There’s something about baking that I find extremely gratifying.
I don’t know if it’s the measuring of ingredients that appeals to the part of me that likes to be precise and systematic, or the beating and mixing that lets me get out any frustrations… Or just the smell that comes out of my kitchen from yeasty dough and creamed butter and sugar. It all puts a big smile on my face and somehow calms my nerves.
Unfortunately, I really can’t bake all the time. Not because I don’t have enough hours in the day (HA), but because I simply can’t have that stuff sitting on my kitchen counter staring at me every time I walk by. I have pretty good will power, but it does run out…
Luckily, this is why we have guests over! To take away the temptation of eating an entire loaf of bread or batch of cookies on our own!
Monday morning I hosted another pillow party. I find that at a lot of these get togethers with the ladies, there are LOADS of sweet options for eats, but not a lot of exciting healthy ones. Not to say that banana bread is exciting, but this one is definitely delicious. And, your lady friends will love that it’s even a weight watchers recipe. What!? Yes.
Now the doughnut muffins, they’re just pure comfort. And everyone needs that once a while too.
Low- Fat Oatmeal Banana Bread
This banana bread is super moist, with a slightly chewy texture. The banana flavor really comes through, creating a nice sweetness that’s not overwhelming. I like to top mine with a slather of butter, or peanut butter (you know, for substance). You could even fold in walnuts or chocolate chips at the end if you feel so inclined! And for the record, for a “healthy” sweet bread, my husband goes through a loaf like it’s his job. This recipe does not disappoint. It’s a new go-to.
Recipe from Joy the Baker, adapted from the Weight Watcher website.
1 1/4 cup All Purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp canola or walnut oil
1 large egg, beaten
2 medium egg whites, beaten
3 large ripe bananas, or 4 small ripe bananas
1 cup uncooked, old fashioned oats.
1. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, including the oats.
3. In a smaller bowl, mash the bananas. Add the oil and one whole egg and stir until combined.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric hand mixer until medium stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter, a little at a time, in three additions.
6. Pour batter into the pan and back for 45 – 50 minutes, or until the top is firm to touch (my edges are usually golden brown at this point). Allow the pan to cool before removing the bread. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice!
If you like old fashion, cake doughnuts, this is your muffin! The addition of cinnamon and nutmeg add a warm spice to these fluffy treats. They have just the right amount of denseness, but crumble in your mouth as soon as you bite into ‘em. I like that they are 2-3 biters and sweet enough but not overly decadent. The best part – I bet you have all the ingredients in your fridge and pantry right now!
recipe from Muffins & Bakes - A collection of over 100 essential recipes
makes about 12 (or 15 to 16 smaller muffins)
6 oz/ 175g butter, softenened
7 oz/ 200g/ 1 cup superfine sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
13 oz/ 375g/ generous 2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
3/4 TBS baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (I just used the ground spice)
9 fl oz/ 250ml/ generous 1 cup milk
3.5 oz/ 100g/ 1/2 cup superfine sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
2TBS butter, melted
1. Heat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Grease a deep 12-cup muffin pan.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the whisked eggs, a little at a time, mixing together between additions.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together in a separate bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, along with half of the milk. Gently fold the ingredients together before adding the remaining dry mixture and milk.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each hole about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the muffins are lightly brown and firm to the touch.
5. For the topping, mix the sugar and cinnamon together. While the muffins are still warm, brush lightly with melted butter and sprinkle over the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Enjoy warm or cold!
* Notes – My muffins took a bit longer than 20 minutes, so just keep an eye on them. Poke with a tooth pick to make sure they are done in the middle. I also used brown sugar instead of white sugar mixed with cinnamon for the topping. Turned out great!