Strawberry Banana Banana Bread

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

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A page from Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt, just because.
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When the folks at Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruit offered me some goodies for review, I jumped at the chance to try their dried strawberries. Along with the smell of wet dogs and chlorinated pools, nothing says summer quite like berries. Specifically, strawberries. And while these bad girls aren’t summer fresh, I thought they might just be perfect for baking.

The first thing I noticed upon their arrival is that they look much plumper than expected – kind of like the candied strawberries, minus all the extra sugar. They have a nice consistency, vaguely reminiscent of the fruit leather I make every fall.

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Since strawberry-banana is one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations – and I just so happened to have three brown bananas chilling on the counter – I decided to whip up a loaf of my crowd-pleasing banana bread. In addition to diced dried bananas, it also has a wee bit of strawberry extract (totally optional but also totally yummy). For something different, swap out a few tablespoons of the sugar for strawberry syrup. Or just add it in to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s pretty great either way!

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Fwiw, the strawberries also go quite well in oatmeal – they’re a nice change of pace from my usual dried cranberries, and make an otherwise boring breakfast feel a bit more like junk food. (Remember those instant oatmeal packs you ate as a kid, with the dinosaur eggs? Yeah, like that!)

 

Strawberry Banana Banana Bread

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Ingredients

1/2 cup margarine, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3-4 very ripe bananas, mashed well
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup plain or vanilla soy milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon strawberry extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
a dash of cinnamon
a handful of dried strawberries, diced

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Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 8″x4″ bread pan with non-stick cooking spray, or lightly coat with margarine.

2. Pour 1/4 cup soy milk into a small glass measuring cup. Add the 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Mix well and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugars. Add the wet ingredients – mashed bananas, soy milk, and vanilla and strawberry extracts – and mix well. Add the salt, cinnamon, and baking soda and sift in the flour, mixing until the batter is smooth and (relatively) creamy. Mix in the diced strawberries; toss in a second handful if desired.

4. Pour the batter into a prepared bread pan, evening out the top with a rubber spatula. Bake at 350F for 50 to 70 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf and your oven’s own quirks. You can check the bread’s progress by inserting a toothpick or knife into the loaf’s center; when it comes out clean and the top of bread attains a nice golden color, you’ll know it’s done.

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Strawberry Lemonade Ice Cream

Monday, August 17th, 2015

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After the awesomeness that was my Lemon Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream, I suppose it was only a matter of time before I started experimenting with various flavors of lemonade ice cream. I started with Strawberry Lemonade, because a) strawberries are my favorite and b) they are totally seasonal and c) bursting out of my fridge. I mean, strawberries! Hello! BEST. Just ask the Strawberry Shortcake bedsheets from my childhood.

Okay, I’m meandering. The heat is totally frying my brain.

Anyway, this recipe is pretty rad and you should totally give it a try. It’s extra-handy for those times when you went shopping with your stomach at the farmer’s market and “accidentally” bought more strawberries than you could possibly hope to eat.

Pro tip: For a smoother ice cream, you can always process the cooked strawberries in a food processor or blender (using a splash of soy creamer or milk if too thick) prior to making the ice cream batter. However, I didn’t bother, assuming that the paddles on my machine would do a good enough job breaking up any remaining strawberry chunks. And they totally did!

Alternately, if you like a few chunky bits o’ berries, hold a few tablespoons of the cooked strawberries back and add them to the machine about fifteen seconds before dispensing. Or mix them in by hand as you transfer the finished ice cream to a storage container.

 

(More below the fold…)

Ozera Ice Pop Molds: Product Review & A Strawberry Fruit Bar Recipe!

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Healthy popsicles at a fraction of the cost!

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for an honest review.)

I make a ton of ice cream during the summer months – banana and soy-based, mostly – but haven’t spent a whole lot of time experimenting with popsicles. I think these “groovy” ice pop molds from Ozera might just be a game changer!

One set consists of six pop molds and a tray to keep them all upright. They molds are packed pretty tidily into the tray, so that it takes up minimal space in the freezer. (The tray measures about 5 ½” by 6”; I don’t know where the 7 x 5 x 8 inches in the product description comes from, since it’s not even an inch high.) While I’ve only had my molds for about a week, they seem sturdy and durable enough. The tops/handles fit snugly into the molds, and the molds in turn fit snugly into the tray. The set is dishwasher safe, but almost as easy to wash by hand.

