Cherry-Almond Bran Muffins

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The new year typically brings a sense of renewal, casting aside the excesses from the holidays and starting out fresh.  We’re almost a week in now; how are the resolutions coming along?  Still going strong…or not?   Whether it be your basics: exercising more, maintaining healthier eating habits or keeping cleaner house (all of which are on my list among other things), or something a bit more personal, those resolutions give this upcoming year a sense of purpose. Continue reading “Cherry-Almond Bran Muffins”

{Vegan} Banana Bread with a Salted Date Caramel Swirl

So, we are talking banana bread today.  This quick bread is probably one of the easiest and most familiar baked goods in many kitchens with a plethora of recipes out there to prove it.  Earlier, I posted a maple-olive oil banana bread recipe that has been in my rotation a few years now from the Shutterbean blog that I absolutely adore.  The bread AND the blog. Actually, it’s been the only recipe I’ve used since I first started making banana bread.

However, this time I decided to change it up a bit and mash up two recipes that I’ve been eyeing on for some time that I found on a couple of my favorite blogs.  So we have a vegan banana bread with a vegan, naturally sweetened salted date caramel swirl.  YUM!  Do not let the vegan-ness scare you away; there are no weird ingredient substitutions or fancy ingredients.

This bread turned out barely sweet, dense, and moist due to the number of bananas used.  Then to bite into the date-caramel swirl within the bread is just a flavor bonus.  I feel the bread is best served warm, straight out of the oven.  However, simply toasting a couple slices in the morning works just as well and makes for a filling and delicious breakfast.

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Savory Sun-Dried Tomato & Asiago Biscotti

When I think of biscotti, I think of a sweet, crunchy biscuit that is meant to be enjoyed with my morning coffee.  I have made them once before, a double-chocolate ginger version, which was love at first bite.  However, when I saw a savory biscotti recipe in my Food & Nutrition magazine there was no hesitation- I was ready to give them a shot.  And let me tell you, it was worth it!  A winning combination of sun-dried tomatoes, Asiago, garlic and thyme not only taste delicious, but also make your kitchen smell divine while baking.

Go ahead and give them a try!

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Almond Flour Bread with Goat Cheese & Pickled Strawberry Preserves

I’m giving you two recipes today- a fabulous gluten-free, grain-free almond flour bread and an unexpected strawberry jam!

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The almond flour bread is a wonderful option whether or not you follow a gluten-free diet so I’m sure I’ll be making it quite often from here on out.  This bread is simple, customizable and completely satisfying.  A couple slices are a perfect snack and should keep hunger at bay all the way until lunch. Next, I’m thinking a savory option…some sun-dried tomatoes and herbs, maybe?  Be aware, this bread is quite dense and doesn’t taste like your traditional wheat bread.  But that’s ok…it’s fun to experiment right?

Recently, I have been making quite a few recipes from Tara O’Brady’s Seven Spoons cookbook and her pickled strawberry jam immediately caught my attention.  The flavor is superb and with the addition of spices like coriander, bay leaves and black peppercorns, it’s not quite like any jam I’ve tasted before. With strawberry season in full swing, I couldn’t wait to use the ones I had just picked up from the farmers’ market for this recipe.

Lightly toast the almond bread then layer the goat cheese and strawberry preserves and…that’s it!  And don’t forget the coffee!

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Maple Olive-oil Banana Bread

So…where to start?  I’ll start by telling you how much I adore this banana bread!  It’s been my go-to recipe for a few years now and I dare not deviate from it.  As much as I love bananas, I love this bread even more.  So much so that I could probably make it from memory.  It contains all the glutens, since I use whole wheat flour, however olive oil is used as the fat and Greek yogurt keeps the bread moist.  Maple syrup (100%) is then combined with dark muscovado sugar to give this quick-bread wonderful caramel notes.  Finally, the top is crusted with Bourbon Vanilla-Bean sugar to give it some crunch; my absolute favorite part.

Try keeping this in your house more than a day or two…I guarantee it can’t be done!

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