Banana & Black Walnut Crumb Cake

Banana & Black Walnut Crumb Cake

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cook Time:  40 minutes

Yield:  2- 4×8 Loaves or a single 8×8 Pan

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease Pan(s)

INGREDIENTS:

Cake Batter

  • 3-4               medium bananas, blackened,(the softer, the better)
  • 2 Tbsp         brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp         pure vanilla extract
  •  ½ tsp          ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup          butter, softened (not margarine)
  • 1 cup            white sugar
  • 2 tsp             baking soda
  • 2                    eggs
  • 2 cups           100% Whole Grain Wheat Flour, I use (King Arthur Flour)
  • 1 tsp              salt
  • 2 Tbsp          sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup             black walnuts

Crumb Topping

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup 100% Whole Grain Wheat Flour, I use (King Arthur Flour)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter, cold

Instructions

Cake Batter

  1. In a small bowl, mash bananas, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon, whisk until well mixed  – set aside
  2. In a larger mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  3. Add in eggs and beat until mixed
  4. To your wet mixture, sift in flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir until combined
  5. Add in sour cream and black walnuts
  6. Combine mashed banana mix into large bowl of ingredients
  7. Pour into baking pan(s)

Crumb Topping

  1. Combine ground cinnamon, Whole Wheat flour, and brown sugar, mix well.
  2. Cut butter with a pastry knife and mix all ingredients until the topping looks like coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle evenly over cake batter.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes until cake tester comes out clean with just a few crumbs from the topping.
  4. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Move to a wire cooking rack.
  5. Enjoy!!!

Strawberries – Frozen Individually

Strawberries – Frozen Individually

Warmer temperatures bring on the cool season fruits and vegetables and I’ve gotten my hands on some Strawberries.   The local schools were selling flats as a fundraiser and since I currently don’t have my own plants, I purchased fresh berries from them.

We’ve always purchased frozen fruits from the local big box store, but our dream here on the homestead is to get away from this and to be able to grow our own.  Until then, it’s great to be able to support our local schools.

Strawberries are probably one of the easiest fruits to put in the freezer so today since I’m in the process of doing so; I decided to bring you along.

 

 

Strawberries come in these cute little bowls that are 1 quart each.  Each container weigh1 ½ – 2 lbs. or 4 cups of berries, depending on their size.  Many of these berries today are quite large, but this doesn’t make a difference when freezing.

 

The very first thing that you want to do is to gently pour your berries into a strainer and wash them. Allow them to drain for about 10-15 minutes. I simply sit my strainer inside my sink and use the sprayer. If you don’t have a sprayer, just run cool water over them to wash away any dirt or trash that may be on them, never soak your berries in a pool of water.  They will quickly become soggy and loose their flavor.

Once they have drained for a few minutes, you want to use a knife to remove the green stems and any blemishes the berry may have.  The stems make a great addition to your compost pile.

After I remove the stem, if it’s a large berry, I will slice it into halves or quarters.  The smaller ones, I leave whole and just toss them onto a cookie sheet or a dehydrator tray or any flat surface you can put into the freezer.  Be sure to lay them out individually.  Do not allow them to stack or touch each other.  The idea is to “freeze them individually”.   After you have filled your pan, slide it into the freezer and leave them 2-3 hours to allow them to freeze.

 

You can see from the picture some are sliced and others are left whole.  We like them small so when we grab them out of the freezer to eat, make smoothies or shakes, they are small and in bite size pieces.  This choice is up to you.

After they have been in the freezer for a couple hours, remove your pan and work quickly to toss them into a freezer bag.  I use Ziploc quart size bags; this size just works well for us.  A couple hints, 1) use a sharpie and write the date and item in them bag, so that 6 months from now you will know what it is, don’t trust your memory and 2) be sure to remove as much air possible from your bag.  Air is our enemy in the freezer.  Fill the bag and place the bag of frozen berries into the freezer for storage.

They will store for up to 2 years safely.    How do you freeze your strawberries?