Seeded Lemon-Blueberry-Banana Bread

As soon as I saw a post about this healthy and delicious bread, I wanted to make it for my mom. She doesn’t get a chance to visit us that often and she really enjoys morning baked goods and special breakfasts. (as I do!) She absolutely loved it.

The seeds in the batter gave the loaf incredible texture. Incorporating lemon and blueberries made it summery. It was subtly sweet as well. Perfect.

This quick bread was adapted from my food blog friend Johanne @French Gardener Dishes. I incorporated whole wheat flour, used ground flaxseed, added salt, and baked the loaf in my favorite Pullman pan. Wonderful!

Yield: 1 loaf

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, preferably on convection.  Coat a loaf pan with cooking oil spray.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, oil, bananas and sugar until blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, flaxseed, chia seeds, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix only until incorporated.
  5. Add the blueberries, lemon zest and lemon juice and gently blend into the batter with a wooden spoon.
  6. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan and bake on a middle rack 35 to 40 minutes for a Pullman loaf pan, or 50 to 60 minutes for a standard loaf pan, and a test toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Let cool 15 minutes before taking out of the pan.

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Whole Wheat-Bartlett Pear Crumb Cake

This cake was nutty, earthy, and really really moist. The entire house smelled absolutely incredible while it baked- much of the credit should be given to the orange zest in the batter. Even more wonderful orange flavor was added after the cake was removed from the oven when fresh orange juice was drizzled all over the top. Fabulous!

This recipe was adapted from Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan with Josh Loeb and Laurel Almerinda. I weighed whole roasted almonds and then finely ground them in a mini food processor instead of using store-bought almond flour. I used fat-free Greek yogurt instead of whole plain yogurt. I also substituted oat bran for the toasted wheat germ in the original recipe. Wheat bran or ground flaxseed would also work as substitutes. I also baked the cake in a 9-inch springform pan instead of a 10-inch cake pan.

The authors offer seasonal adaptations to this recipe by substituting blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, apricots, peaches, or figs for the pears. Yummy!

Yield: Makes one 9-inch cake

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 55 g (1/2 cup plus 2 T) almond flour
  • 20 g (1/4 cup plus 2 T) rolled oats
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 T oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 20 g (1/4 cup) sliced almonds

For the Cake:

  • 170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 160 g (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 55 g (3/4 cup) oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) almond flour
  • 3 T rye flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) plain yogurt (I used fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • zest of 1 orange, *fruit reserved*
  • 3 pears, peeled and thickly sliced into 6 pieces each (I used Bartlett pears)

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To Make the Topping:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, almond flour, oats, granulated sugar, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, and salt. Blend with a pastry blender until homogenous.
  2. Add sliced almonds and blend with your fingers. Refrigerate until needed.

To Make the Cake:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line and grease a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and cooking spray.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well.
  4. Pause mixing and all the all-purpose flour, wheat germ, almond flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, and orange zest. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not over mix!
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and cover evenly with the pears.
  6. Top with the crumble, allowing a little fruit to poke through.
  7. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes or up to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake!
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan; then squeeze the orange over the entire cake.
  9. Remove the side of the pan and gently pull the parchment paper from every nook and cranny of the cake.

Note: This cake is best served the day it is made, but it will keep, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 days at room temperature.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Whole Wheat Banana Flaxseed Muffins

For a while there, I was really into making healthy baked goods for breakfast, but somehow I have gone off track lately. :/ These moist and tasty muffins have put me back on the right path! I modified this Martha Stewart Living recipe to make muffins instead of a loaf (shorter baking size and bonus portion control), use more bananas (more moist), omit the walnuts (my daughter doesn’t like nuts in her muffins…), and to bake in a convection oven.

The best combination… they taste indulgent but are actually healthy. We enjoyed them warm from the oven with fresh fruit. Another great use for overripe bananas!! 🙂

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened, for pan
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground golden flaxseed (from about 2 tablespoons whole)
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • about 3/4 cup mashed very ripe bananas (3 medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (about 1 3/4 ounces), toasted and coarsely chopped, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter, or spray with cooking spray, a standard muffin tin or a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flours, flaxseed, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Put egg and egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on medium-low speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and bananas, and mix until combined.
  5. Add the reserved flour mixture, and mix on low speed until well incorporated, about 10 seconds. Stir in walnuts, if using.
  6. Pour batter into buttered pan. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 14 minutes- on convection (for muffins), or up to 35 minutes in a standard oven for a loaf. Let cool slightly in pan on a wire rack. Invert to unmold; reinvert, and let cool completely on rack.

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Two Years Ago:

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Tate’s Banana Flaxseed Muffins

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My friend recently shared a treasured cookbook with me titled “Kathleen’s Bake Shop.” She raved that EVERY recipe was perfection. I went home and looked it up on amazon- because I wanted it for myself, of course! Unfortunately, the book is out of print and is priced well over $100….

“Kathleen” is the creator and owner of one of the most popular and well-known bakeries on Long Island- Southampton’s “Tate’s Bake Shop.” Tate’s baked goods are sold EVERYWHERE. Luckily for me, she has more recently authored a few other baking cookbooks. This muffin recipe was adapted from Tate’s Bake Shop: Baking for Friends- Over 120 Scrumptious Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Baker by Kathleen King.

These muffins are low in fat, sugar, and are whole grain as well. They were tender and moist with a nice crunch from the pecans. Along with old-fashioned oats, I did lightly sprinkle the top of each muffin with turbinado sugar before baking- just for a touch of sweetness. 🙂

  • non-stick canola oil spray (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 cup mashed fully ripe bananas (2 large bananas)
  • 3/4 cup low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 T sugar
  • 2 T walnut oil or canola oil
  • 1 large egg or 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 T old-fashioned (rolled) oats for sprinkling
  • 2 T turbinado sugar for sprinkling, optional
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. (I used a convection oven.) Spray 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray or line them with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, pecans, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, yogurt, sugar, walnut oil, egg, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the flour mixture into the wet mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula just until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, transfer the batter to the prepared muffin cups. The cups will be fairly full. Sprinkle the tops with the oats and turbinado sugar, if using.
  6. Bake until a muffin springs back when pressed on the top with your fingertip, 13 to 15 minutes (on convection) or up to 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool completely on the rack.

One Year Ago:

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