Chocolate Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

My sister served me this bread last week for breakfast and I enjoyed it quite a bit, so this weekend I decided to make myself a loaf. It's a wholesome chocolate banana bread made with whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt. When eating a breakfast bread, I like like having a nice thick slice; something I can really sink my teeth into. This bread is perfect for that. And topped with a little peanut butter for a little extra protein umph is my favorite way to finish it off! 

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I streamlined the original recipe here, just so I didn't have to use as many bowls! Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another and mix them together. Done. I also did what I seem to always do and cut back on the sugar from 1/2 c honey, to 2 tbs honey + 2 tbs brown sugar (so 1/4 cup total). Feel free to double this for a sweeter and more indulgent bread. 

 
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Chocolate Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Adapted from The Baker Mama 
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) milk
  • 1 cup (225 grams) mashed ripe banana; about 2 large bananas
  • 1/2 - 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the remaining ingredients until well combined. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix with a spatula until mostly combined. Add in the chocolate chips or chocolate chunks if using, and continue to mix until completely combined with no more streaks of dry flour in the batter. Batter will be thick.

Spread batter evenly into prepared loaf pan. Press more chocolate chips into the top of the batter before baking, if desired. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 50 minutes, turning halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let the bread cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely and serve.

Yields: 8-10 slices

Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Bread

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend the day with a community health worker in my home town. The day we spent together included a trip just outside of the city, out to the apple fields to check in on some of the migrant workers who were busy harvesting the yearly apple crop. It was the absolute perfect day; sunny and warm with a slight breeze. The trees were heavy laden with fruit and the apples were ripe for picking. Since apples are near the top of my favorite fruit I really enjoyed this day. Seeing how the fruit is picked and by whom. Watching the workers and their backbreaking work sure does put things into perspective. 

Probably the most exciting thing for me was that at one of the farms we stopped at the owner came by on his golf cart and handed us bags and told us to go ahead and pick as many apples as we wanted!! And the trees he directed us too? Yep, honeycrisp! I staggered home that evening with probably 20 lbs of honeycrisp apples, straight off the tree. I've been eating them daily since. They are the best apples I have ever eaten, crisp, sweet, juicy and amazing. I've now been ruined for life; there's no going back to those months old grocery store apples. I'll have to enjoy these while I can! 

With so many apples I knew I had to bake something right away. I went with a simple apple cinnamon bread. Nothing fancy, just apples, oats, cinnamon and yogurt. A wonderful combination, perfect for breakfast. One way to preserve the amazing bounty I was given. 

 
 
 
 
 

Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Bread
Inspired by Running with Spoons
Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (50-55 grams) oil
  • 6 Tbsp (75 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (60 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 medium-size apple, peeled and cut into small dice or shredded

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs until the yolks break apart. Whisk in the yogurt, oil, sugar, and vanilla, mixing until smooth.

Stir in the oats, baking soda, spices, and salt. Spoon in the flour and give it a few stirs before adding in the diced apple. Fold everything together gently until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan, spreading it out evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If you find the top browning too quickly, make a little tent out of aluminum foil, and lightly place it over the top of the pan at around 25 minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Zucchini Greek Yogurt Muffins

It's that time of year again, zucchini season. The summer squash are exploding from every stand at the farmer's market, dark green, light green, yellow. Every year I hear people groaning about their excess of summer squash but to be honest I've never felt like I had too much of this mild vegetable. I honestly think I could eat grilled zucchini all day, every day of August. It is so good. A little olive oil, a pinch or two of salt, +/- some chili powder or smoked paprika, I never get tired of this simple preparation. And then there's summer squash's sweeter side, the magic of zucchini bread and muffins. 

I whipped up these muffins last weekend to keep in my freezer all week, easy to pull out for a mid-morning snack or to tide me over in the late afternoon before dinner. They ended up being the perfect choice. Nothing flashy, mildly flavored, not overly sweet. A true snack. Each one is on the smaller side, good for a quick bite when you need something fast! 

These muffins are full of wholesome ingredients, the zucchini obviously, whole grain oats,  whole wheat flour, and Greek yogurt. Naturally sweetened for the most part with a little honey (plus just a bit of brown sugar), and lightly spiced with cinnamon. They may not win any beauty contests, but they will give you something tasty and nutritions to sink your teeth into when that craving strikes. 

 
 

Greek Yogurt Zucchini Muffins
Adapted from Running with Spoons
Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120 g) whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 cup (80 g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (225 g) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (80g) honey
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (115 g) shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess liquid

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350F (176C) and prepare a muffin pan by lining the cavities with paper liners or greasing them with oil or cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg until it becomes slightly frothy. Whisk in the yogurt, honey, sugar, and vanilla, mixing until well combined. Fold in the shredded zucchini.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing gently until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using.

