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Kitchen Sink Banana Bread

A quick recap of last week before we launch into this week’s latest recipe.
am6 Biking to beer is my latest favorite thing to do. This Sorachi saison from Funkwerks tasted so much better after I worked for it!
am7 My pops had a birthday last week! We visited Dancing Pines distillery in Loveland, shared a flight and ended up heading out with their brand new vodka (distilled from grapes!) and cherry liqueur. Goooood stuff!
am8 And we visited the gun store. Looking, no touching after that tasting.
am9 I got funky new pants from Marshall’s and watched my dog go camouflage. He’s kind of cool like that.
am10 I baked balsamic olive oil cookies for the housewarming party I threw on Friday night.
am11 It started pouring right after I snapped this picture. A rousing game of Hedbanz was played until we all hurt from laughing so hard. I left the cleaning for my roommate and was in bed around 12:30am because…
am12 Saturday morning brew! More details about all of this to come, but until then follow Snowbank Brewing on Twitter! I’m running the Twitterverse there during all of our brew days/tappings/random outings.
am13 Leftover cookies and caustic acid. Looking back, I probably should’ve removed the acid-covered nitrile gloves before consuming this…
am14 After a 22 hour brew day, we returned for yet another brew day yesterday. My body was screaming for greens so I whipped up a green monsta before heading back to the shiny tanks.
am1 Which brings me to this bread. I bake things for brew days. That’s just what I do. Pumpkin donuts and face cookies were my Enegren tradition, so I figured it would be a good thing to carry on with my new brewery.
am3 I had leftover pumpkin puree from last week’s pumpkin donuts, and half of an avocado from some guacamole I’d made earlier this week. I figured since they were about to go bad, along with the huge bunch of Costco bananas, I’d just throw them into the bread and see what happened.
am5 Delicious success! And way too much orange in these food styling pics… I think it’s time to go buy some new props…
am4 I threw in some chia seeds as well to make myself feel like this bread was even healthier. So there’s that.

Kitchen Sink Banana Bread

Serves 8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Hearty oil-free banana bread full of random ingredients found around the kitchen. Everything but the kitchen sink.

Ingredients

  • 1 + 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Large bananas (mashed)
  • 1/2 Large avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions

Step 1
Grease two mini bread loaf pans (or one standard size bread pan) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda.
Step 3
In a large bowl, combine the bananas, avocados, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, egg, chia seeds and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Step 4
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in until just combined.
Step 5
Pour the batter in to the loaf pan(s), top with banana slices if desired, and bake for 35-55 minutes. The bread is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Step 6
Allow to cool. Or just devour it straight from the pan like I did.

am2 I’m off to another crazy busy week! Happy Monday!

What else do you bake with browning bananas? I have a ton more I need to use up!

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Vegan Whole Grain Protein Bread

Thursday was a homemaker day: a lazy morning lounging by the fire sipping copious amounts of coffee and reading blogs. An hour long intensive workout followed by an aromatherapy shower. A load of laundry. Making the bed with clean sheets. Folding warm clothes fresh from the dryer. Answering reader emails, writing interview quotes, figuring out ways to use up the spinach that’s about to peak.
Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 10.56.05 PM Green monstas. I adore them.
Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 10.56.18 PM Kale with leftover Tuno salad and diced pickles, topped with wheat berries.
AM Freshly baked bread. Meditation and kneading bread are the same thing.
AM1 Standing in the kitchen, staring out at the Rocky Mountains while Bastille plays through the dining room speakers, wrist deep in tacky dough that smells of maple syrup and warm yeast. That was my Thursday.
AM2 Once the piping hot loaves emerged from the oven, they were delicately sliced and placed in the basking glow of the sunset for photographing.
AM3 I almost forgot to taste test but, just in time, slathered a slice with my chimichurri sauce to inhale.
AM4 And it was gooooood.

Vegan Whole Grain Protein Bread

Serves 10
Prep time 3 hours
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 3 hours, 30 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Bread
Vegan whole grain bread studded with chewy wheat berries and packing a punch of quinoa protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup pre-cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup pre-cooked wheat berries
  • 2 +1/2 - 3 cups whole wheat flour

Directions

Step 1
In a large bowl combine the warm water, maple syrup and dry active yeast and let rest for three minutes. (Water should not be so hot that you can't hold your finger in it comfortably)
Step 2
Stir in the salt, olive oil, wheat berries, quinoa and one cup of whole wheat flour.
Step 3
Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is tacky to the touch.
Step 4
On a floured surface knead the dough for 4 minutes, then shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm room to rise for two hours.
Step 5
Once the dough has double in size, punch down, split into two and shape into two loaves.
Step 6
Place on a greased baking pan, cover and let rise again for one more hour.
Step 7
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until tops are browned.
Step 8
Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

AM5 Happy Friday! You made it through the week! What are your big plans for the weekend?

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Whole Wheat Sugarless Banana Cake Bread

Exciting news all around: I’m back to baking! I’ve missed having the time and the creativity to whip up some deliciousness in the kitchen, so I’m going overboard with it now.

