Category Archives: EAT

5 Ways to Eat Locally and Healthfully

March 7, 2016

Today we have an awesome guest post from Shelly Stinson, about five easy ways to eat more healthfully and locally – my two favorite things! Check it out and let us know in the comments what you would add to this list! xo, belle

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The benefits of eating healthy, nutritious foods include having an easier time controlling your weight, experiencing better moods, developing fewer diseases and illnesses, enjoying more energy, and living a longer life. And while you can find these types of good-for-you foods in a variety of different places, some of the best options you can choose are available locally.

This is good news since a few different institutes, such as Michigan State University in the U.S., contend that eating local foods means that you not only get more flavour, but you also get more nutrients because “local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table.” This allows it to keep more of its healthier qualities, providing you the most vitamins and minerals possible.

Based on this, here are five different ways that you can eat healthily and locally:

#1: Shop at a Farmer’s Market

Most communities have some type of farmer’s market at least part of the year, allowing you to pick up some of your favourite fresh fruits and veggies, and sometimes meats, within just a few miles of your home. One major benefit of using this option is that you have some wiggle room on price as these types of venues are common for negotiating lower costs.

#2: Contact Local Growers Directly

If you happen to live in an area that does not have a farmer’s market, you can still get healthier food by contacting local growers directly. This means talking face-to-face with a farmer who raises beef cattle or meeting one-on-one with someone who has a garden big enough to support their family and yours. By buying directly from an individual person, you’re in the perfect position to ask any questions you may have about how the animals were raised or the crops were grown, increasing your knowledge of the foods (and other substances) you’re putting in your body.

#3: Grow Your Own Food

Of course, you can always grow your own food if you have an extra bit of land and want to try your hand at filling your own dinner table. This way, you control everything that goes into your food, as well as what doesn’t—like herbicides, pesticides, and any other substances you don’t want leaching into your food, and therefore your body as a result.

#4: Get to Know the Produce Manager at Your Local Supermarket

Sometimes you just want to go to one place for all of your food items, which makes getting to know your local produce manager critical to your health. He or she can tell you which foods are bought locally and which ones come from other places. Additionally, if you’re in good with this person, you’re also likely to learn about upcoming fruit and vegetable deals, making it easier to plan your menu in advance.

#5: Use Local Food In a Way that Enhances Its Nutritional Value

Following this suggestion means not only getting your produce and/or meat locally, but also preparing it in a way that allows you to get as many nutrients out of it as you possibly can. For instance, you could juice your fruits and vegetables, enabling you to get all of the high quality vitamins and minerals they contain. Another option is to freeze any excess foods that are seasonal so you have access to their nutritious goodness all year long.

When you eat healthily and locally, it’s good for your body as well as the local economy. That makes it the best case scenario for your health and your pocket book!

How to Eat More Sustainably in 2015

January 13, 2015

I teamed up with Oakland artist Maria Schoettler, to give you fifteen tips to eat sustainably in 2015. Keep this as your desktop background, print it off and tape it to your fridge and let these be a gentle reminder that you too can eat healthy, delicious AND sustainable food.

