This is a happy accident cake. During our major snow storm this weekend, an incredible urge to bake using bananas overcame me. I have scads of recipes for banana this and banana that--mostly in bread or muffin form. Then there is my other favorite form: cake. I'm a little behind on my recipe "trying"'--that is, I cut recipes out, stuff them in a folder and wait for a moment when I'm not
lassoing training a puppy, to try and file them into my very stuffed three-ring binders. Well. Whatever. I just remembered cutting a recipe out, banana something and crumbs were involved. It actually was supposed to be a coffee cake--you know, something you'd have for breakfast. Does this cake here look anything like a coffee cake? My eyes say no. But, my curiosity said, Well, there goes two perfectly over-ripened bananas into a cake that didn't quite come out a cake. . . until my first bite and I was like, whoa--what just happened here? DID I JUST ACCIDENTALLY CREATE A VEGAN BREAD PUDDING. (Which I will admit has been missing from my life since our pre-vegan days. No regrets, just some taste buds that have food pang memories working.) And there it is.
My guess as to how this actually occurred, that is, bread pudding vs. cake-y, is that the lack of egg and the fact that I halved the original recipe, but only cut the banana by one--and not exactly half, left me with a runnier batter, thus baking up in such a manner as to refer to it lovingly as Bread Pudding--with a overly punched up crumbly topping. So. Worth. It.
I added a bit of nutmeg to the crumb topping. The original recipe didn't call for it, but to me, it seemed like it needed to be there.
Here's your crumb topping, all ready to go.
I stored my bananas in the fridge. They are actually at the "perfect" stage for this application: the "accidental" bread pudding.
I had help while I was trying to make dinner AND bake.
NO. This is NOT acceptable puppy behavior. But suddenly I turned around and there you have it. She is a monster. A much-loved monster. If she had thumbs, she'd be working at the sink.
Someone has realized they have "arms"! So much has happened with her. My entire phone photos are of her. Were I to (godforbid) lose it, someone would think it belonged to a dog and not a human.
And now for a chapter I like to call: I hate being OVER fifty!
I am now in recovery mode from an ailment I have been in denial about for months: plantar fasciitis. It started with a sort of Hmm, what's that on my heel-- and progressed to sharp--fall on your knees heel pain. Until I had to stop and scream for help one night when I tried to get up from the chair and nearly keeled over and Dr. Thyme said, My God! Go see a doctor about that! There were tears and teeth gnashing. I was in complete and utter denial. But the pain was getting worse. And so yes. I have acquired an ACUTE case of plantar fasciitis, prescribed three weeks of physical therapy and then. . . well, I am hoping for running by May. Or else there's some sort of 'procedure' that has been known to work. And I have read every single piece of literature I can on the symptom, cause and case histories of this, this--this THING. I am completely sidelined from running for now. This has an enormous detrimental affect on my normally cheery outlook on life.
How much sidelining of running can one woman endure in a lifetime before she STOPS running. There is no such thing as NOT running. Just ask a runner.
I run. I'd NEVER had heel pain prior to a) turning fifty and b) breaking my ankle--which happens to be the same foot my heel pain originated. What in the world is happening here?! Yes, I have high arches. Yes. I ran for most of my life. Yes, I just ran a race in November.
And now. I am relegated to the "gym". The elliptical machine only. Or swimming.
Why do doctors always say, Or Swimming. Like we all have some Olympic-Sized pool right across the way--or in the backyard, for crying out loud. It has been my personal experience (since discovering the right side of my body is taking the left side of my body hostage), that it is always included in the statement of "alternative forms of cardio": You could bike. . . or swim. Hello?!
Apparently, this whole PF thing is epidemic--seems like EVERYBODY has PF nowadays. Everybody over fifty--and especially athletic runner-types.
My PT is going o....kay. I won't say I love it. It reminds me of the time I could be running. Then I discovered that I carry my emotions on my
face sleeve, and that my PT person said he noticed I may have been having a "bad morning" the other day. Understatement I'd say. That was a kind way of saying, OKAY runner-high addict, NO endorphins for YOU, now pick these marbles up with your toes! Gaaaaaaa!
