Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread *UPDATED*

20141014_172556000_iOS

Afternoon everyone! A couple of weeks ago I asked everyone on Facebook and Instagram what their favorite pumpkin recipe was. Sadly, only one person responded BUT her response was the best one I think I’ve ever made!

On Instagram a dear friend Melissa suggested a pumpkin banana nut bread. I asked her if she had a specific recipe for it or if I should just fly by the seat of my pants…and fly away I did! I looked around for a 5 star recipe, and sure enough I scored a delicious, delectable, and delightful quick bread recipes from the test kitchen of Nestle. It’s moist and it’s received raved reviews from those who purchased the mini loaves and muffins from me. Everyone loves the combination of the pumpkin and banana, and quite honestly I never would have thought to have put the two together! I can’t thank Melissa enough for suggesting it!!

Alright, enough blubbering… y’all just want me to get to the recipe already 😛
I did take a few liberties with the recipe. I don’t keep canned pumpkin(butternut squash) in the house. We process fresh pumpkin, or try to, every year. So I took out the fresh pumpkin from the freezer(2 cups worth) and let it thaw. Just like I do for the Amish banana bread recipe that my Mom has used for as long as I can remember, I let the banana’s get as ripe as I possibly could. And this particular quick bread recipe called for 4 tsp cinnamon. Now, I personally love to use a Chinese cinnamon called Cassia. It’s a very pungent cinnamon and a little goes a long way. Naturally I cut that back as well, but if you’re using a store bought cinnamon you may want to use the full 4 tsp amount. But I leave that up for you to decide, you all know how much cinnamon you can handle 🙂

Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 78 minutes

Makes: 24 slices (12 slices per loaf)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 medium) very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, bananas and vegetable oil in large mixer bowl; beat until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture; stir in nuts. Spoon into prepared loaf pans.

BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

20141011_211049755_iOS

There is enough batter to make four mini loaves and 6 muffins(or two large loaves as suggested in the original recipe). I think the muffins turned out perfectly! I have enough ingredients that I plan to make more and this time add a streusel topping(per my Mom’s request)!
You can certainly use muffin papers if you like, it does make for easier clean up. If you do choose to do muffins, don’t bake them any longer than 20 minutes. The mini loaves were done in about 52 minutes or there about. I tested each one with a sharp knife, if it came out clean then it was time to take them out. It really is an easy recipe, and with the fresh pumpkin you’ll need to drain it slightly. I just placed the pulp in a mesh strainer over a bowl in the sink and gently moved the pumpkin around to help it drain faster. You’re not going for a dry consistency, you just want it less soupy.

AND These freeze up nicely too! If you want to make several batches before the Thanksgiving holiday and give them out as gifts, just be sure to wrap them up in plastic wrap, foil, place in a freezer back(remove all the air), wrap in freezer paper and if you want to make sure to preserve the freshness place them in food saver bags before freezing. Sounds like a crazy way to freeze them but trust me, it works! Just be sure to let them thaw out completely before gifting in a pretty wrap with a bow and tag!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe, it has become a family favorite for us!

Have a blessed day!!

 

****

UPDATE!

Yesterday I had to use up the remaining bananas, they were oh so ripe! I followed the above recipe to a certain point. With the exception to adding the nuts into the batter. I left those out and put the batter in a greased and floured pan. I went ahead and used one of the large aluminum casserole pans to fit all the batter. So what did I do with the nuts?!

10645126_10152731640049014_190871666787026337_n

Yep, I went there! I added the nuts to a streusel topping 😀 For. The. Win.

Nut Streusel Topping

1 stick butter, softened

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup oats

1 cup chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl using a fork your fingers. Sprinkle over the cake batter and bake until cake tester comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

20141016_020845377_iOS

Enjoy!!

Advertisements

Holiday Food Storage and Recipe Review

Good morning everyone! I hope you all are just as excited as I am 😀 This is our last day of school before Thanksgiving week break. I love this time of year, it’s a great time to reflect, relax and get in some much needed rest before jumping back into the daily schedule that is our lives. Another reason I love this time of year is because I get prep all kinds of goodness for an up and coming food-fest without killing myself in the kitchen!

