Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Banana Bread (with chocolate chunks)

A.. La.. One more Banana bread for the files. The bout of flu was pretty bad which meant I spent nearly a week and half playing nurse maid for the kiddos. The got sick in a cascade fashion.The weather here in NC was the most undecided – switching between “spring weather welcoming new life” to “hibernating winter chilly weather”. And Flu viruses had a field day and found  new victims at my place, I suppose.  Which naturally resulted in a lot of fruits getting underutilized. No smoothies as well as soups ruled the day. So, there I had 6 forlorn bananas looking at me. Like, asking when they would be put to good use.  And I had a whole box of mismatched chocolate chips – ranging from big old chocolate chunks to mini chocolate chips. All the way from Super dark with 85 % cacao to semi sweet 65% cacao. Nearly 2 cups worth. But then again what’s a little bit more to cheer up my kids. And since I had some lovely neighbors who helped me out during the mad rush of the last 10 days, they got some nice chunky slices too. All in all , 6 bananas , 2 loaves and quarter of one left .

Some would say I was procrastinating or rather procrastibaking. A million jobs, but I had to bake ! Whoever came up with the word, was a sheer genius who understood the therapeutic aspect of baking. And online ordering of groceries. And the magical power of 10 min power naps. But if someone could still let my nutty lab know that flying leaves in the wind, trash trucks, delivery trucks, people working in the yard, AT and T servicemen yada, yada, yada are not threatening and there is absolutely no need to warn or bark her head off to keep me out of harm’s way. Or you cannot play with everyone coming your way. That works as well. It would be wonderful if she doesn’t go bonkers, but then again it would not be Maya.

Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Banana Bread ( with chocolate chunks)

The recipe itself is pretty simple. I just about emptied the contents of the fridge to make this and you can never really go wrong with Banana Bread. It is  quite simple. You can dress it up or keep it earthy. Indulge with cream cheese or simply warm it and have it with a cup of tea. Or coffee. Or Milk. Have it for breakfast or as dessert. You get the point, it is absolutely versatile.I doubled this recipe and made 2 loaves. I had a few thankful friends who rewarded me with a thumbs up for this .The vegan and other options are listed as well in the notes and through the recipe.

Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Banana Bread ( with chocolate chunks)

Ingredients:

  • Bananas : 3 , mashed to yield roughly 1 cup or a bit more. It does not have to be perfect!
  • Sugar : ½ – ¾ cup ( I used Turbinado sugar. Use the ¾ option if you like your bread a bit sweeter )
  • Eggs : Large,2.(Use flax substitute for vegan option . See notes)
  • Greek Yogurt : ½ cup  ( Vegan option : Use silken tofu. See notes)
  • Vegetable or Olive oil : ¼ cup ( You can use melted butter for richer taste)
  • Whole Wheat Pastry Flour : 1 and ¾ cup .( See notes for options )
  • Baking powder : ½ tsp.
  • Baking Soda : ½ tsp.
  • Salt : ½ tsp.
  • Cinnamon : a pinch ( optional )
  • Nutmeg : a pinch ( optional )
  • Chocolate chips : ½ cup
  • Toasted ,broken Walnuts : ½ cup ( optional )
  • Pure Vanilla Extract : 2 Tsp.

Method :

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 F . 
  2. Grease and  keep aside the pan of choice.I used an 9 by 5 inch loaf pan as this works well as a loaf bread.
  3. Mash the bananas with a fork and keep aside. A few chunks of the bananas is what makes this bread a bit rustic. Do not pulverize the bananas. Or alternately using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer mash the bananas.
  4. Add the eggs or flax egg substitute, vanilla extract and whisk well. Add the Greek yogurt or its substitute, sugar, melted butter if using or oil , cinnamon and nutmeg if using .
  5. In another mixing bowl measure out the flour and add the salt, baking soda and  baking powder and whisk it well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet one and mix only until incorporated. Do NOT OVERMIX.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips and reserve some to garnish on top and stir in the nuts if using reserving some likewise to garnish the surface.
  8. Bake  at 350 F for about 45 min- 60 min or until a skewer inserted in comes out clean.Keep checking after 38 min.
  9. Let it cool in the pan for about 10 min and slide out gently to finish cooling on the rack.
  10. Slice thick chunky slices . Eat plain, with cream cheese , or anyway you want .

