As I’ve heard other bloggers attest to, sometimes the hardest part about putting together a blog post is actually sitting down and writing it (as evidenced by the fact that I initially spelled that as righting - whoops). Sure, the recipes take time to get just right and the photos can be challenging to produce, but I think most of us thrive on those challenges. Figuring out what to say about it all, on the other hand, is something quite different. Sometimes I sit at my computer, writing and erasing, trying to decide what exactly I want to say and how I want to say it, and it all just becomes really difficult. When the words flow easily, it’s my lucky day.
Today – or tonight, I should say, because procrastination has somehow become a persistent habit of mine – there’s a jumble of things going through my mind. I just made it through a MAJOR milestone in life… I graduated from college, yippee!!!… which makes me feel both relieved and excited about the time I now have to focus on the things I love to do. Butttt, I’m also feeling the pain of acting like I’m still in college, staying up late to get things done whilst simultaneously cursing a throbbing hand that’s just been treated with liquid nitrogen (it’s horrendous). It’s a killer to type, so writing this post is even more challenging than usual.
I am, however, super thrilled to be taking part in OXO’s latest blogging campaign – The Incredible Hull -, because I’ve managed to work my way through 12 LBS of fresh, sweet, and juicy Driscoll’s strawberries (seriously the sweetest ever), and now I have a number of tempting strawberry recipes set to come at you in the next two weeks. You might have caught that strawberry photo on Instagram a few weeks ago; that was just a drop in the bucket compared to all the strawberries I’ve been digging into lately. I can’t wait to share them all, but first up is this Roasted Strawberry Banana Bread. I love a good banana bread (it’ll always be a classic in my heart), but I’m also picky about mine. This version – after many, many trials – is one that I truly love: light and moist, just sweet enough, healthified a bit with whole wheat pastry flour and coconut oil, and packed with the flavor of sweet, ripe bananas and juicy roasted strawberries. It’s become a favorite around here, and I hope it’ll be the same in your house!
And lest I forget, as part of The Incredible Hull campaign, OXO and Driscoll’s Berries are providing an amazing giveaway worth $350 for one lucky reader! The winner will receive an OXO Strawberry Huller (a must-have tool for working with bunches of strawberries), an OXO 3 Piece Berry Bowl & Colander Set, a $70 Gift Card to OXO.com, and a year’s supply of Driscoll’s berries. #TheIncredible giveaway is open until Friday, May 30th, at 5PM EST. Good luck! :)
A light, moist, and healthier version of banana bread, topped with juicy bits of roasted strawberries for a fresh, summery twist.
- 15 ounces (3 cups) chopped strawberries, plus extra for topping
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 9 1/2 ounces (2 1/4 cups, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 10 1/2 ounces (2 1/2 cups, spoon and level) whole wheat pasty flour, divided
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb 3 1/8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) mashed banana (not puréed - it's okay if it's a little chunky)
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) plain nonfat greek yogurt
- 5 ounces (1/2 cup) roasted strawberry juices (reserved from roasting)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 5 3/8 ounces (2/3 cup) unrefined coconut oil
- 7 1/2 ounces (1 cup, packed) brown sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature*
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Toss strawberries and honey together in an 8" square baking dish and roast for 15 minutes, or until strawberry juices are bubbling. Transfer berries to a large, fine-mesh strainer or colander set over a bowl and allow juices to strain from strawberries.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325ºF. Grease two 9" x 5" loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, 9 1/2 ounces (2 1/4 cups, spoon and level) whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, yogurt, 5 ounces (1/2 cup) of the reserved strawberry juices, and vanilla until well-combined (any remaining strawberry juices can be saved for another use).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a large bowl with a handheld beater), cream together the coconut oil and brown sugar until well-combined. Wipe down the bowl and beater and beat in eggs one at a time, until incorporated, wiping down after each addition. Reduce mixer speed to low and add 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/2 of the wet ingredients, allowing each addition to mix in partially before adding the next, continuing until all of the dry and wet ingredients have been added. End with the dry ingredients, stopping the mixer when only a few streaks remain visible in the batter.
- Gently toss the strained berries with the remaining 1 ounce (1/4 cup, spoon and level) pastry flour just until no flour remains loose on the bottom of the bowl. Add the entire mixture to the batter and fold in just until evenly incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans and smooth the top of each out gently with a spatula. Top each loaf with a few extra pieces of fresh chopped strawberries.
- Bake loaves in the preheated oven, middle rack, for 30 minutes. Carefully cover with a large piece of aluminum foil and continue to bake for another 50-55 minutes, removing foil during the last 5-10 minutes of baking. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean.
- Cool loaves in pans for about 30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Loaves can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days, but should be refrigerated for longer storage. Best served at room temperature.
*To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, place in a bowl filled with warm water and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
Disclosure: I received complimentary strawberries and tools from Driscoll’s Berries and OXO, respectively, for this campaign. All writing and opinions are 100% mine, as always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make this blog possible!