Guilty Kitchen: Banana Bread Ice Cream

Recently, a friend and neighbour gave me four pounds of overripe bananas. Living in a small community, the grocery store had become over run with the things and needed to get rid of them. So I cooked banana bread, duh. But I still had a surplus of bananas sitting around. So I started digging through the fridge and pantry, and I found everything I needed to make a seriously delicious ice cream that would taste just like the banana bread I just made!

This ice cream is a step up from your average one-ingredient banana ice cream, of which I am not a big fan (too icy!) and takes you to a whole new level of flavour, and it’s so easy to make. The peanut butter and stracciatella are optional, but they do pair nicely with the flavours of the banana bread. Cause, you know, I eat my banana bread smothered in peanut butter and sometimes, Nutella. Doesn’t everybody?

Get my delicious banana bread recipe here, and then get started on this delicious ice cream below:

Banana Bread Ice Cream
Makes 1 litre

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

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Ingredients:

The Bread
2 pounds ripe bananas
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup half & half (or for a creamier ice cream use all heavy cream)
2 teaspoon vanilla

The Peanut Butter Chunks
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky, natural or not so natural)
1 Tablespoon icing sugar

The Stracciatella
3 ounces dark chocolate
1 Tablespoon + 1 tsp butter

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Directions:

  1. In small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to cook until it begins to foam and bubble, but do not stir. Cook until foam dissipates and you are left with a browned butter.
  2. In 2 small baking dishes (such as 9? rounds), slice bananas into coins. Pour browned butter over bananas and coat. Bake in 400°F oven for 20-25 minutes. The bananas should begin to caramelize and be slightly golden in colour when you take them out. Allow to cool before next step.
  3. In a blender or food processor, purée the banana/butter mixture with the sour cream.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat cream with brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Do not allow to boil, but just bring to a high enough temperature that the cream begins to steam and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  5. Cool to room temperature and add to blender or food processor with puréed bananas. Blend until smooth.
  6. Pour into bowl or container, cover and refrigerate over night. This is your ice cream base.
  7. In a small bowl, mix peanut butter and icing sugar until well blended.
  8. On a cookie sheet spoon out small teaspoon sized portions of peanut butter. Place in freezer overnight.
  9. Over a double boiler or a metal bowl, set over a pot of gently-boiling water, melt chocolate and butter together until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Remove ice cream base from refrigerator, place in ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your machine.
  11. When the ice cream is basically done, begin to drip the chocolate in a fine stream into the ice cream. This will create the stracciatella (little bits of chocolate that melt in your mouth).
  12. Remove ice cream from machine, stir in peanut butter chunks and freeze for at least four hours.

Elizabeth-Nyland-0012-2 Elizabeth Nyland, author behind “Cooking with Coconut Oil: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Recipes for Good Living” and “Cooking with Avocados: Delicious Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Meal” is also a mother of two and is the blogger behind guiltykitchen.com, a food, fitness and health blog that’s been going strong since 2009. You can find Elizabeth in her home gym lifting heavy things, in her kitchen cooking up new recipes or at the bakery down the street attempting to uncover the world’s best doughnut.

Elizabeth Nyland is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network  family.

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Topics: Banana Bread, Ice Cream, Dessert

Super Easy, No-Fail Healthy Bread Recipe

Bread is one of the most beloved food staples. There is nothing like slicing into fresh bread in the morning and smearing it with a hearty layer of almond butter, jam or butter.

The problem with a lot of commercial breads that line grocery store shelves is that they are loaded in preservatives and refined flours. These breads might appear healthy, proclaiming to protect against heart disease and high cholesterol; however, they are riddled with unwanted ingredients.

Pick up your average bread in the grocery store and find words like monoglycerides, calcium propionate, diglycerides and sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate. While all of these ingredients have their specific purpose to leaven, emulsify and liquefy, many of these ingredients can actually wreak havoc in the body. This does not even take into account the commercial breads made with refined flours that have removed any semblance of fiber or micronutrients.

