08 June 2008

Another Banana Recipe?!

When I first started working out with Kali and Molly, they really encouraged me to investigate protein shakes. When you are weight lifting, it is important to get enough lean protein in your diet to help rebuild the muscles after working out. I think it is also very important to get enough lean protein to build additional muscle. Anyway, for someone like me who feels a little overwhelmed at eating chicken 7 days a week, I needed to find other lean protein sources. So I started experimenting with protein shakes. I first started with soy. Then I heard about studies that were showing too much soy in your diet can screw with your hormones. I definitely don't want that. So then I bought some whey/egg white protein powder. This one tastes like crap. I cannot find a way to hide the flavor of the powdery egg whites. I think by trying to disguise the protein powder, I ended up making the shakes more caloric and sugary than really necessary. I would add a banana, then vanilla yogurt, then frozen berries, then maybe a sprinkle of raw sugar or honey. The so-called healthy protein shake was turning into a heavy, sugary meal! I decided to put my protein shake discovery on hold for awhile. But I already had all these darn bananas. What was a girl to do?

Well first of all, I let the bananas sit on my counter for probably twice as long as I should have, and then I popped them in the refrigerator for "another day". There was a whole bunch of bananas, so I had some baking to do before they got too rotten. I didn't want to freeze these bananas because I already have some in the freezer to use later. So I started searching for banana recipes. I did pretty well at first - I made the awesome Blueberry Banana Bread I posted about here. I think I also made a couple other muffins or breads that didn't end up being blog-worthy. And then there were two bananas left. Just sitting in my fridge, looking forlorn and ignored. I would shove them aside to grab for something else and think I should really use those sad, brown bananas and promptly forget about them.

However when I challenged myself to clean out my fridge, I knew I had to use those bananas. I also knew I had to make something extra tasty because the co-workers had been complaining that I forgot about them lately. I received a very sweet, slightly back-handed compliment, when one of them said "I woke up today hoping Josie would bring a treat in, and then she didn't *sigh*". Pretty soon they will have some serious expectations a la Joe over at Culinary in the Country.

Well I think I delivered since the 9"x9" square pan of Banana Lime Snack Cake was consumed in one day by about 5 people, who were constantly sighing in pleasure while chewing. I was very flattered and will probably bake something for them again - although the disgustingly hot weather needs to go away in order for me to spend anytime in the kitchen!

My recipe was inspired by the Banana Lime Cake at Bake Decorate Create.

Lime Banana Cake with White Chocolate Chips

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 extra large eggs
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoon grated lime zest
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x9" square ceramic baking dish and set aside. In a large mixer, cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluffy. Add the lime zest, vanilla, lime juice and bananas and beat. The mixture will appear slightly curdled. Sift the dry ingredients together and add in 2 parts, alternating with the cottage cheese. Stir gently to combine but do not beat. Mix in the chocolate chips. Bake for about 45-55 min in the center of the oven (I had to check mine a couple times). This is really yummy cake. The top gets pretty dark while baking so cover with foil if it bugs you.

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