Notes :

  • Egg substitute: 1 Tbsp. flax seed + 3 Tbsps. of water –  pulverized well will yield a homogenous mass equivalent to 1 large egg.
  • Greek Yogurt substitute: 1: 1 switch of blended silken tofu + a dash of lemon juice to give the tartness.
  • Butter substitute: Canola oil / olive oil. 1 :1 substitution works perfect.
  • Granulated sugar switch : Raw Turbinado sugar or jiggery
  • Flour : whole wheat pastry flour is the best substitute for All purpose flour.  If you do not have it and have only normal whole wheat flour, I would use 1 and ½ cups instead. It is quite dense.  Or you can alternate 1 cup of whole wheat flour and ¾ cup of all-purpose flour.
  • If you think your bread is browning too quickly and the middle is still squiggly and squishy, cover it with aluminum foil and return to baking.
  • Can I make muffins out of this ? Certainly. Should yield 12-14 muffins, baked for about 16 min or so.

 

Have I baked using these substitutes ?

The short answer would be an unequivalent “Yes”.  My observations though :

  • Using jaggery has given me a more denser and squishy loaf because of its wet nature.  Also I had better results with using store bought jaggery powder as 1 : 1 switch then pulverizing my own. I would assume that the commercially powdered jaggery was a bit more dry and hence worked better.
  • Olive oil worked just fine as a substitute.
  • Silken tofu also worked fine. Add in a Tbsp. or so of lemon juice to add in the tartness of yogurt. But I personally would look and choose the non GMO version of it. Make sure you blend it well before adding. You will not be able to blend it after adding it. Though unconventional, applesauce has work in a cinch too. The texture would be different a bit though.
    Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Banana Bread ( with chocolate chunks)

 

Banana Blueberry Cinnamon Wheat Bread

Honestly, what do you do when you have a pair of over ripe bananas and  a pack of fresh blueberries? Mostly, I end up making a good old smoothie. Throw in a few more fruits , maybe a bit of avocado ( gasp) and it goes down pretty fast into the bellies of the young ones.

Gorgeous berries
Gorgeous berries

But with frigid weather, it called for something warm and inviting.. And banana bread it is ! Now this bread is made with white whole wheat flour and APF and the texture once baked would delight you. It yields nice thick slices and warmed up would be great to  be served with whipped sweet cream. I know, crazy as it sounds, it hold pretty well during slicing. Now normally when it comes to quick breads, I usually hesitate to use whole wheat, because the result is usually very dense slice of the bread. But using white whole wheat flour ( I love KA’s white whole wheat! Now in case you  are wondering, this is not refined flour but flour milled from soft white winter wheat . A combination of both the flours will reduce the denseness  and combined with banana puree, this is one heck of a loaf.. Keeps well frozen too !

Ripened bananas
Ripened bananas

 Here it goes .. You can substitute the blue berries for walnuts, chocolate chips and much more..

 Ingredients:

  • White whole wheat flour : 1 cup
  • All purpose flour : 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda : 1 tsp.
  • Salt : A pinch
  • Vanilla Extract : 1 Tsp.
  • Ground cinnamon : 2 Tsp.
  • Granulated brown/shite sugar : 1/2 cup ( can increase to 3/4 if you need a tad bit sweeter)
  • Over ripe Bananas : 2 – 3
  • Blueberries : 1/4 cup
  • Egg : 1(beaten)
  • Butter : 1/3 cup ( melted)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Wash the blueberries, pat dry and toss it in about 1 tbsp. of the flour and keep aside. This ensures that the blueberries do not sink to the bottom of the bread.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk in both the flours and salt ,sugar and baking soda and ground cinnamon. The whisking aerates the flour and also ensures distribution of the cinnamon, sugar , soda and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas or puree them. Add in the beaten egg, vanilla extract and melted butter and whisk it together.
  5. Add the liquid contents to the dry mix and stir it in well.
  6. The resulting mix is dense shaggy mass that needs to be distributed into a well greased 9 by 5 loaf pan.
  7. Bake in the center rack of your oven for about 50 min.( Do the skewer test – skewer inserted into the center of the loaf should come clean)
  8. Remove from the oven, cool it down very well before slicing it.
Right outta the oven
Right outta the oven
Cooling and inviting
Cooling and inviting
Pretty blueberries lending their burst of freshness
Pretty blueberries lending their burst of freshness

Serve warm, thick slices, straight out. Or Slice it , add a dash of whipped cream on the side and dig in! However you choose, this is really good to delve into!

