Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

DSC_0232PB banana smoothie is high in protein and healthy fat, this recipe makes for a hearty breakfast, lunch, or after-workout snack. It’s easy to make , full of all sorts of delicious and healthy and protein-rich ingredients, and it’s the perfect use for ripe or overripe bananas. The yogurt creates a smooth desert-tasting consistency while providing  healthy digestion. Adding ice is optional, and makes for a thicker, cooler smoothie. I prefer to drink it chilled!

Drink this after a workout to recharge your energy with heart healthy fat and protein. Banana adds additional fiber with Potassium, Manganese (helps in bone structure) and Vitamins. Yogurt adds probiotics which helps in healthy digestion along with calcium. You can also add nuts like almonds, walnuts or flax seeds to this for an extra crunch. I added some raw organic cocao nibs.

Ingredients

1 large banana or 2 small, peeled & roughly chopped

1/2 cup yogurt

1 tbs i2cook peanut butter

a pinch of cinnamon powder

1 tsp or more coconut sugar (optional)

Procedure

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve chilled!


Wonders of coconut oil & the best recipe ever!

We all are familiar with coconut oil. We all know that it is good for our hair, skin etc.. But have you tried cooking or baking with it?

Baking with coconut oil is something new to me. Studies are now finding it has great health benefits and is a wonderful substitute for other oils in your cooking and baking.

Good points:

  • Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats available.
  • Promotes weight loss.
  • The main type of saturated fat found in coconut oil is lauric acid. Preliminary studies show that lauric acid increases the levels of HDL in the body and lowers LDL.
  • Virgin coconut oil doesn’t contain hydrogenated oils or harmful trans fats so it’s a healthier option.
  • Coconut oil is incredibly heat stable when compared to other typical baking oils and fats such as butter, olive oil, and even vegetable oil.
  • Unlike butter, coconut oil is shelf stable and does not require refrigeration. Coconut oil also does not go rancid quickly and can be stored for over a year on the shelf.
  • A good substitute for butter in vegan baking.

Bad points:

  • Can be expensive – especially for the highest quality versions
  • Solid at room temperature – usually must be melted to incorporate into baking recipes

pic 538

How to use coconut oil?

In liquid form, coconut oil is an excellent substitute for vegetable oil, melted butter or margarine. One cup of solid coconut oil will melt to approximately one cup of liquid. You can substitute for butter in 1:1 ratio.

You can either microwave or heat on a stove top to melt the solidified coconut oil. It is advisable to use coconut oil, in liquid form at room temperature.

What type of coconut oil to use?

Virgin (unrefined coconut oil or pure) or the less processed oil, preferably organic is the best. The virgin oil is minimally processed using very little heat and has a mild coconut scent and flavor.

Coconut oil helps to curb the salt content, which is otherwise found in salted butter. I find that when I bake with it, my bakes have a special lightness to them and a slightly sweet fragrance unique to coconut oil. I love to incorporate coconut oil into my weekly baking because it makes sweet treats a little healthier. Add some whole wheat flour and natural sweetener, and you have a nourishing, real food. I even use coconut oil in baking my breads!

I’ve shared my banana bread recipe before but this one is different. Way different!  Everyday I’ve been having a slice with my morning & evening cup of coffee. Every bite takes you to heaven. Trust me.

The traditional banana bread is made by using mashed and over ripe bananas. Here we are using sun dried bananas.  I discovered these from Sirsi, Karnataka. You can also substitute the dried bananas to  dried figs. I like my organic  figs from Ecorico . The millet inspiration is from Smitten Kitchen.

Millet &  sun dried banana bread

Ingredients for Crackly Dried Fruit Bread

170 gms whole wheat flour

30 gms uncooked millet (you can use madhira, amaranth or foxtail)

75gms dried banana or dried fig, roughly chopped

1 egg, room temperature

50 gms raw sugar

50 ml agave syrup or maple syrup

80 ml coconut oil, room temperature

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp (5 gms) baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven at 160 degree centigrade and grease a 8 by 4 inch loaf pan or equivalent.
  2. Sieve the flour along with baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder.
  3.  Add egg, raw sugar and beat until mixed well. Add coconut oil and mix.
  4.  Combine the dry and wet ingredients gently and mix it with the help of a spatula.
  5.  Pour the mixture into the greased pan and  bake for about 45 minutes or until its done based on your oven settings.
  6. Allow it to cool on a wire rack for about one hour.