Much planning goes into our food prepping, we have to decide what gets made and put into the freezer, what can wait to be made a couple of days ahead of the holiday and when to begin taking stuff out of the freezer to thaw it out almost completely before baking it. It all makes for an easy holiday when you can put semi-frosty casseroles in the oven to bake, no more getting in the kitchen at 9am to get veggies chopped, cornbread crumbled, casseroles combined and baked…trust me you’re going to have a more enjoyable time in the kitchen this year by going ahead now with your baking and feel more relaxed with more time to spend with your family (which is more important than slaving away in the kitchen)!

Roast chicken, the most commonly eaten white meat

Roast chicken, the most commonly eaten white meat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • First let’s start off with the bird. Goose, turkey, chicken, or duck whatever your choice of fowl is you’ll want to go ahead and get that bag boy cooked up and deboned. Unless you have a tradition of slicing it up at the table. In which case continue on McDuff! Our family isn’t big on slicing Mr. Turkey up on the table, Dad has always taken it to task to slice up the turkey himself and placing an assortment of dark and white meat into a disposable aluminum pan with a little of the turkey stock ladled over it. Cover it up with foil and keep it in the warming drawer until you’re ready to serve. Same works for ham too! You can cook it up several days in advance, freeze it, thaw it, add some ham stock to it, cover and keep warm in your lower oven. The meat is moist, tender, and no on will be able to tell that you cooked up ahead of time.
Green bean casserole

Green bean casserole (Photo credit: Mandajuice)

  • Casseroles are a must this time of year. Festive Squash Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, and the list goes on 🙂 Any casserole can be placed in the freezer, thawed and baked. We add our crunchy bread toppings and cheese on top before freezing and during cooking everything crisps back up and melts beautifully. The key is to thaw it all out, take everything out as soon as you get up and set it out unwrapped from its freezer paper cocoon. By about 2pm you’ll have mostly thawed casseroles ready to bake, and the key is to bake them gradually. You’ll probably have some cold spots that are going to need extra time baking, keep the casseroles covered with foil until everything is thoroughly hot. If you want your crispy toppings to crisp back up, remove the foil and cook until it’s nicely browned and bubbly around the edges. Might take 10–15 minutes, keep an eye on it. If you’re a marshmallow fan on your sweet potato casserole you’ll want to leave those off of you dish as it reheats in the oven. Once the casserole is heated through you can then add the marshmallows to the top and return it to the oven til it reaches a desired doneness.
Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie (Photo credit: Jim, the Photographer)

  • Pies: I have fond memories of my Mom making pumpkin, pecan, apple, and chocolate pie a couple of days ahead before Thanksgiving and Christmas. The house always smelled amazing and I can remember taking teeny tiny pinches off the flaky crust…I was a sneaky child 😉 How can you prep pies for the holidays? Start by making and freezing your dough. Yes, you can freeze pie dough. If you can buy it from the store frozen, honey you can freeze the homemade dough as well! Freeze in a square or circle wrapped in plastic wrap, then wrapped in foil, and finally wrapped in freezer paper. Sounds like a lot of fuss it’s better to be safe than sorry. Thaw it out overnight or from the time you get up and make your pies. You could skip this step entirely, go ahead bake your pies up, freeze them and take them out the morning of the feast. You can even stick them in the warming drawer for that warm right out of the oven feel 🙂
Turkey Dressing

Turkey Dressing (Photo credit: M. Manning)

  • Cornbread dressing or stuffing? We’re not into the whole stuff the turkey with seasoned bread. That might be a hold over from my Mom’s childhood. She learned to make cornbread dressing from her mother in law and has perfected it over the years. It can certainly be made ahead of time and reheated. I won’t delve too much into this because of the growing debate between stuffing and dressing…to stuff or not to stuff…just know that if you make the casserole version you can bake, freeze, thaw, reheat it and still have and amazing casserole for your harvest table! Just don’t forget the giblet gravy 😉
    gravy

    gravy (Photo credit: pluckytree)

     

  • Gravy is it’s own food group in our family. It is great on a slice of homemade bread, dipping yeast rolls in it, smothering cornbread dressing in, floating a slice of turkey, or just right off the spoon. Yes, we love our gravy, you can either freeze the turkey stock or go ahead and make the gravy to freeze. When warming it up check the seasoning to see if it needs more salt and pepper.
  • Mashed Potatoes!!!