The answer to finding the most delicious, healthful bread is to make your own. This recipe is with spelt, tolerated by those with wheat sensitivities and it is higher in protein, fibre and contains nutrients that’s easier to absorb in the digestive system.

Bread making can be quite challenging and laborious but this recipe is to do. Get ready because your kitchen is about to become the best bakery in town.

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Sprouted Spelt Artisan Bread

Ingredients:
3 cups of sprouted spelt flour
1 teaspoon of rapid rise yeast
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 ½ cups of luke warm water
¼ cup of oats for dusting

Directions:

  1. Sift the flour, yeast and sea salt into a large bowl.
  2. Add the water and mix until shaggy dough forms, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let it sit for 12-18 hours overnight.
  3. When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450 °F. When the oven has reached the desired temperature put a dutch oven into the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place the dough on a floured surface and form into a ball. You do not need to knead the dough, so even though it may be tempting, refrain from doing it! Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest until it’s ready to go into the oven.
  5. When the oven has been preheated for 30 minutes, take the dutch oven out, sprinkle the bottom of it with a small handful of oats (this prevents the bottom of the dough from immediately sticking and burning).
  6. Place the dough in the dutch oven, put it back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes covered and then a final 15 minutes uncovered.
  7. Take it out, let it cool for 10 minutes.

Get Creative

Add different combinations of ingredients for a gourmet loaf that will be a great addition to any entertaining table.

  • Olives and rosemary
  • Thyme and grapes
  • Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and craisins
  • Millet, quinoa and oats
  • Sundried tomato and garlic
  • Asiago and basil

Notes: Visit your local health food stores to find sprouted spelt flour.

tamara-green-living-kitchen Tamara Green is co-founder of The Living Kitchen, and a Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Cook. She combines her knowledge of nutrition and passion for cooking good food to work with clients to create lasting changes in their lives.

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Made Easy: How to Cook and Peel a Pumpkin with Recipes

It’s that time of the year again when mantles and table tops are dressed with clusters of tiny pumpkins to ring in the harvest. A lot of my friends buy the miniature pumpkins at the supermarket since the big ones won’t fit in their apartments. Then once Halloween is over they get thrown out. Rather than putting good food to waste, here’s a tutorial on how to cut, peel and cook these colourful little squashes.

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Step 1: Wash
Thoroughly wash the outside of the pumpkin, removing any dirt and dust. Pat it dry with a towel.

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Step 2: Stabilize
The tricky part about cutting into pumpkins or any other kind of round produce (eg: onions) is that they’ll roll around on the cutting board, making it easy for the knife to slip and cut your fingers. To solve that, using a sharp knife and slice across the top and bottom of the pumpkin to create a flat surface for it to rest on. You can also place the pumpkin on a towel to further prevent the pumpkin from rolling around when you’re cutting it.

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Step 3: Peel
Using a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler, peel away the outer skin.

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Step 4: Half
Cut the pumpkin in half.

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Step 5: Gut
Using a large metal spoon, scrape out the pumpkin seeds (keep them for toasting later) and the stringy guts.

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Step 6: Section
Cut the pumpkin halves into smaller sections, and then into smaller chunks to prepare for roasting.

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Step 7: Roast

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 375°F.
  2. Place the pumpkin on a lined baking sheet and toss with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add enough oil so that every chunk is slightly shiny, but not so much that there is excess oil on the pan.
  3. Bake for 45 min to an hour, or until the pumpkin is soft with a slightly crispy exterior.
  4. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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Bonus: try roasting some pumpkin seeds.
Since the oven is already on, you might as well give the seeds a roast to make a snack out of them.

Directions:

  1. Separate the seeds from the guts in a colander under cold running water.
  2. Like the pumpkin, drizzle the seeds with a very light coat of olive oil, salt, and pepper (or some cayenne for some heat).
  3. Roast them on a baking sheet (use the pan that was used to cook the pumpkin to minimize cleanup) at the same 375°F temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the seeds turn a light brown and become crispy.

