This Healthy Banana Bread recipe is great! I got it from a friend who swears by it, courtesy of Cookie and Kate.

I wouldn’t call it “healthy” exactly but it is less sugary and cloying than “regular” banana bread. More of the sweetness is conveyed through the mashed banana than through the maple syrup which is nice.

Also it didn’t call for a lot of maple syrup. You can use honey too but I am a maple syrup fanatic so.

Here’s what I changed from the base recipe:

- All purpose flour (instead of whole wheat or white wheat)
- Olive oil instead of coconut oil
- Three large bananas (instead of two)
- Added chocolate chips

All of these change are legit per the recipe, which talks about many different variations, including vegan, gluten-free, etc.

The whole point of the base recipe is that it is supposed to be healthier, because it uses natural, less-refined sweeteners and wheat flour instead of white flour. As the recipe says, some of the ingredients have trace nutritional elements.

It is a really good recipe. It will definitely change your life because it results in next-level, less toxic banana bread. 🍞🍪

Blackberry Pie

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We’re branching out a little from bread-making and trying something different.

This recipe from Simply Recipes tasted ok although we had a glitch which you can see in the photos. I thought that once I combined the (admittedly store-bought) blackberries with the other pie-filling ingredients and baked the pie, the pie filling would end up looking more homogenous that it did. The blackberries had clumps of sugar and flour and cinnamon on them, despite the fact that we left them to macerate for twice as long as recommended, while the crust was chilling in the refrigerator. I don’t think the clumping affected the taste much, but it wasn’t as attractive as other berry pies I’ve had in the past.

I had another unforced technical error, too. I forgot to rotate the pie halfway through the baking process which resulted in inconsistent crust browning.

It tasted OK, not amazing. They recommended between 1/2 cup and 3/4 of a cup of sugar and I used 1/2 cup. It was adequately sweet, not too sweet, but something was just missing. I did also substitute vanilla extract for the almond extract the recipe called for. On the other hand, the scratch pie crust was good.

It’s hard to say if this recipe will change your life, because of the ingredients we used and the various mistakes I made. I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt because the other Simple Recipes recipe I have baked is not to be denied 🍪

Banana Bread (OG)

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This Simply Recipes banana bread you can make with less sugar (1/2 cup instead of 3/4 cup or a whole cup). I appreciate that because it’s plenty sweet as it is. I much prefer this one to the other banana bread recipe I tried earlier.

I added chocolate chips to the recipe because I love chocolate with banana. They taste great together.

This recipe will change your life if you are short on good banana bread recipes. Try it with just 1/2 cup of sugar. It’s just as good and probably not as horrible for you as the same recipe with more sugar. I might try it with 1/3 cup of sugar next time. Plus you can add chocolate chips to expend the sugar budget you saved by not putting in the “normal” amount. 🍞🍪

Banana Bread with Pecans and Chocolate Chips

Similar recipe as the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, but banana bread instead of pumpkin.

Decent, although we need to debug either the recipe or our oven’s convection feature. The outside turned quite dark brown after 30 minutes more than the recipe called for, because it wasn’t anywhere near done after 65 (!) minutes at 350F (which our oven insists on dialing down by 25 degrees). The dial-down might have been part of the problem.

Anyway, all things considered, it was decent for a banana bread. I think we need to do a banana bread head-to-head for this recipe and the other one I really like.

This banana bread will definitely not change your life, however.🍞🍪

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

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Easy to make, but slow (65 minutes or so) to bake. A beautiful pale brown when out of the oven, probably due to the whole wheat flour that we are working our way through, plus the light brown sugar that the recipe calls for.

When I was checking for doneness, I didn’t pierce the crust in enough places, so missed that there was a layer of unbaked dough near the top of the both loaves. Lesson learned, I’ll know for next time. We’re going to let it stale and then make French toast out of it. I also need to figure out where the hot spots are in the oven.

I decided to add chocolate chips to the mix. That was a good decision. Next time I make it, I will probably cut the sugar in half because it was too sweet, especially with the addition of the chocolate chips.  

Food Network has a great webpage with 50 different quick bread recipes, which is a very useful resource. There are savory and sweet varieties.

This recipe will not change your life, although it was a good excuse to take our new stand mixer through its paces. I made a double batch and some flour and whatnot spilled over the edge of the mixer’s bowl. Once I got the liquid in though, it was easy and quick. Our stand mixer has a paddle that automatically scrapes the side of the bowl so that you don’t have to. It’s an excellent feature. 🍞🍪

Gluten-free Brownies from a bag

Gluten-free brownies from a bag
These came from a groovy grocery store so they were in a medium-sized bag instead of a box but they are the same as your average boxed variety.

They were pretty good. Gluten-free products have really hit their stride. The brownies were moist and had that grainy mouthfeel that melts away once you taste it that I enjoy so much in other gluten-free baked desserts (Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies, for instance). I added chocolate chips in to the batter. That made it extra chocolatey and somewhat fudge-like. On the box, they have some variants of the main recipe: more cake-like, more fudge-y, dairy-free.

These brownies will not change your life unless you are gluten-free and are craving brownies and have not had brownies for many years. Or if you are making cannabis brownies. This mix would be perfect for that. 🍪