{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.

Vegan Banana Bread 5

Vegan Banana Bread 6

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Breakfast Popsicles

It’s getting into triple digits here in Northern California, so making my traditional eggs or oatmeal for breakfast isn’t quite as appetizing as a frozen yogurt treat. Especially since I am up super early with the babe and will attempt to squeeze in a run before 8 a.m. Because I want something quick and need something to cool me off, I have been eating these as my default breakfast for a few days now. So, I share with you a how-to for these babies and a strong suggestion to eat popsicles for breakfast!  Actually, it’s not as strange as it sounds because they’re just swirls of Greek yogurt and the Roasted Strawberry-Vanilla Bean Jam from my earlier post.

I sweetened the Greek yogurt with a Honey & Sea Salt Caramel that I keep in the refrigerator for just such an occasion, however I am sure a natural sweetener of your choice would work just as well.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • Zoku popcicle molds {or mold of your choice}
  • about 1 cup greek yogurt
  • sweetener of choice to taste
  • about 1 cup of Roasted Strawberry Vanilla-Bean Jam

**This made about 5 popsicles, so adjust the amount of Greek yogurt and jam according to your tastes.**

TO DO:

I mixed the Honey & Sea Salt Caramel with the Greek yogurt in a bowl first and then layered it with the Roasted Strawberry Vanilla-Bean Jam in my Zoku popsicle molds.  Fill to the “fill line” and using a skewer, I swirled the mixture together leaving streaks of red and white.  I popped the molds into the freezer overnight and the next morning I had a delicious, healthy breakfast treat!

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Recipe for Honey & Sea Salt Caramel from Bare Root Girl

  • 1 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup coconut cream {I used Trader Joe’s}
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs organic, unsalted butter

In a medium saucepan, combine honey, coconut cream, vanilla bean seeds, and sea salt and place over medium low heat.  Mix thoroughly and place a candy thermometer in the pot.  Heat the mixture to 300F, about 30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens greatly and turns a dark caramel color.  Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and butter, and whisk together until creamy.

**This is an amazing sauce to keep on hand as I have used it in my iced coffee, on ice cream and now these popsicles!  So yum.**

{Roasted} Strawberry Vanilla-Bean Jam

Summer in northern California provides an abundance of fresh, hand-picked strawberries that are found in these little stands dotted along the side of the road in areas near our house.  Coming from central Illinois, where the most abundant crops were soybeans and corn, I couldn’t get over the fact that we instead have strawberry fields and the ability to purchase our fruit directly from the growers themselves.  The bright juiciness of these strawberries can’t and won’t ever compare to those in found in the grocery store.  Eating local never tasted so good!

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