The directions on the box are riddled with typos (I think the company is German, and the atrocious copy is due to comically poor translation), but the molds are easy enough to use: just fill with a popsicle mix (recipes not included), leaving ½” of space at the top. Freeze for four hours and then enjoy!

(More below the fold…)

Rosemary Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

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This recipe came about because I needed to use up some ripening strawberries stat, and I wanted to try something other than plain old strawberry-banana. The rosemary certainly makes for an interested addition – it gives the ice cream more of a savory feel – but I’m not sure it’s my absolute favorite. I guess I’m just more of a strawberry shortcake kind of girl, you know?

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Strawberry Rosemary Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

3 cups strawberries, diced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3-4 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or several sprigs fresh rosemary) + extra to taste
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

(More below the fold…)

Strawberry Coconut Banana Ice Cream

Friday, June 28th, 2013

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Strawberries, bananas, and coconut – talk about seasonal! (Really, is there much else to say?)

Strawberry Coconut Banana Ice Cream

(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
6 large, ripe strawberries
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened)
1 teaspoon strawberry OR coconut extract (optional)
powdered sugar or another vegan sweetener, if needed
a splash of coconut milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Put the bananas and strawberries in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. Add the shredded coconut and pulse until blended. If desired, add a strawberry or coconut extract for a more intense flavor.

3. Sample the batter and add a bit of sugar if needed.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

This tastes great served with fresh strawberries and topped with shredded coconut and vegan sprinkles!

Cornbread Waffles with Strawberry Sauce

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

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Cornbread Waffles from Vegan Brunch with homemade strawberry sauce (leftovers from the Banana Flapjacks, also from VB). A little dry but otherwise good – and the whole house smelled of popcorn while they were cooking!

Also we scored a “new” waffle maker during our last trip to Goodwill. It bakes a whopping FOUR waffles at a time instead of just two, making it twice as likely that Shane will cook waffles the next time I ask him!

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strawberry banana yogurt tofu ice cream shake thingie

Monday, November 12th, 2012

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An impromptu vegan milkshake I made by combining two scoops of Strawberry-Banana Yogurt Ice Cream with one scoop of Vanilla, I Scream ice cream (from The Tipsy Vegan; RIP Vegan MoFo VI!) and a few splashes of soy creamer to get things moving. Just blend until smooth and enjoy.

There’s so much goodness packed into this one little cup, y’all! Silken tofu, soy yogurt, (once-) fresh bananas and strawberries – vodka, even. I’m so making this again.

 

Strawberry-Banana Yogurt Ice Cream

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

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So this is a quirky little dessert that I threw together with some odds & ends: a few ounces of vanilla soy yogurt, left over from my froyo experiments (thus far unsuccessful, boo!); some rapidly decomposing strawberries; and what was left of my frozen banana stores. With a little help from my good friend cornstarch, the strawberries were cooked into a gelatinous sauce, which I chilled and then mixed with the bananas and yogurt in a food processor.

The immediate result was like a really thick smoothie or milkshake, most of which I downed immediately. (Hence the sad, scrappy photo. The remains of the day!) The leftovers froze nicely, creating a rich banana ice cream.

Strawberry-Banana Yogurt Ice Cream, we shall meet again. Oh yes, mark my words.

 

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Strawberry-Banana Yogurt Ice Cream

2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch + extra if needed
6 ounces (3/4 cup) nondairy yogurt, plain or vanilla
1-2 bananas, peeled, sliced, and frozen
powdered sugar to taste

Directions

1. In a small saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook, uncovered on medium heat, stirring every few minutes, until the berries have broken down and the sauce is thick and almost jam-like (about 15-30 minutes). If necessary, add some cornstarch in 1/4 teaspoon increments to help thicken things up. (This works well if you’re in a hurry!) When done, transfer to an airtight container and let chill in the fridge for three hours or more.

2. When you’re ready to make the ice cream, combine the bananas, yogurt, and strawberry sauce in a food processor and pulse until well blended. If the ice cream isn’t sweet enough for you, add a little vegan sweetener (powdered sugar or similar) to taste.

3. Enjoy immediately as smoothie or milkshake, or transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer for several hours for a firmer dessert.

 

Chocolate Strawberry Soft Serve

Friday, July 20th, 2012

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Chocolate, strawberries, bananas, and more chocolate. What else is there to say?

Omit the chocolate chips and serve with fresh berries for a healthier treat.