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  1. Eat Less Meat – try out Meatless Mondays or cut out meat on the weekends. By starting small, you’re making a huge impact on the planet as animal farming is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases. There are plenty of delicious vegetarian options out there, which will get you more creative in the kitchen!
  2. Buy Local – Try shopping at your local farmers markets or sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share with a local farm. Local food ensures that your local farmer stays in business, promotes plant diversity and is the freshest possible option.
  3. Buy Organic – If you have the means, always choose organic! By doing so, you’re not paying into a system that mistreats the planet with harsh chemicals. If you’re strapped for cash, stick to the clean 15 and avoid the dirty dozen. These are the fruits and veggies that are most worth the money for organic based on pesticide use.
  4. Sustainable Seafood – If you eat fish look for wild caught and sustainably raised seafood. If you live in the Bay area check out my friend Beck’s company, Small Boat Seafood!
  5. Eat less processed foods – aside from generally being harmful to your body, processed foods rely heavily on highly-subsidized corn (in the form of high fructose corn syrup) and doesn’t encourage a diverse food system.
  6. Grow Your Own- have a window sill? Pot up some herbs like basil or mint to add to your salads. Have a backyard? Try your hand at growing leafy greens and radishes, which generally take less time to grow than root vegetables. Gardening is awesome, and growing your food can be extremely rewarding.
  7. Compost – If you have the space, you can get buy a pre-made composter or build one yourself. No backyard? No problem! You can buy or make your own worm composting bin that can live in your kitchen. If you keep your worms fed regularly, there shouldn’t be any bad smells coming from there. By composting, your diverting your food waste from a landfill and turning it into nutrient-dense soil for your garden or potted plants (see #6!)
  8. Preserve the Harvest – all the berry picking you do in the summer would make delicious jam in the fall or winter. Same goes for fall apple picking- you can enjoy apple sauce anytime of the year. With a little bit of planning, your can preserve lots of food.
  9. Cook! – The easiest and most straightforward way to eat more healthy and more sustainably is to take some time to cook every week. I love Tamar Adler’s approach of doing all your roasting and baking on a Sunday to have it feed you for the whole week. Check out this video for some serious inspiration.
  10. Buy in Bulk and reduce food packaging – ever tried shopping in the bulk section of your grocery store? It’s a great place to save money and packaging for things like grains, flours, nuts and lentils.
  11. Buy Fair Trade or Direct Trade coffee and chocolate – the coffee and chocolate industries have had a long history of paying low wages for workers. By cutting out the middleman, and working directly with farmers, you’re supporting fair-wage practices for cocoa and coffee farmers across the globe. Plus it’s delicious.
  12. Invest in reusable kitchen ware like bamboo cutlery, textiles and even mason jars. This is a great way to reduce waste in the kitchen.
  13. Stop buying bottled water! Buy a cute water bottle and fill it up at the tap. If you’re concerned about tap water in your region, you can always buy a water purifier. You’ll be saving money in the long run and reducing all that plastic.
  14. Ask Questions- whenever you’re out buying groceries or at a restaurant ask questions. This skit made the questions go over the top, but it never hurts to ask! You may be pleasantly surprised with the answer you get.
  15. Enjoy it! Good, healthy, sustainable food is meant to be shared with close friends and family. Consider having weekly potlucks or a rotating dinner schedule with neighbors. This will take some time off your hands, get you to try new foods, and celebrate in the beauty of local food!

If you have any questions about the above information – please let us know in the comments! Happy 2015 everyone! 

Brussels Sprouts Farro Salad with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette

December 26, 2014

As I make my way across California in my last goodbye to this great state, Emily from TrueFood is here to share a warming Farro and brussels sprouts salad recipe. Take it away Emily! 

farro, brussels sprouts, lemon, thyme

Roasting brussels sprouts is my favorite way to prepare them. The caramelization brings out their sweet and nutty flavor. Together with crispy leeks, good quality parmesan, and a super lemony vinaigrette this farro salad will absolutely hit the spot. You can make this dish vegan by adding chopped, roasted almonds instead of cheese.

I usually buy about a pound of farro in bulk, it cooks rather quickly and it’s a useful staple to have in your pantry. It’s a great source of fiber and protein, too. You might also want to keep some cooked farro in your fridge, you can easily mix it with a few vegetables for a last minute healthy lunch during the week.

Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette

The lemon-thyme vinaigrette is what brings this dish together, prepare it first so the herb has time to release it’s flavors. I often double the recipe so I have extra for weeknight salads.

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (should be about 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (use less if dried), finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt

Mix all of the ingredients together in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well, until the oil and lemon juice emulsify. Set aside at room temperature until needed for the farro salad. Shake well before using.

farro, brussels sprouts, lemon, thyme

Brussels Sprouts Farro Salad

The amount of vegetables will vary depending on their original size, so when it comes time you’ll probably want to mix everything together in a few stages. This way you’ll create the ratio you prefer. I like my salad to be about 50% farro and 50% vegetables… with lots of cheese! (serves 4-6)

