Posts Tagged ‘banana’


Today there was no school. So in the morning my kids rushed to the computer and didn’t wake me, so I woke at the amazing hour of 8:40, filled with love and goodwill towards the entire world.
So what to make for an indulgent breakfast?
My first idea was pancakes, but it takes a lot of time and with Purim this week the kids weren’t lacking in cake. And then I  thought of hot chocolate, but Independent doesn’t like it. And then inspiration struck: strawberry banana milkshake!

Makes 6-7 small cups.

2 bananas (the riper the sweeter, I used one fresh and one very ripe frozen)
2 cups cut strawberries (about 3 uncut)
1 cup milk
1 tbsp sugar or to taste (depends on the sweetness of the strawberries)

Blend everything together except the sugar. Taste and add sugar if necessary. Pour into cups and receive all the compliments with a smile. Sit and drink the measly half cup they left you 😉


Independent enjoyed making it with me and enjoyed drinking it 🙂 Bon apetit!

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Sometimes I wonder whether using up leftovers is even a good idea. I still remember the time I made muffins with red pepper and cheese to use up some peppers. It sounded great on paper (well, web site) but when I made it it turned out meh. It was edible, but was that really the best use of flour, eggs, and cheese? I don’t think so.

But this time, a friend sent me this recipe, and I had some bananas and pineapple to use up, and I thought: This can’t be coincidence. This is meant. So I got out the mixer and started baking. 🙂 The results were utterly amazing. A rich cake, filling and satisfying, that my kids practically fought over (without adding chocolate chips!). I didn’t mention the pineapple though 😉 Definitely a keeper. So thanks, Claire and Chantal, for the lovely recipe!


1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour (originally 3 cups flour)
1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar, unpacked (originally 2 cups sugar)
1 tsp baking soda
2 dashes cinnamon (originally 1 tsp cinnamon, my kids like it less)
2 pinches salt (originally 1 tsp)
1 cup vegetable oil (originally 1 1/2 cups)
240 gr (1 small can) crushed pineapple with juice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups diced bananas (3-4 medium bananas)

Four Diced Bananas - a little more than 2 cups

Four Diced Bananas – a little more than 2 cups

I first blended the pineapple and the bananas in the food processor, as my pineapple can was cubed pineapple and not crushed. However, the original recipe suggests mixing everything by hand, so next time maybe I’ll leave the bananas in pieces.


Really Crushed Pineapple!

Really Crushed Pineapple!


I did the classic muffin style: Mix dry ingredients together…

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Add liquids…

With Liquids

With Liquids

And mix it all. Pour into ring pan and bake at 170°C for 80 minutes (not a typo).



After ~40 minutes the top will get brown; cover with aluminium foil to prevent burning and continue baking. Cake is done when toothpick comes out clean. This is a large cake, about twice the size of my regular cake; it didn’t last twice as long though 🙂



Bon Apetit!

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I get hungry mid morning and want something light yet sweet. For my kids, I sometimes make the microwaved cakes in a bowl, but for myself I was looking for something that I can finish by myself without feeling guilty 😕

I found this amazing and excellent recipe. At first I was sure something was missing as it had absolutely no added liquids. But it surprisingly works very well. As it’s based on fruit and oatmeal, it’s reasonably healthy (well… if you ignore the 1/4 cup sugar, of course 😉 ). I used cherries instead of blueberries, and added ground almonds and coconut.

My first try came out more like a pudding, because I tried to substitute part of the oatmeal with ground almonds. I heard from a friend that she regularly substitutes ground almonds instead of flour, so it made sense. However, almonds simply don’t absorb liquids the way oatmeal does and this is not a good substitute.

My next tries were more successful – in them I added extra ground almonds, and as my bananas were large I added more oatmeal as well. The result was a very satisfying fruit cake, which I ate with some yogurt or quark.

As always, my eldest loved the cake and my youngest didn’t 🙄


1 ripe banana, mashed

One mashed banana

1/2 cup oats (I used Quakers). More if your banana is large.
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp coconut flakes
6-7 cherries, pitted and cut , or other fruit

[No oil, eggs, water, milk, baking soda, or baking powder. Cool, huh?]

Mix all ingredients together:

Before microwaving

Microwave for 3 minutes, check for done-ness by touching the top of the cake lightly. Top should be dry (assuming you didn’t touch a cherry) and firm.

If not done, add in one minute stages until done.


Let cool and eat!

I made twice the amount in four bowls for my kids to taste. The results were awesome and looked so pretty…

Four mini cakes

I also made an amount of these without cherries, to take with me to the hospital when I gave birth. They were sweet and very satisfying as a midnight snack when breastfeeding, and kept remarkably well.

