It’s a reasonable debate. Take the time and make the effort to unprocess the snacks or shortcut to the neat, individually packaged store boughts. Nutritionally, it’s easy to justify going with the large selection of purchasable bars, crackers and cookies since so many comply with the sometimes overwhelming ingredient rules du-jour like eat your omega 3’s, fiber and protein or don’t consume trans-fats, gluten and GMO’s. And it’s hard enough pulling together meals which makes the scratch-mades an even further reach.
Or maybe just drop the snacks altogether. If you ask our elders, chances are they’ll balk at the idea that kids need them anyway. You kids never had snacks. (I’m not sure they’re right about that though. I recall the scooter pie, fig newton and yodel being a part of my life.) And don’t most adults find it necessary for a tide-over during the stretch between meals?
So given there’s a place for snacks, for us and for them, and you decide you want to add something else to your list, this banana bread could become your go-to for minimal kitchen disruption combined with eating pleasure. You can double or even triple the recipe leaving some for the freezer.
Although you might find the lengthy list of all that’s nutritious on a bar label enticing, you can’t go wrong (barring dietary restrictions) with bananas, whole wheat flour, nuts, dark chocolate and eggs. Mixed up in just one bowl. And I think in a snack-off, the banana bread would beat the snack bar for the ribbon.
For the grab-and-go, click on the image below for a review of the best bars of the moment done by Style of Sport.
And while we’re on the subject of snacks, click for the latest information on and assessment of USDA’s Smart Snacks in School Rule.
For the banana bread, below is the series of preparation steps. Simply add the ingredients one-by-one to the bowl. Visuals are unnecessary but do provide some appealing incentive at this start of what feels like banana bread season.
One Bowl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour | Serves: 8
- 3-4 large, very ripe bananas
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon brewed coffee (if you have it)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour (or 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, scooped and leveled)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped dark chocolate (Traders Joe’s has large 2 pound dark chocolate bars that are great for cookies too)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center.
- Grease a medium (8-cup) loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher.
- Mix in the melted butter.
- Crack the egg into the bowl near one of the sides, tilt the bowl slightly and use the fork to lightly beat the egg.
- Add the brown sugar, vanilla and coffee (if using) to the bowl and mix with the fork to combine well.
- Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the batter.
- Add the flour and mix with the fork until just combined.
- Add the chocolate and walnuts and mix just until they’re well distributed in the batter.
- Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to one hour, until a tester inserted in the center comes out cleanish. It’s fine if it has some banana or chocolate on it.
- Cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes before unmolding to cool completely.
- When cook, store in a airtight container. Or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze.
Recipe adapted from Umami Girl.
And for another one bowl recipe, click on the image below.