Winter weekday mornings are tough. Not only is it dark when I wake up, it's still dark when I leave! Getting out of bed when the hardwood floors are cold and the dog has to be walked outside in the snow makes it hard to leave the covers behind.
I have always forced down breakfast before leaving for work. It IS the most important meal of the day according to the cereal commercials. (And c'mon, who is eating a bowl of cereal, napkin ready with a big glass of OJ and an unripened banana on the side on a Tuesday morning at 5:30 am anyways?)
But in all seriousness, starting your day off with breakfast gives your metabolism a boost. And starting with a healthy breakfast gives you extra points. After all, YES YOU CAN! begin your day with a cold slice of pizza and a side of leftover chicken wings, but why not jump start your day with something that is both delicious AND good for you!
I have gotten into the (good!) habit of quadrupling (yes! it's a word - spell check said so!) recipes of quick breads to slice and eat on the go. I've been starting with a basic traditional recipe from cookbooks like Old Faithful (also known as "The Joy of Cooking") and tweaking them to fit my clean bill of health.
I've tried tweaking Zucchini bread, Blueberry Lemon bread, Pumpkin bread and Banana bread. My all time favorite is the banana bread recipe I have included below. If you're a Gwen Stefani fan, you'll appreciate the moniker. If not, haters gonna hate. (The latter will probably also dislike the previous pop culture reference and every other PInC PC reference (read: Politically Incorrect Pop Culture reference) in this blog. Why are you reading this again?)
Ahead of time I want to warn you: this recipe uses only WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR! Two types of people are going to dislike this - celiac sufferers (I'm sorry!) and the faint of heart. I promise you this - when it comes to sweets, I don't mess around. Please believe me that this is NOT a dry, crumbly form of astronaut food (you know, sold at the Museum of Science, oddly delicious...). It is moist (because of the eggs and oil) and melt in your mouth! Don't wuss out. Put away the All-Purpose white flour and nobody gets hurt!
Give this dynamite recipe a try and I promise you'll be jumping out of bed for a hearty slice. To up the chocolate ante, pair this with a hefty glass of Silk's Dark Chocolate Almond Milk. Heaven.
*This Bread is Bananas* Banana Bread
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ground flax seed
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
Sift dry ingredients - flour, baking powder and soda, flax seed, salt and spices. Make a well in the dry ingredients and put aside.
In a separate bowl mix eggs, sugar and oil until well incorporated. Pour into dry ingredients. Stir dry and wet ingredients together, be careful not to over mix. Stir in chocolate.
Pour into two loaf pans (or one for a GIANT loaf!) lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing.
It is important that the bananas are over-ripe! By leaving out half of the sugar (usually cookbooks suggest 1 cup!), using over-ripe bananas will add sweetness that you may miss. If you're a foodie, freshly grated Nutmeg tastes even better! The added flax seed gives you an extra dose of fiber. Your body will appreciate this. Enjoy!