Sundays are for…Superfood Wholegrain Banana Bread

 

Sundays are not made for rushing about – they are best spent lazying a little bit longer in bed, lingering over breakfast with a newspaper, connecting with friends at church or saturating your home with the delicious aroma of home baked yummies. Last sunday was one of such beautiful days and I enjoyed puttering about in my kitchen baking for the week.

The thought of my filling my kids’ lunchboxes with home made treats which don’t have numbers as ingredients always makes me feel blessed – blessed that I have the time to cook and bake; blessed that I enjoy being in my kitchen; blessed that I am healthy enough to stand for hours in the kitchen; and blessed that I have loved ones to cook for.  Now, whether or not they always enjoy my cooking is another topic – I like to think that one day they will appreciate all I do for them – the hours it takes me to work out which dishes are healthy and yummy at the same time. One day, they will reminisce on the good old days with their mama, pick up the phone and tell me how MUCH they miss those days when I baked various treats for them – and I always imagine myself on the other side of the line, full of the wisdom that old age will bring, nodding with understanding and twirling my gray dreadlocks with my spare fingers while I say, “I did make you the best treats, didn’t I? Well, you know I will rustle up your favourite treats when you visit!”

I wasn’t sure what to make for the lunchboxes so I asked the kids and they had different suggestions: “Chocolate cake?” No, I don’t have baking chocolate; “Peanut butter cookies?” Hmmm, no, it has to be nutfree for school. “Cake?” Well, I want something with vegetables or fruit – Carrot cake? “NO! We had that everyday last week” Oh, I have bananas. Banana bread? “YES!” I’ll make it super healthy – I’ll use honey, some superfood and wholemeal spelt flour! *Faces fall* “Healthy? Superfood?” *Eye roll & Groan*

I considered giving them a lecture about the many benefits of would-be ingredients – flaxseeds, sunflower seeds & honey – and why at least one of them was considered a superfood but I didn’t think it would enlighten them further, so I just mumbled something along the lines of banana being healthy and how they never had to worry about what came out of my kitchen as it was always good for them.

Soon, the delicious aroma that can only be attributed to banana breads resulted in “When can we have a taste Mum?” questions. I was very hopeful. Tinkering with recipes by replacing sugar with honey always worries me because you never know if your measurements were correct – and there’s nothing more devastating than a failed baking project that smells delicious! Imagine my joy when beauty came out of the oven.

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Slice, butter, munch….And love it they did! “You are the best cook in the whole world!” No, not really, but thank you darlings. Then I thought to myself, even though I know their compliments are usually temporary, swayed by things like the visibility of vegetables, I know they would pass on this recipe – Mama Nancy’s Superfood Wholegrain Banana Bread to their kids. Eventually. Because it was that good.

Ingredients

Dry
1 cup plain wholemeal flour (I used spelt)
1/2 cup self-raising wholemeal flour ( I made this up with spelt and baking powder)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flaxseeds, ground coarsely ( I mixed this 50:50 golden linseeds & flaxseeds)
2 Tbsp coconut flakes
1/4 Tsp salt

Wet
100g Olive oil
2 eggs, whisked
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup honey

Directions

  1. Grease and line a deep loaf pan
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fanforced
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  4. Whisk the eggs, add the remaining wet ingredients and whisk until combined
  5. Make well in flour mixture and pour in wet ingredients, mixing gently in one direction until just combined
  6. Spoon into loaf pan and smooth the surface
  7. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean
  8. Set the loaf aside while still in the pan for about 10 minutes
  9. Turn out onto a wire rack and serve warm with your favourite spread – butter or peanut butter are made for warm banana bread.
I adapted this recipe from Taste
Ciao, Nancy.

Delicious Dinner Plan Your Family Will Enjoy – May Wk 3

Hello!

