3G’s and Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

Every year I grapple with the notion of the New Years Resolution. I guess I love the idea of starting with a clean slate and making self-improvement commitments. But I always think they end up being contrived and obligatory and miss the point completely. Why do we need a 1/1 date on the calendar to make a change?

Well don’t think I’m going to give you the answer to making good changes all year long. I wish I had the fix, but (just like probably most of us) my self-help is often just a fleeting thought that evaporates almost immediately.

But regardless, I’ve been thinking about resolutions a lot lately. I’m three months into a rough job search, and it’s starting to wear on me a little. It’s also the depths of Seattle gloom, and for me, that makes resolving to do anything besides turning on the fireplace and putting on the fleece sweat pants difficult.

I think I’ve found a life resolution I can stick with though – and that’s to get a good dose of my 3G’s every single day: Good Friends, Good Sweat, and Good Food. Today I’m putting it to use.

Good Friends: I called my very good friend Tikvah, who is a sure thing when it comes to laughing so hard your sides hurt, and made a lunch date.

Good Sweat: I hit the temple of the downward facing dog and got in a solid 90 minutes of seriously cleansing hot yoga. I’m sure everyone has their own one-size-fits-all fix to the world’s problems, and for me, it’s a Yoga Life in Green Lake.

Good Food: you can’t go on a lunch date without a treat. So I whipped up these YUM-y banana muffins. I’ve made them a few times, and they are super banana-y, not overly sweet, and firmly planted in the Good Food category. As a note, the Good Food I’m looking for is soulful, clean, and makes me feel better after I eat it. That includes something sweet every once in a while. Plus I can’t think of a better use for the ripe bananas sitting on the counter.

What do you think? Do you have 3G’s, too? Do you stick to New Year’s Resolutions? I’ll take any tips I can get! In the meantime, make this Banana Bread while you mull it over. Enjoy!

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

Click here to print this recipe.
Adapted from: Bon Appétit, February 2000
Yields: 12 regular sized muffins, one regular sized loaf, or 8 mini loaves/mega muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (all purpose is fine as well)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 medium sized mashed ripe bananas
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray your baking dish with Pam or canola spray.

Whisk first flour, soda, powder, salt, and cinnamon in medium bowl to blend. Add chocolate chips and mix.

Beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.

Beat in mashed bananas, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture until fully incorporated, but do not over mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean (see below for baking times). Turn out onto rack and cool.

Baking times can vary wildly depending on your oven, pan size, and pan type. A black metal cake pan cook differently than the same sized glass pan, so watch your baked goods closely. When things start to smell good, you are usually getting close.

Here are guidelines though for this recipe:
9x5x2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan: 45 minutes
8 mini loaf pan or extra large muffins: 22 minutes
12 regular muffins: 15 minutes

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