Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Multigrain Banana Bread Pudding Squares with Salted Date Caramel - Yum!

Hey you! I hope your week has been fantastic and full of sunshine.

And now, introducing a delicious, refined-sugar free dessert/breakfast that will rock your world!

Though the picture doesn't do it justice, these are what I like to call... *clears throat*

Multigrain Banana Bread Pudding Squares with Salted Date Caramel Icing

These were a hit at my house. My parents gobbled them up, and I was going bananas. ;)

The date caramel is SUPER SWEET, and the salt on top just takes it to a whole, 'nuther level! And here's the other plus: the recipe makes plenty, so you can save it for later to play around with it in other recipes (or of course, you could make the date caramel alone and enjoy some date caramel dip with apples).

Here's what I did with some of my leftover date caramel:

Ok, now let's talk about the bread pudding... It's just so fantastic with that date caramel! *cries*
Forgive me for the emotion, it's just. so. good. 

This recipe is a great way to use those leftover bananas that are just about to die from ripeness. I had five or six bananas just laying there, turning mostly black and getting too soft and gross to eat plain (I like bananas to be perfectly yellow with little spots if I'm going to eat them plain). You know how many banana bread recipes seem to call for 3-4 bananas, sometimes less? Well, mine calls for five overripe bananas. Hey, I had to use them somehow.

Though I am a HUGE sweet tooth, my tastebuds have changed over time, so I encourage you to add a wee bit more natural sugar if you're not used to eating refined sugar-free.

One more thing: though the bread pudding does take a whole hour with prep time and baking, the overall recipe is quite simple and the ingredients can easily be substituted with things you have at home.

Multigrain Banana Bread Pudding

Makes 1 loaf or about 20 squares

* 5 super overripe bananas
* 1/8 cup coconut oil
* 1/8 cup grapeseed (or other) oil
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 1/4 tsp. sea salt
* 3/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts (save 1/4 of this for topping)
* 1/3 cup oat flour
* scant 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
* 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup organic whole wheat flour
* 1/2 cup cooked brown rice 
* scant 1/3 cup coconut sugar (or more to taste)
* 15 drops stevia
* 1 tsp. psyllium husk, ground
* 1 tsp. chia seeds
* 1/2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
* 1/2 tsp. coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1) Preheat oven to 360 F. Grease a regular size bread pan. 
2) In a large bowl, combine bananas, oils, vanilla, sea salt, and 1/2 cup of the walnuts with a hand mixer. Mix until combined.
3) Still using the handmixer (or whisk), add in the remaining ingredients except for the baking powder and coconut vinegar.
4) When everything is ready to pop into the oven add in the baking powder and vinegar and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the walnuts on top, and sprinkle some coconut sugar on there too, if you want. 
5) Place in the oven for 45 min., then remove from oven. Bread should look golden brown and smell delicious. 


Now for the date caramel recipe - very important part of this recipe, and a very good recipe on its own as well. 

Date Caramel

Makes enough

* 7-8 jumbo soft medjool dates, soaked if needed
* 1/8 cup almond milk, adding more as needed
* 1 tsp. coconut butter
* 3 tsp. coconut nectar (or maple syrup)
* 1-2 tsp. alcohol free vanilla extract
1) In vitamix or a high speed blender, combine all ingredients until the consistency is similar to spreadable caramel. 
2) Spread on apples, desserts, scones, or whatever else your heart desires. You can also spread on multigrain banana bread pudding squares and sprinkle a little salt on top. 

Spread date caramel on finished squares, and then drizzle with coconut nectar or maple syrup. Sprinkle with coarse ground sea salt.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I hope you enjoy this recipe. It's just too good. 

It's funny - and quite remarkable - at how different I eat these days compared to one year ago. I know that one year ago, this bread pudding would be pretty nice, but not OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious like it is now. 

Do you want to go on a little adventure? Try eating just fruits and veggies for a week, and you will be surprised at the way you taste things. My experience a couple months ago when I tried this was marvelous: a simple, bland celery stick became the saltiest thing I had ever eaten, and that gross carrot stick from the cafeteria's salad bar became the sweetest vegetable ever to cross my path. It was amazing. 

It's been quite a thoughtful week, being that a new school year is starting soon at the University I attend, and I have been thinking about my future a lot. Fun ideas bounce in my head, such as running 5ks, rock climbing at Joshua Tree, starting a restaurant, becoming a dietician, traveling to Argentina for a year - random stuff like this. Will it happen? I sure hope so, and will work towards this goal as I pray to my heavenly Maker about it. 

Have a beautiful remainder of the week, and I shall visit here soon with another delicious dessert recipe - hint: it uses an exotic spice, a popular edible flower, and a favorite tropical fruit. Oh, and it didn't even last 3 hours at my cousin's house.

Much love,

~ Natalyn


  1. I wanna make this it looks so yummy! :) I gotta be honest though, I don't have half of these ingredients,where do you shop? What do you recommend for someone who has only ever baked with mainstream (and very unhealthy) ingredients?
    p.s. your dreams for the future are fantastic, don't ever lose them :)my friend Rathyna told me that if your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough :)

  2. It is delicious!
    The cool thing about it is that I used a bunch of leftovers from my fridge and pantry - you can do the same too - just swap some of the ingredients.
    * I make my own oat flour by simply blending up rolled oats (I use the Vitamix dry blender, but I'm thinking any blender should work).
    * If you don't have the buckwheat (which you could also blend into flour), just use extra oat flour!
    * Sub brown sugar for coconut sugar, and add a teeny bit (4-5 tablespoons) more if not using the stevia drops
    * Sub white rice for brown
    * If you don't have coconut vinegar (not many people do) or apple cider vinegar, use a little bit of lemon or lime juice instead.
    * Use any oil you have at home (canola oil is a great one to sub in if that's what you have)
    * Psyllium husk and chia seeds are binding ingredients - using one egg instead of these would probably work just fine.
    * For the date caramel, if you don't have alcohol free vanilla, just add a SMALL drop of regular vanilla extract, and use the milk that you have at home (if you drink cow's milk, that would be fine to use, and any other nut or soy milk should be ok).
    You get the idea. Just sub it in! Isn't that great? :) And it'll still be on the healthier side.
    However, if you would like to start trying out some of the ingredients I use frequently on here, I recommend any natural food store near your house (local co-op, Whole Foods, Mother's Market, Barons, Sprouts) or even online in places like Vitacost (they sell some whole grains and stuff - great company). I also love trader joes (for oats and basmati brown rice).
    If you're feeling kinda in between, and kinda want to try some of these things out but don't want to waste ingredients or let them just sit there not knowing what to do with them (used to happen to me A LOT!) - then just choose one wholesome ingredient from this recipe and sub the rest of the stuff in with your everyday ingredients. Then you can use the rest of the package of that new ingredient to try new recipes or to sub into your old favorites. A perfect example of this is coconut sugar. You can buy coconut sugar online or at any natural food store. Coconut sugar is very similar in taste to brown sugar, so it works great in a variety of recipes.
    Thank you for your encouragement. I really love that advice that your friend gave you.

    Thanks for the feedback! I will keep it in mind as I make more recipes to share - maybe I should start having a list of ingredients to sub in for the fancy ones.

    Have a great week!