December is national fruitcake month.
Depending completely on your personal opinion, my childhood was either blessed or deprived. Why? Because, to my knowledge, I never tasted fruitcake.
This fact doesn’t disappoint me. Cursory research says that fruitcake was originally created to last for a full 365 days. A baked good that lasts more than a month is a little freaky. What do they put in that stuff?
So here is my version of a fruitcake with bananas, cranberries, oatmeal, and (of course) nut butter. I figure that any loaf with fruit in it can be called “fruitcake,” right?
Unlike real fruitcake, this bread will only last for about a week in the fridge (if you manage not to eat the whole loaf at once).
Makes 1 loaf, about 10 slices
- 3 overripe bananas
- 1 egg
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 1.2 oz (about 3.5 tablespoons) Gingerbread Cookie Blended Nut Butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 8X4 inch bread pan with nonstick spray.
- In a blender, combine bananas, egg, oatmeal, nut butter, and baking soda. Blend until smooth.
- Stir in spices.
- Fold in chopped cranberries.
- Pour into greased baking pan. Top with sliced bananas, if desired.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely.
- Slice and top with anything you would like! Butter, jam, more nutbutter, etc.
- Eat and enjoy!
Baking in the dorm kitchen is always an adventure for several reasons:
- You never know what pans are actually clean.
- There is no working mixer.
- I have to carry the ingredients from my room to the kitchen (and always have to go back because I forget to take cooking spray).
- There are no pot holders.
- There is no cake tester, so sometimes I poke holes in the cake and try a piece before I remember to take pictures of the final product.
Yet, I love to bake, and my hall loves cupcakes, so I find myself vigorously stirring batter every few weeks.
Several weeks ago, I bought bananas for ten cents a pound. Like all discounted bananas, they were mushy before I could eat them all. Nonetheless, I believe that it is an unpardonable sin to throw away bananas because you can always bake with overripe bananas. I also found powdered peanut butter at a discounted price. I decided to combine the two ingredients, and this simple banana bread was the result.
You may have noticed that I tagged this recipe as vegan. The truth is, I am only 99% sure that the recipe is vegan. Since I am not vegan myself and never will be (it is a proven fact that my body needs dairy to function), I do not know what vegans exclude from their diets other than meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. I do know that bananas and powdered peanut butter do not contain animal products. If someone wants, they can enlighten me on the unpronounceable ingredients of boxed cake mix:
Whether it is vegan or not, this cake tastes delicious, costs less than $3 total, and is simple to make. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 4 overripe bananas
- 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter
- 1 tbs. cinnamon (optional)
- water (as needed)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mash bananas.
- Combine cake mix and mashed bananas completely. Stir in powdered peanut butter and cinnamon, adding water as needed.
- Coat a sheet pan with nonstick spray. Pour batter into pan.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Let cool completely. Eat and enjoy!
It happens almost every week. I buy a bunch of bananas on Saturday (because they are quite possibly the best fruit out there) and have 3-4 left over the following Friday, completely brown. I have nothing against eating a brown banana; they are super sweet, soft, and just as healthy. But, I know that many people can’t get past the look of “old” bananas. Today’s post creates a tasty treat for when those bananas have seen better days.
Chock full of crunchy nuts and soft banana, these muffins (a.k.a. breakfast cupcakes) can be eaten fresh or made ahead and stored in the freezer. You can use either frozen banana or the culprits currently ripening on your counter. To make them even more cupcake-y, “ice” the tops with yogurt or nut butter.
Banana Nut Muffins
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tbs. oil
- 2 tbs. applesauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup mashed overripe banana (about 1 1/2 bananas)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or more)
- 2 tbs. shredded coconut (or more)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a 6-count muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Use a fork to whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Make a well in the dry mixture, and drop in egg, oil, applesauce, honey, and vanilla.
- Stir the wet mixture and the dry mixture together with a fork. Be careful not to overmix.
- Gently fold in banana, walnuts, and coconut.
- Pour batter evenly into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 18-22 minutes. They are thoroughly cooked when a tooth pick can be inserted and come out clean.