Snacking is a topic of high interest nowadays. Should you snack? Should you not snack? Should you only eat “three square meals” a day? Should you eat 6 mini-meals a day? Does eating frequently boost your metabolism or boost nutrient intake? So many questions and unfortunately, so many conflicting opinions. Science also goes both ways. Some studies say snacking is good and some say that it is not good because of the excess calories. With our on-the-go lifestyles, “grazing” or frequent snacking is prevalent. According to a 2014 Nielsen report, the top three snacks in North America are chips, chocolate (picture #1 above makes the list!), and cheese. Fruit is fifth on the list.
So, where do we stand on this issue? We take the middle ground here and say eat a snack if you feel you are hungry, especially if it is more than 4 to 5 hours between meals. But, if you choose to eat snacks, eat them in moderation — aka small serving sizes — and eat healthfully. Choose fruits, vegetables, and good quality snacks like Lesley’s awesome homemade banana bread (which everyone agrees is the best banana bread ever!). And for the occasional extra touch of sweetness, you can do fun add-ins like chocolate chips or sprinkles in the banana bread.
Here’s to healthy snacking….
Blender Banana Bread
- nonstick cooking spray
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 3 medium bananas mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9x5 inch loaf pan or 2 mini-loaf pans with cooking spray.
- In a bowl, mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
- Put the bananas, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract in a blender and mix well.
- Pour wet ingredients from the blender into the flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir in nuts or any other add-ins like chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan(s) and bake for 55 to 60 minutes for a large loaf or 25 to 30 minutes for mini-loaves. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove bread from pan and continue to cool on rack before slicing and serving.
- I usually make 2 batches at one time and just double all the ingredients.
- I prefer the mini-loaves. I usually fill 4 mini-loaf pans, then add an extra fun ingredient such as chocolate chips, strawberries, blueberries, apples or sprinkles to each one. After pouring the batter into the pan, I gently mix them down into the pan with a knife. This means you have 4 different types of loaves of bread for more variety.
- When I make large batches at a time, I wrap them in plastic wrap after they are completely cooled, put them in a freezer baggy and into the freezer so I can pull out when needed later.