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Posts Tagged ‘Whole Wheat Pastry Flour’

Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing it

I figure it’s finally time to share my favorite banana bread with all of you.  Really, what’s a food blog without a banana bread recipe, right?  I bet I make banana bread at least every couple of weeks.  My freezer is packed with bananas that don’t get eaten right away.  I just keep adding to the pile…one here, one there.  This recipe is a bit unusual because it calls for six bananas– so start saving up!

Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing It

Since we eat banana bread so often, I really wanted my version to be healthy.  I tweaked and tweaked and finally arrived at this recipe a while ago. It’s exactly what I wanted it to be.  Since over-ripe bananas are sweeter, you’ll only need a little bit of honey to get the sweetness just right.  No sugar added here.  The larger number of bananas really gives this bread deep flavor, as well as keeps it moist without much fat.  And speaking of fat,  I used a healthier virgin coconut oil in it.  The flavor combines perfectly with the bananas and chocolate.  I used a mixture of oat flour and whole wheat pastry flour for the base.  Combined, they give the bread a perfect texture– just slightly lighter than ordinary banana bread, but with enough heft to be satisfying.

Cacao Nibs for Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing It

Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing It

When it comes to the chocolate, you have a decision to make.  I prefer adding cacao nibs, but my kids/husband like chocolate chunks.  If you aren’t familiar with cacao nibs, they’re crushed cacao beans.  They are unsweetened and have a bit of a crunch that adds a nice texture.  They’re also loaded with antioxidants.  Alone they are somewhat bitter, but adding them to sweet things makes them delicious. Try throwing them into your next smoothie!  And lastly, I added chia seeds for more health benefits, because why not?

Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing It

A few reminders:  First, make sure to use really over-ripe bananas.  You’ll want that extra sweetness since you won’t be adding sugar.  I’m talking the blacker, the better.  Also, make sure you bake your banana bread long enough.  There is nothing worse than under-baked banana bread.  A longer bake time is better.  There are so many bananas in there that the chances of it being dry are very slim.  Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Healthy Banana Bread

(makes one loaf)

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 smashed over-ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cup — a tablespoon or two extra is fine)

1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) oat flour

1  1/4 cup (7 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup cacao nibs  OR  1 cup chocolate chunks

1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the oat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, chia seeds, salt, and baking powder with a whisk.  Set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer (or regular bowl if mixing by hand), add the honey and coconut oil.  Combine for a minute on medium speed until somewhat creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix for another minute, or so.  Then add the fork-smashed bananas.  Mix until well combined and somewhat smooth.  Next, sift the flour mixture over the wet ingredients.  Combine on low just until all of the ingredients are moistened.  Do not over-mix.  Add the cocoa nibs or chocolate chunks and fold in with a rubber spatula.  Scoop mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 45-48 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean from the middle of the loaf.  The center should feel somewhat firm when you feel it.  Let cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and gently remove from pan.  Continue to let cool on a cooling rack.  For best results, after cutting into it, place the cut side down on a cutting board and leave the rest of the bread uncovered for the first day.  The texture will remain true this way.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing it!  Hope you all are having a lovely Summer, so far!

Laurie

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Oh, I do love a good a scone.  And I’m not too fussy about the style.  I love cake-like scones with a bit of icing on the top just as much as I enjoy the crumbly biscuit-like versions.  This scone falls firmly into that second category.  It’s substantial.  Dense.  Almost ‘heavy’ (in a good way!) because of all those healthy whole grains packed into such a small treat.  But it also has a nice hint of natural sweetness from the maple syrup, which marries incredibly well with those oats.

These scones come together in a flash, so they are perfect for a lazy weekend morning.  Be sure not to overwork the dough, as the irregular cold butter chunks make for a wonderfully textured scone.  When you bake these, the cold butter leaves behind empty air pockets which add a fantastic, flakey texture.  Yes, chunks of butter are a good thing.   I decided to not put any sugar in the scone (aside from the sprinkles on top), and instead let the sweetness of the maple syrup come through.  It worked perfectly.  I like to eat these treats with a smear of butter and a little maple syrup on the side.  Enjoy!

The Recipe:  Oat and Maple Scones

(Makes 7 round scones or 6 wedges)

1 3/4 cups (235 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (80 grams) whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup (53 grams) old fashioned rolled oats

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 HEAPING tablespoon baking powder

1/4 cup real maple syrup

1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk or milk, (use a bit more, if necessary)

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted, cold butter, cut into small cubes

1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

About 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on the tops

Preheat the oven for 400°F.  Position rack to the middle of the oven.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the flours, oats, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl.  Whisk them together.  With a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small breadcrumbs.  (Note: a food processor can also be used, but I would recommend mixing in the oatmeal by hand at the very end, so it retains it’s shape.)  It’s ok to have some irregular chunks of butter.  In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk and maple syrup together.  Pour them into the flour mixture and either by hand, or with a rubber spatula mix it all together to form a dough.  Do not over mix.  If the mixture feels too dry, add a bit more milk.  This particular dough should not be sticky.