  • 1 1/2 cups dried farro
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered (keep the loose leaves that fall off when trimming, they crisp up nicely when roasted)
  • 1 leek, white and green parts, sliced (the very tough dark green parts can be saved for stock or composted)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup good quality parmesan, coarsely grated or crumbled.
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan combine the farro with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat and cover. Allow the farro to simmer for about 30 minutes, until nearly all the water is evaporated. When it’s al dente to the bite, it’s done. Drain off any remaining water and transfer to a bowl. Season with a pinch or two of salt.
  2. While the farro is cooking preheat the oven to 400˚F. Toss the leeks and brussels sprouts with olive oil, a few good pinches of salt, and cracked black pepper. Spread the mixture evenly onto a large, rimmed baking sheet. Place on the upper rack of the oven and roast, undisturbed for 10-15 minutes. Stir the mixture and rotate the pan, roast for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Remove when brussels sprouts are fork tender and lightly browned on the edges. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Mix the farro with the roasted vegetables, cheese, and prepared vinaigrette. Enjoy the salad warm, room temperature, or even chilled for lunch.

Have you ever had farro before? What’s your favorite farro recipe?

A huge thank you to Emily for contributing this delicious recipe! Go check out her beautiful blog Truefood where she posts about sustainable, healthy and downright delicious food!

Autumn Persimmon Smoothie + A Beaming Giveaway!

December 5, 2014

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I’ve never been a huge fan of medicine. As a kid I would run out of the house just at the sight of the bright pink syrupy liquid that was going to rid me of my cold. I’ve carried this mentality into adulthood, often preferring drinking orange juice when I needed more Vitamin C, drinking ginger-honey tea when I feel cold coming, or just eating straight ginger in dire situations.

The thing about food is, well, it’s incredibly healing. Ask anyone who practices Eastern medicine – fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and herbs all have amazing healing properties.

When I first came across Beaming, the huge sign in the shop that read “Let food by thy medicine” is what really caught my eye. I love that with a little bit of planning and care we can take care of ourselves.

In celebration of the fall equinox, a drop in temperature and the holiday season, I teamed up with Beaming to showcase their exclusive fall menu and let you all get in on some of the Beaming love.

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Why Home Made Food is Better

February 17, 2014

I came across this video the other day and just knew I had to share it with you all. Michael Pollan’s advice about home cooking, isn’t about being a foodie, or being elitist, or any typical food related things people tend to espouse.

Rather it is an honest way of talking about the food we eat and how it relates to our health. Put simply, if you made the same food at home as what you are buying (french fries, cakes, burgers, etc.) you would probably eat it much less. Because let’s be real, that shit takes too much time.

Don’t let me tell you though, watch the video for yourself:

What do you think? Do you agree with Mr. Pollan, or should there be a different rule of thumb when it comes to healthy eating?

DIY Sunday: Homemade Rustic Cornbread

February 16, 2014

Farm, Pie Ranch, Organic, Eggs, Vegetables, California

One of my favorite farms in California is Pie Ranch in Pescadero. I’m a bit (read: very) biased, because my very dear friend Tamar lives and works there. Pie Ranch is an educational farm, whose property happens to look like a slice of pie. They grow all the ingredients needed to make a delicious pie, and have a very cool apprentice program there.

Pie Ranch

Each time I go, I have an amazing time, enjoying the breathtaking views of the Pacific ocean in Northern California, and the calm, humble lifestyle that is farm-living.

Pie Ranch

Pie Ranch, Goats

Farm, Chickens, Pie Ranch

Over my winter break I had a chance to go back and it wouldn’t be right if Tamar and I didn’t cook up something delicious in their outdoor kitchen. We ended up making a raw cabbage salad with tahini dressing, roasted candy-striped beats in a vegetable sauté, and this bomb cornbread from fresh milled corn from the farm. Farm fresh doesn’t even begin to describe it. 

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Between drinking delicious raw cow’s milk, chasing turkeys back into their pens, collecting eggs, walking around the stunning property, playing with goats, getting to know dulce the cow, and baking this seriously awesome cornbread- I’d say that I had a pretty stellar time. In fact, I can’t wait to go back.

Pie Ranch, Goats

If you have a chance to make it to Pie Ranch, please do! And make sure to stop by the adorable farm stand that Tamar runs and pick up a slice of pie!