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Pumpkin and Pancetta Spaghetti
This easy to make and colourful pasta is a delicious way to serve fibre-rich pumpkin. The squash’s natural sweetness compliments the salty pork while the spinach absorb all the flavours in the pan. I prefer using fusilli, penne, or any other kind of pasta with lots of nooks and crannies to hold the bits of pancetta and cheese.

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Ingredients:
2 cups dried whole-wheat fusilli pasta
1/3 cup pancetta cubes
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin, cubed
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
3 Tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste

Directions

  1. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al denté. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large oiled pan, sauté the pancetta until they start to brown and crisp. Add pasta, roasted pumpkin, and spinach leaves. Toss altogether.
  3. Add the milk and parmesan. Stir gently until the spinach leaves begin to wilt, the cheese has melted, and the milk has mostly evaporated.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil to finish. Garnish with parmesan shavings. Serves 2 hungry pumpkin eaters.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.

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Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

There’s nothing better than a Sunday afternoon that involves cool, crisp weather and some delicious coffee cake that’s full of Fall flavours. I decided to take my favourite coffee cake recipe and switch up the spices; I’ve added lots of pumpkin spice and maple flavour to turn this cake into the perfect holiday treat.

Serve this cake for Thanksgiving and top with a big dollop of whipped cream!

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Crumble Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
½ cup butter, softened

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Cake Ingredients:

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon maple extract (or vanilla)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, then grease a large bundt tin.
  2. Begin by making the crumble. Mix together the flour, sugar and pumpkin spice. Mix in the softened butter with your hands until fully combined. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice. Combine the buttermilk and maple extract. Add half of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Then continue to add the remainder of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Add half of the batter to the bundt tin, followed by half of the crumble. Layer the remainder of the batter on top and sprinkle with the remaining crumble mixture.
  5. Place in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, until the crumble is golden and when a cake tester or skewer comes out of the cake clean.

Made Easy: How to Get Perfect Crispy Skin on Fish

When cooked properly fish skin can be one of the best parts of a filet, not unlike how you secretly want to just eat the skin off a piece of fried chicken. Aside from a crunchy, chip-like texture, the benefits of keeping the skin on the fish is that it has doses of omega 3’s and its helps lock in the moisture when cooking over high heat. Here are a few tips on getting an even, caramelized texture when searing a piece of fish, skin-on.

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Pat it Dry
Before cooking, take a paper towel and pat down the entire fish to remove any excess moisture. The most common problem home cooks have when cooking fish is that the skin sticks to the pan or becomes soggy. This is because when the skin is wet, the water turns into steam, steaming the skin rather than crisping it up. Placing a wet filet on to a hot oiled pan will also result in tiny droplets of hot grease jumping off the pan and on to you (remember, water and oil don’t mix). You can also sprinkle some salt or dust a bit of flour on to the skin to further remove moisture.

Heat it up
Much like last week’s omelet tip, make sure the oil in the pan is hot enough to prevent the food from sticking to the pan. Use flavourless oil that can withstand high temperatures such as vegetable or avocado so that it won’t overshadow the delicate flavours of the fish. Olive oil will smoke under high heat and turn bitter, so save it for the salad dressing. When the oil is hot enough over medium-high heat, it should shimmer and become less viscous.

Sear it
Place the fish skin side down on to the pan. If the oil is hot enough, the fish should sizzle upon contact. Let the skin crisp and slightly harden for a minute as flipping it too soon will tear the skin. When the skin gets crispy, it’ll easily slide around the pan. Once that’s achieved, turn down the heat down a bit so that the skin doesn’t burn. Flip the filet over and continue to finish cooking the fish.

Let it Rest
Once the fish is opaque and no longer translucent, take if off the heat and let it rest on the plate for a few minutes. Cutting into it immediately would make all the juices leak out.

Make the Sauce
As the fish is resting, pour in two or three tablespoons of chicken stock (or vegetable stock) into the pan and scrape it down with a spatula over medium-low heat. If you’re cooking salmon, add in a splash of maple syrup. If you’re cooking a milder fish like cod or tilapia, add in a few squeezes of lemon juice. When the sauce has slightly thickened, pour it over the fish, or some steamed vegetables on the side.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.

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