Banana Bread Love Affair

Nutmeg is picky about her bananas. The fruit has to be perfect, not too green and certainly not a second too ripe. However, when it comes to banana bread, she has nothing but love for this sweet treat.

Most people have a banana loaf variation that they have perfected over the years, or one handed down from a relative. When this recipe landed on Nutmeg’s laptop from cyberspace, she could not resist trying it. A combination of lemons, olive oil, and bananas adapted from 101 Cookbooks, what is not to love?

Lemon Olive Oil Banana Bread

Lemon Olive Oil Banana Bread
Recipe type: Quick Breads
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Loaf
Like most sweet loafs this one is very easy to make. The use of olive oil and lemon make it a bit more contemporary than the one you might have from your great-aunt. The trick with all banana bread is finding that perfect moment when the loaf is golden brown but it is still moist - roughly 50 minutes in the oven in this case. Thanks again to Heidi @101Cookbooks for her inspiration.

  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • ¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ⅓ Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ Cups Bananas, they should be ripe and mashed
  • ¼ Cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest, freshly grated
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Optional: 1 Cup Your Choice: Bittersweet Chocolate or Walnuts or Blueberries
  • Glaze:
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F
  2. The oven rack should be in the centre
  3. Grease a 9 by 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan - or in this case a Bundt pan
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt
  5. Add the chocolate pieces (or walnuts or blueberries) and combine well
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, banana, yogurt, and vanilla
  7. Fold the wet mixture into the flour mixture, do not over mix
  8. Pour the batter into your pan and bake until golden brown
  9. Cool slightly and then move onto a wire rack
  10. Prepare the glaze and run it over the top of the loaf when it is cool

Lemon Olive Oil Banana Bread

Morning Glory Muffin Recipe Inspired by The Flowers of La Toussaint

In France, there is always a school vacation at the end of October, when children and teachers have a week of reprieve from the classroom, and each other. The holiday extends to most public facing businesses on November 1st. You can certainly expect the post offices, banks, grocery stores and government offices to be closed on that day.



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France Land of Boulangeries


France is known for many things; art, music, food, wine, cafés, diverse scenery etc… As a population, they are very proud of all things French, and if there is one thing that is clearly a huge part of the national culture it is the bread.  This country does not easily cater to those who might require a gluten-free regime, unless you can survive on French fries.  The bread is made fresh several times daily; every small town and village has at least one, or in some cases a few boulangeries.

Ginger of course is in heaven, since every meal promises a basket of fresh baguette or other equally good options.  Nutmeg has found you need to look a bit harder, but there are some options for “7-cereals” and multi-grain.  The Artisanal Boulangeries (fancier variety) tend to have some really decent quiche and/or tarts.  So far Nutmeg has tried quiche with tomatoes and Dijon (yum), quiche with salmon and capers, tarte aux aubergine et chevre and the best yet a tomato and chevre tart. Every good road trip should start with a stop at the local favourite purveyor.

Road trip essentials

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Homemade Banana Bread

Hot Sauce (Nutmeg’s Mum) loves bananas, she grew up in the West Indies on an island that produces bananas for export, so it was best to love them…

Bananas are considered a super-food:

  • Potassium-rich; studies show foods with high levels of potassium can reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 40%
  • High levels of the antioxidant phenolic compounds work to detoxify cancer-causing agents
  • Although not specifically high in calcium can help in the absorption of calcium
  • They reduce stomach acidity and in some cases may even reduce nausea Continue reading

Ideas for What to Serve for Brunch

Nutmeg is not really a brunch person.  Here is why:

  • Marginal coffee, as you may have gathered coffee is very important to Nutmeg, and generally speaking buffet style eating does not lend itself to good espresso and skinny lattes.
  • In addition to the coffee issue, the question is what to serve?  It is not breakfast, it is not lunch – hence the dilemma.
  • If you go out to a restaurant with a buffet it is typically a complex spread that runs the gambit of breakfast food to roast beef.
  • Ask any parent with young kids brunch is a disaster. They need to eat earlier and there is no way to keep them in their “Sunday best” until mid-morning.
  • Then there is the issue of timing, not too early, not too late…around 11am is typical, which compromises both morning and afternoon activities. Continue reading

Market Series Seasonal Pear Muffins

Eve may have tempted Adam with an apple, or so the story goes, although it could just have easily been a pear.  The pear grows on trees in cooler temperate climates.  There are about 30 varieties of pears, although in North American grocery stores we may see 3-4 at the height of the season.  Pears (or the equivalent in local languages) have been cultivated since prehistoric times.  There is evidence of the use of pears in Roman times, as well as in parts of Africa and in Asia. Historians have traced the growth of pears in China back 3000 years.

Anjou Pears

Worldwide production is about 20 million tonnes, of which China produces over 12.5 million tonnes.  Generally, the harvest season for pears is late summer and early fall.  Pears are picked while they are still green, if left to ripen on the tree they turn yellow and starchy.  A single pear has about 100 calories, 6grams of fibre and 10% Vitamin C.  One interesting fact is they are less allergenic than other fruits and often pear juice is the first juice introduced to infants.

Nutmeg discovered a very easy Pear Muffin recipe and has now tried it a couple times.  Nutmeg’s favorite recipes are those with less than 10 ingredients, allows for a bit of adaptation and just one bowl!  Unfortunately, when the blog database crashed this recipe was lost.  Nutmeg will be trying some different options and report back soon.

Pear Muffins

Crunchy Granola Sweet

Are you a Neil Diamond fan?  Nutmeg is for certain.  She is also a big granola fan and has been for many years.

Hot Sauce used to make homemade granola on a regular basis. There is nothing like the smell of a fresh batch in your house and eating it hot out of the oven.  The basic ingredients usually include: oats, nuts, wheat germ, dried fruit, sugar (or honey or molasses or maple syrup), oil. You can also add spices like cinnamon or ginger depending on your tastes.  Nutmeg loves granola served with berries and yogurt, Chili likes the same in different proportions (more granola and less fruit).  There are likely as many recipes for granola as there are for combinations of how to eat it.

Granola actually has a history prior to Neil Diamond’s “Crunchy Granola Suite” and prior to the hippie “granola” movement in the 1960’s.  The names Granula (invented in 1894 by Dr James Caleb Jackson) and Granola (name change by Kellogg to avoid legal conflict) were trademarked terms in the late nineteenth century United States for foods consisting of whole grain products crumbled and then baked until crispy; in contrast with the contemporary invention, muesli, which is traditionally not baked or sweetened.

Nutmeg has a friend who makes one fantastic version of granola (in fact she has a few variations).  She is currently in the process of setting up her company and will be distributing later this year.  So you should be on the look out for a new Western Canadian company to rival that barely dressed version (Bear Naked) out of the US.  Nutmeg cannot say more at this time on the name of the company and of course the recipes are closely guarded.  The great news is we will soon have locally produced product close to home.  For now enjoy a little Neil Diamond and maybe even experiment with your own recipe and combinations.

Crunchy Granola – Sweet!!