Homemade Rustic Cornbread

Cornbread, Pie Ranch, Homemade, Recipe,

Note: We used a cast iron skillet for this recipe, but I imagine you could bake it in a regular loaf pan as well. The timing may be different, but be sure to check on it until it is golden brown. This recipe comes from the Pie Ranch recipe index, where they teach youth how to cook delicious farm-fresh food. 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 + 1/4 cup buttermilk (you can use milk with one tsp of lemon juice or vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons high heat oil (such as safflower, canola or sunflower)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F
  2. Put 3 tablespoons of oil into an iron 12″ skillet and coat the pan.
  3. Place oiled skillet in the oven while you prepare ingredients
  4. In two separate bowls, mix dry and wet ingredients well to uniform consistencies. Next, add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry and still until just incorporated. Be careful not to over mix- a few swift strokes does the trick!
  5.  Remove the hot skillet from the oven and pour the mixture in. You want to spread it so that it is even in the skillet.
  6. Return it to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top.

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Chocolate Zen Balls with Coconut + Peanut Butter: A Valentine’s Day Treat for Those Who Hate Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day bellpeppers!

Chocolate Coconut Energy Balls, Flax, Healthy, Valentines Day

Here’s the thing, I’m really happy for anyone out there who actually enjoys this holiday, gets to dress up go out on a nice date, or takes the day to appreciate their friends and family and all those wonderful people in your life that you love. That is great. For me- eh, I’m not so into it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and family and of course mr mish- but the whole parade of Valentines Day? The let-me-feel-bad-about-myself-because-I’m-single-and-I-dont-have-a-Valentine: Not really my thing.

What is my thing? Chocolate. It’s a cause I can get down for, except of course if it’s made by slave labor. Shocking fact, I realize. Most chocolate in the world is made by slave labor, which is why fair trade chocolate is actually pretty important.

Zen Chocolate Coconut Balls, Valentines Day treat, Healthy Dessert

But that is not this post. This post is chocolate and peanut butter and coconut and flax and sesame seeds and oats and honey and dates- this post is zen balls. Popularized by E Street Cafe in Encinitas (the loveliest little coffee shop in downtown Encinitas) and a new staple in my house, for sure.

These balls are nutty, wholesome, just a hint of sweet and can be left in the freezer until you’re ready to serve them. Feeling zen already? I thought so. I used to make a version of chocolate-coconut balls back in India, but they were more crushed cookies with chocolate, then this more nutritious version. I love these, because they are clearly dessert but you don’t really need to feel guilty about it afterwards.

And let’s be real. You don’t want to feel guilty while you are watching episode after episode of House of Cards and eating copious amounts of zen balls- oh wait, that’s not your Friday night plans? Well, it certainly is mine.

Chocolate-Coconut Zen Ball Recipe

In a perfect world I would have added carob nibs, pecans, and walnuts. Point being, if you have different seeds or nuts in the house- this recipe is very forgiving and can be substituted for other things. And if coconut is not your thing- just skip it! Be sure to add in another dry ingredient in its place. 

 Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter you prefer)
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp honey (you can use Agave or maple syrup to make it vegan)
  • 1/2 Kamut
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • a few dashes of cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut to roll the balls in

Fill a bowl with the dates and boiling water and let sit while you add in all the other ingredients into a large bowl. You want to dates to be soft and mushy so it can become a binder.

In a separate bowl add the kamut and pour a bit of water onto it, but not covering. The water will quickly be absorbed and the kamut will crumble easily.

Add the sesame, flax, cacao powder, peanut butter, coconut, and honey into a bowl. Drain the dated, chop them up and add into large bowl. Add in the crumbled kamut and the rolled oats. Throw in a few dashes of cinnamon and a sprinkle of salt.

Mix together all ingredients with a spoon so that all the ingredients are well incorporated and you have a bowl full of brown mush (delicious!).

With you hands start picking up bits of the “dough” and roll into 1″ inch balls. Have a plate with the extra desiccated coconut near you to roll the balls in. Set aside on a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.

Once you’ve gone through all the “dough” and made your balls, you can place them in the freezer to harden. I left it overnight since I did this super last minute, but 2 hours should be enough. If your pressed for time, they will still be delicious no matter how hard they are.

