Honey Raisin Banana Pumpkin Bread

Somebody got down ‘n dirty in the kitchen last night!!

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I’ve had the urge to do some baking all week long, and last night I finally had the opportunity to park myself in the kitchen and get to work. I had two ingredients that had to be used: bananas (‘cuz they’re nice ‘n ripe!) and pumpkin (because…well…do you ever need a reason to bake with pumpkin?) 😉

After doing a little research throughout blogland, I came across a winning recipe, courtesy of Angela @ Oh She Glows. This girl has always got some amazing looking goods up there, so I knew I was going to be in for a treat!

I made a couple substitutions to her original recipe, which I’ll show in the recipe below, but one of them was a new adventure for me.

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You may remember a couple months back, NuNaturals contacted me, asking if I’d be interested in trying out some of their products. “Ummm, YES PLEASE!” 😀 I actually forgot that I had them all up until a couple days ago, so I decided to test out the Stevia Baking Blend.

The Stevia Baking Blend can simply be substituted for an equal amount of the sugar called for in a recipe. It seemed easy enough, so I decided to give it a whirl.

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Getting ready to go into the oven…Mmmmm. 😛

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Aaaaand fresh outta the oven!

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Honey Raisin Banana Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Angela’s recipe which can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1 1/3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (I used Stevia Baking Blend)
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour (I used 1 cup all purpose + .5 cup whole wheat)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. Mash bananas and stir in eggs, applesauce, pumpkin, honey, and Stevia Baking Blend (or sugar). In a seperate bowl mix together flour, oats, baking soda + powder, salt, spices. Add dry into wet mixture and stir until just combined. Add raisins.

3. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 55 mins or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. ENJOY! 😀

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Side Note: Does anyone know why my bread always bakes with that extra “lip” hanging over????? 😡

The flavor of this bread is absolutely amazing. The subtle hint of banana layered on top of the pumpkin, with just the slightest sweetness of honey…I die.

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The texture of the bread is pretty dense, and I actually ended up cooking it about 20 minutes longer than the original recipe. It appeared to be done on top, but once I sliced into it, I realized it was still pretty doughy.

Although in my book, that really is not a problem. I’ll take a little doughy over dry any day. 😉

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I have a feeling this loaf is going to be trouble… 😯 I couldn’t help but dig into it first thing this morning for breakfast!

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I cut myself a nice big hunk, heated it in the micro for about 15 seconds, and topped it off with a little I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light. (The picture makes it look like I really went wild with it on there, but it’s probably only about 1/2 tsp?)

Along with a ‘naner,

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And a mug of Pumpkin Spice coffee. My life is now complete.

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I think I could get used to this kinda breakfast! It certainly helps make up for the wicked weather we’re having today…talk about just wanting to curl up in your sweats! 😯

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Question for the Morning:

What’s the best recipe you’ve made lately?

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Crockpots Rock My Socks

I just love having company over for dinner! 😀

Tonight, Joe & Kate made their way over for dinner to help us make a dent in one of my favorite recipes: Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken.

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This good stuff had been cookin’ away all day in the Crockpot, and was ready for the taking! Aren’t Crockpots the best?!? 🙂

Along with our chicken, we enjoyed some other yummy dishes:

Sweet Potato Fries

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Lemon Garlic & Herb Corn on the Cob (courtesy of Kate!) 🙂

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Suuuuuper Cheesy Mac & Cheese

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And the most amazing Corn Bread on the planet! 😯

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The corn bread + mac & cheese actually came from my local grocery store, Price Chopper. Every Wednesday, they offer a $10 “Meal Deal” and today was the first day I decided to go for it. Not only did we get these two side dishes (which I knew would be perfect for tonight) but we also got a 3-liter of water AND we have a whole roasters chicken waiting for us in the fridge! Talk about a bargain. 🙂

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My plate for tonight:

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You can also add another piece of cornbread to that mix…I probably could have eaten the entire tray of it. 😳

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And of course, what meal is complete without a little DEEEEEssert???

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Kate is the BOMB. She brought over a homemade Apple Gallette to share with us tonight. Does that not look fantastic??? Well let me tell you…not only does it LOOK fantastic, but it TASTED phenomenal!! I have to get the recipe from her. 😉

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Alrighty folks, my tummy is officially stuffed and it’s past my bedtime…see ya’ll in the morning! 🙂

Gettin’ Ready to Play Hostess

Heyyyyy, it’s halfway through Wednesday…which means we’re halfway through the work week! Let’s take a moment to raise the roof:

Hopefully this little guy brought a smile to your day! 😀

Well, thanks to my remaining leftover roasted veggies from Saturday, today’s lunch was a quick and easy repeat of Monday’s delicious salad.

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A spring mix based, topped with the rest of my roasted veggies, roasted red peppers, some reduced-fat feta, plus a new addition today: fresh tomatoes! 😛

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I’ve also got myself a fuzzy peach,

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and a serving of some Kashi honey sesame crackers + hommus.

Kashi crackers are one of those foods I have to portion out ahead of time…otherwise I’ll eat the whole box more than I need. 😳

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All packed up in my pretty lunchbox and ready to go! 🙂

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We’re having company over for dinner tonight, and I swear I can smell my Crockpot from all the way at work! 😉 I think it’s gonna be a GOOOOOOOOD one…I just love playing hostess!

Question for the Afternoon:

Do you enjoy hosting meals with friends/family, or would you rather enjoy the “party” somewhere else?

