Amazon is my Vice & Some Nice PB Pumpkin Banana Bread

Between taking my first set of radiographs on fake patients
and molding gum paste into maxillary 2nd molars for my tooth morphology class…
(Another student made this one out of rice krispies and marzipan! GENIUS! She deserves the award for best 3D mold interpretation project!)
…I somehow seemed to manage getting in a little baking last week, in addition to splurging a bit on Amazon (I’m blaming it on my “lack-of-baking” deprivation). For some reason, the credit card I have been using for the past year or so is really ending up to be quite beneficial in its rewards. Since I practically spend half of my income (or lack thereof) on the site, it makes sense. The “reward points” have been adding up. So basically I ended up getting all of these books for the regular price of one! (Baked Explorations retails for $30). So I feel pretty good about it. Anyway, I finally got my hands on Viva Vegan! (vegan latin food) by Terry Hope Romero and I am looking forward to making these recipes in particular: tostones with avocado and palm ceviche, all of the plantain recipes (sweet and nutty roasted stuffed plantains, bite-size green plantain sandwiches), calabacitas, quinoa-oyster mushroom risotto, creamy potato peanut stew, creamy corn-crusted tempeh pot pie, portobello feijoada (brazilian black bean stew with portobellos), creamy potato soup with avocado, hearty pumpkin and cranberry bean stew, sancocho (vegetable, roots, and plantain soup), tropical pumpkin soup, black-eyed butternut tostadas, black bean-sweet potato tamales, beans rice and sweet plantain empanadas, horchata, crepes with un-dulce de leche and sweet plantains, fresh mango and guava bread pudin, sweet potato sweet mash, oh my gosh I could go on and on. Although I am not a huge fan of spicy (or acidic) food, the recipes she shares include almost more than half of my favorite root vegetables and fruits–lots of pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, plantains, mangos, you get the picture. Yes. I am stoked.
And, as mentioned above, I immediately bought the new Baked Explorations dessert book because I wanted some new ingenious recipes with more jaw dropping, lustful photography by Tina Rupp (as in their first cookbook hit, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, although, confession, I haven’t made a single thing out of it once… the eye candy alone is good enough… someday though) that inspires me to want to open a bakery immediately and create a storefront and shell out books as half as amazing as Matt and Renato. How about some pumpkin cheddar muffins, double-chocolate loaf with peanut butter cream cheese frosting, a whiskey pear tart, mississippi mud pie, and some cowboy cookies? It’s pretty much a must-have for anyone who appreciates the fine art of baking, along with food photography. It’s a drooler, that’s for sure.

Here is a cute little trailer for the book that kind of made me die a little inside the first time I saw it…
Wow. All I can say is wow.
And then, (as if I am actually able to have some leisurely reading time), I finally got around to purchasing my own copies of some Thoreau. Particularly, Walden: or, Life in the Woods and Meditations of Thoreau. Perfect autumn reads. The pictures below are where I want to be. And his words will help take me to that place of peace.
So here is what I have managed to bake lately. I totally made it up and combined three of my favorite things into one and got all crazy with the version of my favorite vegan banana bread recipe. Peanut butter. Pumpkin. Bananas. I wanted all of them, all at once. I basically pulled ideas from about four different recipes. Pumpkin bread, a peanut butter banana bread, this recipe, etc. I also made it all hippy and healthy and stuff by using spelt flour (which may make it gluten free although I’m not entirely sure?), agave for sweetener, and bit of ground flax seed. See? HEALTHY. The latest October issue of Cooking Light did a big article about banana breads and variations on the theme and their peanut butter glaze for this recipe looked irresistible. So here’s how it all came together. It didn’t turn out bad but I think I would tweak it again in the future by either adding the applesauce, more bananas, more peanut butter, or more pumpkin. I’m not sure which, but it needed more moisture or something. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Oh and we had an ant infestation over those few days and even though I had the lid on this thing over night, ants totally invaded the sides of it. I tried to save it as much as humanly possible without getting grossed out. I wasn’t about to throw this in the trash without trying it. Those damn ants. Yeah, I was pretty pissed. At least they liked it. That says something.

Vegan Peanut Butter Pumpkin Banana Bread

3 large very ripe bananas
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 cups spelt flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of clove
pinch of ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon soy milk
1 tablespoon peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas, pumpkin, and peanut butter really well. Add the agave, oil, and molasses, and whisk briskly to incorporate.
Sift in the flour, flax seed, baking soda, spices, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The top should be lightly browned and a knife inserted through the center should come out clean.
Meanwhile, you can make your peanut butter glaze. Combine powdered sugar, soy milk, and peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over bread after it is baked.
Lily likes to study, too.

And sleep.

Saw this in the girls bathroom stall several weeks ago and it resonated with me. (I always have my camera on me now because I am the “class historian” which basically means I get the lucky job of photo documentation until we graduate!)

I am super excited for an adventure I have planned for tomorrow. I am going to Farmer John’s pumpkin patch up highway 1 in Half Moon Bay to score some unique pumpkins for decorating and eating, and hopefully buy some heirloom seeds! It’s going to be awesome. And then I plan on heading to San Francisco afterward for some brunch and ice cream sampling. I plan on taking loads of pictures!
Oh yeah, and did I mention how much I love October? I LOVE OCTOBER. Seriously, I am the happiest girl alive right now just for the lovely weather and the orange tint of the afternoon sun and the crisp cold smell of autumn in the morning and pumpkin foods everywhere. IN LOOOOVE.

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