Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Just like grandma’s banana bread

I love bananas, but I am very picky about when to eat them. I prefer them when the banana peel is yellow with just a bit of green on it. Once the banana peel starts showing spots, I will not eat the bananas.

And it happens occasionally, that the bananas turned brown before I could eat them. It turns out that very ripe bananas are best for banana bread. The riper the banana is, the higher the glycemic index and the sweeter the banana is. You can even freeze your ripe bananas to be used for banana bread later, just make sure to remove the banana peel before freezing the banana.

1 cup raw organic sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1½ cups mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup water
1 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease bottom of loaf pan.
2. Mix sugar and butter. Stir in eggs until blended. Add bananas and water; beat 30 seconds.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pan. Bake until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean,
55 to 60 min., cool 5 min.

Note: For vegan option replace butter with vegan butter and replace eggs. Reduce water. 1 egg = 1 tablespoon flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water (well-mixed and heated)

Banana bread

Banana bread

Health benefits of the recipe:
* Raw sugar contains molasses and therefore contains small amounts of calcium, iron, and potassium. On the contrary, white sugar does not contain molasses, thus it lack these minerals. In addition, raw sugar is richer in flavor, which allows one to use less raw sugar. Overall, the presence of minerals and the ability to use less raw sugar in place of white sugar makes raw sugar a better alternative to white sugar.
* The glycemic index (GI) of bananas varies depending on the fruit’s ripeness. A banana with some green still left on the yellow peel has a lower GI than a banana with brown spots. The GI refers to the ranking system comparing how fast carbohydrates from a given food are released into the body. You can find more about the GI on this website
* Bananas are rich in potassium, fiber, zinc, iron, folate, and vitamin B6. This superfruit is known to lift the spirit, aid in sleep, eases high blood pressure, soothes the stomach and digestive system, boosts energy levels, and can help the body to eliminate toxins.


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Scrumptious apple walnut bread

Nothing has been posted in over 1 month…how dreadful!!!
We have been baking and cooking, I just have not had the time to actually upload any recipes. So in an effort to at least get some of the recipes posted, I will post a few of them now…but will make changes/additions to them later.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup natural apple sauce
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups raw, organic sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups peeled, cored and cubed apples (we prefer to use apples, such as Fuji, that are a bit sour)
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, stir together oil and apple sauce. Add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
4. Gradually stir flour mixture into wet ingredients, mixing just until combined. Fold in apples and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pans. The dough will have a thick pancake-like batter consistency.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 70 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean.

Note: Make sure to cube the apples, so that the pieces are approximately the same size.
It is best to combine all the ingredients by hand, especially when mixing in the apples and walnuts.

Apple walnut bread

Apple walnut bread

Notes about healthiness:
* Compared to similar recipes, we reduced the amount of oil and substituted with additional apple sauce. We reduced the amount of sugar and replaced white sugar with organic raw sugar. The bread also contains whole wheat flour.
* Baking with apples does reduce the amount of vitamin C in the apples significantly. However, apples, even after baking, are a great source of dietary fiber and potassium.

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Buns so yummy, they don’t need a burger

Homemade Veggieburger Buns (Makes 8ish buns)

1 tablespoon active-dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk (whole)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon applesauce (replacement for 1 tablespoon vegetable oil)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter (Original recipe called for this to be melted and brushed on top of the buns before baking. Well I got ahead of myself and added it into the dough! Turned out great and found they didn’t need a topping)

1. I like to proof the yeast in my KitchenAid stand mixer and let it sit.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, egg, oil, sugar, salt, and butter. Add this to the yeast mixture and stir until combined. Add all the flour and knead with dough hook at low speed until it gets nice and smooth.

I then coat the dough in olive oil and place it in a new bowl and use the bread proof function on my oven for an hour. A nice warm place will also work. Dough should at least double in size.

I then knead dough on the counter and break out my 30-year-old scale (likely not accurate but I can get them the same weight). Tonight’s buns weighed four ounces each and I ended up with 9 good medium-sized buns. I like to fold the balls of dough a little bit, turning them over in my fingers and putting air in the dough. Gather all the ends at the bottom and you can create a nice smooth top!

Form into a traditional “hamburger” bun shape and I let them rise again, about 30 minutes or to the desired size of bun.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

I cook them for two, eight minute shifts and turn the cookie sheets around and swap shelves in the oven between shifts (so they bake evenly).

Your buns are done! Let them cool off and eat them soon. You can store them in an air tight container too, but they are so good they won’t last long. And your neighbors will love them…

Buns fresh out of the oven

Buns fresh out of the oven

Besides eating them plain, we really like to eat them with MorningStar Veggieburgers, cheese, kale leaves, (sliced tomatoes), and ketchup.

Assembled burger_option 1

Assembled burger_option 1

Assembled burger_option 2

Assembled burger_option 2

I found this recipe while searching for more bread recipes to try, and it is now one of our favorites. Original recipe is from Emma Christensen

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Yummiest carrot cake (you won’t believe it’s vegan and healthy)

I think one of my favorite American treats is carrot cake. However, I know that most carrot cakes are pretty heavy and are not the health food the name makes them appear to be. I cam across this variant of a healthful version from a friend of mine. Give it a try! It is supermoist and the taste is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. This recipe actually results in a superdelicious and healthy carrot cake. =)

Cake Ingredients:
3 cups carrots, shredded
1¼ cup organic sugar
2 cups flour (Note: Do not use more than 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, it will make the cake too dry)
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ cup orange juice
¾ cup (half: oil, half: applesauce)
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Frosting Ingredients:
¼ cup tofutti cream cheese or other kind of soycream cheese
¼ cup vegan margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Do not use a hand mixer for this recipe, use a ladle or spoon. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Then mix the carrots and the oil to the dry ingredients. Add the orange juice and mix it all together. Fold in the nuts and raisins.
3. Grease pan with cooking spray or oil. Put the batter into cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife/toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Let cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and margarine together. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla together with hand mixer. Pipe into a plastic ziplock bag and close bag. When cake is completely cool, cut a little snip off the bottom corner of the ziplock bag and drizzle the creamy frosting over the top of the cake as pictured. Or you can always just frost it regularly.

Vegan and superscrumptious carrot cake

Vegan and superscrumptious carrot cake

Healthful benefits:
* Carrots are a good source of beta carotene, vitamin B and C, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium.
* Orange juice is rich in vitamin C and beta carotene.
* Replacing some oil with apple sauce will reduce the overall fat content of the cake.
* Using orange juice makes the cake moist without adding any of the fat that additional oil would add.
* Organic unsweetened applesauce also provides many of the benefits of raw apples, such as containing fiber and vitamin C.
* Tofu cream cheese is vegan-friendly and also has fewer calories than regular cream cheese, but is still a good source of protein.