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Quick And Easy Banana Bread Recipe For Busy Days

Quick And Easy Banana Bread Recipe For Busy Days

As we move further away from January 1 and approach the spring season, schedules get busier, budgets get tighter, and motivation for that clean eating New Years resolution dwindles. By now we’re all looking for new and delicious ways to mix up our daily intake of fruits and veggies, and there’s no better way to do that than to turn a favorite fruit into a filling recipe that tastes like it came straight from grandma’s kitchen.

Before jumping into what you’ll need for this recipe, let’s take a look at why you should choose bananas as your fruit of choice for health benefits that can boost you through a busy schedule.

Health Benefits of Bananas

If you’re looking to stay fit, bananas are definitely the go-to. Just one banana is 10% of your daily fiber intake, making them the super hero fruit for digestion and weight loss. Bananas are also recommended by many nutritionists and dietitians because their filling sweetness helps curb cravings while also sustaining blood sugar levels.

You should also know that bananas are the happiest fruit! They contain tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to serotonin in the body. Why should you care? Because studies have shown that serotonin plays a key role in boosting mood and preserving memory. Beat the afternoon slump with a slice of banana bread and you’ll be whistling while you work.

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Despite what the flavor indicates banana bread is surprisingly simple to make. Most banana bread recipes, including the one below, are adaptable and require staple ingredients that most people already have in their kitchen. Next time you’re multitasking between loads of laundry or power cleaning, try popping a pan of this banana bread recipe in the oven.

What You’ll Need

  • Nonstick bread pan (8 ½ x 4 ½ inch pan is suggested, but similar sizes work)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 medium bananas (The riper, the better! Speckled with brown & black)
  • 1 stick of butter, unsalted & melted
  • ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extra
  • Optional Ingredients: chocolate chips, walnuts, pecan, slivered almonds, coconut flakes

Instructions

1. Begin by heating the oven to 350º F.

2. In a bowl, blend the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas in small chunks (you can also leave bigger chunks for bursts of flavor within the bread). Once the bananas are mashed, add the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix thoroughly:

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    4. Add the dry ingredients to the mashed banana mixture and stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

    5. Once thoroughly mixed, pour the batter into the bread pan and smooth. If you want, you can sprinkle some sugar or cinnamon on top of the batter for added flavor on the top of the bread.

    6. Place the banana bread on a center rack in the oven and let it bake for about an hour. After 20-25 minutes, check the bread for a browning color. After 40-45 minutes, check the bread again and stick a knife into the loaf to determine mushiness. Depending on how gooey and moist you do or do not like your bread, you can eyeball whether or the loaf will require a full hour of cooking time:

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    centerrack

      7. After the bread has finished baking, remove it from the oven and, using oven mitts, remove it from the pan. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing and serving.

      Optional Instructions

      To put your own twist on this banana bread recipe, you can add your favorite nuts, chocolate chips, or other ingredients into the batter. If you’re looking for a leaner banana bread recipe, you can substitute white flour for whole-grain flour, or cut the amount of sugar in the recipe by adding more bananas.

      Serving and Storing

      Banana bread is best served after 15-20 seconds in the microwave. You can add a smear of butter, jelly, or Nutella and eat it like toast for a breakfast treat, or enjoy it as is. This banana bread recipe makes 8 banana bread slices, so keep that in mind when serving. To store, wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap and keep at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

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      Video Credit: via Datev Gallagher

      Featured photo credit: Datev Gallgher via youtube.com

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      Last Updated on July 10, 2020

      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

      Boundaries are limits

      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
      • When do you feel disrespected?
      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
      • When do you want to be alone?
      • How much space do you need?

      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

      Sample language:

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      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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      Final Thoughts

      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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