February 20, 2013

Banana Berry Bread & #EatLiveBe

Simple things.  Listening to My Boys laugh and play together (before they decide it's time to annoy each other)... having lunch with My Husband... receiving "snail mail" cards from girlfriends who I live much too far away from to see regularly... hand-drawn pictures from My Youngest who knows that's all I really need when I've had a rough day.  These simple things can put a smile on my face no matter what else might be going on at the moment.

Appreciating these little things and making sure to show others how I feel about them is something that is equally important to a healthy life.  When I wrote about the healthy personal goals I was setting for 2013, I included making time for My Husband and enjoying some girlfriend time, too.  In addition to that, I'm forcefully pushing the negative out of my mind when it starts to creep in on bad days.  I think I'm doing pretty well with it and it's definitely decreased my stress levels.

Getting away from the office for lunch with My Husband has also been quite a treat!  On Valentine's Day, we met up at a local restaurant that I hadn't tried before (I'll be reviewing that restaurant soon!) and had a great meal and some time to talk... all this without distractions.  We enjoyed it so much, we met for lunch again the next day!

I'm starting to think that the happier you are the more infectious it is to others.  You know the way people say to be the first to share a smile at someone and they will almost always smile back?

It's all part of finding 'your happy' where you can and keeping it in your mind throughout the day.  Purposely choosing to have a good day before you get out of bed.  It can make getting through those tough moments so much easier.  Less stressful when you realize it's just 'small stuff' in the long run and everything really does work out eventually.

Putting smiles on the faces of those in my family is something I try to do in different ways... today it was as simple as buying a replacement binder (since the old one now refuses to easily open and can snap closed on fingers) and a few new folders. New school supplies always made me happy, too.

Any reader of famfriendsfood knows by now that I also love to bake things to put smiles on everyone's face!

Banana bread has been a go-to staple in our house and many, many different variations have been shared here before... I just can't help myself!  It's such a quick and easy way to someone's heart that when you have those over-ripe bananas you just have to bake up a loaf!

This time, I happened to have some fresh strawberries and blueberries so I decided to dress up my loaf a bit this time.  Also, I added a bit of wheat germ just to amp up the nutrition since the recipe I started with had quite a bit of sugar in it.  I think you could cut the sugar if you have some seriously ripe bananas since they tend to be really sweet when they get to that point.

How do you find 'your happy' every day?


Banana-Berry-Bread




Banana Berry Bread

Recipe by Patsyk
Adapted from Cooking Light (original recipe can be found HERE)

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries - diced
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 2-3)
  • 1/3 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (can use vanilla extract as well)
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, blueberries, strawberries and wheat germ in a bowl; set aside.
  3. Mix sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until blended. Add the eggs one at a time. Next, add the banana, yogurt and vanilla bean paste and mix until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix until just moistened.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes and then remove to wire rack to cool completely.



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