Banana Bread (fat free)

This is a fantastic recipe to experiment with, changing the bananas to 2 cups of any pureed fruit and adding in additional ground spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. I have even done an oatmeal variation where I replaced the bananas with 2 cups of cooked and cooled oatmeal with good results, and one where I doubled the recipe and used 2 cups of cooked oatmeal and 2 cups of chunky applesauce and threw in some cinnamon, to make 2 loaves of apple cinnamon oatmeal bread.

Use your imagination and post a comment to share what comes out good.

  • 6 very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 handful of uncooked old fashioned oats (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mash the bananas and sugar together.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  4. Stir in the banana mixture and the vanilla, till thoroughly blended.
  5. Stir in the raisins.
  6. Pour into an ungreased nonstick loaf pan*.
  7. Sprinkle oats on top.
  8. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
  9. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  10. Cool completely before slicing.

*If you don't have a nonstick loaf pan, or the one you have isn't of very good quality, you will have to grease the pan. Keep in mind that doing this would make the loaf no longer fat free.

Moravian Ginger Spice Cookies

I found this recipe in a cookbook, at my local public library, almost 30 years ago. I wish I knew the title of the book, but unfortunately I didn't write that relevant fact on the piece of paper I copied it to. It seems to be a modernized version of an old American classic that has been around since colonial times, and has the reputation of being the "World's Thinnest Cookie". (read more)

These cookies are better than any gingerbread or ginger snaps I have ever tasted. These are the ones I ate through my entire pregnancy to combat morning sickness (or in my case, all day sickness). When softened, even people that hate gingerbread seem to love this cookie. It's always been one of my daughter's favorites ever since she was really small. It's one of the few cookies that she keeps begging me to make.

Please follow the instructions carefully. Do not skip the part where you let the dough sit for 2 days. It really is an important step in order to be able to roll them out really thin.. Also, make sure your oven temperature is accurate. Test it with an oven thermometer. If your oven is too hot and you are using a small cutter, these cookies can easily burn before you even have the next batch cut.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses (measured in a greased measuring cup)

Instructions:
  1. In a food processor, process shortening and brown sugar till creamy.
  2. Add molasses with motor running.
  3. Combine first 5 ingredients together, add to processor, and process till it starts to clump.
  4. Scrape dough onto counter and knead lightly. Add more flour if the dough is very sticky.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in an air tight container, at room temperature, for 2 days.
  6. Roll very, very thin and cut with a round cutter.
  7. Bake at 325°F for 5-10 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. The length of time will depend on the thinness of the cookie and size of your cookie cutter. Smaller cutters make quicker baking cookies.
  8. Cookies will be soft when removed from the oven. Cool slightly before removing from pan. They will harden on cooling.
  9. For crisp cookies, store in an air tight container.
  10. For softer cookies, store with other soft cookies, overnight, then by themselves in an air tight container. It's important to remove them from the container with the other cookies or they will become too soft and fall apart.

Peach Crisp

Filling

1/2 cup sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
1 can (1 lb 13 oz) Peach halves*, drained with juice reserved (1 cup - if juice doesn't equal 1 cup, add a little water)
1TBS butter or margarine
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Topping

1 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick butter or margarine, softened

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. In a medium saucepan, mix together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in juice from peaches. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. (about 2 minutes) Remove from heat.
3. Stir in butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add peaches and stir. Spoon mixture into an 8x8 square pan, placing peach halves cut side down.
4. In a large bowl, combine all topping ingredients. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over peaches.
5. Bake at 375F or about 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired.

*Any canned fruit can be substituted for peach halves. This can also be baked in a pie shell when using smaller fruits. An interesting variation is Fruit Cocktail Pie.