But first: Friday was my last day at Wolf Creek as assistant brewer. While I had a wonderful few months there hauling grain, scrubbing out mash tuns, brewing delicious beer and having some awesome bragging rights, I truly missed being able to connect with those drinking the beer and being able to explain to them why the beer they were tasting had that citrus or banana aroma, or how adding the hops earlier in the boil makes the beer more bitter, or urging them to visit all the local craft breweries that Southern California boasts to expand their horizons and open their minds and steins to the beauty of the beer. That was a ridiculously long sentence.

A few weeks ago I was at Enegren during the middle of the day when a group happened to swing by. There were beer distributors in this group – something I’ve been wanting to do for the past two years. I asked how they got into distribution, they asked me if I was interested and told me they were looking to hire a craft beer specialist and I had an interview the following week. Beginning October 1st I’ll be working with this distribution company and eventually/hopefully bringing the awesomeness of local craft beer to bars and restaurants in SoCal.

NOW back to baking! I’ve recently begun a new workout regime AND eating healthy. I was perusing the interwebs for banana bread that had no sugar, made a recipe that totally flopped, decided to make modifications and came up with this cake bread.

Don’t be scared: There’s no artificial sugar here and as long as you’re not expecting traditional buttery, extremely sweet banana bread, you’ll survive.

Whole Wheat Sugarless Banana Cake Bread

Serves 6-8
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Bread, Breakfast
This is NOT your traditional sweet banana bread! It’s mildly sweet with little bursts of sweet sunshine from the rehydrated raisins, dense and chewy.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 5 browning bananas (mashed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2
Place the golden raisins in a small bowl, cover with hot water and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Step 3
In a medium bowl add the mashed bananas, vanilla extract and eggs and stir until combined.
Step 4
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Step 5
Drain the raisins, chop finely and add to the dry ingredients.
Step 6
Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Step 7
Pour the batter into a pre-greased 9×9 inch pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

The riper the bananas, the better. I had a craving for banana bread and just couldn’t wait.
Hydrate ’em!
Drain ’em! Chop ’em!
Mash ’em!
Add ’em!
Stir the raisin bits into the dry ingredients.
Pour the banana mixture on top of the dry ingredients.
Stir until just combined. Do not overstir or you’ll get tough, unfluffy bread cake! That would be disastrous.
Spread into a pre-greased pan. You could probably put this in a loaf pan as well, but the baking time will vary.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or as long as you can hold out before slicing and diving in face first.
Again, my disclaimer: This is NOT your traditional sweet banana bread! It’s mildly sweet with little bursts of sweet sunshine from the rehydrated raisins, dense and chewy. I’ve been having a square of this with the rest of my healthy breakfast every morning.

Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Cornbread

Last night, Brie came over for a pumpkin beer/pumpkin food night. She was bringing over pumpkin chili and what goes great with chili? Cornbread. What goes great with pumpkin chili?

Pumpkin Cornbread

Serves 10-12
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Meal type Bread
Sweet, moist cornbread. Perfect to pair with any type of chili or soup on a cool autumn day.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 + 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 7 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 1 + 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
Step 3
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar.
Step 4
In yet another bowl, combine the almond milk, eggs and pumpkin puree and whisk well.
Step 5
Pour the flour and the wet ingredients into the butter and sugar and mix well.
Step 6
Spread the thick batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Before…
After! I’d like to say that I’ve never made cornbread before in my life. I totally winged this and just hoped that I didn’t end up burning the house down. The fact that it turned out DELICIOUS? I’m still in proud shock.

The pumpkin chili may be the best chili I’ve ever had. EVER. Combine that with fresh, hot pumpkin cornbread slathered with butter and honey, and you have perfection on a placemat.
We went through a plethora of beers.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead: I was warned to steer clear of this one. That only made me more curious and since it was already in my fridge when the warning came in, we tasted that one first. The aroma was very funky and had a chemical scent. The body was very thin with a watery artificial sweetener flavor and a hint of nutmeg. It finished like a fizzy yellow beer – weak and sad. I learned my lesson.

Overall the favorites were Dogfish Head Punkin Ale – a heavily spiced ale, rich and warm with a slightly sweet finish, and Lips of Faith: Kick.
Pardon the wonderfully blurry picture. I’m still working on figuring out shutter speeds, apertures and all that fun stuff. Kick is a very interesting ale – a collaboration between New Belgium and Elysian Brewing. No wonder I loved it. It’s 75% ale brewed with pumpkin and cranberry juice and 25% ale aged in wooden barrels. You can really taste the cranberry juice in the first tangy sip, and it’s spiked with a lovely slightly sour finish. I’ve had sours before – many of them you can have a glass of and then it becomes overwhelming. With this, you could knock back the entire bomber and still not feel like your palate has been overworked. I was surprised that this clocked in at 8.5% ABV – it doesn’t have a heavy or boozy flavor at all.

There is no better way to say farewell to summer and welcome the first day of autumn.
What I woke up to this morning:
Oh yeah, IT’S OFFICIALLY AUTUMN!!!

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