Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf 

As part of my ongoing efforts to keep you in the kitchen, I offer this recipe for banana bread.  I can’t shed too much new light on banana bread except to say this recipe combines the whole-grain goodness of whole wheat flour with some all-purpose flour. This flour combination keeps the bread from becoming too heavy and dense. If desired, 1/2 cup golden raisins can be substituted for the nuts, and if you don’t want any white flour you can always experiment and use all whole wheat flour.

2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together to blend ingredients. In another bowl mix together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, mashed bananas, and walnuts. Make a hole in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir to blend ingredients well. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes until the crust is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on a rack.…

Superfoods in A Super Diet
Superfoods in A Super Diet

 

According to the American Dietetic Association ,”superfoods are purported to have more significant health benefits than other types of food because they provide high amounts of one or more beneficial components”.

The concept of “superfoods” has captured much interest in the press. I think we all know we can’t live on one food alone, but a diet filled with wholesome foods serves us best nutritionally and forms the foundation for good health.

For healthy adults and children the goal is to promote health and reduce overall risk for some chronic diseases. Health and prevention is a two part process. First, eat a “super diet”. Include many of the foods below on a regular basis. (There are many, many “superfoods”. This is only a small representation.) Second, get up off your can (rather than reading blogs?) and move. Physical activity is key to healthy muscles, bones, and bodies. Now for a short list of some of my favorite superfoods. Note: phytochemicals are naturally occurring chemicals found in plants and antioxidants are a compound that prevents free radical damage to cells in the body. You’ll see these terms sprinkled liberally throughout the list.

Avocados
Avocados may have a bad reputation for high calories and fat, but most of the fat in this fruit (yes, fruit) is monounsaturated, and avocados are packed with nutrients. Avocados contain about 60 percent more potassium than bananas and contain more vitamin E (which helps prevent muscle damage and reduces inflammation) than most other commonly eaten fruits. Make guacamole, chop it up and put it on top of a bowl of chili, or slice is and serve on a sandwich.

Bananas
A medium-sized banana contains a whopping dose of potassium and, in case you haven’t heard, potassium is one of the body’s most significant minerals, critical for proper cellular and electrical functions. As an electrolyte, potassium actually carries a tiny electrical charge with it throughout the body. It regulates the water and acid balance in blood and tissues and is one of the most important nutrients for normal growth and building muscle. Use in a smoothie, slice and put on a bowl of hot oatmeal, or eat out of hand for a quick snack on the go.

Blueberries
Rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins (the blue color pigment), blueberries promote a healthy urinary tract and enhance night vision. Not to mention the phytochemical lutein and the natural sources of dietary fiber that may reduce the risk of diabetes, circulatory problems, and memory loss. Use frozen blueberries during the winter time when fresh aren’t available. Sprinkle fresh blueberries on spinach salad or make a yogurt parfait.

Broccoli
A readily available vegetable, broccoli boasts high amounts of vitamin C . Part of it’s powerhouse protection is derived from phytochemicals that give your immune system a boost. Use fresh in salads, or cooked in soups, pasta dishes, or cut into spears, sprinkled with a pinch of kosher salt and fresh lemon zest.

Dark Chocolate
Now we’re talking. Who knew chocolate was …