Carob Banana Pecan Spelt Bread

Happy Tuesday guys!

I just read on twitter via CNN that 49 of the 50 US states has snow on the ground right now! So, wherever you are, bundle up, because there’s a fair chance you’re snowed in like me! Ok, so technically we’re “iced in” where I am, but details, details.

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Snow day = baking day.

Ha! I wish! I had to work today! But I did make some time for a fun, little baking project. More on that in a bit. ;)

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Hot coffee is a must for me on a snow day. Ok, that’s true every day.

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I found these neat Hashbrown thingys in the frozen section of Trader Joe’s the other day. While I’d rather make hashbrowns from scratch, they’re still healthier than things hubby loves, so I like to think of it as trading up. :) Plus, they’re pretty convenient. I love frozen foods for convenience.

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I made some mini frittatas, like this recipe, except with some of the leftover creamed spinach and mascarpone. I normally go savory / sweet in breakfast pairings but went savory / savory today. I kind of wish I’d balanced the savory with sweet like I normally do, but I made up for it with the baking experiment later.

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Work hit a rough patch around lunch time where I was crazy busy, so hubby put together this lunch for us – 4-cheese ravioli with marinara sauce. Thanks hubs!

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On to the baking project!! These brown bananas have been giving me the stare-down for the last couple days. Normally when fruit starts to go bad, it makes me sad. But when bananas start to go brown, it makes me happy because it means I can make banana bread!

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I’ve declared my fondness for banana bread before, and really, it just never gets old. :)

I’ve baked plain ole (ok spelt usually) banana bread the last few times, so today I wanted to do something different. I’ve been on a big carob kick lately, so I figured, why not carob banana bread! Yes, Carob Banana Pecan Spelt Bread! Ooh la yum! (PS I’ve decided this is my new catchphrase, so sorry if you see it a lot…lol)

I was excited to be able to incorporate these pecans my friend Megan gave me that she got from our friend Gina. Gina got the pecans from trees in her yard and shelled them herself! Yay for local pecans!

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Anywho, this recipe yielded a thick batter, but baked up quite nicely.

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I asked my twitter friends if I should make muffins or bread and got mixed responses and even one vote for both! After filling a 12 cup muffin pan and having a fair amount of batter leftover, I decided to make a short loaf of bread.

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Yup, I wanted both muffins and bread!

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The muffins baked up fabulously.

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And the bread, though very short, baked up quite nicely, too!

Carob Banana Pecan Spelt Bread

Adapted from this recipe, which was adapted from this recipe.

I created this recipe when I wanted the comfort of banana bread, but with a new flavor twist. The carob subtlety adds a unique flavor that makes this banana bread extra special. You could use unsweetened cocoa powder, instead of carob powder, but the carob has a lovely flavor all on its own that I love. You can find carob powder at most health food stores like Earthfare and Whole Foods. I recommend getting a can. Carob powder is not only wonderful in this recipe, but great stirred in oatmeal or served like hot cocoa.

As for the spelt flour, that’s another unusual ingredient, but if you don’t have any, I definitely recommend getting some for baking. I love spelt flour because it’s a whole grain, but unlike wheat which can get rather grainy tasting, spelt bakes up light and fluffy.

Feel free to leave the pecans out if you’re not a nut person, or sub in your favorite nut of choice. I think the pecans add great texture. The carob chips add a bit more sweetness and complexity.

Makes 1 large loaf, or 12 muffins and a short loaf, or lots of muffins (not sure how many though, hehe). Directions are for 12 muffins and a short loaf since that’s what I made this time around. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white wheat flour (or other flour)
  • 1 cup spelt flour (or other flour)
  • 1/4 cup carob powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1/4 cup chopped pecans (you can omit or sub in your favorite nut)
  • 4-5 mashed overripe bananas (I’ve used 4 large or 5 small bananas with good results)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup carob chips (or chocolate chips), optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 12-cup muffin pan and a 9×5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray (you can use cupcake liners for the muffins).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, carob powder, baking soda and salt until well-combined. Stir 1/2 cup pecans into the flour mixture.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar (I used a hand-held blender). Add eggs, mashed bananas, and vanilla, and stir until well-combined.
  4. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula until dry mixture is completely mixed in, but be careful to not over-mix. Stir in carob chips, if using.
  5. Pour batter into prepared muffin pan (fill 3/4 full) and loaf pan (loaf will be only 1/4 to 1/3 full). Sprinkle extra pecans on top (they will get nice and toasty!) of muffins and bread.
  6. Bake muffins for 17-20 minutes and loaf for 28-32 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the muffin/loaf comes out clean. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes and let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

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Nothing like sweet bread fresh out of the oven!

I even delivered a couple muffins and slices of bread to my snowed iced in neighbors!

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Great with hot tea!

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Obligatory Bailey photo! :)

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I loved the burgers hubby and I had the other day so much, I got more! :)

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Burgers on thin buns. Hubby actually picked the thin buns out…not sure why. I love carbs, so I’m ok with normal buns, though these are pretty good.

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Steamed broccoli.

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More Alexia fries.

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And what else for dessert – more Carob Banana Pecan Spelt Bread!

What’s your favorite kind of sweet bread?

