Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Hello everyone! Today I am sharing two recipes with you: banana bread and a waste-free peeling compote recipe.
Since I discovered this recipe, I would make banana bread for church and for gatherings or for coffee time when it was safe to gather for coffee. I would also make this for my husband’s son and his best friends. “Did you make any banana bread?!”, they would ask. I have to double the amount when making this for the teenage boys. Now, I simply make it, bring it to my local church or family, and enjoy coffee from afar, missing those hugs and kisses and warm embraces from loved ones. It is what it is and we must be patient. In addition to sharing love with my family and friends and whomever I share banana bread with, I am also taking compassionate steps in helping reducing food waste whenever I can. Let’s be compassionate to one another and the planet we live on. Let’s be kind to God’s creation. Later in this post, I include a recipe how to reuse banana peels.
This recipe is inspired by “The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks’ Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets” by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. The Joyful Vegan, Colleen Patrick Goudreau, adapted this recipe from “The Peaceful Plate”. I have always been a fan of banana bread. My favorite snack during my high school and college days on my break would be a creamy macchiato or cappuccino with a slice of banana bread from Starbucks. Or when I finally upgraded from a small studio (that had no oven) to an apartment shared with 4 college roommates (but I had an oven!!!), I would buy one of those “just add water and or eggs” prix fix boxes and bake. I remember one time I was making it and my vegetarian friend (who is really like a sister to me AND does not consume eggs), came over for a sleepover. At this time my mom was visiting me in San Francisco, so Radhi and I had slept in the living room and watched movies. Next morning, still lying on the blow up mattress, my mom offered Radhi a banana muffin. I remember compassionately yelling from the other room, “NO! NO! NO! Radhi! Those have eggs!!” I respected her so much I could not let her eat them…
Fast forward a few years and now I no longer eat eggs and various animal products for several reasons. I thought, well, there goes my banana bread fix… what am I to do now? I thought my banana bread-eating-days were over.
Until I came across Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s, the Joyful Vegan, recipe!! Pun intended, this has made me a very joyful vegan!!! I go from eating here and there to none to now too much banana bread! Huzzah! Happy dance!
So nowadays during quarantine/social distancing time, I like to make a variety of banana breads, especially since it is just me, my husband and his son eating the banana bread! We might get tired of eating basic banana bread. To jazz up the bread a bit,
- I add blueberries, walnuts, raspberries, and other kinds of fruits in season (or use frozen fruit) and nuts that I can get my hands on. For measurement, I use about 1/2 to 1 cup of fruit or nuts; you can add a little more but don’t overdo it. It is nice to have that balance of fruit/nuts with bread.
- Sometimes I will even do a Streusel topping (more like bottom) using slivered almonds and cinnamon sugar; this is especially nice during the autumn and winter months.
- You can add a nice thin sliced banana across the top to really wow your guests (or yourself).
- At times I like to add cocoa powder to make a chocolate banana bread cake. Even Joyful Vegan suggests chocolate chips in her recipe.
The creativity is endless with the variety you can create with this basic banana bread recipe!
I slightly modified this recipe:
- Adding an extra banana or two. I try to use overly ripe *frozen* bananas because then I can reduce the amount of sugar I add to the recipe (when the bananas get very ripe, I put them in a container and store them in the freezer until ready to use)
- I use non-dairy milk in place of water
- I add cinnamon, depending on my fillings
- I use of whole wheat flour in place of all purpose flour (when I don’t have all purpose flour on hand).
- I use 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Sometimes I will do half vanilla and half almond extract if I am using almonds. If I am adding coconut flakes, I will add a smidgeon of coconut extract. If I am making a chocolate banana bread, I use half vanilla and half chocolate extract (add more chocolate extract according to your preference of taste)
- I never use canola oil in my baking. For a healthier swap, I use sunflower oil. If I don’t have sunflower oil, I use coconut oil.
- Directions are basically the same as the Joyful Vegans. Sometimes if I am baking or cooking many things at once or I am too lazy to beat the sugar and oil together, I use my stand mixer. If I am having a really lazy day, I slice the bananas and add them one by one after I have beat the sugar and oil.
Thank you Colleen Patrick-Goudreau for sharing this wonderful recipe with the world!
As someone who is ecologically conscious, guilty thoughts run in the back of my mind when I waste food. To make this recipe a bit more eco-friendly and reducing waste, you can reuse the banana peels. Simply add them to a jar or pitcher, fill it with water, and let it ferment for 24 hours. Use this water for your houseplant (or garden). You add nutrients to your planets watering them this way. In the summer time, you can reuse the peels when you get bitten by those pesky mosquitoes.
