My mom didn’t make banana bread very often because she doesn’t really like bananas, but my dad, sister and I did, so when she made it, it was a great day. I was pretty surprised at how easy this is to make. It’s perfect for a cold late winter day.
My opinion: This makes your whole house smell amazing. It’s delicious and one of my most favorite breakfast foods. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter (if you add peanut butter reduce the oil by one tablespoon). The options are endless!
I’m a rather big fan of banana muffins. Mostly because they’re just as tasty as banana bread, but cook faster and are easier to transport. Plus, you can add all kinds of things, like blueberries, to them and they’re still wonderful. My usual recipe calls for flour, but some how we were out. So I found this recipe from Chase and Em’s blog. With a few modifications, I had some super fast, delicious, friend-worthy muffins.
2 and 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (regular plain old Quaker is what we used)
1 cup vanilla yogurt (we used HyVee brand. Feel free to use plain. The original recipe called for Greek.)
3/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or line with silicone or foil liners. Grind the oatmeal into oatmeal flour (we used our coffee grinder for this, a half cup at a time) and put in a mixing bowl. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, mashing the banana. Pour into the coated or lined muffin tins (ours took about a half cup each) making sure to leave room for the muffins to rise. Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Our oven took a little more than 20 minutes. Just set a timer for 15 minutes, check, if necessary add another 5 ,check, and then keep a close eye after that. Makes about 18 muffins.
Just as easy as the old standby box mix, these muffins were wonderful. We ended up freezing about half and they are just as good warmed up in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
J fell in love with the granola at Turtle Bay when we visited Hawaii. A recent note from the general manager reminded me to try to get the recipe because while travelling to Honolulu every time J wants the granola sounds lovely, that is absolutely not going to happen. Luckily for me, Danna is super nice and got me in touch with Ceci in the Food and Beverage Department. Ceci sent the ingredients and from there I was able to cobble together the recipe below.
3 cup oats (we used Quaker)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds (we went with the ones from the bulk food section)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
about 3 cups tropical fruit trail mix (We used HyVee brand with papaya, pineapple, coconut, raisins and bananas, but left out the bananas)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the oats and nuts. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and honey. Combine both mixtures and pour onto a sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color and keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom (you may want to consider spraying the pan with your favorite cooking spray, just in case).
Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add fruit and mix until evenly distributed.
Somehow I was more obsessed with the fresh fruit in Hawaii and missed this granola completely, but it is amazing. Good with milk as a cereal, good on yogurt, ice cream and just out of the container.
Sometimes you need a quick side dish for brunch. I highly recommend a fruit salad. Not your grandmother’s fruit salad with the jello, but a regular plain fruit salad. Here’s my fail safe one, but feel free to add any other fruit you have on hand!
Blood Orange (2)
Pineapple (whole, cored or chunks. Fresh tastes better)
Cut everything into bite-sized chunks. Put in bowl. Mix. Serve. How easy is that?
I like adding kiwi and berries when I have them on hand. This is a great dish to take with you to a brunch and none of it ever comes home with me. The longer you let the fruit sit together (say in the refrigerator overnight) the better it tastes and the more juice you have.