You can store this bread at room temperature for 3 days or refrigerate up to 10 days. Most of the ingredients used in making this bread is from i2cook.com.

Millet & sundried banana bread

Some useful links on coconut oil:

http://eatdrinkpaleo.com.au/your-ultimate-guide-to-coconut-oil-benefits-types-uses/

http://www.livestrongfitness.com/blog/coconut-oil-miracle-or-myth/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/511678-how-to-make-coconut-oil-a-part-of-your-diet/


Banana bread with peanut butter glazing and cocoa nibs

I’ve got mixed feelings today – the year is coming to an end and wondering what the next one has in store. Do you feel the same?

2012 has been a good year, not  great  but good. A year when I got an opportunity to meet new people and make some new friends. A year that helped me hone my skills and got me started with baking. A year of  disappointments and a year of collaboration. I hope  tomorrow will be a better reflection of the past year.

The combination of banana and peanut butter is heavenly and have you tried it in a smoothie? Ohhh its heavenly. If you’re like me who doesn’t like to cook morning breakfast, then breads are great but banana bread is even more awesome.  Bake it a night before and glaze it in the morning. Warm the bread a bit before  glazing  it with some yummy peanut butter. The nibs add a nice crunch to the bread. I tasted cocoa nibs from Peru for the first time and exploring new recipes with it.

banana bread 1

Ingredients

2 overly  ripe bananas

80gms butter (Amul or Govind)

1 egg

100gms raw sugar (you can add 25gms more if you like yours sweeter)

1tsp baking soda

1tsp cinnamon powder

140gms wheat flour

60gms all purpose flour

For glazing

1tbs peanut butter

1tbs milk (room temperature)

1tsp raw sugar

cocoa nibs for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat the oven at 160 degree centigrade and grease a 8 by 4 inch loaf pan or equivalent.

2. Sieve the flours along with baking soda and cinnamon powder.

3. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add egg, raw sugar and butter and beat until mixed well.

4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients gently and mix it with the help of a spatula.

5. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and  bake for about 45 minutes or until its done based on your oven settings.

6. Allow it to cool on a wire rack for about one hour.

7. Prepare the glaze and spread it over the cake while its still warm and sprinkle some cocoa nibs for some crunch.

banana bread 3

Happy New Year! Look forward to more food love 🙂


Passion Fruit & Couscous Trifle

Passion fruit juice has always been one of my favorite. I like the flavour and the sweet fragrance of the fruit. I recently visited my mother-in law and got to taste  her freshly grown passion fruit. Strangely, not many people know about the fruit as it is rarely found in any super markets in India; at least I’ve never seen anyone selling it here. I’ve always tasted them fresh from the garden. I came back home excited with a basket-full of passion fruit and an urge to try something totally different.
Passion fruit is rich in vitamins A and C and  a good source of potassium and iron. The seeds are high in fibre.I used to throw away the seeds,  thinking that they may be bitter, without even tasting them. Only recently, I discovered that the seeds are not bitter and also have a nice crunchy taste.
If using the pulp and seeds simply cut in half and spoon out the flesh. To extract the juice, scrape the pulp and seeds against a sieve with a wooden spoon (if you want to omit the seeds). A lot of fruit are needed for a little juice, but a little juice goes a long way.A syrup made by boiling down the diluted juice with a little sugar further intensifies the flavor and makes a wonderful fruit salad dressing or cocktail ingredient.
I was inspired to try this recipe in one of the websites, taste.com and liked the entire blend of flavours. I have made some changes in comparison to the original and the result turned out to be tasty and visually appealing.

125ml mango juice
1 tbs caster sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds removed
100gms couscous
4 large passion fruit, pulped
2 bananas, peeled and chopped
1 cup sweet cream
Extra cinnamon for sprinkling

In a small saucepan, heat mango juice, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until simmering. Add couscous, cover and set aside. Stir with a fork to separate the grains.
Divide the couscous into 4 portions. Using 200ml glasses, place a layer of passion fruit and banana in the base of each glass followed by couscous then a layer of sweet cream. Repeat the layers finishing with a layer of sweet cream.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and allow it to set for 4-5 hours or overnight. Serve cold. Serves 4.

My tastebuds: Passion Fruit & Couscous trifle is a pleasant surprise. Every bite transforms you to a world of flavours.

This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by A Food Lover’s Journey.