healthy banana berry crepes [blogilates]

I warned you guys about this health kick.

I’m super psyched about today’s recipe! I love brunch foods because 90% of the time, they can double as desserts. Crepes definitely fall firmly into the brunch/dessert category for me–especially if we’re talking about Nutella-and-fruit-stuffed crepes. Unfortunately, no human body can sustain itself on chocolatey crepes forever, so I turn to a less deadly alternative.

I’ve made these several times already, and they’re just so quick, and easy, and most importantly delicious. Yes, these banana berry crepes courtesy of Blogilates are my current favorite way to switch up breakfast with something fun–and a little bit fancy. 😉

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The ingredients are simple. All you need for the crepes themselves are rolled oats, milk (dairy or non-dairy), one egg, half a ripe banana, and some ground cinnamon.

Yes, I am aware that my cinnamon is not ground despite what the bottle says. My blender works really well at times like this. 😛

Feel free to fill the crepes with whatever you like. The original recipe calls for half a banana and a few strawberries, all sliced up. I decided to grab some Greek yogurt and a few raspberries that I froze earlier last week. (By the way, super handy way to take advantage of the awesome in-season berries: buy in bulk, wash and freeze, enjoy for ages.)

Blend the oats and cinnamon to form a fine flour, add the wet ingredients, blend once again, and heat up your pan!

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I made four medium-sized crepes, simply because they’re easier to flip than the large ones. But y’all do whatever floats your boat. I let my crepes brown far more than a French chef would find acceptable, but I like that slight crisp with the softer underside.

I definitely could’ve eaten these plain, but they taste better with a little extra moisture. If that means a healthy slathering of Nutella to you, by all means, go for it! I stuck with some honey Greek yogurt and the raspberries since I was going for a healthy breakfast. You can also just drizzle plain honey over them, or opt for whipped cream, blueberries, a layer of melted peanut butter inside, perhaps some butterscotch–anything you can think of.

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I felt like I was being so decadent with breakfast, but the whole process honestly takes under 15 minutes. And with minimal cleanup, too!

Which left me with plenty of time to sit down with this lovely plate and many, many reruns of The Office

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Such a pleasant morning. 🙂

Anyway, that’s all for today, folks! See you next week!

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basic banana bread

I promised you guys an original recipe, and here it is: my foolproof, go-to, absolute favorite banana bread recipe. Moist, fluffy, just-sweet-enough banana bread that can be enjoyed alone, fresh out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream, or as a base for chocolate chips, walnuts, Nutella swirls, maybe a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg–it’s up to you! Go crazy!

The Food Network Kitchens’ version of this banana bread was the first recipe I ever followed where I had to make anything from scratch–actual flour, salt, butter, baking soda, etc. Since then, I’ve experimented and made my own alterations to it. To this day, it’s one of my favorite recipes ever and without a doubt the one I make most often.

I think my favorite part about this recipe is its resilience. In the dozens of times I’ve made it, I’ve abused it to no end, rushing through and skipping steps, switching out raw and brown sugar for the granulated white I usually use, doubling the salt, using anywhere from 3 to 6 bananas in varying degrees of ripeness, overbaking, underbaking–you name it, and I’ve probably done it. Somehow, though, the bread still comes out delicious. Like today! I don’t know where my head was, but I somehow used the 1/3 cup instead of the 1/4 cup the whole time, and didn’t realize it until the end–meaning excess flour and sugar. Oops. Good thing I went with 4.5 bananas instead of 4! Bananas are good at masking these things. 😉

But enough chit-chat! On to the baking!

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Nothing fancy in these ingredients. Just make sure your bananas are nice and ripe! The ones in this photo aren’t as spotted as the ones I normally use. I’m talking borderline rotten here.

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Please tell me I’m not the only one who peels their bananas from the short end?

This recipe is simple enough that if you make it a couple times, you’ll have it memorized and down to 15 minutes of prep, max. Then just pop it in the oven and let the smell of warm banana bread blanket your house! 🙂

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Banana Bread
Adapted from Food Network Kitchens
Makes 1 8×8 loaf or 1 9x5x3 loaf

Ingredients
1.25 cups whole wheat flour (all-purpose works, too)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (salted or unsalted)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 medium ripe bananas, mashed

Instructions

+Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 8×8 pan. (Pam baking spray is your best friend here!)
+Sift flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
+In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. The more patience you have here, the lighter your bread will be.
+Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add mashed bananas and mix. Your batter will look curdled here; don’t worry about it! That’s normal. Make sure you scrape down the sides and bottom as you mix because the butter will tend to stubbornly stick to the bowl.
+Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. You can do this with just a spatula to avoid over-mixing. Your batter should be lumpy and sticky–thicker than cake batter, but not as thick as actual dough. This is where, if you want, you would fold in about a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, walnut pieces, etc.
+Pour batter into pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the edges of the bread are dark brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
+Cool completely before slicing and serving. (Seriously, let it cool. I know it smells great, but this stuff will burn you badly if you’re impatient.)
+Cover or wrap in plastic to store. This bread will keep for up to a week, but it will never taste as good as the day it’s baked. (More importantly, where are you that homemade banana bread lasts an entire week?!)

Notes
I tend to skimp on the sugar. If you’re using really ripe bananas, they’ll bring more than enough sweetness to cover for the missing sugar.

If you make this, let me know what you think! Enjoy 🙂