Banana Hazelnut Bread

I have neglected my poor blog lately! I decided to take a bit of an extended break while I finished up my undergrad degree… and I am officially done! Come June 12, I will have a Bachelor’s diploma in my hand and a huge smile on my face. Right now, though, all I have to worry about is an entire summer stretching out ahead of me… bliss!

I can’t say that I cooked a lot while I was studying for my exam and writing my final paper, but I did manage to whip up a few snacks and meals here and there. I am really looking forward to cooking for myself more now that I’ve finished my coursework. I have big plans for May, including some Spring cleaning in my apartment (it looks like a tornado landed in here…) and in my tummy. I’m aiming for fresher food with lots of produce, vegetable-based proteins, and as little refined sugar as possible.

But enough about that and on to the recipe!

This particular loaf got me through a week of breakfasts, and was inspired by my mom’s recipe for hazelnut cake (which I’ve blogged about before). That cake is so nutty and sweet, I can’t get enough of it! Or maybe I can — after all, it is cake, and often I’d prefer a healthier alternative — that’s where this bread comes in. The nuts improve the bread’s nutritional profile as they are a source of protein, so this is probably one of the best candidates when it comes to having a baked goodie for breakfast.

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Breakfast Blueberry Oat Loaf

Ever since I’ve started eating breakfast regularly, I wake up every morning and I am ravenous! I’ve graduated from just having a smoothie and I’m now supplementing my morning shake with other foods. In fact, I find that if I front-load my day with good, filling food, I have more energy throughout the day and I tend to eat less junk food. I assume this is because my blood sugar levels are more balanced, but I don’t know for sure.

Because I’m a total breakfast convert now, I’m trying to find some tasty and healthy breakfast options to start adding variety to my morning munching.

My basic criteria for breakfast are:
– lots of protein
– lots of fibre
– as much fruit as possible
– really quick to make
– and of course, it has to taste good

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Chai Spiced Zucchini Loaf

Zucchini loaf is one of my favourite baked goods because it is positively delectable. There’s no two ways about it. Plus, I also pass it off as healthy. To be fair, I make my zucchini loaf with twice the amount of zucchini usually used in other recipes, so it is kind of healthy… right?!

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Cornbread, Take 2

I’ve discovered a new baking trick that allows me to bake even when I’m out of eggs. It’s brilliant! It makes my baked goods light and fluffy, and binds everything together so that you never miss the egg.

The trick? Dissolving your baking soda in a few tablespoons of boiling water, and adding it to your dough last. The soda makes the mixture puff up and bond, and makes for wonderfully puffed up goodies!

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Marbled Cocoa-Banana Bread

Chocolate and banana are like peanut butter and jam to me: simply perfect for one another. And, while chocolate chip banana bread is pretty common (and totally delicious), when I realized I had a few overripe bananas to use, I wanted to do something a bit different with them…

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Jalapeno Cornbread

Cornbread is one of my favourite foods. It’s one of those things that I don’t think of often, but every time I eat it, I feel like I’m in taste bud heaven.

I got a fantastic recipe for cornbread muffins from a friend of mine, who had come across it online while looking for a way to use yoghurt in her baking. I’ve modified it by adding fresh jalapenos to up the taste factor, and I’ve baked it in circular pie pans. However, you can make this into a loaf or in muffin tins if you’d like!

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Ultra-Lemony Lemon Loaf

If a cookie, muffin, loaf, or cake is supposed to be lemon flavoured, mine had better be as lemony as it possibly can be. We’re talking industrial quantities of zest and juice, here.

That means that when I’m baking with lemon, I will always modify the recipe and double or triple the quantity listed. What can I say? I just don’t trust other bakers’ descriptions of their recipes.

I made this loaf a few weeks ago, modified from a ho-hum recipe I found online, and it was incredible. This lemon loaf is moist and tangy, with the texture reminiscent of a pound cake, but with a fraction of the fat (success!). The yoghurt gives it a creamy texture that I couldn’t get enough of. And the lemon. Oh, the lemon! I will definitely be making this again!

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