How have you been?! I feel like it’s been ages (because it really has been ages)! Sorry I’ve been quiet for some days, I was off sick, but now I’m back and hopefully for a long while.
My routines were on hold when I was sick and I was quickly reminded how much money I spend (waste?) when I go shopping without a meal plan. I like to plan my meals, work out my budget for the week, create my shopping list before I can confidently tackle my shopping. I find it helps me efficiently manage my resources and makes for a satisfied & accomplished sigh at the end of the weekend.
One routine I kept to when I was sick and will be sticking to for the foreseeable future is going to the markets. I stopped going when my third child was small, but now they are all old enough to participate constructively ‘most of the time’, so it’s to the markets every Saturday. They like to help me scan around and remember the lowest price and then after I do my shop, they are allowed to pick one fruit or vegetable for themselves but it must be $1 or under. My two biggest kids love to pick passion fruits, but the last one sticks to her bananas.

Here’s what I’m planning for dinner next week. If you haven’t got round to making one, or need a few suggestions, then I hope you find this useful. It’s autumn here Down Under, so I took the liberty to include a pumpkin pie dessert for Saturday. I can’t wait to use up all my pumpkin.

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Let me know your thoughts and any new recipes you’ve been loving. I’m always happy to talk about food, but I’m sure you’ve worked that out already. Continue reading

My Delicious Honey Corn bread

When I was growing up, Mom used to make the most amazing cornbread. She always baked from ANZAC & Nigerian cookbooks, so you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon fierce cornbread battles on the web. Americans from the South have laid ownership claims to the cornbread recipe and in their opinion if it contains All Purpose Flour or sugar and hasn’t been baked in a cast iron skillet, it is not authentic and you might as well not bother.

I say, don’t bother UNLESS you’re making THIS recipe. I haven’t used an iron skillet, and I’ve rebelled and added honey as well…but it tasted amazing and I’m not sure how much better it can get than this. I guess I’ll find out once my ‘cast iron skillet’ tops my priority list. Right now, it’s sitting consistently around number 15.

 

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My Delicious Honey Cornbread
{with DIY Cornmeal & DIY Buttermilk}

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Delicious & Exciting Family Dinner Plan – April F’night 2

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What have you got planned for next week’s family dinner? If you’re still at the ‘wondering stage’, stop right there, I’ve got it sorted! A delicious and exciting family dinner plan is up on the blog and I’ve included a printable shopping list – so take the shortcut and head on to the markets. Don’t worry, they are all healthy and kid friendly meals your whole family will enjoy.
I’m looking forward to the 20 minute cashew stir fry. I can’t live without cashews and a 20 minute dinner is music to this busy mom’s ears.

What’s to love about what’s for dinner

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Healthy Family Dinner Plan – April F’night 1

Wondering what to cook next week? I’ve got it sorted with this healthy family dinner plan. All that’s left for you to do is write your shopping list & head to the shops.
The mini beef and zucchini burgers look like they’ll be a favorite with the kids, however, the meal I’m looking forward to is the Plantain pudding. It’s a Nigerian recipe that I haven’t eaten in over 10 years and I wasn’t pining for it till my friend in the UK sent me a picture on WhatsApp. Within 5 minutes of receiving the picture, I had bookmarked the website with the recipe, clipped it to Evernote, noted the ingredients in my shopping list and included the meal into this fortnights plan! I don’t have plantains so I’ll be looking out for ladyfinger bananas in the fruit market tomorrow! Yummo!!!  That said, I’ve already gone ahead and made the chicken pie. The minute I mentioned that I was planning to make it, the kids hassled me daily, till I couldn’t bear it anymore and just had to make it. It was a huge hit last night and I’m super glad that I stretched it into two large pies (one made in my brownie tin, haha) so I’ve got another batch frozen, waiting for next week.

What’s to love about what’s for dinner

  • Lots of fresh healthy vegetables & ingredients – nature’s guarantee to help you flourish
  • Protein packed fish with chickpeas
  • An absolutely delicious Nigerian pudding
  • Country Style Chicken Pie with crispy pastry (naughty but yum)

Menu Plan

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Wrap with Coconut Infused Chicken, Chickpeas & Mixed Veg

I love Saturdays. These days I force myself to overlook the brevity of the weekend and immerse myself wholeheartedly in the blessing of having two days off work to keep house, play with recipes, read books, watch period drama and indulge in siestas. I find that I approach Monday with a satisfied sigh when I spend my weekend in this mindset.

