Monday, November 28, 2011

'Tis the Season for Baking

'Tis the season for baking…and baking, and baking. Not only are baked goods an almost-required ending to holiday meals, but they make special gifts for friends and neighbors. If you’re tired of the same ol’ Christmas cookies, why not give your loved ones a baked good packed with great nutritional value? 
 I just made this Cranberry Walnut Banana Bread for a friend who was under the weather, and it was a real pick-me-up! Packed with protein, fiber and good old-fashioned banana-bread-goodness, it’s a surefire way to make someone’s day a little brighter. The cranberries add a little holiday color and a dose of antioxidants!

 To give as a gift, wrap in colored cellophane and tie with a bow. It may become your favorite banana bread ever. 

Cranberry Walnut Banana Bread

 4 ripe bananas 
1 egg, beaten 
1/4 cup melted butter 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
½ cup dried cranberries

 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a loaf pan.

 Mash the bananas in a bowl. Stir in egg, melted butter and vanilla.

 In another bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture and mix with a wooden spoon. Be sure not to over mix. 

 Pour batter into buttered loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick stuck into the bread comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. 

Slice and serve with love.