Banana Cream Pie

When I was a kid, I spent many a winter and spring break with my maternal grandparents in Arizona. Oh, how I loved those vacations.

I loved the fresh orange juice my grandpa would squeeze for us each morning, playing with my brother at the pool, and shopping with my grandparents. I also loved everything my grandma made us to eat. (My parents owned a pretty fancy restaurant so at home we ate things like confit of duck and scalloped potatoes. At my grandparents we got to eat “normal” food: like tacos and banana cream pie!)

Recently, I was thinking about how much I miss my grandparents. Missing them made me crave banana cream pie something fierce, so I decided to make one.

banana cream pie from scratch | healthy green kitchen

My grandma made her pie with a store-bought crust and vanilla pudding from a box: I thought it was the most delicious thing ever, but I opted to make mine with whole foods ingredients from scratch. (I used the recipe in Joy of Cooking because that’s where I turn for classic recipes.) My daughter helped me make it by slicing the bananas and placing them “just so”.

banana cream pie | healthy green kitchen

The verdict? It was pretty darn delicious and I will definitely be making banana cream pie again! Maybe next time I will change it up a bit, though…see the bottom of this post for some amazing-looking banana cream pie variations from fellow bloggers.

banana cream pie from scratch | healthy green kitchen

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Vegan Banana Muffins

I’m participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) which means I’m blogging every day of November, 2013!

I am really particular about my bananas. I love snacking on ones that are just on the verge of ripeness, but once they hit that ripe to slightly overripe phase? Blech: they kind of gross me out. So most of the bananas I buy end up being frozen to put into smoothies, or I let them blacken. Then I make banana bread or muffins.

Vegan Banana Muffins | Healthy Green Kitchen

I have been eyeing a recipe for Coconut Cocoa Banana Muffins over on the lovely blog Food Loves Writing for a while now. Yesterday I was going to make those muffins but then I realized I was out of eggs (yes, even those of us with chickens find ourselves without eggs sometimes!). So I decided to change up the muffins a bit and make them vegan, and to leave out the cocoa and coconut since my family really prefers simple to embellished when it comes to baked goods.

Vegan Banana Muffins | Healthy Green Kitchen

These vegan banana muffins really are exceedingly simple to make, and they are delicious! They have wonderful banana flavor and a dense texture I really like. I used Florida Crystals Demerara Cane Sugar to sweeten them, but you can use any type of granulated sugar, including organic cane sugar or coconut sugar, in yours. I tossed bittersweet, fair-trade chocolate chips into 1/3 of the batter, but accept my apologies for not measuring exactly how much I used (I am a terrible food blogger sometimes!) If you prefer to make these with an egg and butter, they won’t be vegan (but they will be yummy). We’ve been enjoying them with a smear of organic peanut butter on top.

Vegan Banana Muffins | Healthy Green Kitchen

Be sure to check out all of Shanna’s recipes. I frequently drool over her food and her writing! Speaking of her writing, she wrote one of the most beautiful ebooks I have read: it’s called Written Together: A Story of Beginnings, in the Kitchen and Beyond. I read it a few months ago and absolutely loved it…you will love it, too!

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