Friday, May 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Logan has weaned himself over the past week :( And although I had wanted him to breastfeed a bit longer and tried my best to keep doing so, he just wasn't interested. And when he got himself down to barely eating anything on his only feed of the day, it dawned on me that if I just accepted that he was weaning himself anyhow, I COULD EAT PEANUT BUTTER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!! Yes, this is actually how exciting this was to me.

Our doctor had advised me to avoid nuts while breastfeeding (though apparently ok while pregnant) because of lots of family allergies. The research isn't clear as to whether or not this really helps, but I figured I'd follow his advice nonetheless. So I haven't had nuts, except on a few occasions by accident, since Logan was born. And Jerome has been eating a lot more nuts than he did before since he was diagnosed with diabetes. Sometimes, I would just stand over the jars and smell them. Yes, that's how much I love them :) Well, particularly peanut butter, though I do like most nuts. Which is kind of funny, because up until maybe 10 years ago, I don't think that I liked any nuts, outside of peanuts. But that's besides the point.

So my mind has been whirring with all of the wonderfully delicious things I can now eat. Logan wails and throws a complete fit every morning as I eat my peanut butter and toast. He's in a stage where he just wants to have everything that we're having and... well... he just can't have peanut butter yet. So I listen to him scream his little head off as I try to quickly finish my breakfast. And sometimes I hide behind his highchair to eat it :)

He's also like this with yogurt. I have to hide anytime I want to have a yogurt. We give him plain yogurt with fruit stirred in and I like Activia. And I don't really want him having Activia just yet (well at least, not regularly) because of the sugar in it. So I hide like a thief everytime I want a yogurt because if I eat one in front of him he throws a complete fit. In fact, he threw one at the grocery store this week as I stood in front of the yogurt aisle, deciding what to buy. I guess he was upset that he wasn't getting any.

Today, we went to Baskin Robbins to enjoy some of their peanut butter 'n chocolate ice cream. I think that this is probably one of the best inventions known to men. Huge (I mean HUGE!) chunks of delicious peanut butter. We got Logan his own little vanilla, since he couldn't have any of ours. He started freaking out the minute we walked in there and saw the ice cream the kid beside him had. He nearly screamed with impatience the whole time the lady was serving us and then gobbled down a good portion faster than you could imagine. Jerome and I had to take turns feeding him so that we could actually eat our own before it melted. I guess he thinks it's just yogurt, but
way better. Note to self: keep ice cream out of his sight!

Ok, so that was so completely off-topic... back to wonderful peanut butter :) One of my favourites is peanut butter on an All-Bran bar with a little bit of low-sugar jam. Mmmm... I've had this as a snack every afternoon since weaning him. The mixture of the slight sweetness of the All-Bran bar is delicious with the saltiness of the peanut butter.

Another one of my favourites is to spread peanut butter on Pita Break's museli breakfast pita. Mmmm.... With a bit of jam or banana, of course. You can get these at Costco, or in most regular grocery stores. I love this for breakfast, lunch... both??? Ok, I don't go that far, but I could :) The pitas are full of all sorts of healthy things such as flax and sunflower seeds and have a decent amount of protein and fiber in them. My only complaint is that although they have whole-wheat flour in them, they're not completely made with whole-wheat flour (and whole-wheat flour isn't even the first ingredient). But they're so good that I choose overlook that...

Ok, now I know what you're all thinking. How can one person have so much to say about peanut butter?????????? Trust me, it's been a full year. I'm actually restraining myself here.

I haven't eat regular old Kraft peanut butter in years. Ever since I went bought some of the fresh-pressed pb at the health food store, I haven't been able to turn back. It's a bit drier, but so much more authentic tasting. And if you add jam or bananas on top, you don't even notice that it's a bit more dry. Awhile back, I spotted a natural, organic peanut butter at Costco. It's Kirkland Signature Organic Creamy Peanut Butter. And this has been my new favourite ever since.

The only thing is that the oil separates from the peanut butter, so you have to stir it in and then keep in in the fridge. A word of warning:
do not let your husband stir the peanut butter!!!! This is vital. A few years back, I was having a hard time mixing the peanut butter together in the jar, so I asked my husband to do it for me. And was dumb enough to leave the kitchen. He got out the electric mixer and stuck it in the peanut butter to mix. And the next thing I knew, my entire kitchen was covered in peanut butter. I guess the beaters somehow came out while it was still running and sprayed peanut butter all over everything. I could only laugh. And spend hours scrubbing my kitchen ;) So now, I transfer all of it to a huge bowl and then mix it with beaters. Myself.

So my first "peanut butter project" was to make peanut butter banana bread. I got this recipe awhile back off of I had intended on reducing the sugar to 1/2 C, but was on auto-pilot while making it, so I didn't remember that until I was pouring in the full 2/3 C. So next time. I also learned in the making of this recipe that if your friend calls you to go to the park once the loaf has been in the oven for 7 minutes, you can just pull it in and cook it when you get home ;)

1 3/4 C flour (I substituted 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour and 1/4 C of ground flax seeds)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 C shortening (I used light Becel)
3/4 C peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
2/3 C granulated sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten (I used the equivalent of egg whites)
1 C mashed bananas

1. Cream shortening and peanut butter, then beat in sugar and eggs.

2. Alternately add dry ingredients and bananas, stirring with a wooden spoon.

3. Pour batter into a well-greased and floured loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 1 hour.

My next project is going to be to make this wonderful peanut butter bread that I remember making in my bread-machine awhile back. If I remember correctly, it has peanut butter spread down the middle, with peanuts sprinkled in it. Mmm... on the to-do list for the long weekend :)

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