    Mashed Potatoes!!! (Photo credit: Manuel Alarcón)

    About the only thing I’m not going to instruct you on in making ahead of time are the mashed potatoes. Freezing potatoes can offer iffy results, might not be as creamy or fluffy as you prefer them. It’s the one thing freeze leftover potatoes to use for potato cakes but on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day it’s important to serve the very best to your loved ones and friends. So whether they are mashed from freshly peeled or it comes from a box, make the mashed potatoes on the day of so it will be at its freshest!

  • Cranberry Sauce 009

    Cranberry Sauce 009 (Photo credit: MGF/Lady Disdain)

    Have I left anything out? CRANBERRY SAUCE! Yikes, almost forgot about that saucy perfection *oops* Ok make that two things I wouldn’t recommend making ahead. I prefer the homemade stuff though I grew up on the jellied version. I actually grew up hating that stuff because it didn’t look or taste right, but my Dad had to have it every year because it’s what he grew up with. Three years ago I decided to make it from scratch, the recipe is on the back of ever bag of fresh cranberries, I make a sugar free version that’s sweetened with xylosweet. Flavored with orange zest and instead of water I like using diet cranberry juice instead of orange juice.

So now you should be ready to get a jump start on your holiday, getting started this weekend will be a great way to get ahead even if you choose to only freeze a couple of things. You’ll be slicing your time in the kitchen by more than half!

And for your out of town guests, serve up this buttery sweet blueberry biscuit cake (which is my variation on The Simple Cook’s Bo Berry Biscuits). You could make them into individual biscuits or save yourself some time and spread the thick batter into an 8×8 inch baking pan. The recipe doubles easily and can be baked in advance minus the lemony glaze.

It’s a simple recipe:

https://nightowlkitchenblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/8fd7d-bo-berry-biscuits-recipe.jpg

Picture from The Simple Cook Blog

Bo Berry Biscuit Recipe

Biscuits: 
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup milk
1/3 Cup sugar
5 T of butter
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 oz of blueberries (fresh or dried)

Glaze: 
1 Cup of powdered sugar
1/8 Cup of water
1 tsp of vanilla
½ tsp of lemon juice 

Directions: 
Freeze butter. Preheat oven to 450F. Mix salt, sugar, flour, and baking powder in a bowl and sift. Add the cold milk into dry ingredients and mix. As dough begins to form, use a cheese grater to grate your frozen butter evenly over dough. Fold dough, and knead… repeat until all butter is spread evenly throughout dough. Fold in the blueberries. Gently pull of chunks of dough and pat to form biscuits. Place on ungreased cookie sheet or cake pan. Place in oven and bake for about 7-12 minutes (until golden). Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the microwave, and paint finished biscuits with pastry brush. Mix glaze ingredients in a bowl, and drizzle over BoBerry Biscuits with a fork.


blueberry biscuit cake 002     blueberry biscuit cake 005

Now, the variation I did was using frozen blueberries. I didn’t thaw them out, and I loved the idea of shredding the butter with the cheese grater. I have never done that before and really it helped to get the butter incorporated into the batter. When I pulled it out I could see little pools of melted butter on top, heart flutters. 

I like an intense lemon flavor with blueberries and strawberries so I added extra lemon juice to the glaze. But other than those slight changes, I followed the recipe and this turned out perfectly! If you wanted to add some lemon zest to the batter you could, or do a medley of orange, lemon and lime zest for a citrus cake (minus the blueberries). I think that would be very yummy with a citrus glaze!! It’s a wonderful treat and pairs nicely with hot tea 🙂

You can definitely serve this up with your choice of breakfast meats, scrambled eggs, or enjoy it all by it’s lonesome self. I think it would also be great with cranberries for a more harvest feel, just adjust your sugar since cranberries are really tart, add some orange zest and some orange spiced glaze on top.