On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough out until it is about 1 1/4 – inches tall.  Using a 2-inch cutter cut the dough into about 7 rounds and place them on the parchment- lined baking sheet.  Or cut them into 6 larger wedges, if you don’t have a 2-inch cutter.  Using a pastry brush, top the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.  Bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

These scones are best if eaten on the day they are made.  They will dry out a bit after that, but certainly nothing a little smear of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup can’t help.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals at Rose Bakery via Smitten Kitchen

Hope you’re all having a lovely week — thanks for stopping by!

Laurie

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Notice anything different?  Look at the URL (and blog title) above.  That’s right, my blog is now ‘Relishing It’, with the profanity in my web address (though it provided a few chuckles) now gone.  Let me know what you think.

On to today’s post.  Oatcakes?  No doubt the title of this recipe alone is so inviting that you can’t wait to try it.  Alright, it may not sound exciting, but these little creations are incredible.  I want implore you to make them to prove that even with a title like ‘oatcakes’, these are delicious.  Did I mention that they’re also easy and convenient?   I stumbled across these hearty cakes in another recently published cookbook, Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson.  Heidi authors the blog 101 Cookbooks  , which I’ve been following for some time.  This book is fantastic, with a concentration on healthy and vegetarian foods.  I’ve made these oatcakes several times over the last couple of weeks, as my family (mostly my husband) devours them.  These are most certainly not muffins.  To be honest, I’m not really a muffin fan.  While they’re sweet and cake-like, I find that I always choose something else if given the option.  Yes, these oatcakes have that tell-tale ‘muffin shape’, but the comparison ends there.  These are very dense, hearty, and flavorful, though not particularly sweet.  Even better, they’re filled with ingredients that are nutricious and tasty.  You’ll see that the recipe contains a few items that you may not have on hand.  Don’t let that stop you from making them.  My guess is that once you have the ingredients on-hand, you’ll make this recipe again and again.

Whole grains, oatmeal, and whole wheat pastry flour provide the heft here.  The original recipe also called for whole flax seeds, though my variation relies on flax meal.  Whole flax seeds are too hard for your body to break down.  They simply pass through, without giving you the healthy benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants that you get in the ground form.  Whether you use whole seeds or ground meal, store them in the refrigerator once opened.  Heart-healthy walnuts add a nutty crunch to the cakes, and also contain omega-3 fatty acids that are good for you.  The cakes are sweetened with raw cane sugar, honey, and maple syrup– a sublime combination.  Here I deviated from the original recipe as well, as it called for just the maple syrup and sugar.  I was feeling a bit stingy about my dwindling maple syrup supply being depleted by another 3/4 cup, so I substituted half with honey.  It really paid off, as the honey and oat combination is heavenly.  There are also two different oils that keep the cakes moist– butter and extra virgin coconut oil.  The latter is emerging as a healthy alternative oil that’s seeing more use in cooking and baking.  You can read about some of it’s health benefits here.  When you go to purchase it, take note that it will not be a liquid.  It will be white and solid.

These oatcakes are a perfect snack for your busy summer.  They keep well and transport easily.  Take them on walks, bike rides, camping, or for a simple morning breakfast.  They are very filling, and they’ll satisfy your hunger for longer than you think.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

The Recipe: Oatcakes

(makes 1 dozen)

3 cups rolled oats

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour

1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 cup flax meal

3/4 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup  (Note:  just to be clear — 3/4 cup total of equal parts maple syrup and honey)

1/2 cup raw cane sugar or natural cane sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the top third of the oven.  Butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan.

Combine the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, flax meal, and walnuts in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the coconut oil, butter, honey, maple syrup, and sugar and slowly melt together.  Stir just until the butter melts and sugar has dissolved, but don’t let the mixture get too hot.  And if it does, let it cool a bit – you don’t want it to cook the eggs in the next step.

Pour the coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture.  Stir a bit with a fork, add the eggs, and stir again until everything comes together into a wet dough.  Spoon the dough into muffin cups, nearly filling them.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges of each oatcake are deeply golden.  Remove pan from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes.  Then run a knife around the edges of the cakes and tip them out onto a cooling rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  They are especially good with a smear of butter and a drizzle of honey.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Super Natural Every Day Cookbook by Heidi Swanson

Thanks again for stopping by!

Laurie

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