Speaking of recipes, I recently tinkered with a friend’s recipe, and the result was the most amazing and satisfying salad – delicious for Saturday lunch wraps & weekday sandwiches. Hey, the kids could see the chickpeas peeking out at them from the wraps but they demolished their lunches and proudly displayed their empty plates like trophies! So yes, they were that good, and yes, I think you’ll get addicted.

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Healthy Family Weekly Dinner Menu – March Wk 2&3

Don’t get all stressed up about what to cook next week, I’ve got it sorted. Just go with the flow.
I’m beginning to reap the rewards of having a school aged kid, (hang in there, new moms). My grade 2er now has ‘helping in the kitchen’ as one of her homework tasks and you won’t hear me complaining about that! We’re a great team because she loves grating carrots and I hate grating carrots – messes with my manicured nails.
My two younger ones don’t like to miss out on all the ‘seriously exciting’ kitchen fun either, they compete over who will peel the onions and who gets to measure out the rice. In fact, they are constantly in my way when I’m in the kitchen, with the last one asking me to dish her food even before I’ve had a chance to cook the meal.
I always knew that having three kids will come in handy.

What I love about what’s for dinner

  • Lots of fresh healthy vegetables & ingredients – nature’s guarantee to help you flourish
  • Seafood – Yumm.
  • Can’t have too much plantains in life – [Tip – Ladyfinger bananas are a good sub].
  • Red meat features once this week with a refreshing salad side.

Menu Plan

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Delicious Coconut and Lemon Loaf

Last night I had a brilliant idea while making dinner – why not multitask and cook tomorrow’s dinner as well? And while you’re at it, bake a breakfast loaf – it will be real quick! So after dinner, I brought out a handful of ingredients and this was well and truly in the oven before you could learn to pronounce my last name. However, that was when I realised I had underestimated how long loaves take to bake. Let’s say I slept much later than usual, however, my home smelled of baked coconutty goodness😋😍.

I added coconut flour + wholemeal flour to ‘up’ the fibre content but the shredded coconut makes the whole world amazing once you take a bite of this delicious loaf and you don’t even notice that you’re eating lots of fibre. I also swapped butter for oil to reduce the cholesterol. I enjoyed a thick slice topped with lightly salted avocado.

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Wholegrain + Nut-Free Carrot Cake Recipe

Fussy eaters and ‘self-appointed professional food critics’ keep any family cook on his/her toes. I find that as soon as I get obsessed with a new lunchbox recipe, my family get bored with it.

Fair enough.

They have no IDEA how much SUFFERING I go through to find one acceptable recipe.

I’m hopeful though, I seem to have a mostly co-operative lot who are game to try my new creations. However, once  my new found lunchbox favourite drops off their favourite list and comes home uneaten, I know its time to move on to greener pastures.

Therefore I am a woman always hunting for new recipes. I sniff out new recipes at the work lunchroom and I ask random people to share recipes with me. I clip a new recipe to my evernote every week day and trawl through food blogs during my spare time.  Each time I find one that ticks the nut-free box, I know I’ve found a lunchbox candidate. When I find the ‘full of veg but able to tempt a 4 yr old’ recipe, I know I’ve landed a lunch & dinner special.
I love this recipe because each time it comes back into rotation in my household, I have little mouths telling me how delicious it is between mouthfuls and asking me if they can take it to school/daycare. I love it because it’s full of carrots and seeds and has no nuts. I can also whip this up even when I’ve forgotten to stock up on milk and butter because the carrot and oil provide all the moisture.

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Penne with Shiitake, Cherry Tomatoes & Kale

Last Saturday was my no-shopping Saturday which meant that I only had to duck into the shops for milk & fruits. I love such days because I really take it easy and they are perfect for play dates. We had one planned but while we were waiting for our playdates to finish their weekend errands, the little tummies began to rumble so I decided to have a play with this vegetarian recipe by Skinny Ms. and serve it for lunch. I especially loved adding a mix of fresh fragrant turmeric, ginger & galangal root – known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Truth be told, the kids did need a bit of coaxing to finish up the green bits, but they had wiped off everything else. As always, the leftovers tasted even better the next day.

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