Growing up, summer Sunday mornings meant my Grandpa was making dozens of pancakes from Bisquick and old milk for his grandchildren. He’d take special requests for blueberry pancakes, or for pancakes shaped like letters, or for simply more – there are pancake eating records next to various water sport records in the family record book. But as much as we love Bisquick, sometimes we crave something marginally healthier or that we can eat with friends who have dietary restrictions. And thus, sometimes we make banana-oat pancakes.Continue reading “Banana-Oat Pancakes (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)”
After playing with the Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread to keep the texture and look but cut the overpowering sweetness, we got to a more banana-y Low Sugar Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. I still thought we could limit the sugar content further, though, and use the chocolate chips, or a drizzle of honey or some jam to add sweetness and depth of flavor. Belle’s brother Buddy is eating solids and I’m trying to avoid added sugar in his food.
With yet another batch of overripe bananas, we set off to test the recipe.
Belle’s fine motor control has really improved over the past few months (from 2 1/2 to almost 3), which allows her to do a lot of the two-handed coordinated movements without me as a stabilizer. A measuring cup of yogurt holds a pretty good sticky substance that requires one hand to stay stable and the other to be moving in and out while twisting. Pretty complicated. So long as the cup rests on the edge of the mixing bowl, I can be fairly certain the yogurt will make it into the bowl. Then, I refer back to our sequencing work, and have her “scrape, tap (into the bowl), and check” to see if she got it all.
Similarly, she’s able to get the eggs and flour into the mixing bowl without assistance or (much) spillage, and she’s able to grease a pan fairly well. My challenge is to step back and let her, only swooping in after to make sure we got the yogurt fully scraped or the pan fully greased.
Belle is still a two-year-old, so impulsivity is hard to control. When she spotted eggshells that needed to be cleaned up, she got distracted by how easily they broke. Instead of ripping them out of her hands, we started talking about what she was doing and describing how it felt: crunchy, icky, sharp, so gross, crackly, fun.
Skills worked on:
- following directions
- kitchen safety
- asking for help
- fine motor (scooping, scraping, and pouring)
- food prep!
- mixer (stand or hand)
- mixing bowl
- small bowl (for eggs)
- loaf pan
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
We’re pretty happy with this recipe and like the sweetness level. It could easily handle nuts or chocolate chips. It’s also pretty flexible – margarine can sub in for butter, regular or Icelandic yogurt can substitute in for Greek yogurt, and if you’re short a banana it doesn’t much matter.
Recipe (40 min prep, 50 min bake, yield 1 loaf):
- 3 bananas
- 1/2 c. butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 c. 2% Greek yogurt
- 1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Optional: 3/4 c. chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325°F and grease a loaf pan.
- Melt one stick of butter in separate bowl.
- Beat together melted butter and bananas, leaving it chunky.
- Add 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 c. Greek yogurt to butter/banana mixture. Mix well.
- Mix in 1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt. Optionally, fold in 3/4 c. chocolate chips.
- Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and spread it even. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top (optional).
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Let cool completely before removing from pan. Store at room temperature or in refrigerator in an airtight container.
Like it? Pin it!
More bunches of bananas quickly ripening means more opportunities to tweak the banana bread recipe! Last time, we decided it didn’t taste enough of banana, and tasted a little too much of sugar, so we cut more.
It was the first foray into baking after a brief hiatus wherein Belle went on daily walks with Papa and Buddy screamed as four teeth showed up simultaneously. Buddy is still not happy, but the bananas needed using. So we didn’t target any specific skill with this recipe, just general bonding over baked goods. Continue reading “Low Sugar Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, v2”
We love the texture and look of our Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread but the dominant flavor is sweet, when it should be banana. So I grabbed a pen, a calculator, and King Arthur Flour’s article on baking math, and I set out to see if we could improve the recipe.
Belle’s major contribution to this effort was sleeping in while I math’ed.
With some overripe bananas, we set off to test the recipe. Continue reading “Low Sugar Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, v1”
We keep bananas in the house as a relatively quick and tidy snack for everyone…though sometimes Belle goes on a banana strike and we end up with brown bananas. Time for banana bread!
First, a word of caution: things do not always go as planned. I expected Belle to spend a few minutes peeling and mashing bananas, but they were too soft for her to peel and she got distracted from her mashing as soon as the eggs appeared. Continue reading “Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread”