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The Ultimate Banana Bread Recipe

Ultimate Banana Bread Recipe

My mother is famous (at least in our family!) for her Banana Bread recipe.  Over the years, she has tweaked the recipe to sub out some of the ingredients with healthier options. I’ve further perfected the recipe over the past year or so, with frequent experimentation to try to improve the fiber, protein, or texture. My older son loves Banana Bread, therefore I make Banana Bread frequently!

Here is my Ultimate Banana Bread recipe. I’ve incorporated healthier ingredients, such as Coconut Oil, Coconut Flour, and Chia Seed into my recipe. I’ve found that Banana Bread is better the second day. We store it tightly wrapped in foil in the refrigerator for up to a week, though it rarely makes it that long without being fully consumed!

The Ultimate Banana Bread Recipe

You will need

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 bananas, very ripe
  • 1 1/2 cup flour (All Purpose or Whole Wheat)
  • 1/4 cup Almond flour
  • 1/4 cup Coconut flour
  • 4 tablespoons Chia seed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

To make

Preheat oven to 325.

Prepare a 9 x 11 bread pan by spraying with Coconut Oil spray.

In a blender or Vitamix, blend Coconut Oil, Coconut Palm Sugar, and Turbinado Sugar together.

Add eggs and Vanilla extract. Blend.

Add bananas, one at a time. Blend.

Add chia seed. Blend. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Set aside wet mixture.

In a separate mixing bowl, mix all remaining dry ingredients.

Add dry ingredients to wet mixture. Mix only until dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Do not overmix.

Optional: Add up to 1/2 cup applesauce to bread mixture if it appears to be too stiff. Start with 1/4 cup applesauce, then add additional if needed. The bread consistency should be pourable, but not too dry.

Pour into a 9 x 11 bread pan.

Bake at 325 for about 55 minutes until a toothpick or skewer inserted into center of bread comes out mostly clean. If needed, bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, checking frequently for doneness. Bread should still be moist. Do not overbake.

Remove pan from oven. Set aside for about 5 minutes, then tip the pan on its side. Cool for at least one hour before removing from pan.

Wrap tightly in foil and store in refrigerator. Can be eaten immediately, or wait until the next day for the best flavor!

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3 Ideas for Handling Leftover Halloween Candy


Halloween CandyIt’s a couple days past Halloween, and I gotta say – – I’m sick of having all this candy laying around the house. I have very little willpower when confronted with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Even less when it’s a ‘fun size’ Milky Way.  Every time I walk by the various Halloween candy containers in our kitchen, it’s hard for me not to dip my hand in and pull something out.

One problem we have is that we had far fewer ‘trick or treaters’ this year versus years’ past.  The other problem is that because of that fact, the neighbors were extremely generous when my children went trick or treating in our neighborhood. While we were equally generous with the candy by the time the highschoolers were coming around later in the evening, we were still left with the equivalent of one Costco sized bag of candy, plus two huge buckets from my kid’s trick or treating. It was fun for a few days, but now it’s time to do something about all the extra candy!

If you find your family with an excess of Halloween candy, here are some tips with how to manage the leftovers.

Tip 1: Pare down the collection.

We’re a couple days into November. The Halloween decorations are packed away, and now it’s time to move on! It’s fun for the kids to have this huge collection of candy for a couple days. Sometimes they pour it out on the floor, stare at the colorful packages, sort it. They put it back in the bucket without ever eating a single piece. To their credit, they have been great about sticking to our two-pieces-a-day rule. But it’s obvious that some of the candy won’t get eaten – – the Now and Laters, the Laffy Taffy, the Sweet Tarts.  Tonight we’re going to go through the collection and have them take out everything they don’t like.  Our goal is to get down to about 25% of what they currently have left.

Tip 2: Donate it!

A great way to teach children about charity is to encourage them to donate their leftover treats to one of the many charitable organizations that accept candy. One of the most popular options is to send the candy to our troops via Operation Shoebox, which runs a candy donation drive.  Heat resistant candy (i.e. Sweet Tarts, Smarties, Twizzlers – – anything not chocolate) is preferred.  Having been the recipient of one of the Operation Shoebox packages while deployed during my time in the U.S. Navy, I can tell you that these donations are very much appreciated by our troops and sailors, especially during the Holidays.  My kids are extremely excited that their unwanted candy will be going to a soldier or sailor!

Tip 3: Hide it!

Once you have pared down the candy collection to an acceptable level, ask your kids to hide the remainder from you. I’m like a bloodhound when it comes to chocolate, so this helps me break the cycle of eating candy every time I walk by their buckets.  This strategy only works if your kids understand that by hiding their candy, they can’t eat it whenever they want. But then again, when the candy is gone, it’s gone, so if they do eat it all in one sitting, it’s not the worst thing in the world.  Given the small amount of candy remaining after we pare down and donate, I expect the remainder of the candy won’t last more through this coming weekend – – and that is a good thing!

Hopefully these tips will help your family manage the excess Halloween candy that may be leftover from the past weekend!



My favorite Superfoods Smoothie recipe

FeltreArtisanSuperfoodsSmoothieI started making smoothies for breakfast back when my first son was born six years ago. It was really the only way I could eat breakfast at all with a colicky newborn, and over time it became a habit because of its ease, portability and the fact I could pack a lot of satisfaction and nutrition into the first meal of the day. Since then, it is really the only way I want to start my weekday. Weekends I crave eggs and bacon, but weekday mornings I find that I only want a smoothie. Throwing a bunch of vegetables, a little fruit, a little healthy fat, and some protein in a blender is the easiest way for me to start the day off with as much nutrition as I can get in a glass.

Over the years, my taste in smoothies has changed from being primarily fruit based to being more veggie based most days.  With that change I have also found that I want less sweetness.  The below recipe for my Superfoods Smoothie is my go-to recipe; it includes my favorite superfoods including spinach, coconut oil, chia seeds, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and  bananas.  The only other addition I make somedays is to include frozen blueberries for another superfood boost and a little extra sweetness.

Seven Superfoods Smoothie

You will need

  • 2 handfuls of organic spinach (about 2 cups)
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chia seed
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ice (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
  • optional: stevia or other sweetener, to taste

To make

Add all ingredients to blender.

Blend until smooth.

Drink immediately.

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Radishes and Lettuce

IMG_1561Our square foot garden is finally starting to produce some produce! We enjoyed the first radishes and lettuce today, and the herbs are looking great. Our strawberries should probably bear some fruit next week if it stays at sunny as it has been for the last couple days. This is our second year for using the square foot gardening method (learn more the method here), and I love it for so many reasons, but mostly because of the huge variety of fruit and vegetables our garden provides our family. We have almost 30 different ‘squares’ planted right now, with different types of radishes, lettuces, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, herbs galore. My Pinterest page is full of tons of information about square foot gardening, and also has lots of recipes I want to try this summer with everything in the garden. I’ve been spending a couple minutes each night adding to my Summer Recipes page. Make sure you follow me on Pinterest if you’re interested!

A life truly lived…

Anyone’s life truly lived consists of work, sunshine, exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air, and a happy contented spirit.

 – Lillie Langtry