 

Chocolate Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)

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Ingredients

3-4 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1 1/2 cups diced strawberries, fresh or frozen and defrosted
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Put the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

3. Add the strawberries, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips (optional) and process until mixed.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

5. Serve with sprinkles, chocolate chips, extra berries – or even Cocoa Puffs! – to garnish. Bonus point: top with a ginormous, chocolate-covered strawberry for an especially decadent dessert!

 

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Coconut Strawberry Sorbet

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

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Coconut Strawberry Sorbet! This is another food processor frozen dessert, in the spirit of banana ice cream – minus the bananas, of course! Frozen strawberries form the base of this dish, and are complemented by the addition of coconut milk, shredded coconut, and a splash of lime juice. (Though this would work just as well using only strawberries and a bit of nondairy milk.) The finished product is a bit like a slushie, but thicker.

This time around, I experimented with agar powder as a thickening agent. Usually I use arrowroot powder, and even then just with “regular” ice cream recipes requiring an ice cream machine. (See, e.g., last month’s Green Tea & Almond Ice Cream.) But I just happened to have a new bag of agar on hand for another recipe, and had read that it’s useful in ice cream, as it’s supposed to help prevent ice crystals from forming in frozen foodstuffs. Strawberries don’t have the magical properties of bananas – they don’t metamorphose into ice creamy consistency when frozen – and I hoped that agar would give this sorbet a push toward creaminess.

The result? Less than impressive. When allowed to freeze overnight, the sorbet still becomes hard and a bit icy. Which is fine, if you don’t mind letting it defrost on the counter – or even nuking it in the microwave – before sitting down to a scoop or two or three. But really, this sorbet is best enjoyed straight out of the food processor, or after just an hour or two in the freezer.

Like many thickening agents, agar it only works when heated, hence the boiling and mixing in step #1. It’s also kind of expensive. (Or it is if you buy it at Whole Foods!) If you’d rather, you can eliminate the agar and skip the first step altogether. I don’t think it’ll make much difference in the finished product. Which is delicious, by the way!

 
Coconut Strawberry Sorbet

(Makes a little more than 1/2 a quart of sorbet.)

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon agar powder (optional)
4 cups strawberries, sliced and frozen
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions

1. In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a boil. Add the agar powder and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for several minutes, whisking all the while, until the agar has dissolved into the coconut milk. Remove from heat and allow to cool. (Skip this step if not using agar powder.)

2. Combine the coconut milk, strawberries, lime juice, and shredded coconut in a food processor and pulse until blended. Most likely you’ll need to stop and stir the batter by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl.

3. Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the batter in the freezer for several hours to make a sorbet. To help prevent ice crystals from forming, remove the sorbet from the freezer and give it a good stir every half hour or so. Serve with fresh strawberries or topped with shredded coconut – yum!

"Cleaning Out the Pantry" Ice Cream

Friday, June 29th, 2012

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The title just about says it all! The other day, I had some quickly (over)ripening strawberries I needed to finish off, along with a few stray almonds languishing at the bottom of a two pound bag (Shane!), and a half an ipsy pipsy bar mocking me from the depths of my “cheese” drawer. (Fridges, not really made with vegans in mind. More produce drawers please!) Toss ’em in a food processor along with some frozen bananas and, voilà! – ice cream.

Bonus points: omit the candy bar and call it breakfast!

 

“Cleaning Out the Pantry” Ice Cream

(Makes two generous servings.)

Ingredients

6 fresh strawberries
2 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 ipsy pipsy bar OR 1/2 vegan chocolate wafer candy bar OR 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
2 tablespoons almonds, sliced and toasted
Vegan marshmallows (Dandies) and sprinkles (Edwards & Son’s Let’s Do…Sprinkelz) to garnish

Directions

1. Begin by toasting the almonds. Slice the almonds in half and spread them out on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F in the toaster oven for about five minutes, or until browned. Remove immediately and set aside.

2. Put the strawberries in a food processor and pulse until they’re liquefied. Add the bananas and pulse until mostly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. Toss in the coconut, candy bar/chocolate chips, and almonds, and continue to pulse until everything’s mixed in well.

3. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. This dessert is best if enjoyed immediately or frozen for one to four hours, but you can store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp). To help prevent ice crystals from forming, remove the ice cream from the fridge and stir it by hand every half hour until frozen.

