Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Moist whole wheat banana bread – customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts – it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It’s kid-approved.

Moist whole wheat banana bread - customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts - it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days.

Two months full of travel and houseguests has finally come to an end. Last week was the last trip on my calendar for a while, and I’m thrilled with having some downtime. I got a surprise day off last week due to some pretty horrendous winds and managed to knock out most of the laundry that had piled up. And I got to spend some special “craft time” with my daughter (who is soooo much like me!). The winds died down enough over the weekend for me to get in a nice long walk, some time with friends, and quite a bit of time in the kitchen. I even managed to steal a few hours to work on a scrapbook. I can’t remember when I managed to fit so much into a weekend!

Moist whole wheat banana bread - customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts - it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It's kid-approved.

This recipe is what I call a Mom Win. It’s relatively healthy, as it’s made with whole wheat flour, bananas, and apple sauce (to reduce the amount of butter in the recipe). AND BOTH MY KIDS ATE IT!!! Miss. Hazelnut – the world’s pickiest eater who is known for gagging when a banana comes within an inch of her mouth – actually liked it! I was shocked! Who am I kidding? I am STILL in shock.

I’ve made this bread several times before. My personal favorite is adding in coarsely chopped walnuts, because I love the contrasting texture it brings to a soft, moist bread. Not to mention the extra protein and fiber. Unfortunately, walnuts aren’t daycare-friendly. Instead, I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, which I knew the kiddos would love.

So if you’re looking to make a healthy snack or breakfast for your or your family, may I suggest this banana bread?

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Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Moist whole wheat banana bread – customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts – it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It’s kid-approved.

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cool 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 Servings
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 ripe bananas mashed (about 1 c. mashed banana)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips or walnuts optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a standard loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches) with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, apple sauce and sugar until combined. Add mashed banana and beat in. Repeat with eggs and vanilla extract. Finally, add flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat to combine, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. With a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips or nuts, if using.
  3. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in plan before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool complete.
  5. Store, covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Makes 1 loaf of banana bread, about 10 slices. 

This recipe was adapted from Whole Wheat Banana-Nut Bread in Williams-Sonoma Cooking At Home (p. 434).

Whole Wheat Banana Bread on Books n' Cooks - Moist whole wheat banana bread - customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts - it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It's kid-approved.

Hummus

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack. Ok folks. Who out there has a New Year’s resolution to eat better or lose weight? <Raises hand.> It’s soooo hard to eat well when weekdays are so busy – I walk in the door and the kids are immediately asking to eat or demanding other things…

I know that the months of January and February are crazy for us, due to some travel and houseguests, so I’m doing my best to position myself for success. Lists of healthy options to expedite planning, lots of weekend prep, and as much help from the grocery store as possible (hello pre-chopped veggies!).

One of my favorite go-to snacks for healthy eating… or even when I’m not being my best… is hummus. I love it with veggies, pretzel crisps, pita slices and pita chips. Great for easy entertaining or snacking. This homemade version only took a few minutes to make and is bright with flavor. The Tabasco and garlic give it a bit of heat, which is evened out by fresh lemon juice.

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.

What is your favorite snack (bonus points for a recipe) for healthy eating?

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With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.

Hummus

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.

Course Snack
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1 14-oz. can chickpeas
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 c. tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 8 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • paprika optional

Instructions

  1. Drain the chickpeas and reserve liquid.
  2. Place chickpeas, salt, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and Tabasco in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 10 times. Add 2 Tbs. of reserved liquid and continue to pulse until desired texture, adding additional liquid 1/2 tablespoon at a time if needed.
  3. Transfer to a serving dish and, if desired, dust with paprika (optional).
  4. Serve within an hour, or store in refrigerator until serving.

This recipe was adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (p. 46).

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.

Churro Chex Mix #FoodGifts

Give a homemade snack for the holidays this year. Sweet, sugar-cinnamon Chex Mix will be a winner with kids and adults alike.

Churro Chex Mix

Guys, this fall has turned out to be way busier than I ever planned it to be, and things don’t seem to be slowing down. It’s so bad that I think I’ve accepted that I won’t be hosting a holiday party this year, or even a brunch for our closest friends. I LOVE the annual tradition, but you know what, I just have to keep myself sane. And this year, there’s just no way I can commit to it.

