Want to know what really grinds my gears? Cold brew coffee prices. It seriously gets me worked up. How can a jug of cold brew cost $10+ at the grocery store, when you can make it yourself in less than 5 minutes of touch time with pre-ground coffee and water? $9+ worth of marketing cost and $0.50 worth of ingredients?? I just don’t get it. To understand my confusion/frustration for yourself, try out my cold brew recipe 1 time, demystify cold brew and never buy that overpriced jug again!
Great days start with great breakfasts! And what makes breakfasts great? Simple, affordable, healthy recipes that provide you a feeling of nourishment and accomplishment before you get to work! This is why many of my great days start with this $2 and 7 Minute Creamy Scrambled Eggs recipe. So simple. So affordable. So healthy. Check. Check. Check. Get a headstart on your next great day by giving this recipe a try!
New year, no added processed sugar! Hope you enjoyed the $0.50 and 30 Minute Pralines post from before Christmas because that’s all the added processed sugar you are going to get. This year cane sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar will not appear in any recipe posted to Cafe4111. And that goes for low-calorie, difficult to pronounce sugar substitutes too – like Xylitol or Stevia. You may see some pure honey and maple syrup from time to time. But that’s it. Get excited!
I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year than with this $0.50 and 70 Minute Whole Wheat Apple Banana Bread made with no added sugar. Bananas and apples are plenty sweet on their own so any extra unhealthy processed sugar is just unnecessary. Plus, there is a cup of nuts packed up inside. It doesn’t get any better than that. Start off your new year right by indulging in this healthy treat!
Ingredients (~12 Servings/Slices):
- 3/4 lb of ripe banana (~4 bananas – fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 lb organic apple, cubed to 1/2″ (~1 apple – I recommend Fuji)
- 2 cups of organic whole wheat flour
- 1 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt or 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 2 TBSP flaxseeds + 6 TBSP of hot water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1+ TBSP cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Loaf pan (~ 4.5″ by 8.5″)
- Aluminum foil
- Parchment paper
- Pastry blender (or fork)
- 2 small bowls
- Medium bowl
- Large bowl
- Large spoon for mixing
- Preheat the oven to 375F. If using frozen bananas, defrost in the microwave until soft.
- Combine flax seeds with hot water in one of the small bowl, stir and let sit for ~5 minutes until the water gets soupy. This is a flax egg! It is used instead of eggs in your recipe! For more on flax eggs see Tip #2 and for more recipes using Flax Eggs see $0.50 and 90 Minute Zucchini Olive Oil Bread!
- Line loaf pan with parchment paper (like you’re making $5 and 30 Minute Cardamom Squares) or grease with grapeseed oil.
- Peel and chop the apple into ~1/2″ cubes. Roughly chop walnuts. Put apples and walnuts in a small bowl and set aside.
- In the medium bowl, combine whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- In the large bowl, mash up banana using the pastry blender or fork until smooth.
- Mix yogurt, banana, flax eggs, and vanilla in the large bowl until combined.
- With the large spoon, mix in dry ingredients into the large bowl until combined.
- Add apple and walnuts and stir to combine.
- Put everything into pre-lined/greased pan, put some extra walnuts and cinnamon on top, put in the oven, and set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 more minutes, or until a toothpick or knife can be inserted and come out clean.
- Transfer immediately to a cooling rack, let cool for 15 minutes and then enjoy!
- Once cool, wrap completely in aluminum foil to store.
Total Time = 70 Minutes (25 minutes of prep, 45 minutes to cook)
Step 2 – You just created a flax egg! Actually two. The flax egg is used to hold the bread together. The closer the water is to boiling the better. I recommend using a water heater if you have one; however, the microwave will also do the trick. Flax eggs can be substituted 1:1 for eggs.
Most often flax eggs are used to make a recipe vegan. I like to use them when baking so I don’t have to worry about eating all that delicious uncooked dough. Plus they add a great texture and are cheaper than using pasture-raised eggs.
Step 3 – If given the option I’m using parchment paper every time, it’s so much easier to remove the bread from the pan. If you opt to grease the pan with oil because you accidentally ran out of parchment paper, put a small amount of oil (1-2 tsp) at the bottom of the loaf pan, cover your hand with cling wrap, and spread the oil all over the bottom and sides of the pan.
Step 6 – You can buy your bananas ahead of time, wait for them to ripen and store them in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag. Reheat your frozen bananas in the microwave at a low power level until they reach room temperature.
If your bananas are not ripe yet, you can put them in the oven with their peels on while it’s preheating to ripen them quickly. Make sure to check them every couple minutes.
Step 8 – I highly recommend mixing with a large spoon instead of a whisk. The mixture will be thick and will dismember your whisk!
Step 10 – Pressing the walnuts into the top of the dough helps them stick. You can also slice part of the apple really thin and press it into the top prior to baking!
Step 11 – The aluminum foil helps keep the top of the bread from drying out. I recommend using this method for all of your baked goods unless you want a firmer top crust.
Also, all loaf pans are different so check your bread with a toothpick after 45 minutes. I have one pan that bakes this bread in 45 minutes and the other in 55 minutes. Also, since there are no eggs or other raw ingredients, err on the side of undercooking!
Step 12 – Move from the loaf pan to a cooling rack within ~3 minutes to avoid any condensation of the inside of the pan. Exposure to condensation will lead to soggy bread. Your hot bread is the opposite of a cold soda (in so many more ways than one!) – due to the temperature difference, water droplets will form on the inside of your loaf pan the same way water droplets will form on the outside of the soda can.
Step 13 – Your bread will store ~3 days on the counter, ~1 week in the refrigerator and ~1 month in the freezer. I’d be surprised if the bread lasts on your counter for more than a day though!
- 3/4 lb of ripe banana ~ $0.75
- 1/2 lb organic Fuji apples ~ $1
- 2 cups of organic whole wheat flour ~ $0.50
- 1 cup of walnuts ~ $2
- 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt ~ $0.50
- 2 TBSP flaxseeds ~ $0.25
- 6 TBSP of water – negligible
- 1 tsp vanilla extract ~ $0.50
- 1 tsp baking soda – negligible
- 1+ TBSP cinnamon – $0.10
- 1/2 tsp salt – negligible
Total Cost per 4.5″ x 8.5″ loaf pan ~ $5.50
Cost per serving (~12 servings) ~ $0.50
This recipe is awesome because it addresses a couple of my pet peeves:
1) It is entirely whole wheat. Not “whole wheat” bread that’s actually 25% whole wheat and 75% all purpose flour. Or any other ratio besides 100% whole wheat.
2) There is absolutely zero added sugar. Bananas are naturally sweet, so are apples, so there’s no need to add an extra cup or two of sugar on top of that!
3) Instead of paying $3 dollars per slice, you can make an entire, healthier loaf full of nuts and fruit for less than $6!!
Eating healthy is the product of learning more about what’s in the food we consume. Learning more about your inputs will pay dividends on your outputs!
As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!
Want to add another breakfast/brunch plate to your repertoire, but don’t want to have to learn any new cooking skills or buy any new tools?? I have got the recipe for you. $4.5 and 30 Minute Sweet Potato Hash. All you need is standard kitchen tools and all natural ingredients to create this colorful, delicious and healthy dish that will keep you full up while keeping your costs down.