongside the banana, but do what works for you.

Would these be good as muffins? Obviously. Breakfast? When else do you eat muffins? Post-work out? Tested and approved. Lunch? Snack? Dessert? Yes, yes and yes. Just not for dinner. Come on, we need at least a little bit of balanced eating in there somewhere.


Vegan Banana Bread

3-4 very ripe bananas    1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla                   2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder       1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon              1/4 cup milk mixed with 1 tsp vinegar

1/2 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a small loaf pan (8 X 4).

In a medium bowl mash bananas with sugar and vanilla until combined and creamy.  Add in the milk and applesauce.

In a large bowl combine the flour, soda, powder and cinnamon.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (At this point feel free to add chocolate chips or any other desired ingredients).

Pour batter into greased loaf pan and for 55-65 minutes.


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For all of the sweets that I eat I probably should have had a zillion cavities by now. And yet here I sit, having never had a cavity all my life. Now that I’ve mentioned it I’ll probably have a major break out of them…

But here’s the thing, I’ve made up for my lack of cavities with other dental issues. Having an appliance that needs to be cranked tighter with a key every night? Check. Having more teeth than I can remember pulled out? Done. Braces? Please, those were a cinch. Getting a gum graph done where they cut some of the gum on the roof of your mouth off and then stitch it else where? That was probably the worst one of them all, followed closely by the bone graph, which is exactly what it sounds like…cutting a piece of bone out of your jaw and then graphing it in elsewhere. Fortunately that one was a walk in the park thanks to some pretty powerful drugs! And lastly, having a fake tooth implanted into my mouth? Also been there, done that. The upside? I don’t have any wisdom teeth to pull out! Such a bonus!

Where am I going with this? Rule number one of dental surgeries, when in doubt have a McDonald’s milkshake. It’ll fill you up and certainly goes down easy. Who wants to chew food anyway? Rule number two: eat soft foods.

This leads me to these cookies. Smushed banana (always a winner when it comes to eating soft foods) combined with oats and yes, even chocolate chips, make for a soft cookie that doesn’t require too much effort to eat and more importantly, they taste great.

After all of this talk about teeth, cue the trip to the bathroom to brush and floss away all of the Halloween candy that’s already crossed my path.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Recipe Girl

1 1/2 cups flour                        1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda                  3/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar                           1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg                                       1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed    1 cup oats

Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine flour, slat and baking soda in a bowl.

In a separate large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer, mixing on medium speed until pale and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in banana.

Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Stir in oats and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by heating tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake 12-13 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown and just set.

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How about something on the healthy side? Something that doesn’t include a ton of sugar and butter. I know, unlike me, but I figured I’d give it a shot…and it worked!

I surprisingly really enjoyed these cookies. But here’s the thing, I would never label them as cookies, even though that is what the recipe said. Instead let’s call them granola bar cookies, or granola bar-ish snacks. If you’re wanting a good dessert, this isn’t it. But maybe you want a healthy afternoon snack? These are definitely that. It’s all about changing your mentality!

These were enjoyed back in the summer when I was climbing mountains and exploring Whistler with the best friend. And then we went back to the place that we were staying and stuffed ourselves silly with other delicious foods. Such a good decision.

Adaptable. That’s what these are. I threw in raisins and craisins but I’m sure nuts would be a good addition, as would dried cherries or blueberries. Healthy. I like it.






Banana Applesauce Cookies

3 ripe bananas     2 cups oats

1 cup raisins        1/3 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in oats, raisins, applesauce, and vanilla.

Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown.

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Nothing says springtime like this rhubarb dessert.

In our backyard we have a few rhubarb plants growing. I think that rhubarb is one of those foods that you have to acquire a taste for. When I was younger the bitter taste was enough to make me pass my dessert bowl onto someone else and ask for more vegetables instead. Weird. Now it’s the exact opposite, I could eat bowls and bowls of rhubarb desserts.

This recipe is quite possibly one of my top 3 favorite dessert recipes of all time. Don’t trust the pictures, they do absolutely no justice for this favorite of mine. Warm rhubarb with bananas and a crispy crumble topping. What makes this even better is when ice cream is served on top. Nothing makes me happier than watching ice cream melt over a warm dessert and then digging in. Pure bliss.

Seriously. Rhubarb. I can’t get enough. It’s my pumpkin of the spring. Next up, the winning combination of strawberry and rhubarb. But first I’ll be pigging out on this ultimate favorite, watching the sun set at a lovely 9pm. Win.



