Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Healthy Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread

This bread is technically vegan, but I am the least vegan person out there, so I decided to keep that one out of the post title. Anyway, happy Tuesday! It's the first day back at school for many, and I'm really looking forward to a great semester. The spring semester is always a bit longer than the fall, and it definitely feels a lot longer because we go ten weeks without any real break. And these ten weeks are going to be pedal to the medal, because one week after spring break we have the dreaded anticipated STAAR test. Not ideal, but you gotta do what you gotta do. It also feels a lot more calm, because I don't have the daily demands of volleyball (though I did get suckered into coaching club volleyball, more on that to come), so I have a little bit more free time. Just a little bit. But I'll take any extra time with the pup that I can get.

Speaking of, I had my first real "mom moment" the other day. Mack is a 19-week old puppy, and he's also a beagle (duh). Beagles are the absolute best, but they're also absolute lunatics. Mack's nose gets him into more trouble, and he doesn't always come when we call him. It was time for him to attend puppy classes, but with my crazy school and coaching schedule, there was no way for me to consistently attend puppy classes with him. The most viable option was sending him to a board-and-train obedience school for a couple of weeks, but my heart absolutely broke while saying goodbye to him. It didn't help that just about an hour after he'd left, I got a call from the trainer saying he had a very swollen nose and face. My thoughts are that he got bitten by ants when we was sticking his nose in the grass just minutes before he was picked up, but it made me want to drive down and take him right back home. However, I know it will be good for him (and me), and I also have no doubt that Mack wanted all of the attention to be on him. I miss him more than I can even put into words, but these next couple of weeks will fly by. I just know it.

Mack and me
And now onto the reason for today's post: healthy banana bread! I don't know many people who don't enjoy a warm piece of banana bread, but it can often be loaded with calories. This one is low on the calories and sugar, but high on taste and health points. You're even sneaking in some veggies so, bam! Take that New Year's resolutions.

I actually based this recipe off of this recipe from Vegan Heaven, though I changed a couple of ingredients here and there. 

Healthy Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or agave, if you want to be totally vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated (about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (plus a little more, because I'm me)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees 
2. Prepare your quinoa according to the directions on the box
3. Combine the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl and stir together
4. Once ready, stir in the quinoa
5. Liberally grease a bread pan and pour in the batter
6. Cook for 60 minutes, and allow to cool before removing from the pan
7. Enjoy!

Breakfast? Dessert? Snack? I'll let you be the judge. But with only 12 days until the Chevron Houston Marathon, I'm making every effort to incorporate a few more carbohydrates into my daily diet. And thankfully, it's both a healthy and a delicious one!

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