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Comments

  1. says

    I could really go for a snow day, but sadly LA is just being selfish and not spreading that white flurry love. Boo!

    And I love your new catchphrase, very fun!

    Delicious looking bread/muffins, carob is quite magical with most recipes. ;)

  2. says

    Hahaha, what’s crazy to me is that it’s about 60 degrees at my house [FREEEZING] and my state is one of the 49 with snow (Mauna Kea, I’m sure)! Crazy Florida.

  3. says

    Oops, reading foods blog while hungry is not a smart idea.

    Where I’m from the snow has vanished for weeks already, thank God! (not that I don’t think it’s fun/pretty/wintery, but it’s so inconvenient! haha)

  4. says

    Yeah it snowed here and I am soooo over it. Icy roads arenot my thang. But I find myself lifted back up by the thought of delicious hashbrowns. I will be stalking TJ’s for them this evening!

  5. says

    i have never cooked with carob, but would love to try! also, just wanted to let you know i tagged you in my post this AM :) the award was for a stylish blogger, so of course i immediately thought, “CHIC!”

  6. says

    I am so jealous that you have the option to work from home. I had to steal (ok, borrow) my step-father’s truck to take to work this morning because there’s no way my car would have made it :-(

    All of your food looks delish as always! My favorite sweet bread is a tie between Pumpkin Apple bread and grape bread.

  7. MJXS says

    I’m sorry but everything looks so dry – the banana bread (which is an improvement from “plain ole” banana bread :S), the broccoli, that sad hamburger… and I don’t see how packaged store-bought hash-browns are ‘healthier’ than anything. Unless there are no ingredients listed on the side that you don’t have in your kitchen.

    Although I don’t know why a packaged fast-food product would be featured on a ‘cooking’ website anyway.

    • says

      I like to think of my blog as more of a lifestyle blog than a cooking blog. So, I blog about many topics, including, but not limited to recipes. I also blog about everyday eats, events, fitness, dogs and really anything going on in my life.

      I purchased these hash browns for my husband. His mom frequently serves them, and I know he enjoys them. My preference is to make food as much as possible from-scratch, but I’m on an ever-evolving path towards cooking from-scratch. I’m not there yet. I’m not perfect, and I do take shortcuts now and again. I do think that these hash browns, while not “healthy”, are “healthier” than traditional hash browns purchased at most grocery stores. Trader Joe’s is known for making food without preservatives. I think that by purchasing a food my husband likes, but a version that is preservative-free is a “healthier” choice.

      With all that being said, thanks for your feedback about the banana bread. I am the type of person who is always looking for improvements, and I do agree with you that the bread could be more moist.

  8. Nonya says

    Broadcasting negative comments on twitter is almost as lame as posting a negative comment on a blog. It’s a blog… expect to hear peoples honest opinions. That being said, those muffins look dry as hell.

    Nothing really “chic” about any of this… kinda ironic.

    Enjoy your hashbrowns.

    • says

      I am the type of person who is always looking to learn and grow, so I do welcome constructive criticism. I do think that constructive criticism can be provided without being mean or negative.

      I do agree the bread could be more moist and will work on improving the texture next time I make it.

  9. says

    Everything looks so yummy! We actually have those thin buns as well (not sure why, I’m pro-carb, too) but they’re actually really tasty – I’ve been making several sandwiches on them.

    Favorite sweet bread? My mom makes this amazing cinnamon applesauce bread that just can’t be beat. I love it! :)

  10. Corrine says

    I agree this looks a tad dry and somewhat tasteless. I don’t quite get what is so “chic” about this?? Store bought hash browns are about as chic as eating at Denny’s.

  11. says

    The hashbrowns look really good. I used to eat those all the time when I was growing up but they always had a bunch of preservatives in them. I’m sure these are a lot better, and since they come from TJs they are probably free from additives. Healthy frozen hashbrowns sound pretty chic to me!

    Also, the bread looks amazing!!

  12. says

    Wow way to much negativity above! This a community of supportive loving people who care about one another! We share our lives which are not the lives of chefs but women who try to make good choice and experiment with new foods. No need for downing anyone efforts at anytime. Doing that just fullfills the misconception of many that women are back biting ant b**thy!

    Oh and the muffins look tasty! And hashbrowns once in awhile from anywhere are fine. Being a total food snob doesn’t make you a better blogger! Eat, Live, and Enjoy Life!!!!!

    • says

      If this was FB, I would like your comment!

      Um, I don’t know what the ingredients are in the TJs hash browns but I can guess that they’re “real food” ingredients and probably contain less oil then a homemade version would… Plus it’s certainly “chic-er” to grab those then to drive through at McDs.

  13. says

    Diane!
    You are a very sweet person and I love the life you live through your blog. Don’t let these unhappy people get you down, you have too many readers who just adore you.
    Muah!

  14. says

    Hi! I just found your blog a couple of days ago. I really like it! I don’t think the muffins look dry. I was actually wishing I had some ripe bananas so I could try this! You are doing a great job :)

  15. says

    wow, you did have a productive day! I am a big fan of spelt, i love the nutty taste and that kind of dense texture it has. I have never made a successful banana bread though, i don’t know why but mine never works out.

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