Banana Bread Without Sugar Recipe

Banana bread without sugar recipe from HousewifeHowTos.com Recently, my sister-in-law asked if I had a recipe for banana bread without sugar. I didn’t, but since I’m the kind of person who loves a good cooking challenge, I decided to give it a try. Make that several tries, until I came up with a winner.

Shortly after my husband’s cancer diagnosis, I began doing research into dietary and lifestyle changes we could make that would complement his medical treatments. Dr. Patrick Quillin’s book, Beating Cancer with Nutrition (with CD) is one I turn to time and again. (Others include The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen and Anticancer: A New Way of Life.)

My husband and his sisters have a history of cancer on both sides of their family tree. I’m adopted, so I don’t know my inherited medical stuff. As a result, we’re all trying to be proactive with nutrition changes to counteract whatever hand genetics dealt us. (That said, I’ll fight to the teeth to hang on to my martinis!) But that’s why coming up with recipes that don’t use refined white sugar or white flour is important to me. It’s also why I place such an emphasis on natural, homemade cleaners and replacing processed food with homemade mixes.

That doesn’t mean I want my food to taste like cardboard. So, I bought three dozen bananas last week determined to find a recipe for banana bread without sugar that we’d all enjoy. Now that I’ve done it, if I don’t see another banana before the end of the year, I’d be fine with that.

Replacing Sugar In Banana Bread

I tried a number of things to replace the sugar in my normal banana bread recipe. Both honey and agave are on the no-no list according to Dr. Quillan, so I tried batches with straight stevia (awful!) and 100% maple syrup (which changed the flavor too much). What I needed was something unrefined yet sweet.

TIP: Don’t worry if your bananas aren’t ripe yet. Just wash and dry each one, then put them on a cookie sheet and pop it into a 300F/149C oven for an hour. The skins will turn black as the heat converts the fruit’s starches to sugar, which is exactly what happens in the ripening process.

Then I remembered having breakfast at a vegan-friend’s home one morning. She served toast with raisin puree in place of butter, and it was delicious. Incredibly sweet, but delicious. How would that work in bread? Turns out: brilliantly! By that point, my bananas were almost too ripe so I needed to come up with a good recipe. Fast.

How convenient that together those things — raisin puree and incredibly ripe bananas — produced the sweet, moist taste I was looking for! Even better: the raisins didn’t compete with the banana flavor.

Banana Bread Without Sugar

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Banana Bread Without Sugar
 
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100% Whole Wheat Banana Bread Without Sugar: true comfort food, without the guilt!
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Serves about: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1 oz. raisins
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 5 very ripe, large bananas
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or 1 whole wheat and 1 all-purpose)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon stevia (optional)
Instructions
  1. Soak raisins in the warm water until they're swollen, preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. Grease a 9x5" loaf pan.
  4. Drain raisins and put in food processor or blender.
  5. Add the bananas to the raisins and process until pureed.
  6. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  7. In bowl of stand mixer or large bowl, beat butter and eggs until fluffy.
  8. Add vanilla to mixer bowl and continue beating.
  9. Add banana/raisin mixture and continue mixing until well-combined.
  10. Taste, and add stevia if desired.
  11. Stir in dry ingredients until just mixed. Do NOT over-mix. (Batter will be very thick.)
  12. Scoop batter into loaf pan and smooth top.
  13. Bake in preheated oven 60-75 minutes, or until toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
  14. Remove loaf from oven, let cool 10 minutes, then tip loaf out to continue cooling on wire rack.

 

You’d think that people who’d tried four unsuccessful banana bread recipes in the past two days wouldn’t have been all that interested in eating more, but you’d be wrong. As soon as this loaf was cool enough to eat, we could see how incredibly moist it was, even without slathering on the butter. After the first nibble, my husband and I broke into wide grins… which we quickly shoved full of more banana bread.

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Homemade Daily Shower Spray Recipe

Homemade daily shower spray recipe from HousewifeHowTos.com Save money and time by making a homemade daily shower spray recipe part of your daily cleaning routine. You’ll not only prevent pink mold and mildew in your shower, you’ll reduce soap scum, making your weekly bathroom cleaning routine that much faster.