 

 

Recipe adapted from Simple Recipes.

 

 

Banana Nutella Bread – Swirled slices of heaven!

Banana Nutella Bread – Swirled slices of heaven!

So A1 got his braces a couple of days back. And he has generally been a happy camper about it . But today was an exception 🙁 He suffered stoically through the pain of it becoming a familiar appendage in his mouth! All of 14 and he channels the ” I am a teenager ” quite often. He is usually an old soul in a young body ! Sigh! Since today was not a particularly happy day on his front (Plus A2 got the bulk of my attention – remind me to preen a bit about the painting she is embarking on, A3 decided to act up and zeroed in on A1 for the entire day – mind it, an entire day of a 6 year old on a 14 year’s back.. But A1 was super patient with him, Legos, Mine craft, wrestling, Argentina – Netherlands soccer semi final and more … and let it out on me 🙂 LOL so are the joys of life ). In any case, he had to miss out on his favorite Ciabatta rolls veg sandwich and yours truly made him a cheese pesto sandwich , which also had to be cut into bite sized pieces…..The dark mood was a bit of a downer at the dinner table. Ah ! the perils of braces ! In all fairness he did laugh about it in a few minutes. He sort of compared the progression of freckled spots on the banana to his mood through the day and the uncomfortability of the braces. Go figure ! Well mom, being mom at 8 PM got the idea of making a quick Banana Nutella sweet bread. That will be soft, sliceable and more important will take care of the speckled bananas. ( And hopefully will make A1 feel marginally better )

Ingredients: Yields 1 loaf (9 by 5 inch bread pan)

  • All purpose flour – self rising : 1.5 cups
  • Mashed bananas : 1 cup ( 2 ripe large bananas should yield 1 cup)
  • Sugar, Cane sugar in the raw, preferred : 1/3 cup
  • Flavorless oil of your choice : 1/4 cup
  • 1% milk : 1/4 cup
  • Large Egg : 1
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 tsp.
  • Baking Soda : 1/2 tsp.
  • Nutella : 1/4 – 1/3 cup based on your preference

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 Deg F , and grease and flour dust a bread pan ( I used a 9 by 5 inch one).

Dry Mix :

  • Whisk together the self rising all purpose flour and baking soda and keep aside

Wet Mix :

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk well or using a hand mixer whip together milk, mashed bananas, egg and oil and vanilla extract.

Combining:

  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in stages and mix to incorporate it thoroughly.

Nutella Swirls:

  • Heat the Nutella for about 30 sec or so in the microwave to make it a bit thinner and spreadable. You do not want it too runny as well. The idea is to make it spreadable, that’s all.
  • Add in about half the desired Nutella in the batter and gently swirl it in. Remember you leave the streaks of Nutella in. You do NOT want it to be blended in thoroughly.

Baking:

  • Add the batter in the bread in big plops – NO I mean literally plop it in 4 -5 ladlefuls so you can create a pattern. Add in the rest of the Nutella , gently swirl on the top.
  • Bake it for about 40 – 45 min, until a wooden skewer inserted in it comes clean.

 Let it cool down for a bit in the pan and then gently remove it and let it cool out on a wire rack ( hold your horses meanwhile and keep the hungry fingers at bay) Slice it and enjoy it with a hot cuppa ! Or just like that!  

Verdict: This recipe is a keeper and the bread was moist, tender and perfectly sliceable! Add In walnuts to get a crunch and some nutrition in it. Will probably experiment with whole wheat flour to get it more guilt free!

[yumprint-recipe id=’19’]