51. Whatever Wednesday – Baking Edition!Posted: October 24, 2012
Welcome to a new activity I’ve decided to try with my blogging – themed days! I’ve dubbed today “Whatever Wednesday,” where I can write about whatever my little heart desires! Up until now, this blog has been dedicated to media and the advertising industry. I recently got advice from someone IN the industry who said it’s okay to write fun, non-ad related posts. It helps to show off your personality. I’m still deciding what other themes to assign to different days – any thoughts?
So! Without further ado…let’s kick off Whatever Wednesday!
Food, food, food. Everyone loves food, right? I know I do! With a passion for making healthy food exciting and tasty, I’ve tried cooking and baking more during this past year than ever before.
I’m always on the look out for new recipes (whether they’re healthy or a little indulgent). It’s all about balance, after all. Enter my best friend! She’s known in her college friend circle for her banana bread. When I learned of this, I was almost offended! Why had I not tasted this? Something had to be done.
On Monday, we decided to have a banana bread baking session! I happened upon some EXTREMELY ripe bananas on Sunday, and knew that Monday banana bread was meant to be.
I first observed the banana bread master as she made her batch. We decided to
improve alter the recipe slightly, tossing in some roasted pecans. We mixed the batter in a Cuisinart, which I had never done before. Apparently it makes the bread more smooth and dense once it’s baked. I cut the sugar in half in my batch as well. Once both our batters were mixed and in the oven, it was time to wait.
We passed the time by emptying out her tea cabinet (she sent some home with me) and learning Irish dance moves. Yes. My family also has a tea cabinet of sorts (okay, it’s more like a corner of our counter where we throw all the tea). I wonder…do all tea drinkers buy more tea than they know what to do with? Hmm, possible insight into tea buyers? Why do we buy so much?! Perhaps this is a topic for a future blog post.
Finally, it was done! The house smelled of wonderful banana. We all then took part in a taste test…or 3.
Now. What’s the one thing that can make homemade banana bread even more amazing? Homemade ALMOND BUTTA. I’m not too picky about nut butters. I always want to try new kinds! Peanut, almond, cashew…oh my! I’ve never tried sunflower seed butter or walnut butter, but believe me – they’re on the list! What’s your favorite nut butter? Since I tend to over-eat nut butters, my new best friend is peanut flour (hello, Protein Plus!). Mix with water, and you’ve got much healthier peanut butter! Less fat, sugar and calories. So much protein! All natural. Another option that is quite tasty is PB2, made by Bell Plantation.
Almond butter has become my staple gift in the last 6 months or so. I made it for everyone on the Oregon Bach Festival staff after I completed my internship with them as well as for my teammates in my final advertising class. It makes me so happy to see everyone enjoying it (and I get to enjoy it too!). I’ll share the recipe at the end of this post, but first…some almond butter food porn. Oh yeaaaaaaaaaah.
Notice the banana bread makes an appearance with the almond butter! 😀 Also, I love how roasting the almonds yourself makes the entire house smell delicious. The smell reminds me a bit of popcorn.
My recipe is inspired by Brittany at Eating Bird Food. Love her site! I just altered the recipe slightly.
For one batch, you’ll need:
2 cups raw unroasted almonds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (heaping. I love cinnamon.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp raisins
About 4 tsp coconut oil (virgin, unrefined from a health food/nutrition store)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds on a 9×13 baking sheet/cookie sheet and roast for about 14 minutes. If you’re making more than one batch, you can roast 4 cups on one sheet and increase the time a bit. You’ll know they’re done when they smell a bit like popcorn! 🙂
2. Once the almonds are done, place all the ingredients (except the coconut oil) into your Cuisinart or food processor and start to pulse/blend. Don’t forget to wear ear plugs if your Cuisinart is loud!
3. After a few minutes, you can start to add in your coconut oil, one teaspoon at a time, blending after each.
4. In my Cuisinart, one batch probably takes about 20 minutes. If you want a chunkier consistency, blend for a shorter amount of time. For more creamy, blend longer.
5. When the consistency is to your liking, scoop it out and enjoy!