I don't understand it. I just know it hurts. I wear a boot in the evenings to keep my foot from flopping around. Again with The Boot. I. Hate. The. Boot. I ice, stretch, go to PT and come home and try to refrain from climbing the walls.
**There is one good thing here coming out of all of this, I am now on a weight loss program--one involving a professional working alongside me as I tackle the "no running/healing of PF", build more muscle.
I typically shun such talk of "weight loss". I'm a recovering eating disorder. I still have an eating disorder. (You are never really rid of an eating disorder, it just manifests into something else.) But overall, my general relationship with food has been "cordial". I don't partake in the things I did in my twenties or even thirties.
Sooo. . . Am I overweight? No. But am I at the weight I'd like to be--perhaps five or eight pounds lighter? No. So time to act. . . responsibly: tackle getting a bit slimmer without heading off a cliff. I know I can do it. I've done it before. But the running was in the picture then. This time, and for my foot/heel--my motivation in doing so is different. Less body weight on my heel means, maybe--a faster healing time for My Heel. But my sister (the one who knows me better than anyone else on the planet said it best: DO NOT LET THIS BECOME AN EXCUSE TO GET OVERLY OBSESSED ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT.) And she said it like that, in all caps, sort of yelling at me, but in a caring-I'm-your-sister-I-remember-what-happened-to-you way. I love her for that. And let's be honest--no matter one's age--as I've stated, it's always with you--the thing about the weight. I will enter into this time on a gentle path with a clear mind on how much I will do and when to do it. . . until the searing pain--like someone pounding a spike through it!--shooting through the bottom of my heal subsides.
**Here I am "outing" myself on my eating disorder on a page dedicated to Bread Pudding. There's irony in that somewhere.
I've enlisted the help of a personal trainer--for a short side-by-side time. (Because they can be a bit pricey.) But given I haven't used gym machines in like a decade, I thought it might be helpful vs. killing myself on a pulley weight "pretending" to know how the hip abductor thingy operates. Up to this point, I'd not really been focused too much on the muscle toning side of aging/training. I thought my yoga would take care of that. But really, what I've learned is that as I age, so does the muscle and tendons carrying my skeleton around. Adding weight bearing in addition to the cardio/yoga all makes for a better outcome. So says all the literature and whatnot.
If you get this ugly Plantar Fasciitis, and there's a good chance you WILL, please know, you are not alone. Just 'Google' it. You will be astounded.
And let's consider the life with two eighty pound dogs at the end of the leash. I need to keep myself in shape if not for the simple fact that if I don't, I'll end up face down in a snow bank.
Finally finished a throw I was crocheting. Got lots more time for crochet right now--along side the knitting, too! It's taken three years to finish. I love it. Very cozy to curl up in at the end of the day (ice pack on my foot).
Vegan Banana Bread Pudding Crumb Cake
(Adapted from Teaspoons Cafe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
1/4 cup Earth Balance Butter, cubed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Bread Pudding Cake
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 2 tablespoons water (for one egg)
2 really ripe bananas (see photo)
1/4 cup Earth Balance Butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8" square cake pan with non-stick stuff. Prepare the crumb topping--place the flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl, and add the cubes of butter and incorporate together with the back of a fork or your hands (I prefer using my hands), until a crumbly mixture appears. Set this aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the vegan butter and sugar and mix until creamy. Next, prepare your bananas--mashing them well with a fork, then adding to the sugar mixture then mixing. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed (the batter will be wet and still have lumps of banana in it, which is okay). Pour batter in pan, sprinkle the crumb mixture over it, and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out clean (a few crumbs are fine). Remove from oven and allow cake to cool for about thirty minutes. This is a cake that is really good warm. But we found nothing wrong with it straight from the fridge the next day! Store in fridge, covered for up to two days.