Light and Lemony Poppy Seed Bread

The sun has been shining a lot lately, and I have been craving a light snack to get me in the mood for spring. So, I thought of lemons…

…and then I thought of how good lemony bread is…and how moist it is…oh my.

Lemons are lovely. Not only do they taste great, but they are also used in household products because of their superior cleansing properties. Think these properties only relate to the home?? No way! Lemons are also known for their internal cleansing abilities. Eating lemons helps cleanse the bloodstream and the liver, and also helps in balancing your body’s pH levels and promote healing in your body! Talk about a superfood! I recommend making this yummy bread, and then sitting and enjoying it with a cold glass of ice water with sliced lemons. Rid your body of impurities, you deserve it!

Because I felt like baking something healthy, I also calculated the nutritional value for these bad-boys. This bread makes 1 loaf, and should be cut into 12 slices. Each piece is 3 weight watchers points per slice and:
161 calories, 5.3g total fat, 4g protein, 27g carbohydrates, 1.1g fiber, 30mg cholesterol, and 197 mg sodium.

Let’s start baking! This recipe comes from the Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry Cookbook.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cups oat bran
1 tbsp poppyseeds
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup 2% milk (skim would make it even less calories!)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, oat bran, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter, egg, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are just moistened.

4. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until loaf is light golden brown and a toothpick in the centre comes out clean. Cool loaf pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

5. Remove loaf from pan and cool completely on rack. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature OR the fridge (sometimes people enjoy chilled lemon bread).

Chunky Chocolate Banana Bread

Ohhh banana bread how I love you. I love your warm, moist centre. I love the chocolate in you, and I love you covered in butter…

…back to reality. Hi! I love banana bread. I love chocolate. I love chocolate FILLED banana bread. Remember Bananas in Pyjamas? I hated that show, but I always thought it would be interesting to mash those singing bananas up and put them in bread. Then they wouldn’t be so annoying!

I also like banana muffins, but for whatever reason, they don’t give me the same satisfaction. Maybe it’s because they don’t slice like the loaf does, or perhaps it’s just because eating a whole LOAF to yourself doesn’t sound as bad as eating 12 muffins…you decide.

The following recipe is something I’ve made 100 times. In fact, I love it so much that I bought bananas specifically to let them ripen. And boy do I hate waiting. You see, the bananas must be well ripened for this bread. That way, their natural sugars can help boost the sweetness AND further moisten the chocolatey goodness.

The best thing about this bread is its moist centre. The sour cream gives the bread an absolutely perfect texture, and  the cinnamon helps balance the rich chocolate.

This recipe has been modified from the Bite me cookbook, and it’s awesome. Sooooo, squash up those bananas, chop up some chocolate, and grab the butter!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 squares of chopped semi-sweet bakers chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and coat two loaf pans with cooking spray.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream together sugar and butter until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed until blended.
3. With a wooden spoon, stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chunks just until moistened and the flour has disappeared. Spoon batter into prepared pans.

4. Bake for about 70 minutes, until lightly browned on top and cooked through.
5. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to cool on a wire rack.

Each loaf should yield 8 slices. Enjoy with loads of butter!