This is going to be my final post until December 2,2013. I hope you all have a blessed holiday, stay safe and warm.

From my family to yours Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Two Recipes, One Can (Recipe Reviews)

Good morning sugar plums! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend 🙂 We had a nice one ourselves, though most of it was spent taking care of Dad, making sure he had soup and tissues on hand. Poor fella is back at work today sniffling and all. That’s how it is for us adults 🙂

Saturday night I finally found the time to bake up a couple of loaves of pumpkin bread. It seemed silly to me to open a can, use not even half of it and not do anything with the rest of it. Thankfully I’ve been amassing recipes the last couple of months, drooling over other blogs and pictures from friend and family. Building up your own recipe index is tough at times. A lot of trial and error, making things that some of the family snubs at because it doesn’t have the right ingredients, and other times just finding the time to spare to be in the kitchen. Have I mentioned that this fourth grade year has been mentally draining, more so than I expected. Well, not going to complain, but I do love it when I can get some time to myself and whip up a batch of goodness!

I wasn’t even sure if it was going to be possible, I started making a recipe I received from a lady I follow (she was sharing it from another fellow blogger). Pumpkin & Cheese Spice Pumpkin Bread from An Edible Mosaic (absolutely love the name, btw), looked downright awesome, in my humble opinion. I’m a huge fan of cheesecake and a lover of spiced quick bread and I knew that this was going to be a match made in the near perfect heaven!

Her pictures just make you want to reach in, grab a slice and wash it down with some coffee (or tea)! Edible Mosaic indeed, warm fall colors, mouth watering delights that tingle and tease all the senses!! The recipe is easy to follow, baked up in about 40 minutes and came right out of the pan with ease. 

Pumpkin Bread Recipes 003   Pumpkin Bread Recipes 006

My Mom wanted to cut the cheesecake topping off, that’s her favorite! The loaf is beautiful, spiced to perfection, and the topping it also my favorite 🙂 I’m not a huge pumpkin fan but I really liked this! Makes a nice alternative to pumpkin pie.

So be sure to head on over to An Edible Mosaic (<—click there for the recipe) to print this recipe and bake up a few loaves!

Enjoy!

But wait, I’m not done! Not only did I have enough pumpkin (butternut squash) puree to make the pumpkin and cheese spice pumpkin bread but I still had a little more than half a can to use up. Since I was on a roll Saturday night I decided to pull up another pumpkin recipe I had been wanting to try ! Over at The Teenage Taste you’ll find all kinds of fun and delicious recipes made by a vibrant and active young lady named Erika Rojek. I saw her recipe for pumpkin cinnamon roll muffins that were topped off with an off the hook cream cheese frosting, the girl is awesome in my book!

Y’all know I’m in this make it into bars or loaves mode lately, so instead of doing muffins I took her recipe and dumped it into a loaf pan. Of course that meant it had to bake a little longer than the original recipe said to. I wound up having to bake it for about 32 minutes, but even the extra baking time didn’t compromise this recipe. It came right out of the pan as easily as the first loaf.

Pumpkin Bread Recipes 010    Pumpkin Bread Recipes 011

The cinnamon topping did make it’s way to the bottom there, but most of it stayed on top. It’s a yummy moist cinnamony cake, a major hit with my son and Dad. Both agreed this should be the cake I make for the up and coming Mission’s Conference, if that’s the case I will definitely have to double the recipe in order to make a 9×13 inch for at least 20 people. 

Erika has hit the nail on the head with this knock out recipe, it’s a definite keeper for us!

Pumpkin Bread Recipes 013     Pumpkin Bread Recipes 023

Both recipes will be a hit at your next brunch, ladies get together, bake sale, or family get together. Just be sure to head on over to Erika’s blog, The Teenage Taste, to print the recipe and leave your feedback! 

Hope you all have a blessed Monday!