So instead, I’ll talk to you about last year. I hosted a brunch for a couple of our closest family friends. While I missed our annual party, I switched it out for a brunch so that close friends could bring their young children without having to bump into nap time. And I shrunk the guest list way down to keep from stressing out and spending hours cooking and baking.

Churro Chex Mix

Even though the brunch was simpler than my child-free parties, I still wanted to do a little something special for friends. The children received small Christmas gifts, the men received boozy brownies, and the woman received sweet, cinnamony Chex Mix. Want to talk about a snack that is like crack? Both the ladies and the lucky children who snuck fistfuls loved it. I couldn’t stop eating the leftovers. It’s quick and easy to make and is soooo yummy. Gift it as a gift, serve or bring it to an upcoming holiday gathering, or hoard it for yourself. There’s no wrong answer. 🙂

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Churro Chex Mix #FoodGifts

Give a homemade snack for the holidays this year. Sweet, sugar-cinnamon Chex Mix will be a winner with kids and adults alike.

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 10 Cups
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 9 c. Chex cereal Rice Chex, Corn Chex, or a combination of the two
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Prep: Place cereal in a very large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Cook: In a large pot, heat brown sugar, butter, salt, and corn syrup. Stir until butter is melted and sugar is mostly dissolved. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.
  5. Pour mixture over cereal, and stir until cereal is completely coated. Turn out onto prepared baking sheet. Spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar, enough to coat. Put the extra aside.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes. Flip and spread out. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar and bake for another 3 minutes. Chex Mix will be starting to turn golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Break into pieces.
  8. Store in an airtight container.

This recipe was adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Check out more fabulous food gifts for the holidays.

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Mom’s Apple Cake #AppleWeek

With crisp edges and a moist, flavorful center, we enjoy this sweet apple cake for breakfast, snack, afternoon tea, or dessert.

Disclaimer: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

Mom's Apple Cake: With crisp edges and a moist, flavorful center, we enjoy this sweet apple cake for breakfast, snack, afternoon tea, or dessert.

To finish up #AppleWeek, I’ve brought you a family recipe. I’m not sure where it from, but I don’t think it’s an uncommon recipe. It was pretty similar to another recipe in the cookbook my mom made me, called the Merryfield Apple Cake, but different enough that I have a strong preference towards this particular recipe. Neither my mom or I make it often, so I actually had to call her to ask which recipe I liked. Needless to say, she remembered incorrectly and the first version of this cake – that Merryfield Apple Cake – got nibbled on and then thrown out.

When Mom made this cake, I ate it cake for breakfast, snack and dessert. I remember my mom making it with chocolate chips, but I always loved it plain, so that the sweetness of the apples shone. And they will, especially if you use Rainier Fruit Honeycrisp Apples, which are one of my favorites. To entice my kiddos into eating the cake, I added a generous half a cup of toffee pieces for a bit more sweetness (but don’t worry, in no way did the toffee overpower the apples!). This cake has crisp edges but a soft, moist center.

If you haven’t already seen the giveaway from our fabulous sponsors, head over here to read about the prize packs. Then scroll to the bottom of this post – leave a comment on this post (and any other #AppleWeek post published today) to get an extra entry. Share the giveaway via Twitter for another extra entry.

Mom's Apple Cake: With crisp edges and a moist, flavorful center, we enjoy this sweet apple cake for breakfast, snack, afternoon tea, or dessert.

