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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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      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 September 18, 2020

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

      1. Exercise Daily

      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

      The basic nutritional advice includes:

      • Eat unprocessed foods
      • Eat more veggies
      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

        5. Watch Out for Travel

        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

        6. Start Slow

        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

        Final Thoughts

        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

        More Tips on Getting in Shape

        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

        Reference

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