Monday, January 10, 2011

Resolutions or Banana Bread?

After several weeks of not paying close attention to my diet, unable to exercise due to pain, new pains arising, and the holidays....I started off the New Year vowing to myself I would do better! I know I can lose weight - because I have. I know I can like exercising - because I have.  I know I can do it because I have to. The holiday decorations are packed away, the house is back to normal.....and I will cook and eat only healthy foods. I can lose 25lbs before I go to Texas in April and I can get my blood sugar under control and maybe even come off the medication I was put on. Unfortunately these are words and not actions. Stress causes spikes in blood sugar and seems like stress is my middle name. I need to take action and beat this stress before I can beat the battle of the bulge? Mom cooked dinner tonite- a Vegetarian chili and it was very good. Mine went over some left over brown rice and broccol....odd combo but an added vegetable is a Good Thing. About an hour later she came into my room and said to me " what was I thinking.....we have no dessert".....I laughed since when I cook I try to include something for later. I showed her a recipe for Chocolate Banana Bread I had just printed out....and decided to make it. First of all- I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the flour called for, and I used granulated splenda instead of sugar. I thought these were healthier choices and the only way I can do things from now on. As a Chef and a lover of food, there is no way I can give up the things I love most but I can make them better for me!
Chocolate Banana Bread:
1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dutch process cocao powder ( I used a mix of Valrhona and imported Dominican Cocao )
1 cup granulated splenda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs beaten
1/2 cup melted and cooled unsalted butter
3 ripe bananas mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 white or dark chocolate chips ( semi sweet are fine )
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Melt butter and let cool
Spray Loaf pan with Baking Pam or spray and flour.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, cocao, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In medium bowl combine mashed bananas, eggs, melted and cooled butter, and vanilla. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry until just combined. Batter will be thick and chunky. Add nuts and chocolate chips mix in. ( I sprinkled the nuts on top instead ). Sprinkle the top with coarse brown or raw sugar if desired. Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes until toothpick comes out of center clean. Cool and remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Totally worth making! The Banana makes it sweet, the chocolate gives some added flavor and its NOT sweet at all. YUMMY!!!  Now the Chef and foodie in me wants another peice...but the Healthy woman inside me is saying - Tommorow! Thats my Banana Bread Resolution! I CAN have both! Remember - Life is full of Tasty Morsels!

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