Wow, hard balls. I went there.

V day, Zen Balls, Chocolate, Coconut, Healthy, Dates, Dessert

Happy lovey dovey day bellpeppers!

How to Make Ethiopian Lentil Stew + Shabbat with Joan Nathan

February 9, 2014

One of the great things about being Jewish is Jewish geography. If you are Jewish, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For the unfamiliar, I will explain.

Whenever Jews meet each other in social settings and ask where the other person is from, they begin to play a game called Jewish geography. It is essentially a game of who’s who, to see if you might have mutual friends. It’s like prehistoric Facebook. Except its much much better.

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Shabbat, Joan Nathan, Jewish Geography

“Oh! You know Shelly Weissberg? She and I went to camp together! Oh you were college roommates? That’s crazy!” -game of Jewish geography.

Jewish geography gets even better (did you think it possible?) when Jewish celebrities get involved. Case in point: Joan Nathan- America’s Jewish mother.

Joan Nathan

Joan Nathan popularized Jewish cooking before most of you even knew what bagel and lox meant or for that matter knishes and kugels! You see, Joan is the mother of American Jewish cooking, and last weekend, by some crazy work of the Gods (or perhaps a game of Jewish geography?) I was having Shabbat dinner with this urban Jewish legend.

It all started at Hazon, the Jewish Food Conference in Connecticut. You all know about Hazon, because I write about it quite a lot it seems! Joan did a cooking demo during the conference on cooking eggplants (swoon) and one of my fellow fellows shmoozed it up enough and convinced her that having Shabbat dinner with our ragtag bunch would be the Friday night of a lifetime.

And it was.

Seven Jews. One Ethiopian Feast

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We were all told to come up with an Ethiopian dish, as Joan’s latest cookbook is about Jewish food from around the world. Did you know there is an ancient Jewish tribe living in Ethiopia? It’s true. In fact, one of them is a fellow with me! While most of the Ethiopian Jews now live in Israel, their cooking traditions are still very much in tact.

Avi, a fellow fellow from Ethiopia, shared stories of his childhood, the foods his family ate and why food on Shabbat was always cold (no heating on shabbat!) The rest of us listened, and ate. A lot.

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I found this recipe from Savuer, and only slightly adapted it, and by adapted I mean I didn’t have some of the ingredients so I just cut them out. Very professional over here, I know. In any case, this stew turned out to be bomb. So good- that I think I am now an honorary Ethiopian Jew in some circles. Not really.

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If you want to mix it up and try a new recipe with your tired old lentils, then try this recipe. I promise you’ll be satisfied. And don’t worry about the spice factor- its almost non existent. Let me know how it goes, this was definitely a step out of my comfort zone!

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Joan- thank you again for sharing this meal with us, it was such a pleasure getting to share a Shabbat meal with you, and hope to see you again soon in San Diego!

Ethiopian Lentil Stew Recipe

Ethiopian Lentil Stew

SERVES 4 – 6

 

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Ethiopian Spice Mix (berbere)
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Spice Mix

I ended up using a lot of already ground spices- use what you got, it’s not a big deal. 

  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1⁄2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 6 white cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 5 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed, seeded,
  •    and broken into small pieces
  • 3 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a small skillet, combine coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns, , cardamom pods, and cloves. Toast spices over medium heat, swirling skillet constantly, until fragrant, about 4 minutes.

Let cool slightly; transfer to a spice grinder and grind until fine. Add chiles, and grind with the other spices until fine.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in paprika, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Red Lentil Stew, Ethiopian

For the stew:

Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold running water and set aside.

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the reserved lentils, 1 tbsp. of the berbere, tomatoes, and 4 cups water to the saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and the lentils are tender, 45–50 minutes. Stir in the remaining berbere and season generously with salt. Serve immediately.

*Images from Shabbat dinner courtesy of Tzvia Adler- thanks Tzvia!

 

 

 

Stonyfield Greek Yogurt

February 1, 2014

A few weeks ago I got a lovely package in the mail- it was a gift from Stonyfield! They sent out new flavors of their yogurt (Black Cherry and Cafe Latte) as well as a bunch of old favorites for me to try. While I usually stick to their plain or Greek yogurt, I was super stoked to try out these new flavors.