Banana Rhubarb Crisp

3 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces

6 tbsp orange juice     6 tbsp sugar

Dash of salt                 1 tsp corn starch

1 tbsp cold water        1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup biscuit mix          1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg            1/4 cup butter

2 bananas

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a medium saucepan combine rhubarb, four tbsp orange juice, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer partially covered about 10 minutes stirring occasionally (or until rhubarb beings to fall apart).

Stir in corn starch mixed with water and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Pour into a shallow casserole dish.

In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, biscuit mix, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in butter until crumbly.

Cut bananas into 1 inch chunks, toss with remaining 2 tbsp orange juice and layer over rhubarb in casserole dish.

Sprinkle crumb mixture over bananas.

Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.

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Banana Pinwheels


What do you do when you come home from a holiday and everything is empty? The fridge looks bare, items are sporadically arranged in the cupboards and worst of all the freezer stares back with a longing desire to be filled again. No muffins, no cookies, no nothing.

What else can a girl do but bake!? That’s where these come into play. Sort of like a cinnamon bun, I guess they are called pinwheels. Who knows. I will call them good. In between the layers of dough appear slices of bananas. The bananas that were used in my case were a bit on the greener side so they were harder/chewier. If I were to make this recipe again I’d use ripe bananas. The flavour might be a bit better/stronger in that case too.

Cinnamon buns are probably one of my favorite things. I do have standards though, and yes, those standards are, as you would have guessed, quite high. I like ooey gooey buns, sticky buns, buns with lots of cinnamon and flavour, buns with raisins inside (a must in my opinion), and very importantly, buns that are topped with cream cheese icing. Oh, and warm buns. Warm gooey cinnamon buns with raisins topped with cream cheese icing are theeeee best (in case you needed a summary of all that).

My ultimate favorites come from a bakery that I used to work at in Victoria, Bubby Rose Bakery. Their sticky buns are seriously to die for. Everytime I go back to the island a stop there is a must. If you go be sure to get your bun warmed, you’ll thank me…that sounds wrong, but it’s so true! 

Long winded story short, if you want to try something a little different make these banana pinwheels, and if you want to find the best sticky bun out there go to Victoria. And lastly, if you have a no fail, delicious and irresistible every time, cinnamon bun recipe, please share! I’ll pay you back with cookies (bribes work, right?)

Banana Pinwheels

2 cups flour                          3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt                           6 tbsp shortening

2/3 cup milk + 2 tbsp            3 tbsp softened butter

2 1/2 ripe bananas                6 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until crumbly.

Add milk, a tablespoon at a time and stir until a soft dough is formed.

Turn onto a floured countertop and knead 30 seconds. Roll into an oblong about 1/4 inch thick and spread with butter.

Slice bananas and lay evenly over dough. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over bananas. Roll up like a jelly roll and cut into 1 inch slices.

Place in a greased 9×13 pan cut side up and brush tops with butter. Bake for 15 minutes.

Yield: 12 pinwheels

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January is a dumb month. Other than the NFL playoffs nothing good happens. It’s cold. It’s dark. And I don’t like that combination.

I don’t even know what to bake. What is January appropriate baking? It’s not like May when I can make delicious rhubarb desserts, or the summer when there is so much fresh fruit on hand to create with, or the fall when apples and pumpkin take center stage, let alone Christmas time with sweets galore.

January just sits there and drags on. It’s kind of like a conversation with an old person at church. They just keep talking and talking, while you sit there “listening,” plotting how to get out asap. Are you done yet? Your dentures are causing you gum pain? Lord have mercy!

Sorry. Back on topic. Are you allowed to make gingerbread in January? Or is that only a Christmas thing? What about gingerbread muffins with lots of other deliciousness found inside? I’ve decided yes. My apologies if you don’t agree, but these are real good. The perfect amount of spices, mixed with the already winning combination of chocolate chips and banana.

Just a warning though, these don’t take long to bake. I was surprised when mine were done after 18 minutes. No complaints though, the shorter baking time meant that I could indulge a little earlier than expected…and have even more time to cheer on my victorious Packers.

Banana Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Muffins

Adapted from Baking and Boys

1/4 cup butter          1/3 cup sugar

1 egg                       1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup molasses     2 bananas, mashed

2 1/4 cups flour        1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt              2 tsps ginger

1 tsp cinnamon        1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp all spice

1 cup buttermilk (1 tbsp vinegar, the rest milk)

Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line muffin cups with paper liners. 

Mix flour, salt, baking soda and spices in a bowl.

In another bowl cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and vanilla, and mix with a blender until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in molasses and mashed bananas.

Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined, then add buttermilk and beat. Add remaining dry ingredients just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into each cup. Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

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