Thursday, November 6, 2008

Banana-carrot bread

I think sweet little breads make the nicest holiday gifts. They are affordable, breakfast-worthy (you can't say that about a cookie or fudge), and even often quite healthy.

Last year, I discovered the cutest way to give bread loaves. Instead of trying to find an attractive way to package them, I found disposable paper loaf pans in which you can bake the bread first. They are called Loaf 'Em and Leave 'Em loaf pans. I got them at Goods for Cooks on the downtown square here in Bloomington.

I've been thinking about various types of breads again recently, but not just for holiday gifts. My 1-year-old is usually a great eater -- I could put anything in front of her, and there was not much she didn't like -- but in the past few days, I've noticed she's happy with three things: black beans, tofu, and this whole wheat bread. No fruits or veggies!

So, while I thought perhaps I'd never have to hide fruits and vegetables in her food, that's what I have done with this delicious loaf. I used a basic banana bread recipe and cut out half the sugar (sucanat), replaced the margarine with a little butter, and added carrots. You can try this with other veggies you like, such as sweet potato.

It's a dense little bread, but packed with flavor and healthy goodness!

Banana-carrot bread (makes 1 loaf)
2-1/2 or 3 over-ripe bananas
2 small carrots, finely shredded
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup butter (or 1/2 cup applesauce, to veganize and sweeten more)
1/4 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
optional: chopped walnuts or toasted sunflower seeds

1.) Mash bananas with a fork and combine with the shredded carrot. Put aside.

2.) Cream together butter or applesauce and sugar.

3.) Combine the banana mixture with the butter-sugar mixture.

4.) In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Add dry mix to the wet mix and stir.

5.) Pour into a loaf pan and bake in a pre-heated 375-degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

1 comment:

Joanna said...

that bread looks heavenly. i love the sweetness of banana bread and your addition of carrots sounds yummy. bread definitely is a great gift!! i just got a bread machine and that's what i plan on giving people as presents.