Stonyfield Yogurt, Gotta Have This

The yogurts also happened to come in individual containers, perfect from grabbing in the morning and eating while checking the zillion emails you got over the weekend. I’ll admit, I’m not much of a breakfast person during the weekdays, it’s usually a cup of coffee in hand to battle morning traffic- wow, I’ve become so so-cal. No, really, did I mention I hate traffic?

I digress. It’s usually the weekends where I get to enjoy my front porch swing, cup of coffee, a book (currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray) and finally- some time for breakfast. I like to keep things simple, tasty and healthy if I can.

I really love the fact that Stonyfield doesn’t use any artificial hormones, antibiotics, GMOs or persistent pesticides in their dairy operation. As you all know, I try to eat organic as often as I can, and Stonyfield makes it super easy. I like to use the yogurt as a base and add anything I have on hand, that usually includes some nuts, fruit, granola and occasionally a beet or two.

In any case, if you want some of your own Stonyfield goodness, then check out their website for more info. These flavors are dropping pretty soon, so be on the lookout at your grocery store.

Breakfast Parfait: Stonyfield You Gotta Try This Recipe

Stonyfield Yogurt, Gotta Have This

  • Stonyfield Black Cherry Yogurt (or really any of their delicious flavors)
  • Handful of nuts (almonds and pepitas shown here)
  • Handful of fruit (I used blueberries)
  • Anything else you think might enhance your breakfast experience, for me this includes some granola, and a book :)

Enjoy!

 

Cinnamon Chocolate Banana Bread

November 15, 2013

Because weekends deserve to start out with a bang!

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I don’t know whats gotten into me lately, but I can’t stop baking. All I do in my spare time these days is look at recipes for cookies, brownies, pies, cakes- you get the picture. Why? I usually stick to my one scone recipe, maybe do an olive oil cake for special occasions- but baking at least once a week? Definitely not my usual scenario.

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So when I finally found a spare minute this past Sunday, I knew it was go time. While it took some time deciding if I wanted to make a pie, cookies or this banana bread– I knew the banana bread was nudging me since I had 3 brown bananas waiting to be rescued in the freezer. I keep brown bananas in the freezer for weeks at a time and just defrost when I’m ready to use- is this normal?

I also had just bought buttermilk at the store and really wanted to incorporate it into a recipe. In any case, this banana bread turned out bomb.

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Like, your neighbors come over just to try this banana bread. People near and far have heard how moist and delicious this banana bread is and make pilgrimage to your house just to have a taste. Ok- I’m exaggerating just a bit, but the first part is true! Did I mention I sort of live in a commune?

 Cinnamon Chocolate Banana Bread

Adapted from Juliannes recipe – I skipped the streusel topping and also cut back on the sugar, trust me it still tastes fabulous. I ended up with one large loaf, but this recipe can easily make two smaller loaves of bread. This bread comes together pretty fast, and I ended up cooking it for 55 minutes. Set your timer for 40 minutes and check from there. Enjoy! 

Ingredients

2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 C Sugar
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 C Unsalted butter, browned
1/2 C Buttermilk
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
2 Large eggs
2-3 Medium-sized bananas, mashed
1/2 C Milk chocolate chips

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour your loaf pan.
    2. In a separate bowl, sift flour and combine with sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar.
    3. Melt butter in a saucepan. Once melted, continue to stir until butter turns a golden brown. Keep an eye on this and continuously whisk, the butter can go from brown to burnt pretty quickly.
    4. Pour melted butter into a large mixing bowl and combine with buttermilk, vanilla extract and eggs. Whisk vigorously until smooth; make sure eggs are well beaten.
    5. In a separate bowl, unpeel bananas and mash with a fork. Add mashed bananas to wet ingredients.
    6. Slowly add flour mix into wet ingredients and gently stir with a wooden spoon just until combined. Do not over mix.
    7. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes until bread rises. Stick a toothpick or thin knife into the center of the bread to check for doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done. Allow bread to cool before cutting.

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