Cleaning shower walls and glass doors is one of my very least-favorite chores. I’m short and can barely reach the top of the walls, much less reach the shower head so I can aim it against the walls to rinse them after scrubbing. Fortunately, using a daily shower spray means I rarely have to actually scrub the walls anymore; now a simple weekly spray with homemade bathroom disinfecting spray, followed by a quick wipe, gets the job done.

Either have the person who takes the last shower of the day do this, or make it part of your daily cleaning routine. It only takes a few seconds, but it can cut TONS of time out of that weekly bathroom cleaning.

Simple Daily Shower Spray Recipe

Combine in a spray bottle, shake and use daily:

  • 1 part white vinegar or apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 parts water

Vinegar-Free Daily Shower Spray Recipe

Combine in a spray bottle, shake and use daily:

  • 1 part rubbing alcohol
  • 3 parts water

(Remember: rubbing alcohol is flammable, so don’t store or use this near an open flame.)

Tilex-like Daily Shower Spray Recipe

This one uses hydrogen peroxide, which degrades quickly when exposed to light. If you don’t own dark-colored spray bottles, you can use an old hydrogen peroxide bottle. Just screw a spray bottle head on top!

  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 2-3 drops liquid dish detergent (like Dawn)
  • 1 cup water

Keep in mind, this is a daily shower spray recipe designed to be used between deep cleanings. It will prevent soap scum, but it won’t clean built-up soap scum. For that you need a homemade soap scum remover, after which using this daily shower spray will keep those walls sparkling.

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How To Make Homemade Cottage Cheese

Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe from HousewifeHowTos.com

My son absolutely loves homemade cottage cheese, which I started making but after reading the ingredient list on a carton from the grocery store. Instead of the “lactose, salt, guar gum, mono and diglycerides, xanathan gum and carob bean gum” that come in the store-bought stuff, homemade cottage cheese has just a few simple ingredients I already had.

Now, I’m no stranger to making cheese at home. I’ve shared my homemade Pimento Cheese recipe, but it starts with store-bought cheese. But I’ve made plenty of other homemade cheese, too. My favorite (so far) has to be the Cotswald Cheese I made a couple of years ago.

Homemade cheese I made from HousewifeHowTos.com

Cheese like that takes days to make and months to age. Homemade cottage cheese? You can make it in less than an hour (with less than 10 minutes of active time on your part) and eat it that very same day. In fact, it’s best if you do eat it right away, but if you can’t it keeps in an air-tight container for a few days. Or you can store it in a vacuum-sealed jar and enjoy it for a week or more.

Cottage cheese in jar from HousewifeHowTos.com

What’s All That Extra Liquid?

One thing you’ll notice while making this Homemade Cottage Cheese recipe is that there’s a lot of liquid coming out of the curds when you drain them. That stuff is known as whey, and it’s same the yellowish liquid that pools on your store-bought cottage cheese, sour cream or yogurt. Save this stuff: it’s a real protein powerhouse!

Gather the whey and pour it into muffin tins, then freeze and pop out the discs to store in a freezer bag. Use whey in place of some of the water when you make stock from kitchen scraps, replace part of the water when making baked goods, and add it to smoothies.

How To Make Homemade Cottage Cheese

One important note: ultra-pasteurized milk does NOT work when making cheese at home. Unfortunately, most organic milk sold in grocery stores is ultra-pasteurized, so if you’re eating organic you may have to make an exception here. If that’s the case, and you’re concerned about the growth hormones in the U.S. dairy supply, look for conventional milk bearing a label that says it comes from cows not treated with artificial hormones (rBST, rBGH) and which are GMO-free.

So, ready to make cottage cheese on your own? Grab a gallon of milk, a small jug of cream, some white vinegar and your salt shaker, then let’s get started!

Homemade Cottage Cheese
 
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Whether you call it Cottage Cheese or Farmer's Cheese, it's super easy to make at home with just four simple ingredients, and the taste is amazing!
Author:
Serves about: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 gallon skim milk
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Pour milk into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Heat slowly to 190 degrees stirring regularly so milk doesn't burn on the bottom of the pot.
  2. Remove milk from heat, pour in vinegar and stir a few times. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, line a colander with a clean piece of doubled cheesecloth or muslin, or a clean, smooth cotton dishtowel. Place the colander over another bowl to catch any liquid (whey) that drips out.
  4. Spoon the solids from the pot into the lined colander. Let drain for 30 minutes.
  5. Gather the ends of the cloth tightly together and form a cloth-wrapped ball of cheese. Holding this in one hand, run cold water over the ball, kneading and squeezing it with your other hand until the entire ball of cheese is cool.
  6. Dump the cheese out of the cloth into a bowl and use your fingers or a fork to break it into small curds around ¼ inch in size.
  7. Stir in the cream and add salt to taste.
  8. Chill for at least 1 hour and stir before serving.