DIY Vegan Ice Cream: Chocolate Tofu Ice Cream

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

In between gardening and sundry bits of yard work, the Mr. and I have been busy-busy-busy churning out fresh, diy vegan ice cream with our shiny new ice cream machine. While A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise has proven a source of endless inspiration, I also picked up copies of Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop and Vice Cream, by Jeff Rogers.

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While I can’t wait to try out some of these yummy-looking recipes (The Vegan Scoop is so gorgeous, the book itself looks edible), I’m afraid I’ll need to empty the freezer first!

Exhibit #1: The multiple batches of Strawberry Very Chocolate Soy Ice Cream I made this week. (Hey, I had to finish off the chocolate soy milk so it wouldn’t spoil. *shrug*)

Using this recipe for Strawberry Very Chocolate Soy Ice Cream at VegWeb as a guide, we started by making a batch of Chocolate Tofu Soy Ice Cream. This is the first time I’ve used silken tofu in an ice cream recipe – the recipes at AVICP call for arrowroot as a thickening agent – and the result was surprisingly delish. I was worried that the tofu might affect the texture of the ice cream once fully frozen, but not so much. Given the extra protein tofu brings to the plate, I’d like to adapt this basic formula to make additional flavors in the future. Plus, many of the items used in this recipe are shelf-stable (tofu, soy milk; vs. the soy creamer found in similar recipes), which is a huge plus for those who only make it to the natural food store (or just the store) on a semi-weekly basis.

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A few days later, I made a batch of Strawberry Very Chocolate Soy Ice Cream (pictured above, topped with chocolate sprinkles and heaped on top of even more fresh strawberries) – as written, frozen berries and all. I’d be hard pressed to name which batch I like better – they’re both really scrumptious (though I’ve yet to produce a batch that rivals a pint of Purely Decadent). Only problem I ran into was that the recipe was too large to fit in my 1 1/2 quart ice cream machine, so I had to split the “batter” (what to call unfrozen ice cream?) in half, and process it on two consecutive days. Minus the berries, the recipe *just fit*.

You can view VegWeb’s Strawberry Very Chocolate Soy Ice Cream recipe here; below is my tweaked, super-chocolaty version.

(More below the fold…)

VeganMoFo, Day 7: Sweet Strawberry Applesauce Bread (!)

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

OK, so I’d wanted to blog a recipe involving watermelon today, since I have 14 or so sitting out in the garage. (That’s one frustrating thing about gardening – some produce seems to come all at once.) But all I could find on the internets were watermelon juice recipes, or recipes that required use of a food mill (don’t have *sigh*), so after a half hour of searching I gave up and changed course.

Instead I decided to look for a bread recipe calling for applesauce and strawberries, so I could use up some of that yummy strawberry applesauce I made yesterday. This recipe for strawberry bread popped up all over the place, so I figured it muse be a sign from the Fruit Fairy. Or something.

With some slight modifications, here’s my recipe for Sweet Strawberry Applesauce Bread.

Sweet Strawberry Applesauce Bread

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Ingredients

– Dry –
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar (reduce to 3/4 cup if you’d like a less sugary bread)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice

– Wet –
Egg replacer for two eggs
1/2 to 3/4 cups Sweet Strawberry Applesauce (Or 1/2 cup commercial applesauce)
2 cups strawberries, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(More below the fold…)

VeganMoFo, Day 6: Sweet Strawberry Applesauce

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Now that the season of the zucchini is winding down, I’m slowly turning my attention to using those 120+ bags of apples I picked in September. (OK, so I gave most of them away; we only have about 20 bags left, not counting the 20 or so that are still on the trees. But I digress.) While hunting around the internets for an apple-heavy recipe this afternoon, I stumbled upon a super-yummy strawberry applesauce recipe from http://www.recipezaar.com:

Applesauce With Strawberries

Ingredients

3 lbs macintosh apples or apples (about 9 apples)
10 large frozen strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 lemon, juice of
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Directions

Peel, core and slice apples 1/4-inch thick. Place apple slices in a large saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until a sauce consistency, about 45 minutes. Use a potato masher, if necessary, to break up any lumps, but leave slightly chunky.

I more or less stuck to the recipe (I have a difficult time following directions – canyatell?); it’s both easy and insanely delicious. The sauce comes out on the sweet side, so if you prefer your applesauce tasting more like apples and less like candy, you may want to go a little easy on the sugar. If you love strawberries like moi, throw in a few extra berries. Don’t worry, I won’t tell.

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This snack is best served warm, but I’m sure it’s quite good cold or at room temp, too.

(More below the fold…)