Cranberry Honey Banana Bread #RecipeMakeover

Disclosure: I received products from Barlean’s free as part of #RecipeMakeover week. All opinions are my own.

While I’m pretty decent at whipping up a healthy dinner when need be, my baking projects are decidedly different.  Tackling a makeover of one of my most-frequently-baked items – banana bread – seemed like the perfect challenge.


As I was working on this recipe, I turned to products from #RecipeMakeover sponsor, Barlean’s. Their Butter Flavored Coconut Oil can be subbed 1:1 for butter – so that was a great place to start. Roasting the bananas brought out some more natural sugars, and using Barlean’s Digestive Blend punched up the flavor while adding some good-for-you stuff to the bread (it’s a mix of ground flaxseed, chia seed, quinoa, unsweetened shredded coconut, and a pumpkin blend that is remeniscint of pumpkin spice!) My added sweetener here was a local cranberry honey (fun fact: New Jersey is the 3rd biggest cranberry producing state in the US!) – I Iiked the flavor it added, but if you don’t have this available any honey would be great in this recipe.

The result? A banana bread that was really good – and much better for you than my usual go-to loaf.


Cranberry Honey Banana Bread
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 1 loaf

4 medium bananas
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Barlean’s Digestive Blend
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup melted Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Cranberry Honey (or regular honey)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line  a baking sheet with foil. Prick the banana peels with a fork, place them on the baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Barlean’s Digestive Blend, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil, and honey until well combined. Mash bananas and add to the wet ingredients – stir until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until the everything is just moistened.

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.


Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s recipe swap day! For the latest Blogger’s Choice swap, I was assigned Nichole’s blog, Cookaholic Wife.  She’s got a great mix of recipes on her blog but one thing she’s got a lot of? Muffin recipes. Breakfast is something I’ve been struggling with lately, so I thought a nice batch of muffins would be perfect.

But which one to pick? I strongly debated Fresh Orange Muffins, Peach Granola Muffins and Pear and Walnut Muffins before settling on these. These are definitely more simple, but there’s something so comforting about Chocolate Chip Muffins, in my opinion.

These were super easy to throw together and they’re delicious. Stored in an airtight container, they last several days on the counter so these were a great grab-and-go breakfast.

Chocolate Chip Muffins
(from Cookaholic Wife)
Makes 12

1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla.

Stir the melted butter and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and gently fold until there are no more lumps. Fold in chocolate chips.

Divide batter between twelve muffin liners.

Bake for 18-20 minute, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Thanks to Sarah at A Taste of Home Cooking for hosting! Here’s what the rest of the swap participants made:

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Pull-Apart Yeast Rolls

When I was in middle school, everyone was obligated to take a few weeks of home ec. I absolutely loved it at the time – a break from “real” classes to cook and sew? Totally up my alley! The more time that passes, though, the more I appreciate those classes. Not only did they teach me some great basics, they also gave me a small set of very good recipes.

I first made these rolls in my middle school home ec class. I’m not sure where it originally came from, but I still have the copy the teacher passed out in class. She called them 90-minute rolls, because they took 90 minutes (2 class periods) start to finish. I like them because they’re easy to whip up for dinner without a whole lot of planning ahead.

Because it was written for middle-schoolers, this recipe is pretty idiot-proof. If you’ve never tried working with yeast because you’re intimidated, this is a fantastic recipe to start off with.


Pull-Apart Yeast Rolls
Makes 12

2 to 2 1/2 cups flour, divided
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. slat
1 package dry yeast (or, 2 1/4 t.)
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. water
2 T. butter

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 3/4 c. flour, sugar, salt and yeast.

In a small saucepan, heat milk, water and butter until lukewarm.

Gradually add liquids to the dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add 1/4 c. flour and beat on high speed for 2 more minutes.

Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough.

Knead on a floured surface for 2 to 3 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pics, shape into balls and place into a greased 8″ round pan.

Cover with a dish towel and set in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.

Bake at 375F degrees for 20-25 minutes, untill nicely golden.