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, filling them almost to the top.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins begin to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for ~15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store them in an airtight container 

Yields: 12 small muffins

Greek Yogurt Tart with Sunflower Seed Crust

Well, June is here and after a chilly start to the week, it finally feels like it has actually arrived here in Michigan. June is a wonderful month, but for all it's greatness I think my favorite thing about June may be strawberries!! We wait so long for such a short season, but I try to enjoy every minute of it. This Greek yogurt tart is the perfect way to showcase this fruit in all of its splendor. I actually made this tart a few weeks back for a Memorial Day brunch I attended, but now that local strawberries are just beginning to arrive at the Farmer's market it's the perfect opportunity to give this recipe a try. Of course, as the summer goes on and other fruits come into season this tart can be adapted to pretty much whatever fruit you have on hand in a given moment. 

I was looking for something fresh, light and delicious to make for my brunch and my mind kept focusing on some kind of fresh tart. I didn't want it to have a traditional crust, but wanted something a little different. While browsing recipes I came across a savory sunflower seed crust over at Natural Girl Modern World and was intrigued. I decided to try adapting it a bit to work for me in a sweet application. With a few tweaks it came out great! More like a giant cookie crust as opposed to a traditional tart crust, exactly what I was looking for. It was perfect topped with some yogurt and fruit, kind of twist on the more traditional fruit and yogurt parfait - delicious. 

For the filling of this tart I wanted to go very simple. I took my homemade yogurt and strained it for several days until very thick and incredibly creamy. Store-bought yogurt would work just fine too, just make sure to buy plain yogurt to strain, not the flavored stuff, you can add sugar and flavorings yourself.  To the very thick yogurt I gently added a little honey, a little brown sugar, and some lemon zest. Not a lot of sugar, but just enough to add a touch of sweetness. Just taste and adjust until the flavors are to your liking. I spooned this sweetened yogurt into the crust and topped with the sliced berries. Done! Fresh and light, exactly what I was hoping for. 

 
 

Sunflower Seed Tart Crust
Adapted from Natural Girl Modern World
Ingredients

  • 1 cup (80 grams) oats 
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) flour
  • 3/4 cup (105 grams) sunflower seeds 
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons (63 grams) butter, chilled
  • 3  tablespoons (63 grams) honey 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom

Directions
In a food processor, blend oats until the texture of coarse sand. Add sunflower seeds and salt and blend until the seeds are also a crumb-like texture. This should only take 30 seconds to 1 minute. Over-blend and you'll start to make nut butter. Add the flour and pulse a few times to combine. Add the chilled butter and pulse a couple of times, until starting to come together. Add the honey and continue to pulse until a ball of dough forms. It will be sticky. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place into the back of your freezer for about 15 minutes, or refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. 

While the dough chills, preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Remove dough from freezer and press it into prepared greased 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Aim for an even distribution of dough throughout the pan, pressing the dough together firmly to create a solid base. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the crust thoroughly to allow air to escape when baking. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on it towards the end of baking to ensure the edges don't over-brown. Set aside to cool before filling. 

Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

I don't think I really know anybody who doesn't like a good slice of banana bread. I'm sure there are plenty of those people out there, but I have yet to meet one! For the rest of you who love banana bread as I do, I have a winner of a recipe to share. This banana bread recipe was just what I was looking for the other week. It's the classic with a few updates that make it a little healthier, but no less tasty. Full of great banana flavor, lightly sweetened with just enough sugar to keep it super tasty, but not so much that it tastes like cake, and lightened up with a little Greek yogurt to keep it nice and moist and a few tablespoons of butter to maintain that delicious flavor. This is one of the best banana bread recipes I've tried. It reminded me of one of those slices of bread or cake you can pick up at Starbucks or other coffee shops, but so much better, healthier, and cheaper! You really can't loose with this recipe, I highly recommend you give it a try soon!

With 3 bananas in just the one loaf, you really don't need a ton more sugar, so I found that 1/2 cup was just perfect. Vanilla and cinnamon add a delicious aroma and amp up the flavor just a touch, without being overpowering. The texture of the finished bread is very moist, and a little spongy as a lot of breads are that use yogurt; this is not a bad thing, I like this in my breads. Just be sure to not overbake. Nothing kills a good banana bread like overbaking, resulting in a dry and flavorless loaf. often set my timer for a few minutes less than what the recipe calls for just to be sure. Watch it carefully and you should be good to go!

Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Adapted from The Recipe Rebel
Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas (~15 ounces total)
  • 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) butter, softened 
  • 1/3 cup plain (unsweetened) Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour (I used 6 ounces whole wheat, and 3 ounces all purpose)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mash bananas with a whisk. Add butter, yogurt and sugar and whisk until combined and somewhat smooth. If it's still a little chunky, don't worry. 

Add vanilla and eggs and stir until combined.

Add salt, baking soda, cinnamon and flour and stir just until combined (don’t overmix – it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth).

Spread in loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs. 

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I baked this lemon poppyseed cake on a whim one afternoon a few weeks ago, I knew it would be good, but I didn't know just how good. It turned into one of the best things that I have baked this year without a doubt. I'd had the recipe pinned for quite a while now, but it was one of those things that I never did anything about, just looked at the pretty picture and thought, "that looks good." Then, a few weeks ago there was a ton of yogurt in my fridge for whatever reason, and I knew I wouldn't be able to eat it all before it started to go bad. That's when I started brainstorming ideas for using it up, ideas that consisted of mostly baked goods to be honest! This cake originally called for sour cream, not yogurt, but I decided to give it a try anyway. Besides, cutting a few calories sounded like a good idea.

Believe me, I didn't even notice the missing fat. There's plenty of butter in this cake to begin with, so no worries there! Anyway, this cake baked up beautifully and was absolutely delicious, light and moist, packed with poppy seeds and a hint of lemon. The perfect everyday cake to keep on your counter for snacking all week long. It took Lara and I a week to finish it off, and even on the 7th day it was still tasting pretty darn good, definitely not too difficult to force down. I'm still thinking of this cake weeks later, and waiting, not too patiently, for the next time I can find an excuse to make it. Maybe I need to head back to the store and "accidentally" buy a little too much yogurt....

Lemon Poppyseed Cake
Adapted from Gourmeted
Ingredients
For the Cake:

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups and 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups (250 grams) cake flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons loosely packed lemon zest, finely grated (you can use up to 5 teaspoons if you want a stronger lemon flavor)
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 ¾ sticks (14 tablespoons or 200 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature

For the Syrup:

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Directions
Butter and flour a metal fluted tube pan and preheat the oven to 350°F 

Whisk together whole eggs, yolk, ¼ cup sour cream, and vanilla in a medium bowl until just combined.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, on low speed for 30 seconds. Add butter and remaining sour cream and continue to mix on low speed until just blended. Increase to medium speed and beat for another 1 ½ minutes. The batter will be light in color.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and re-start the mixer on low speed. Add half of the egg mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds, do the same for the remainder of the mixture. Transfer the batter into the prepared tube pan and level the surface with a small spatula.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the lowest of the tube comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly.

To make the syrup: While the cake is baking, combine sugar and water in a small microwavable bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add in the almond extract and set aside. 

Once the cake is done, place the pan on a wire rack. Poke the cake all over using a thin skewer and brush it with a third of the syrup. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Brush the entire surface of the cake with the remaining syrup.

Strawberry Coffee Cake

It may no longer be strawberry season, but that doesn't mean you can't keep those early summer flavors alive throughout the summer, and even the entire year, especially if you were able to freeze a couple bags of those peak season berries a few months back. This coffee cake is the perfect way to tantalize those tastebuds with the bright, summery sweetness of juicy red strawberries topping a fluffy, tender cake. The whole thing is sprinkled with a chunky, buttery streusel and baked to perfection. Invite a few friends over, brew up some coffee and you've got yourself the best kind of party.

For whatever reason, I was recently craving a tall and beautiful strawberry breakfast cake. It surprised me that so many of the recipes I came across, although they looked very tasty, were such short cakes. I wanted something with a little more stature and this cake delivered just what I was looking for. It's difficult for me to not top my breakfast cakes with a generous layer of streusel so on it went once again. I thought it was a wonderful combination, something I will return to without a doubt.

Strawberry Coffee Cake

Heavily adapted from 

Tidy Mom

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2-1/2 cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup (2 3/4 oz) greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup (5 oz) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2-3 cups sliced strawberries

Topping

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (1.75 oz) granulated sugar
  • heaping 1/2 cup (3 oz) flour
  • pinch salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda, set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the yogurt, milk, and egg yolks. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

Add the wet and dry ingredients alternatively to the butter and sugar mixture, starting and ending with the dry, mixing until just combined after each addition. 

Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Clean the bowl of the stand mixture and add the egg whites to it. Beat until firm peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. 

Pour into greased 9 inch springform pan. Spread the strawberries on top. To make the topping, mix all the ingredients in a bowl with your fingers until crumbly. Spread on top of strawberries.

Bake for 45-50 minutes. Until lightly brown on top. Allow to cool, then remove from pan.