When we first moved to the mountains 7 months ago, I was frustrated by the multiple failures I experienced in the kitchen, as baking at a high altitude is a whole new ballgame. But now that I’m learning a few tricks (i.e. less leavening, more liquid, more flour) I’m having fun with the challenge. I came up with this recipe for banana bread by combining two recipes…the healthy one from Jordan Rubin‘s Great Physician’s Rx for Health and Wellness, and the high altitude one from Susan G. Purdy‘s Pie in the Sky cookbook. And then I threw in the chocolate chips and caramel bits that were calling my name from the pantry. Since we’re still trying to keep our grain intake to a minimum, I’ll have to send most of the bread to work with Eric so I won’t be tempted 🙂
Chocolate – Caramel Banana Bread (with high altitude adjustments in parentheses)
1/4 c. coconut oil*
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. honey
3/4 c. sugar (1/2 c.)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. whipping cream, half & half, or milk (5 T.)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 c. flour (2 1/2 c.)
1 tsp. baking powder (3/4 tsp.)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. caramel bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream oil, butter, honey, sugar, and beaten egg in a large bowl. Add whipping cream, vanilla, and mashed bananas.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and caramel bits. Spread evenly in a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 55 minutes.
*Coconut oil is one of the greatest things since sliced bread. And speaking of sliced bread, did you know my hometown’s claim to fame is being “The Home of Sliced Bread”?? Really! Who knows the name of my hometown, anyway? We’ll see who’s actually reading this…
Back to coconut oil…it is full of antioxidants and can be used for sauteing or stir frying at medium to high temperatures, unlike olive oil. It also works great for baking. Over 90% of the fats in coconut oil are saturated, but because they are plant-based they’re actually good for you. Coconut oil is slow to oxidize and is therefore resistant to rancidity for up to two years. Coconut oil can also be useful for moisturizing the skin and hair…I’ve even used it on my newborn’s skin during the dry winter months. Be sure to buy only expeller pressed oil to avoid any heat damage to the product. Nature’s Way is a great brand to try, and affordable too!