Wednesday, July 13, 2011

baking blitz: the best-and maybe healthiest-banana bread recipe.

I love to try new variations on recipes I've made dozens of times.  This time I tried Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread, a standard recipe with the addition of quick oats.  

Right out of the oven!
 For mine I used butter for the shortening.  They came out quite delicious.  You can't really taste the oats after baking, so its easy to add more whole grain without really changing the flavor too much. It might be worth trying this trick with zucchini bread, too. In the end I really liked how these turned out!  To turn the bread into muffins I reduced the bake time to around 35 minutes, but my oven runs cool so keep checking them after 25 minutes or so.

Want them even healthier?  A review suggests using fat-free yogurt to replace half the butter/shortening.  I didn't have yogurt this time, but I'm going to have to try that next time!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Something for the Summer: Blueberry Lemonade

Summer's not really happening here, but I can still drink like it is!  I'm going to share my recipe for Blueberry Lemonade.  I didn't get any pictures, because it tasted too great and we drank it all right away.

1/2 - 3/4 cup Blueberries (Fresh or Frozen)
4-5 Lemons, depending on size
Blueberry Vodka (I had Smirnoff, but use your favorite.  Naturally flavored is best.)

Juice the lemons, and add this to your pitcher.  (I love this one.)  Puree your berries or crush them up, and add them too.  I usually add 1-2 of the squeezed lemon rinds just to add more lemony goodness.  Cover this mixture with blueberry vodka and let it sit.

It should turn pinkish-purple from the berries.  Add sweetner to your taste. Depending on which vodka you use, you might not need to add as much sugar.  Some flavored vodkas have sugar added and some do not. I like to do half and half with Splenda and sugar because I like it really sweet without lots of calories.  Add some, taste it add some more.  You can even leave it out and add it by the glass later.  Fill the rest of the pitcher with as much water and ice as it will hold (or maybe not depending on its size.  Remember mine is 1 1/2 quarts or 1.6 L), and refrigerate.  The lemonade will get more purple and taste more like berries the next day!

Blackberries are next, because obviously Marionberry season is on and Stoli makes a lovely blackberry vodka.

Warning:  You can barely taste the alcohol in this.  Seriously.

Addendum:  Making this for kids?  Try a little Torani Blueberry Syrup instead of Vodka.