I received a request from a friend to do a Valentine’s Day themed blog post; something romantic or sweet that reflected the spirit of the holiday. I thought about what Valentine’s Day means to the people I care about and how they might enjoy celebrating.
So here it is, Nachos for One.
Nah, not really. That’s more bleak than I care to be.
I normally wouldn’t give a crap about Valentine’s Day, but what the hell, it’s not a terrible day outside; I’m on an upswing from a string of several stressful days, and I’ve got the Ethiopians playing in the background. Time to bust out some sweetheart recipe.
Sweet Potato Banana Bread
This quick bread is fairly healthy and pretty simple to make, although I would have let mine sit in the oven for a bit longer so it fluffed up properly. You will need:
- 1 small sweet potato (about a cup’s worth), mashed
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs (I didn’t have enough, but you can use ¼ cup of applesauce for each egg, so ½ cup for this recipe)
- ¼ cup of vegetable oil
- 1 cup of flour (I used half all-purpose and half whole wheat)
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ cup of sugar (which I replaced with ¼ cup of agave nectar
- A hand full of dark chocolate chips (I used about 1/3 cup)
Yield: 1 loaf
So, preheat your oven to 350°F. Mash the bananas while you prepare your sweet potato. I just put min in the microwave for about six minutes and let it cool enough to handle. In a large bowl, blend together your bananas, sweet potato, eggs (or egg replacers), sugar, and oil. Mix until it’s well incorporated.
In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Combine them well, and then stir it into the bowl with the banana-sweet potato mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Lightly grease a baking pan (I used an 8×8, but you can use a loaf pan if you prefer). Add your batter and place in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until you can remove a toothpick cleanly.
This isn’t exactly what you might consider typical Valentine’s fare, but I think most typical Valentine’s fare sucks. There is only so much candy you can eat (or should eat); those little hearts are chalky and it eludes me why we still buy them if general consensus is that they’re awful (although I have the same question about fruitcake around Christmas); and big, romantic dinners tend to be heavy on the meat, fat, and cholesterol. This bread is sweet, and the bananas and sweet potatoes are actually heart-healthy foods, which seems more appropriate for this kind of holiday. And if you’re worried that it doesn’t quite seem to fit the Valentine’s Day bill, here’s how I presented it to my sweetheart:
(The food on this blog won’t kill you, but you might get diabetes from how sappy I can get)
Happy Valentine’s Day to you!