Grains For Your Brain: Whole Wheat Banana Blueberry Bread & Giveaway!

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By now you probably know that I’m a major carb addict and I’m willing to bet that a good portion of you would gladly take your place beside me at a carb addict anonymous meeting. Bread is good stuff, right? But, the crazy thing is that it’s so often villainized in the guidelines of fad diets that we (myself absolutely included) automatically equate bread with weight gain. It’s ridiculous!  

As much as I want to, I can’t tell you that a loaf of white french bread smothered in garlic butter will help you carve out a 6-pack (wouldn’t that be awesome?!). But I do want to talk about the role that whole grains  play on our plates and in our bellies. Let’s get scientific here: (in the most un-scientific way)

Grains = Carbohydrates = Glucose = Fuel for our brain

Without grains our body can’t make the energy needed to function. Simple as that. There are thousands of ways to work grains into your meals like this Quinoa Apple Salad or Cheesy Vegetable Quinoa Bake. You can also visit GrainsForYourBrain.org for up-to-date information on grains and our bodies, and recipes from some of America’s favorite chefs and moms. It’s recommended that adults eat 6 servings of grains/day, half of those coming from whole grains like whole wheat, quinoa, and brown rice. So let’s start by getting a serving of whole wheat with this super moist whole wheat banana blueberry bread!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread | heatherlikesfood.com

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But first, I want to give one of you a $100 Visa gift card!

Giveaway!

Just answer the question:

“What’s your favorite way to get whole grains on your plate?”

Leave your answer in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card. You can also earn multiple entries by tweeting or writing a blog post — see the complete list of rules at the end of the post.

Now, onto this bread. In all honesty I wouldn’t usually use exclusively whole wheat flour in a quick bread recipe for fear that it would be too heavy, dense and dry. But this recipe cured that fear 100%!  It’s so moist, just lightly sweet and perfect for a filling breakfast or snack.

Beat together the sugar and butter until smooth and add in some banana and vanilla. Mix until smooth again and then mix in your eggs honey, salt and baking soda.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread | heatherlikesfood.com

Toss in some oats and some whole wheat flour.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread | heatherlikesfood.com

And mix just slightly until there are no more dry spots– over mixing the batter can cause the finished bread to be very dry.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread | heatherlikesfood.com

Toss a cup of blueberries in a few teaspoons of flour and gently fold them into the batter. The flour will keep the berries from sinking to the bottom of the bread and from turning the batter blue.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread | heatherlikesfood.com

Spoon the batter into a greased loaf pan and sprinkle with a few oats and brown sugar.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread | heatherlikesfood.com

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, cover with foil to keep the top from browning too much and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread | heatherlikesfood.com

Whole Wheat Banana Blueberry Bread

Whole Wheat Banana Blueberry Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C butter, softened
  • 1/2 C brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • about 2 large over-ripe bananas cut into chunks- 1 lb weight before peeling
  • 1/4 honey
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 C fresh or frozen blueberries + 2 tsp flour
  • 1/2 C old fashioned or quick-cooking oats
  • additional brown sugar and oats for top

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" or 9" x 5" loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt, and bananas, beating until well combined. The mixture will be fairly smooth, with some scattered small chunks of banana.
  3. Beat in the honey and eggs.
  4. Add the flour, then the oats, stirring until smooth. Combine blueberries with 2 tsp of flour and gently fold into the batter.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle with additional oats and brown sugar if desired. Let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  6. Bake the bread for 50 minutes, then gently lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top, to prevent over-browning. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, then remove the bread from the oven; a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.
  7. Allow the loaf to cool for 10 minutes; then remove it from the pan, and set it on a rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

http://www.heatherlikesfood.com/grains-for-your-brain-whole-wheat-banana-blueberry-bread-giveaway/

Don’t forget to enter to win that $100 Visa Gift Card!

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 8/28/2013-9/18/2013. Be sure to visit the Grain Foods Brand Page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

 

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Comments

  1. Bj says

    Quinoa Salad with apples, mandarin oranges and walnuts, with yogurt/orange juice dressing. Oatmeal with dried cranberries stirred in. Flaxseed sprinkled onto almost everything. These recipes look delicious.

