Today was nice. Really, really nice. Warm weather (50-60ish degrees!) and the perfect day to hit the trails. We live pretty close to a huge park that is hardly ever used by other people (at least every time we’ve gone to it) and it’s full of trails! The ground was really muddy so we ran and trudged/plowed through it! And then we crashed and Massey and I napped on the couch once we got home. Life is good.
Already falling asleep. Just wanted to sit on my lap and catch some Zzzs from all those miles & sprints. We seriously have the world’s most energetic and athletic dog. He probably ran a total of 10 miles today. He’s a beast.
If you aren’t quite up for plunging your feet into mud or climbing hills, I totally understand, so you should probably just go make this bread. You should do nothing else but go straight to the kitchen and get to work. I don’t care if it’s Sunday night. Just go.
Pumpkin Banana Bread (adapted from Liv Life)
You’re probably wondering why I am cooking with pumpkin in March. Isn’t pumpkin a fall thing? Sure. But to be fair, I had one more can, and I happen to love pumpkin, so I’m just going to continue baking with it all year round. And you should too. #giveintopeerpressure
- 1/4 C virgin coconut oil (original recipe called for 1/4 C vegetable oil so feel free to use that)
- 1/4 C plain Greek yogurt (could easily sub any kind of yogurt)
- 2/3 C brown sugar (I used light)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin
- 2 very ripe, large bananas, chunky mashed*
- 2 tbsp OJ (I used mango OJ because that’s all I had)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp flax meal (you don’t have to include it if you don’t want too, but it’s good for you!)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 C sliced almonds (I used honey toasted)
*chunkily mashed means literally leaving chunks and not mashing it smooth – this was the BEST decision I’ve ever made. There were delicious banana chunks in the bread and they left it really moist and decadent and perfect (even the next day!)
- Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray. You could also make these into muffins or smaller loaves, but since I used a loaf pan, I’m not sure how long to cook the others for.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prep your coconut oil! Have you ever tried it? I didn’t start until I moved to CA. I use it in granola and even on my hair! There are hundreds of ways to use it, all of which are really good for you. The great thing is that you can sub it for other oils (such as canola or vegetable oil), so if a recipe calls for 1/4 C vegetable oil, you can use 1/4 C virgin coconut oil. That being said, there are a couple of steps to get it ready because it comes as a solid in the jar.
- First, scoop your coconut oil out of the jar with a spoon and into your 1/4 measuring cup. It melts ridiculously fast – you’ll notice this):
- Put it into a small saucepan and melt it on medium heat. It will take maybe 2-3 minutes. You want it just melted – so it doesn’t get too hot.
- Once melted, it will look like a clear syrup. Take it off the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes to cool.
4. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl (I added the coconut oil last as it was still cooling) – yogurt, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin, chunky banana mash, OJ, vanilla, & coconut oil. Whisk to combine.
5. In a large bowl, whisk to combine – flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
6. Pour in the pumpkin mixture and stir to just combine. You want a thick batter with a little bit of moisture – nothing runny. If it is a little runny, add in maybe a tbsp or two of flour, but I’m sure your batter will be just fine! Once combined, add in your almonds and gently stir in.
7. Put the mixture into your pan. Sprinkle extra almonds on top for a crunch (highly recommended). You’ll probably tremble from excitement when you put it in the oven – so much that your photo will be blurry.
8. Once in the oven, bake it for 55-65 minutes. Once you hit the 55 min. mark, you’ll want to start checking it every 5 minutes with a long stick (I don’t know what the name of the tool is?! a bread sticker?!). Use a knife if you don’t have a bread sticker tool thing. Stick it all the way through – you’ll want it to be clean & then you know it’s done. Don’t over bake it though because then it will be dry and you won’t be able to experience the chunky banana deliciousness!
9. Once removed, let it cool (pshhhh who am I kidding)…DIG IN! Coffee pairs extremely well.
I’m not kidding when I say that there are only 2 slices left. Jerrod and I literally ate the whole loaf (I’m saying that because as soon as I publish this, I’m going to get my last piece). It’s that good. And it’s healthy! Healthy to me 🙂