Banana bread. It’s such a yummy way to use up old bananas; which are actually some of the best bananas nutritionally. However, brown bananas aren’t always that appetizing. Enter, banana bread. Of course, you can use ripe bananas too (like in the photo), but the closer to rotten the bananas are, the sweeter and more flavorful they are, and, as we said, the more nutritionally optimal.
Now, we’ll readily admit that there are a lot of banana bread recipes out there many of which are very tasty. But, some rely on a lot of refined sugars and are heavy on the fat. This one we’re going to share here though has some amazing extras that helps it stand out while staying healthy. Plus, it’s all natural and totally vegan!
Don’t let those brown, nutrition filled bananas go to waste – use them in this natural banana bread recipe that’s super healthy, vegan; and that the whole family will enjoy.
I had no idea summer could be so busy. I thought this was our time to relax? My own memories about summers as a kid are usually filled with spending my days walking from my grandmother’s house to the public pool in the morning and returning home later in the afternoon; always carefree and always beyond low key. I don’t however believe my own children’s summer memories will be quite so simple as it feels like we are the go-go-go train every day.
There are areas of life that suffer most from our daily busy and besides the laundry pile and lack of vacuuming, the garden often has to stand on its own for days at a time. Along with large weeds, tons of Japanese Beatles and what was once a tiny not so intimidating snake, our garden is working hard producing those monster zucchinis that just aren’t as sweet as their younger smaller fruits.
Our Garden Gone Wild!
Of course we made the yearly batches of zucchini bread, some with added carob chips and some without. We also made a loaf of zucchini cheese bread that was really dense, but also delicious. Trouble is that each year I try to make zucchini cakes with the giant zucchini’s and each year we don’t end up eating our cakes. They either taste greasy or don’t stick together well enough to be considered a meal. I am happy to say that this year we were able to break from our zucchini cake tradition and make some cakes that were absolutely great!
It was funny because I had made crab cakes just the night before I made the zucchini cakes. This was completely unintentional but honestly it was hard telling which was which. These zucchini cakes were moist and delicious, oven-fried up well without the greasy factor…it was just delicious!
While I hope everyone else in the world is tending to their gardens because their lives are not spinning around in crazy circles, I also hope that some of you let your zucchini go wild just to try these delicious oven-fried zucchini cakes.
Awesome zucchini cakes that aren't too greasy and keep their shape!
3 cups grated zucchini (no seeds), drained, squeezed
½ tspn salt
1 cup panko flakes
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
2 tspn Old Bay
1 tspn spicy brown mustard
1 tblspn mayonnaise or nayonnaise
1 tblspn oil
preheat oven 400 degrees
mix together everything except the oil, zucchini, panko flakes and cheese. Once mixed thoroughly add zucchini squeezing out all excess water as you add it. Then turn in cheese and panko flakes.
Pat into cakes (small for apps and larger for dinner).
Spread oil over a baking sheet and place cakes on sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes then flip and continue to cook for another 8 minutes.
If you don't have any Old Bay you can use this recipe for spices:
¼ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp black pepper, ⅛ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, ⅛ tsp oregano, 1.8 tsp dried thyme
I have discovered that some people grew up with and love rhubarb and others never really jumped on the rhubarb boat. Until about 4 years ago, I was part of the latter group. When we purchased our house we were very lucky to have a lot of existing plant life already in place and one plant that grew well and was pretty huge was the rhubarb. Not having been raised on this herbaceous perennial myself (and I mean I have no recollection of anyone EVER offering me anything rhubarbish EVER), that first year I just let it grow and flower and said nice things to it like…”pretty rhubarb” and “oh my, you are a big fella aren’t you rhubarb”. All of my niceties paid off and the rhubarb grew and grew.
By the second spring in our home I was ready to start doing more than growing a luscious green leafy friend so I attempted to cut and prepare a strawberry rhubarb pie that didn’t turn out so great and I then, disgruntled, proceeded to gift my rhubarb to those with greater rhubarb power.
Third year started the same, however I shared my rhubarb with a friend and neighbor who returned the very next day with a delicious rhubarb crumb cake. Thanks Traci! You may be thinking what I was thinking…rhubarb crumb cake? Are you crazy? But man was it delicious. It was my inspiration to begin working harder to perfect my experiences with the rhubarb and really utilize this yummy fruit [Side note: I like many of you would have probably categorized rhubarb as a vegetable, but learned only recently that while it technically is a vegetable, in 1947 the rhubarb was declared a fruit for trade operations-who knew?].
I tried lots of different rhubarb recipes from pies to chicken and really didn’t fall as hard for any of them as I did for the rhubarb crumb cake from the friend. So this year, I decide to focus all my energy on perfecting a recipe of my own and I think I am ready to share my creation with the world. It is an involved process, but well worth the effort. Everyone in my family eats the rhubarb crumb cake (even my father when visiting and he was dead set against rhubarb and now you see I wasn’t lying about never having had rhubarb growing up). Within 24 hours of it coming out of the oven the pan is empty and we talk about making more.
I feel it is important to mention that rhubarb has some cathartic properties. While the leaves are very toxic and should never be ingested, the roots and stem also have mild properties that my affect some more than others. I consider it a light cleansing type of food. There are no emergency bathroom visits or anything, but some people are more sensitive than others and I like to make note of these types of things when suggesting that you all try something. The effects are greatly diminished during cooking so really no reason to worry…although if you are feeling a bit backed up perhaps some raw rhubarb stalk dipped in sugar would do the trick : ) Check out the recipe below, try it, tweak it and enjoy it! (ps..sorry my pan looks so dirty…all I can say is it is old and it is faithful and it really is clean)
A light, tart, sweet version of a rhubarb crumb cake
⅓ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
6 tablespoons butter room temp
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening (or use 8 tblspn butter total)
1 cup + 1tbsp cake flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ cup diced rhubarb
2 tbspn white sugar
1 tsp corn starch
¼ tsp ginger
2 tbspn flour
1¼ cup flour
½ cup white sugar
½ tsp baking soda
6 tbspn butter room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup buttermilk
Starting with the rhubarb
in a bowl, coat rhubarb in sugar, ginger and corn starch and set aside
combine sugars, cinnamon, ginger, salt and flour well. cut in butter one tablespoon at a time adding vanilla ½ way through. continue to cut until the topping is the consistency you like...think crumb cake esque
combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and mix well...add butter one tablespoon at a time to make a crumby batter.
Add egg, yolk and vanilla-continuing stirring will be rather stiff and dry
Add buttermilk stirring until mixture becomes smooth and sort of fluffy.
When cake batter is ready, coat the rhubarb in the remaining flour and with a slotted spoon move rhubarb into cake batter (this is so as not to take all the juices gathered in your bowl). Turn rhubarb into batter gently.
Grease 8X8 cake pan well.
Pour rhubarb cake mixture into pan. Cover in crumb topping and place in 325 degree oven. Cooks for about 55 - 60 minutes. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired when serving.