Banana Bread + SEVEN

This week is FOOD.   I have started Jen Hatmaker's bible study that is based on her book The 7 Experiment - an experimental mutiny against excess.   For anyone who reads, I would highly recommend this book.   For anyone who doesn't read, I would highly recommend this book.   HIGHLY. RECOMMEND.   Warning about the book, you will come away wanting to change the world.   And you can.   Changing your very own part in the world and those who you touch, can in time change the world.

A brief synopsis of the book in my words - Jen takes 7 months out of 2011 and concentrates on one area of excess in our lives each month.   The areas she focuses on are food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste and stress.   Each month she chooses 7 ways that she can change her world.   For the food month she choose 7 foods and that was all she ate.   FOR A MONTH.   SEVEN.   Chicken, eggs, whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, spinach, avocados and apples.   All she drank was water.   No coffee.   No chocolate.   No pizza.   And the following months are some variety of the first.

Soooo, the bible study week 1 was an introduction.   Week 2 is food.   She gives us examples of things that we can do if we want to vary from her month.   I choose no processed foods.   To many this may not seem like a big deal, but to me it is.   My daily menu consists of - chocolate protein bar for breakfast, hot pocket for lunch (I do buy the lean ones) and more times than I'd like to confess a chicken pot pie for dinner.   I could eat Marie Calender's Chicken Pot Pie every day of the week for a month.   That would have for sure made the top 7.   My 7 month old eats more vegetables and fruit in one day than I do in a week.   I do lick his spoon after his sweet potatoes and apple sauce if that counts for anything.

I've kept up with my version of the fast so far.   If you couldn't tell from my above daily menu ... I don't cook much.   But I have this week.   I've had some semi processed food that others would consider cheating, but to me as long as they are healthy and not too crazy then I'm good.   I made banana bread yesterday with three old bananas that I had.   They were past their sell by date and I would have usually thrown them out, but I'm thinking ahead to the week's fast on waste and thinking of ways to use what I have.   My experience was good.   I choose to make 2 because I figured with three bananas I'd get 2 cups (each bread calls for 1 cup) and I did, just barely!   I felt all Betty Crocker in my kitchen listening to music, creating masterpieces without making any mess and whistling while I worked.   That was a little exaggeration - I can't whistle.

The makings of 2 banana breads

True story- I have never sifted.   I couldn't understand the use when sugar and flour and salt and anything else they always tell you to sift is already pretty fine.   Plus I didn't own one.   Or so I thought.   There it sat ... for 12 years!   It was a wedding present that I didn't really know the meaning behind.   Every time we have moved I've always thought I'd throw it away.   But then I'd say to myself "now Leona, you may one day need a plastic thing with a handle and blue cover.   Then yesterday I read sift and looked at my plastic thing and magically it all made sense.   And there is a reason for sifting, the flour and sugar and stuff become really really fine.   Please don't tell me if this is not a sifter.

See ... the bottom of my sifter.   It is a sifter, right??   Don't tell me if I'm wrong though.

I got a little too excited with all my sifting that I didn't pay attention to the all black dog that was hovering around.

Another AHA moment.   I had to mash bananas and it occurred to me to use the potato masher.   It worked really well.   Mashers are not just for potatoes people!   No forks used around here.

An example that I always clean up after my work.   So the next time Chad says I never clean up after my projects ... I now have proof.

Numero Uno Finito!

The finished product!

Now, the real reason that anyone is reading this:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour                                  1/3 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons baking powder                                  2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda                                    1 cup mashed banana
1/2 teaspoon salt                                                 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup white sugar
1. Grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.   Add butter, eggs, nuts and mashed banana.   Beat until well blended.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean


I can say that the bread is very good.   For breakfast, snack and or lunch.   Noting if you will that there has only been one breakfast, snack and lunch since they were made.   But the two don't have anything in common.   If I was forced to say anything else, it may could be a bit more moist.   So maybe in my oven I left it in 5 minutes too long.   Or maybe that wasn't a sifter ...