Recipe Notes:

  • While I made this by hand, you can certainly use a handheld or stand mixer. However, I’d recommend folding in fruit and toffee with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula so that the fruit doesn’t get bruised or squashed.
  • Be sure to wash your apples well before using. I used Veggie Wash – an all-natural spray that removes waxes, soil, and fertilizers – to ensure that the apples were well-cleaned
  • Ingredients:
    • Feel free to leave out toffee pieces all together, or swap them for chocolate chips, nuts, or even raisins.
    • I used Rodelle vanilla extract for this recipe. Rodelle vanilla extract has one of the highest percentages of vanillin (a natural flavor element found in vanilla beans) on the market. You can find Rodelle products in several large grocery stores, including Giant, Super Target, Wegmans, Costco, and Sam’s Club. And if you can’t find it there, there’s always Amazon.
    • I used Rainier Fruit organic Honeycrisp apples in this recipe. This is the second time I’ve worked with Rainier Fruit apples – last time, Rainier’s exclusive variety, Lady Alice – and I cannot understate how much we love these apples. Like last time, I had to slap away little hands from eating the apples, before and while we were baking the cake. These sweet apples are a great source of soluble fiber that strengthens the immune system, so I’m more than ok with my kids loving these apples as much as I do. Plus, they’re packed with antioxidants that play a role in reducing the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s.
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Mom's Apple Cake

Mom’s Apple Cake

With crisp edges and a moist, flavorful center, we enjoy this sweet apple cake for breakfast, snack, afternoon tea, or dessert.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 Servings
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Rodelle vanilla extract
  • 2 apples peeled and diced (preferably Honeycrisp apples)
  • 1/2 c. toffee pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x9 glass dish with cooking spray. Lightly flour, tapping out excess. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, oil and egg until thoroughly combined. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Fold in diced apples and toffee pieces.
  3. Pour into prepared pan, using a rubber spatula to spread evenly. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until top is starting to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool (at least a little bit) before serving.

Store covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 5 days.

A crispy edge and a moist center, sweet Honeycrisp apples are the star of Mom's Apple Cake. #appleweek @rainierfruit

Enter to win one of our awesome #AppleWeek prizes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To finish off #AppleWeek, we’ve got apple recipes for every occasion. Check out this collection of breakfasts, beverages, appetizers, savory-sweet meals, and desserts.

Apfelstrudel Recipe (Apple Strudel from Scratch) from House of Nash Eats
Apple and Onion Cornbread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Apple Butter Cheesecake from The Redhead Baker
Apple Chicken Stew from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Apple Cider Dark & Stormy from The Crumby Kitchen
Apple Mincemeat Pie from Palatable Pastime
Apple Pie Bread from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Apple Pie Pancakes from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Apple Praline Bread from Family Around the Table
Apple Stuffing Crusted Pork Chops from Caroline’s Cooking
Battered Chocolate Caramel Apple Slices from The Freshman Cook
Caramel Apple Pull Apart Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Apple Crack Slaw Eggrolls from Dad What’s 4 Dinner
Cinnamon Apple Donuts from Daily Dish Recipes
Diminutive Caramel Apples from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Easy Caramel Apple Butter from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Fast and Easy Peanut Butter Yogurt Fruit Dip from Cooking With Carlee
Mom’s Apple Cake from Books n’ Cooks
Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples from Simple and Savory
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples from Feeding Big
Savory Apple Turkey Brie Galette from Bear & Bug Eats
Swiss Vegetarian Autumn Lasagna With Apples & Squash from All That’s Jas

Disclaimer: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

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Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apple Sauce #SundaySupper

This week, the #SundaySupper tastemakers are all about preserving summer harvest. My main method of preserving summer bounty is freezing (fresh herbs, pesto, blackberry chia seed jam) but over the past couple of years, I’ve begun to get into canning. Making strawberry jam with my daughter and mom is a favorite for early summer while I turn to homemade apple butter in late summer or early fall.

Apple season is just starting near me and will continue for the next couple of months and I’m super excited about going apple picking again. While apple butter is definitely on the list to make, so is homemade apple sauce, which the little ones and I eat in huge quantities and I then freezer for winter months.

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apple Sauce

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apple Sauce

by Books n’ Cooks

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. apples (~12 apples), peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cinnamon

Combine apple pieces, orange juice, orange zest, sugar, and cinnamon in a slow cooker. Set on high and cook for 4 hours,  stirring every hour or so to ensure that all of the apples cook completely.

Allow to cool slightly before mashing or pureeing to desired consistency.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

For long term storage, freeze in airtight containers.

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apple Sauce_Pint

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For more ideas on preserving your summer produce,
check out the recipes below.

Condiments

Main dishes

Sides

Snacks

Dessert

Beverage

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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