Loaves, like muffins, are a great item for meal or snack prepping because they can be quite healthy with the right ingredients and they are easy to package individually and transport. I kept this version ultra nutritious with a combination of sprouted buckwheat flour and almond flour to form a hearty and dense base. Each has a nutty flavour and together they contribute many important nutrients including protein, fiber, manganese, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin E and B vitamins.Sprouted buckwheat flourAlmond flour (or sub almond meal)In the spirit of meal prepping, this is a large recipe for two loaves. It can be modified by using different whole grain and nut flours if preferred and cut in half easily to make just one loaf.The extra detail on the top comes from marbling a mixture of almond butter and maple syrup, then placing a row of banana slices on before baking.For some texture variety and added flavours I added in some chopped pecans and raw dark chocolate. Bananas, dates, maple syrup and molasses all make it naturally sweet and cocoa powder makes it extra chocolatey.
½ cup chopped dark chocolate (or dark chocolate chips)
⅓ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
4 large bananas
½ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon cooking molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup almond butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 banana, sliced into 12 even slices
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Blend the wet ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Set up two loaf pans and line them with large pieces of parchment paper. Spoon in the mixture, half into each pan gently lift and hit the pan against the counter a few times until the mixture is levelled.
Add the topping ingredients in a small bowl, stir to combine. Pour half down the middle of each loaf. Use a bamboo or popsicle stick to create a marbled design. Place the stick around ½-1 inch deep and make rounded horizontal zig-zags from one side of the pan to the other. Repeat the swirl pattern in the other direction.
Top each with a row down their centres of 6 banana slices and press them about halfway down into the mixture.
Place in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, until an toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Leave the banana bread to cool on cooling racks for around 10 minutes then remove the loaves from the pans and place them directly on the cooling rack until fully cooled.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a few months.
If freezing, slice beforehand and place small pieces of wax paper in between so the slices do not stick together.
Muffins are a great item to prepare in advance. They freeze well and are very portable, perfect for a healthy, on-the-go snack or light meal. For this version I tried to keep them as nutritious as possible by starting with a base of sprouted spelt and sprouted buckwheat flours. This extra step in the processing creates a whole grain flour that is easy to digest, with more bioavailable nutrients.
From there, the muffins get some density and healthy fats from almond meal (ground almonds) and moistness from apple sauce, Greek yogurt and a bit of cultured butter. Natural sweetness comes from dates and maple syrup and vanilla and cinnamon add a bit of seasonal spice.
It’s the first day of fall, time to fill the kitchen with pumpkins and incorporate them into healthy, hearty culinary creations. Here I used some puréed pumpkin to make some nutrient-dense muffins. They are also based upon sprouted spelt flour and sprouted buckwheat flour. Spelt is an ancient grain that has been shown to be easier to digest than several newer varieties. Both spelt and buckwheat have a nutty flavour that works well for muffins and using sprouted options ensures maximum nutrient bioavailability. Continue Reading →
One of the most common ways to preserve the bounty of our summer berries is by turning them into jam. The process can be a bit intimidating because the right temperature, sugar content and pectin levels have to be spot on. Out of the nutrition world has come a simpler process that utilizes chia seeds as the thickener. Continue Reading →
Poaching fruit in some kind of other fruit juice makes for a succulent, flavourful treat. Pears have a texture that holds up well and is transformed perfectly by poaching. They become extra sweet and velvety, plus they are neutral enough to take on other flavours well. I like to use bartlett pears that are just starting to soften, they should press in slightly to touch with a bit of pressure, but any variety can be nice. Continue Reading →
Adding some grains and/or legumes like quinoa and lentils to our salads helps to make them more hearty, a timely adjustment as the seasons change and temperatures drop. Including some tomatoes, tomatillos, herbs and a creamy dressing keeps it fresh, light and flavourful. Continue Reading →
A cruciferous vegetable like cauliflower and a dense legume like chickpeas are both very healthy and hearty ingredients that come together to create a filling dish. Salads like this can be made the night before serving or can last for a couple days to provide portable lunches. Continue Reading →
Smoothies can be as light or as decadent as desired. They can be filled with a myriad of superfoods or made from a few simple ingredients. This version is more of a dessert combination, made from only four ingredients- fresh nectarines, vanilla bean, cashew ice cream and cashew milk. The nectarines give it a sweet, summery flavour while the cashew ice cream and milk give it a velvety smooth, rich texture and the vanilla increases the decadent factor. Continue Reading →
Sitting on the kitchen counter and sneaking bits of raw chocolate chip cookie dough as my mom baked them is one of my earliest and fondest childhood memories. While her classic recipe is still my favourite, I try to make more nutrient-dense variations like this from time to time. Continue Reading →
Meal prep, or ingredient prep, is a valuable tool in regularly eating well. If you don’t enjoy leftovers it doesn’t take too much effort to create whole new dishes out of leftover ingredients. Any cooked whole grains can be transformed into a summer salad that is nourishing and satiating without being too heavy for hot summer days. Crisp ingredients like green apples and kohlrabi keep it light and some herbs and greens keep it fresh. Continue Reading →