Almond Pumpkin Bread
I was inspired to try a non-banana bread soon after my own banana bread recipe by my boyfriend, who has a thing against banana cooked into anything. I found a can of pumpkin that I never actually used over Thanksgiving in my cabinet sooooo pumpkin it was! So I combined a couple basic recipes I found online and this bread turned out to be pretty good, although I would like to use fresh pumpkin when it becomes available. (Also see Jeff's happy face taking this picture of our bread in the kettle reflection :-P )
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 can pumpkin*
1/2 cup olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1 tbspn ground flaxseed, 3 tbspn warm water combination (second egg substitute)
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds (optional)
*Apparently you can make your own pumpkin puree from scratch (per google) rather than can. I want to try this when it's not February and pumpkins are growing again! It will make this recipe that much more amazing.
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
3. Stir pumpkin, oil, eggs, flaxseed, water and spices together, then add to dry mixture. Do not over mix. Stir in nuts.
4. Pour into greased 9x5 bread pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until toothpick or knife comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.
Bangin' Banana Walnut Bread
I LOVE banana bread but hate that feeling afterwards...you know, that sluggish guilty I-just-ate-half-a-stick-of-butter feeling? I found a couple recipes online and played around with them a little bit, and (on my second attempt) came out with an amazing bread! I still have some small changes I am going to try to increase the nutritional density, especially with training season coming back into full swing again now!
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup soy milk*
1/4 cups canola or olive oil*
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 tbsp warm water mixture**
4 mashed overripe bananas
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (or your other favorite nut)
* I substituted this soy milk/oil mixture for the half cup of butter that the original recipes called for. A foodie friend suggested that I try an applesauce substitute next time, so I may try this instead.
**substituted ground flax seen for the second egg the recipe called for. Next time will consider 2 tbsp flaxseed and zero eggs. I eliminated the eggs completely from the first batch though (no flaxseed either) and it turned out a bit too dense and less bready than I would like).
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine flour, soda and salt in large bowl. In separate bowl, mix together soy milk, oil, brown sugar, eggs, flaxseed and mashed bananas. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture, but do not over stir. Add walnuts. Pour batter into lightly greased 9x5 bread pan.
3. Bake for 55-65 minutes. Check with toothpick or knife (when it comes out clean, it's done). Let bread cool a few minutes then transfer to cooling rack or time foil. Try a piece while it's still warm!
I based this recipe off of two online blog recipes, some recommendations by a PT school friend, and my own flavor added in! Clif bars are soft, chewy and amazingly good, but at around $1 per bar, they can get pretty pricy, especially when you like to snack on them as part of every other pre-training ritual or long run snack. Other granola bars can be ok, but can have lots of other invisible junk packed into them. Soooo I decided to try to make my own Clif bars, and what do you know, the economical option turned out BETTER than the real thing!
1.5 cup rice cereal
1.25 cup whole rolled oats (I changed from quick oats in one recipe bc I like these better, but you could probablyuse either)
1/3 cup coarsely crushed almonds (recommended by classmate)
1 cup dates (recommendation from classmate and crucial main staple guey holder-togetherer that my previous trail bars have been missing. Also, take the pitts out!! My back right molar tooth still hurts...woops)
2 tbs ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg (my addition, but optional)
1/2 c Peanut butter. (I used Crazy Richards crunchy, but it's up to you. Don't use something with added sugar (like Peter Pan) or your bars may turn out too sweet. Plus that PB is yucky anyways:-P)
1/3 cup honey (recommended by classmate as more economical alternative to brown rice syrup which one recipe called for. If you have an abundance of brown rice syrup I suppose you could try this)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (or not if you're going for vegan or super health. Sometimes I need a little cocoa boost)
1/3 cup dried cranberries (my own addition)
1/3 cup dried coconut flakes (another personal addition)
1. Food process dates until they are finely chopped (or you can also mush them up with a spoon and it works just as well). Combine dates with cereal, oats, almonds, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt in large bowl.
2. Combine PB and honey and heat in saucepan until melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Your kitchen is about to start smelling REALLY good:-)
3. Pour PB mixture over oat mixture and stir until everything is well combined. Add in cranberries and coconut as you do this. Lastly, add the chocolate chips and combine.
4. Press mixture into a 8x8 (or slightly larger) baking pan pre-sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Refrigerate for about an hour (or maybe less if you're very anxious to try them like I was!), then cut into whatever size bar you would like. Wrap the ones you're not eating right away in plastic wrap and store them in the fridge.
Ok, so they don't come out exactly like Clif bars. But they have an awesome gooey yet crunchy amazingness to them, making them the best trail bars I have come up with to date. And I think better than Clif-made Clif bars. Trail bar making is fun because it's not a baking science. It's pretty much just a game of throwing any healthy nut or dried fruit you have in the kitchen into a pan and try to get it to stick together. I may try to recreate the white chip macadamia Clif bar or the Oatmeal raisin next. Try to create your own favorite!
Chocolate Oatmeal Coconut Almond Craisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
I started out attempting to create a healthified race-fuel option for a pack of ultra runners...then came the chocolate and it was all over. Delicious though!
- 1 1/2 cups Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Salt
2 sticks Salted Butter, softened
3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup White Sugar
2 tbs ground flax seed + 6 tbs H2O, 1 banana (browned)
- 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 3 1/2 cups Quaker Oats
- 1 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips, milk free
- 3/4 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 cup almonds, crushed
- 3/4 cup coconut (shredded)
- 1 cup craisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat the oil and sugar together until creamy. Add the vanilla and egg substitute to the oil mixture. Blend until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture to the bowl and blend. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, almonds, craisins and coconut. Form into small balls, about 1.5 inch diameter, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 9-11 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and the center appears cooked. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen*
*It’s actually more like 4 dozen, if you count the taste-testing cookies, that is… I’m firmly committed to quality control, you know.
Yes, they are vegan. And yes, they are delicious.