Just a Spoonful of Honey Makes the Oatbran Go Down

My fourteen year old daughter Julie excitedly came home from cooking class with a recipe for banana bread they had just made. Looking over the recipe I noticed Crisco and sugar as the first two ingredients. I was about to get on my band wagon about just one more way the school system is falling short. If our society is filled with obese children and our school cafeterias consider french fries a vegetable then wouldn’t a cooking class be a perfect opportunity to teach kids how to cook simple healthy recipes? Before I voiced my disgruntled opinions I looked up at my little “Julia Child” standing before me. It was then I decided that I would not dash my daughters new found love for cooking, but put the job of teaching beyond the basics back on to my shoulders. “Would you like me to teach you how I tweak a recipe to make it more healthy, and then we can bake it together?” Bingo! her eyes lit up, “Can we bake it right now?”

I realized a valuable lesson that day, instead of complaining about what my daughter is not learning enjoy the privilege of being able to teach her myself. We had so much fun and the results were sweet and satisfying.

Chocolate chip banana bread with honey peanut butter swirl

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

CREAM together:

-1/2 c.applesauce and 2Tbsp. butter

-3/4 c. honey

-1 tsp vanilla

ADD and mix well:

-2 eggs


-3 ripe bananas

COMBINE in a separate bowl:

-1 c. whole wheat pastry flour

-1/2 c. oat bran

-1/2 c. oatmeal (ground in blender)

-1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

-pinch of salt

-1 tsp Cinnamon

ADD the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and MIX just to blend.


-1/2 c. chopped walnuts

– 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips

POUR into greased bread pan, filling half full.

MIX about 1/2 cup peanut butter with 1/4 cup honey (or to taste).

Spoon honey mixture on top of batter and with a knife swirl into the top like a marbling effect.

Bake for about 20 min. until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

PS. Julie went to school the next day and told her teacher that we figured out how to make the recipe healthy. I wish I could say there was a happy ending when the teacher gave her extra credit, asked for a copy, and told her, “What a great concept, I think we should integrate healthy cooking into our classroom!” Instead there were crickets chirping and a then a barely audible, “Oh” from the teachers overworked and underpaid lips. The happy ending came later with my relationship with my daughter. . . All out of a little honey and oat bran.


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