Category: Breakfast

Tahini Banana Bread

Tahini Banana Bread
My husband and son are regulars at the coffee shop. It’s part of their weekend routine to stop by for a cappuccino and a banana nut muffin. Our little one will pick the walnuts out of the muffin and devour the rest himself. Even sharing a bite can be a challenge, but I can’t blame him for being so possessive. They are really good muffins, and it’s hard not to like banana baked goods.

Since the habit began, I’ve tried to bake banana bread at home, but my three-year-old hasn’t been interested. I still haven’t figured out why, but I finally had success when I baked a loaf of tahini banana bread. Maybe it was the bittersweet chocolate flecks dotting each slice that did it for him. With white whole-wheat flour and yogurt, this was a somewhat lightened version of the usual banana loaf.
Tahini Banana Bread
Tahini Banana Bread

Adapted from Cooking Light May 2017

Makes 1 loaf

Non-stick cooking spray
6 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 1-1/2 cups)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup tahini, well stirred
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat together the bananas, yogurt, tahini, butter, vanilla extract and eggs. Beat in both sugars until combined. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and transfer to the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.

Bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels
Snacking is serious business at our house. If you look in the pantry at any given time, you will usually find at least two different kinds of pretzels. From rods to twists to nuggets, my son and I are obsessed with pretzels. When we get home after school/work, our pre-dinner snacking involves pretzels and slices of cheddar. I have to be careful not to fill up on too much, or I won’t have room for the actual meal.

I am no stranger to baking soft pretzels from scratch. Classic salt is my topping of choice, but this time I tried a new recipe—cinnamon sugar whole-wheat pretzels. They weren’t overly sweet, so they were more appropriate for breakfast or an afternoon treat rather than full-on dessert. They are best eaten warm from the oven right after they have been dusted in a shower of cinnamon and granulated sugar.
Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels
Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels
Adapted from Baked Elements by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito

Makes 10 pretzels

For pretzel dough
1 packet dry active yeast
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water
1-1/2 cups bread flour
1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 ounce (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons canola oil
Non-stick cooking spray
1/3 cup baking soda

For cinnamon sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast, honey and water. Let stand until foamy, about 8-10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, whole-wheat flour and salt. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the mixture until it has the consistency of coarse sand. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium, and beat until the dough is smooth and elastic. Remove the dough from the bowl and pour in the canola oil. Place the dough back in the bowl and coat it in oil. Cover and let the dough rise until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Grease 2 sheet pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Cut the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 18 inches long, and then twist into a pretzel shape. Place the pretzels on the prepared sheet pans.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully add the baking soda. The water will bubble and foam. Boil each pretzel, 1 minute per side. Remove with a spatula and place on the sheet pans.

Bake the pretzels, one pan at a time, until they are deep golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.

For the cinnamon sugar, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt in a shallow bowl. Brush the warm pretzels with melted butter and generously sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. The pretzels are best served the day they are baked.

Whole-Wheat Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins

Whole-Wheat Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins
I am feeling the March blues in the kitchen, or maybe I should call it cook’s block. The streak of unusually warm weather has been kind of a tease. I’ve hung up my puffy coat in favor of my light jacket, but everything outside is still brown. All the lush greens of spring veggies have not sprung, so I’m at a bit of a loss about what to make.

Lately I’ve been more inspired to bake. Feeling the need to take a break from dessert, I baked these whole-wheat cranberry orange pistachio muffins. With fall and winter flavors, these muffins were perfectly timed for the current state of seasonal limbo. The brightness of the citrus added just enough zip to keep me going until spring.
Whole-Wheat Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins
Whole-Wheat Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins

Adapted from Cooking Light March 2017

Makes 12 muffins

1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium ripe banana mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped unsalted pistachios

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until it turns golden, gently swirling the pan, about 90 seconds. In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, yogurt, brown sugar, vanilla extract, banana, egg, orange zest and orange juice. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients followed by the cranberries and pistachios.

Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

PBJ French Toast

PBJ French Toast
From kindergarten to well into adulthood, I took a peanut butter & jelly sandwich with me to work or school everyday. For some inexplicable reason, I never got sick of it. I looked forward to my midday routine. Last year I said goodbye to my beloved sandwich. Not forever, but for just for lunch. I’ve moved onto veggie-centric soups and grain bowls.

Feeling a bit nostalgic, I brunchified my favorite sandwich. I’ve partnered with Turano to share this recipe for PBJ French toast using their Pane Turano Italian Bread. These special sandwiches go heavy on the peanut butter and jelly. I wasn’t shy about slathering it on! This breakfast treat was finished off with maple syrup and a little powdered sugar.
PBJ French Toast
PBJ French Toast

Serves 4

4 slices Pane Turano Italian Bread
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup jelly
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
Maple syrup for serving
Confectioners’ sugar for serving

Cut the bread in half. Generously spread the slices with peanut butter and jelly to make 4 sandwiches.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and melt about half the butter.

Whisk together the egg and milk and dip both sides of each sandwich into the egg mixture letting the excess drip off.

Cook the sandwiches for a few minutes on each side until they brown. Melt the remaining butter in the pan as needed. Drizzle with maple syrup and confectioners’ sugar before serving.

This post is sponsored by Turano.

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