Now if you have overripe bananas and think of throwing them out…DON’T!! You can simply freeze them or you can do this… To prolong the life of a bunch of ripe bananas for future use, place them on a sheet pan (skins intact) and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 F until the skins are a deep black. Once cool, peel the roasted bananas and freeze in a ziplock bag. They won’t darken in the freezer, and they are perfect for smoothies and banana bread. (“Waste Not” Cookbook).
If you really want to get adventurous and take reducing waste to another level, scroll down and you will find a recipe how to reuse the banana peels in a manner used beyond watering your plants or skin and into the culinary aspect.
Let’s have some fun in the kitchen now!
Yield: 12 muffins or one 1 9-inch (23 cm) cake
2 cups (250 g) organic whole wheat flour or organic unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp – 1 Tbsp cinnamon powder (adjust according to taste; I like a strong cinnamon taste), optional
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (200 g) granulate sugar
1/3 cup sunflower oil
6 ripe bananas, mashed (reserve banana peels, see Note below)*
1/4 cup (60 mL) water or non-dairy milk of choice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup (150 g) walnuts, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C, or gas mark 4). Lightly grease your muffin tins or loaf pan.
In a medium sized bowl, add the flour, cinnamon (if using), baking soda, and salt; whisk them together to evenly combine.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together, then add the mashed bananas. Stir in the water and vanilla and mix throughly. Add the flour mixture, along with the chocolate chips and walnuts, if using; stir to mix.
Fill each muffin tin or loaf pan halfway with the batter. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If you are baking in a loaf pan or cake pan, bake for around 45 minutes; check at the 40 minute mark. To check for doneness, bake until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
*You can make this recipe gluten free. Use a 1:1 gluten free flour replacement. Using different kinds of gluten free flours, such as oats, kamut, spelt etc, takes some experimentation. Sometimes you have to combine 2 flours and you have to keep in mind the liquid to dry ratio (i.e coconut flour: it requires more liquid. When I have used coconut flour in recipes, I always need to add more liquid compared to other flours I have used in the past). When I need to make a gluten free version in a jiffy and don’t have time to experiment, I typically use Whole Food’s 1:1 Gluten Free Flour replacement (it comes in a big blue bag). I can always rely on it.
Going the extra eco-mile
I came across a recipe in “Waste Not How to get the most from your food: recipes and tips for full-use cooking from America’s Best Chefs” by the James Beard Foundation. This recipe is made by Hair Pulapaka. This sounds like for the adventurous one who like to try new things (and of course, reduce waste). I don’t know if I will be adding this on my breakfast pancakes, yogurt, or French toast just yet, but I may add this as a topping on grilled tempeh or tofu.
This is very easy and simple to make. You most likely have all the ingredients in your kitchen; probably need to venture out for the star anise and hot pepper if you don’t have one. Don’t be shy, give this a try.
Yield: approximately 3 cups
Skins of 6 bananas , with ends trimmed, roughly chopped
Peel, pulp, and juice of 4 lemons, seeds removed, roughly chopped
Peel, pulp, and juice of 2 oranges, seeds removed, roughly chopped
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup wter
1 cinnamon stick
1 hot pepper of your choice, such as habanero
1 star anise
Kosher salt to taste
fresh herbs like tarragon, mint, or basil, chopped (optional)
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, simmer all of the ingredients over low heat for 1 hour. Remove the hot pepper, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Adjust the level of sugar, acid, and salt. Allow to cool.
Drain the mixture, reserving the liquid. With a hand blender or in a food processor, coarsely blend the mixture by adding as much reserved liquid as required. Do not puree the mixture; you want some texture. Return to low heat until warmed through.
Bananas are a good source of potassium and magnesium. They also contain a phytochemical, fructoogliosaccharides (FOS). The properties of FOS are detoxification and increase beneficial bacteria. It can help certain conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, yeast overgrowth, cancer, and vaginitis.
105 calories per medium banana (raw)
Lemons contain magnesium and phytochemcials such as limonoids and terpenes. Limonoids contain detoxification properties and can help conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention. Terpenes contain anticancer properties and can help cancer prevention and hormone balance.
20 calories/medium lemon (raw, with peel)
Oranges contain vitamin B, vitamin D, calcium, copper, and folacin/folic acid. Oranges contain such as limonoids and terpenes. Limonoids contain detoxification properties and can help conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention. Terpenes contain anticancer properties and can help cancer prevention and hormone balance.
65 calories/medium orange
Apple cider vinegar
As the name suggests, ACV is made from apples and vinegar. Apples contain the phyotchemical ellagic acid. Ellagic acid has a detoxifying property, which can help prevent cancer.
- The Joyful Vegan, Colleen Patrick Goudreau, (adapted this recipe from “The Peaceful Plate”)
- Vegetarian Flavor Bible, Karen Page
- Prescription for Natural Healing, Phyllis A. Balch, CNC
- Prescription for Natural Healing, James. E. Balch, MD