Thursday, January 8, 2009

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bread

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bread

Baking is always a part of my weekly routine. Having two boys that lately devour instead of eat, I need to keep coming up with ways of satisfying such big appetites. Also, I'd rather give them food made from scratch with quality ingredients than processed, full-of-preservatives snacks. With nutrition in mind, I'm always thinking of ways to incorporate healthy ingredients to whatever it is I'm baking that week. It is always fun to put on your creative hat and play around with the ingredients you have in hand to come up with a much healthier version of an already good recipe. This is exactly what I did this week. I had 3 very ripe bananas on my countertop so the choice of banana bread was obvious. Now for the creative part, what could be added to it to make it at least a tad healthier? I immediately thought of the strawberries inside my freezer. Hmmm, bananas and strawberries... what else is in my fridge? And then I saw it... a small cup of vanilla yogurt. Perfect! This is how this Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bread was born! The end result? A delicious and super moist loaf of heaven.

For this recipe I followed my favorite banana bread recipe which I found on Kitchen Confit a while back. It is perfect without the tweaks I did to it so give it a try whenever you want to stick with the traditional banana bread recipe.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bread

Makes 1 loaf


1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (thawed), pureed

2 eggs beaten

1 t vanilla

2 cups flour

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan. (I just spray mine with Pam)

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in one bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together. Add in the bananas, strawberries, eggs and vanilla. Add in the flour mixture. Add in the yogurt.

Pour mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let rest in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove from pan and let fully cool on a rack.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Celebrate 2009 with Margarita Cupcakes!

Happy 2009! ¡Feliz 2009!

2008 was a very peculiar year for my family. The world, as we knew it, completely changed. I still remember the day when A (my husband) called me to tell me we had to sell our house in a hurry because the company he worked at was bought. What?!?! Move again? And in a hurry? Just so you know, we have moved 6 times in the last 5 years. Crazy, I know! With moving not being a part of my 2008 new year's resolution I knew it was going to be an interesting year. As much as I would love to say we are finally settled down and everything is running as smoothly as possible, there still are a few things that need to fall into place. Hopefully, 2009 will be the year in which all of the pieces finally come together to make a wonderful puzzle! With that being said, we could not pass the opportunity to celebrate the upcoming year with friends. I made margarita cupcakes which I found on this blog. This is an awesome blog with lots of cupcake recipes I cannot wait to try! I made half the recipe without the tequila so the kids could enjoy them, too. I also did not use the vegan ingredients the recipe calls for but used regular 1% milk and butter instead. These cupcakes are delicious and you will surely impress everyone once you make them!

Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita Cupcakes

1/4 cup lime juice
1 1/2 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
1 cup soy milk, plain or vanilla (I used regular 1% milk)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp tequila (omit it for non-alcoholic cupcakes)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with liners. In a large bowl, mix together lime juice, lime zest, soy milk, oil, tequila, vanilla and sugar. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to lime mixture and stir until just combined. Divide evenly into muffin tins. Bake for 20-24 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Tequila Lime Frosting

1/4 cup butter or non-hydrogenated shortening, softened (I used butter)
1 tbsp soy milk (I used regular 1% milk)
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tequila (omit it for non-alcoholic cupcakes) 2+ cups confectioners’ sugar
coarse sugar and salt for “rims”

Cream together non-hydrogenated shortening, soy milk, lime juice, tequila, and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Add in more sugar as needed to make frosting stiff, but spreadable. Spread on cupcakes and roll the edges in a small amount of coarse sugar and salt (poured into a small bowl, so it’s easy to direct it).