I actually love both, which is why our group of friends is perfect…we all rotate and take turns entertaining & hosting. 🙂

A Date With My TV

Good Mornin’ Folks! 🙂

Since I took an impromptu day off from the gym yesterday, and won’t have time to make it today after work, I made it a priority to get my booty outta bed bright and early this morning for a date…with my tv. 😉

I started off with Cardio Sculpt by Jeanette Jennings from Exercise on Demand. That girl really believes in her reps…my muscles were burnin’! 😯 Then I decided my muscles would probably thank me by following up with some extra stretching, so I ended with the 10lb. Slimdown Yoga video. Definitely a great morning workout, which worked up quite an appetite…

Thankfully for me, today’s breakfast comes in the form of another fabulous bowl of Overnight Oats. You guys can be sure to see these guys around quite a bit on the blog, since they make for one of the easiest, quickest breakfasts around…not to mention DELICIOUS! 😛

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Pumpkin Overnighters deserve a pumpkin background, don’t you think? 😉

In today’s mix:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • raisins

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I made sure to add the protein powder again today, since Monday’s oats stuck with me for almost 5 hours. That’s pretty much unheard of with my stomach.

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Lucky me was able to brew up some Pumpkin Spice coffee this morning, since we just ran out of regular. Mmmmm, how I love my punkin’ spice! 😛

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Did anyone happen to see Dancing With The Stars last night?? Mr. Bolton was NOT a happy camper! Yikes. 😯

Question for the Morning:

In less than 3 words, describe your morning so far!

Productive and Delicious! 😀

Daydreaming of Pancakes

I’ve determined today that I just am not good at adjusting to when my workout plans change. 😳

I was originally planning on hitting up the gym after work today, but I ended up going to visit my grandma in her new apartment first. By the time I left grandma’s, it was almost 5:00, and I knew that my gym would be packed.

I can’t stand when the gym is packed and I have to wait for a machine…

So I nixed the gym plans.

Hey, it happens. I at least still made sure to work in a quick, 10 minute cardio workout off of Exercise on Demand, so I could say I did something. Back to the plan tomorrow (whatever that is!) 😉

To be honest, I had other things on my mind this evening, and they had everything to do with tonight’s dinner…

Or shall I say…BREAKFAST! 😀

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Jay and I decided yesterday that today was going to be “Pancakes & Sausage for Dinner” night, and I’d been thinking daydreaming about it all day. I decided to use Tina’s Really Good Pancake recipe, which I’ve used in the past and has always been a success. The only change I made was with the flour: rather than 1.5 cups all-purpose flour, I used 1 cup whole wheat + .5 cup all-purpose (I ran out of AP) but the pancakes were still amazing.

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I even got a little crazy and added in some mini chocolate chips into half of the batter. Mmmm Mmmm Mmmmm 😛

And what’s that orange “stuff” pouring off of my fluffy cakes? Well, it’s Pumpkin Maple syrup!

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I simply mixed 1/8 cup maple syrup + 1.5 tbsp pumpkin puree. The combo was great, but I actually think that I’ll stick with regular syrup on my pancakes next time. I guess I’m just a regular syrup kinda gal. 😉

Along with our pancakes, I cooked up some MorningStar Farms sausage links. My opinion? They were good, but no substitute for the real thing. The flavor was pretty decent, but the texture was far from that of a regular sausage. Jay’s opinion? He could barely stomach one bite… 😯

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It was definitely a yummy dinner breakfast! 😛

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Time to go grade some papers and get ready to watch some One Tree Hill!!

Question for the Night:

Do you and your significant other have similar taste buds? Is he/she willing to try any “new experiments” you might try?

It’s All About the Cheese

Tonight, Jay and I have a fun, yummy dinner planned, but it doesn’t involve one stitch of veggies, so I wanted to make sure I could get in a good amount of ‘em at lunch. 🙂

Celery + Carrot Sticks

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Paired with my favorite Tomato & Basil Hommus.

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I also prepared a simple turkey + veggie sandwich on a Thomas’s bagel thin.

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Lettuce, tomato, roasted red peppers, and one slice of deli turkey…

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…but the main star of this show is the CHEESE…

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I’m not gonna lie…I totally did my happy dance in the middle of the grocery store yesterday when I found this. :mrgreen: I’ve been looking for the Mozzarella Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil variety for weeks now, but this was my first victory. I can’t WAIT to try it!

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I also packed up an apple, which is actually the one that I packed yesterday. Just never got around to it then…hopefully today I will!

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In case you’re wondering what the round foil “thing” is, it’s actually my tomatoes + roasted red peppers. Since I pack my lunches the night before, I like to try to keep any veggies that could make for a soggy sandwich separate. Because there’s nothing worse than a soggy sandwich, am I right?

So yes, I actually unassembled my sandwich after taking the photos you see above…ohhhh the things I do for you guys. 😉

Is it dinner time yet?!? I’m already super excited for tonight’s menu!

Any guesses?!?!?! 😉

Hairy Berries???

It’s another “blah” morning here in Upstate…making it very difficult for me to want to get out of bed this morning. Why is it that my bed always feels a million times comfier when I hear rain pitter-pattering outside my window???

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Despite it being a dreary morning, it’s actually quite muggy, which left me craving something cool and creamy for breakfast.

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A paired a vanilla flavored Chobani Greek yogurt with some strawberries and blueberries and about 1/4 cup reduced-fat granola.

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All with a little sprinkling of cinnamon of course. 😉 I think it kinda makes the berries look like they’re growing hair…what do ya think? 😛

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I’ve got myself a mug of regular coffee this morning (!) since hubby’s not a fan of the Pumpkin Spice and I was brewing it for the two of us. But that’s ok…that’s why they make pumpkin pie spice!

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I’ve got myself a full day of work + a trip to the gym later on…I better get crackin’ on this mug of coffee! 😯

Question for the Morning:

Do you have a favorite flavor of coffee or are you more of a “Plain Jane”? 😉