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My husband and I went to a wedding yesterday, and I promised my kids a surprise today if they’ll be nice with the babysitter. So this morning I made them chocolate cake in a bowl. After it was done, I cut it into quarters, and then arranged in each plate two cucumber slices (for eyes) two chocolate chips (nose) and a quarter cake (mouth).

My husband asked the kids, “Does it taste good?”

My eldest answered that he hadn’t tasted it yet becasue the cake was still too hot, and he doesn’t like cucumbers. My youngest, who doesn’t mind eating slightly warm chocolate cake, said “Yes!” cheerfully.

My husband asked, “Did you say ‘Thank you!’ to Mommy for making such a nice breakfast?”

My youngest said sweetly, “Thank you mummy for such a nice breakfast!”

My eldest thought a bit, and then said, “Thank you mummy for giving me cake that is too hot to eat!”

🙄 😆

Cake in a bowl

I use a bowl and not a mug, for the following reasons:

1. It cooks more evenly in a shallow bowl

2. You see how big it really is. This is a a lot of cake, so definitely more than one serving. I found that it makes 2-4 servings, and 2 is if you’re really hungry (or if your children really love cake 🙂 )

Basic chocolate cake:

4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa (unsweetened)
generous pinch baking powder (or 1/8 tsp, if you prefer)
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp water or milk
1 beaten egg
few drops vanilla
chocolate chips (optional)

Mix dry ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Add wet ingredients and chocolate chips. Mix. Cook in microwave on high for 2.5 minutes. If still sticky, add another 30 seconds. Cut into quarters and eat!


Choco-Vanilla cake: 
This makes a vanilla flavoured cake with chocolate chips. Same procedure as before, with slightly different ingredients:

6 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
pinch baking powder
1 beaten egg
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp milk or water
1/2 tsp vanilla
chocolate chips.

Almond-chocolate cake:

Substitute up to 3 tbsp flour for finely ground almonds or other nut. If it still seems too liquid, add more flour (almonds absorb less moisture than flour).

Banana/applesauce cake:

Substitute mashed banana or unsweetened applesauce for the oil (I’ve tried it in other cakes, not in this one, so I can’t promise… but it should work!) You can also try variations on this recipe.

Have a sweet year! And may your kids always make you laugh…


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Since my little one was born, I try to have one afternoon a week when I am completely alone with my older boy. I find some other arrangement for the baby, and me and my three-year-old spend some time doing whatever he wants. Once, we played together with a game that hasn’t been out since the baby started crawling because it has small pieces;  Sometimes we go to the park; but mostly we cook something.

He loves baking. We usually bake muffins because they’re quick to prepare and quick to bake, so he can taste the fruits of his labour quite quickly. Sometimes we make pancakes together. We made chocolate syrup together (aah, the mess that a toddler can make while eating frozen yogurt with chocolate syrup is a sight to behold :D). Many times he made grilled cheese for dinner (in the oven/microwave).

My toddler is convinced that oatmeal is the best thing on earth. To convince him to taste something, I just need to say that it has oatmeal in it. He discovered that oatmeal apple muffins taste great; oatmeal banana muffins taste great; oatmeal chocolate cake tastes great;  and as oatmeal is the common ingredient, it must be the magic ingredient 😉 !

Because of the heat lately, when buying green bananas they’re all over-ripe within two days. So we make a lot of oatmeal banana muffins. We sometimes bake a double batch, half muffins and half cake, and give the  cake to his nursery teacher or grandma. He loves it!

My son hold the glass for me to pour flour and oatmeal etc. into, pours everything from the glass to the mixing bowl, presses the button to start the mixer and move the head up and down, helps me spoon the batter into the tins, and of course – he helps eat!


3/4 cup brown sugar, unpacked
5 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 large ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (I use old fashioned)
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup water (or 1/2 cup milk)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt

Heat oven to 170 degrees. If baking with kids, turn oven on just prior to transferring the batter into muffin tins.
Mix sugar, oil and eggs in a beater.
Add bananas and oatmeal and mix again.
Ideally, you should mix all the dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt) in a separate bowl, and then add with the water to the banana mixture, but I just dump everything in one bowl. I don’t mix until all the dry ingredients are in, though.
Spoon into muffin tins (makes 12 medium muffins) or small cake pan (I use a heart-shape or bundt pan).
Bake 15 mins for muffins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; or 20-25 minutes for a cake pan.

Important note: You don’t have to use all your over-ripe bananas immediately. You can peel them, put them in small bag or plastic wrap, and put them in the freezer. They keep quite well for a few months. To defrost, place bag in some warm water for a few minutes. Use immediately after defrosting. Defrosted bananas are great for cooking! If used immediately they can also be mixed in yogurt or other and given to baby. (6 months plus). However, if baby does not finish the banana, throw away the rest.

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