You might think I've been stretching my kids on a rack every morning this summer because they've both been growing by leaps and bounds. Sure it's a normal occurrence at their ages, but for some reason I've been a lot more conscious of it lately. When I stand next to Kenya I realize that instead of being able to drop my arm by my side and rest the palm of my hand on top of his head -- as I was able to do for so long -- now I have to bend my arm at a 90 degree angle as he stands higher than my hip and is only 6 years old. Is it OK to wish I could keep him and his sister these ages forever?!
Another sign that my kids are getting bigger is that they can now see over most counters. For example, when we used to make the occasional stop by Starbucks for some mommy java, the kids would never ask for anything from the bakery case because they most likely couldn't see that high. Things have changed. Just last week Chloe was on her toes with her face pressed against the glass, drooling and pointing to all the snacks she wanted to try.
I really attempt to limit buying cake and cookies, but Chloe was so smitten with the cute new pink patisserie bags Starbucks uses to serve their baked goods in, I relented. After that experience I decided to start making more of my own cake-like breads to slice and put in reusable or wax paper bags to bring as a special snack for after school pick up. Filled with naturally sweet bananas and beautiful bright berries, this moist loaf has a lot less sugar than most quick breads you'll find in stores.
It should come as no surprise that when I pulled the loaf out of the oven and put it on top of the stove to cool, there was Chloe peering over the edge of the counter, just waiting for it to be ready to slice. It's crazy to think that before I know it she'll be tall enough to be standing at the counter making her own batch.
Banana Berry Bread (makes 1 loaf - 12 slices)
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 small ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup Milk*
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups fresh mixed berries (I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)
1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
4. Add the egg, bananas, milk and vanilla and mix to combine well.
5. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in the berries.
6. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
To freeze: Wrap the bread and then place in a labeled zipper bag for up to 3 months.