  2. says

    Recently I’ve been starting every morning with oatmeal, almondmilk and fruit! Not to mention my much beloved coffee. But oatmeal is simple, cheap, quick and easy, and can be dressed up or down depending on how you feel. For added “feel-good-ness” I like to add ginger, cinnamon, or other warm spices. While it’s still warm out, I’m gonna try an overnight oat preparation in the refrigerator because I think it’s probably more weather appropriate while it’s hot out now! Or you could post a recipe for overnight oats?

  3. Nancy A. says

    We eat oatmeal most mornings and I make some quinoa for lunch a lot! I know there is a lot more, but can’t think right now!

  4. Chris says

    1. Steel cut oats with barley & rye flakes added at the end of cooking.
    2. Zucchini and corn whole wheat fritters
    3. Tabbouleh with part bulgar and part quinoa.
    4. Whole wheat pumpkin waffles with vanilla yogurt and cooked apple slices.
    5. Casseroles & stir-fries with brown rice.

  5. Anne says

    It’s a lot easier to eat whole grains these days than it was not all that many years ago, with products like whole-grain pasta and white whole wheat flour readily available and affordable. Now that we’ve begun using things like brown rice rather than white rice, we find that we really like the flavor and texture of whole-grain foods. My favorite way to enjoy whole grains is probably using oats in baking.

  6. Tesuque says

    Quinoa is my new favorite: No matter how many times I warm up the leftovers, they seem as crunchy and delicious as when fresh-cooked.

  7. Lisa Brown says

    my favorite way is to bake all kinds of different breads in my bread machine.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  8. Barb Colvin says

    My all-time favorite way to eat whole grains is in the morning as hot cereal. I buy an organic 7 or 9 grain mix and eat it with a little brown sugar and butter.

  9. amy pugmire says

    I try to buy cereal with whole grain in it. My kids love it! I also will buy whole grain pasta cause my kids love that as well.

  10. Nestra says

    Steel cut oatmeal for nreakfast and kamut or farrow in the place of rice at dinner. When we do have rice it is usually short grain brown rice.

  11. Alice says

    I’m a little obsessed with oatmeal. I eat it for breakfast most mornings with flaxseeds, banana, and peanut butter.

  12. Carol says

    Making and eating whole grain breads like the yummy WW banana blueberry bread featured in your blog. Love this stuff!

  13. D SCHMIDT says

    We enjoy grains by adding them to muffin and quick bread recipes. We also like to eat brown rice and whole grains

  14. Wild Orchid says

    I get grains in my diet by eating a large bowl of steel cut oats for breakfast. I love them, especially in the fall!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  15. Susan Smith says

    I get my family to eat whole grains by making sandwiches out of whole wheat bread and oatmeal in the mornings for breakfast.

  16. Carolsue says

    I serve a lot of oatmeal and I always use multigrain bread, which everyone likes a lot.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  17. sharolyn says

    it has to be my whole-wheat bread. my kids and husband are not big whole-grain eaters. they’d rather have white fluffy anything than whole grain. but when i pull out fresh bread, they don’t mind at all that it’s whole-wheat!

  18. says

    Wow, your banana berry bread looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it. My favorite way to get whole grains on my plate is cooking brown rice instead of white rice. I also started to add more wheat flour into the buns that I bake for the family. :)

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  19. Karen D says

    In our home, we eat a lot of whole grains: brown rice, whole wheat bread, and we roll our own oatmeal. I guess my favorite is a white whole wheat (freshly ground) pie crust!

  20. manny says

    I do a lot of running and carbs are good for energy before a run. I’ll usually eat two pieces of whole grain toast before a run. I also eat a lot of oatmeal

  21. Kayci Stanley says

    I like to mix whole grains into breads and sweet treats. We love oats and use flax seed a lot too. Homemade granola is always a good one.

  22. says

    Yum! That looks so good! We regularly eat oatmeal for breakfast and I only buy whole wheat breads that have lots of extra yummy whole grains and seeds; I would love to start baking my own bread though.

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