Homemade cottage cheese is, of course, delicious on its own or topped with fruit. Or switch it up and go savory by stirring in chopped tomatoes and red onions, and seasoning it with cracked black pepper. Turn it into a dip with a little homemade Ranch dressing mix, or use it in place of ricotta when making lasagne. Any way you use it, homemade cottage cheese is delicious!

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How To Remove Hard Water Spots

How to remove hard water spots, mineral deposits or lime or calcium buildup from HousewifeHowTos.com If you live in an area with hard water, you’ve probably found yourself wondering how to remove hard water spots from your bathroom or kitchen fixtures, shower doors, and even your tub. Whether you think of them as lime or calcium buildup, or scale, they all come from the minerals that give hard water its name.

Those same minerals, which prevent soap from lathering well, also work against most ordinary household cleaners. And, while there are many, many commercial products on the market designed to get rid of those water spots (Tilex, Lime-Away and CLR are three), you really don’t need to look farther than your kitchen for natural products that remove hard water spots.

How To Remove Hard Water Spots In The Shower

I know many people swear by Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, while others use wet dryer sheets. I’ve tried both, and they worked, but I don’t like the cost and waste involved with Magic Erasers, and I don’t like the scent and chemicals used in dryer sheets at all.

The natural solution: homemade soap scum remover as part of the weekly cleaning routine works like a charm! Once you’re rid of the soap scum and hard water spots, keep them away with a homemade daily shower spray.

How To Remove Buildup In Whirlpool Tub

Whirlpool tubs don’t completely drain themselves between uses. As a result, tub owners often encounter two kinds of gross problems. First is the black gunk that sometimes spews out of whirlpool jets and the pink mold that grows around them. This stuff, known as “biofilm”, is basically bacterial buildup growing from the water (and hair and dead skin cells) that sat in the whirlpool pipes between uses. Then there’s the hard, white mineral buildup that sometimes clogs the jets.

Fortunately, there’s an all-natural way to get rid of both, which I’ve used in my own whirlpool tub for years now:

  1. Fill tub with only HOT water, at least 2 inches above highest jet.
  2. Add 1/2 gallon white vinegar.
  3. Run the jets for 15 minutes, then let sit for another 10.
  4. Drain the tub and refill with cold water, running 10 minutes.
  5. Drain the tub and wipe down with clean, soft cloth.

How To Remove Hard Water Spots on Fixtures

Shower heads: Clean them using this method.

Faucets: Wipe them with all-purpose cleaner, scrubbing with a soft brush or microfiber cloth to loosen gunk. Rinse and wipe with a soft cloth. For remaining stubborn stains, moisten the fixture with a wedge of lemon or some vinegar on a microfiber cloth and let that sit for 5 minutes, then scrub again with a soft brush. (If the buildup is inside the faucet, shove the lemon wedge in there and let it sit 5 minutes.) Be SURE to rinse the fixture well after applying lemon or vinegar to avoid etching. Buff dry.

Toilets: Turn off the water supply to the toilet, then flush it to reduce the amount of water in the bowl. (Use a plunger to push additional water down the drain until the bowl is empty.) Spray the bowl with straight white vinegar and wait 20-30 minutes before scrubbing with a stiff-bristled toilet brush. For stubborn remaining spots, sprinkle on baking soda and scrub. (Yes, it will foam a bit. Don’t panic.) If you often have stubborn spots consider adding in a toilet which is resistant to harsh cleaning agents (TOTO SS114 SoftClose Toilet Seat is an example of this).

Refrigerator water dispenser: Cut a lemon in half and shove it onto the water tube. Let that sit 30 minutes then remove the lemon, scrub the tube opening with a toothbrush, and run the water to flush the line. Follow by wiping the entire water and ice dispenser area with rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining water spots.

Remember: it’s easier to prevent water spots than it is to remove them. So be sure to give your shower and tub a thorough scrub as part of your weekly bathroom cleaning routine to prevent mineral and soap scum buildup. And don’t forget to give your faucets a quick wipe as part of your daily cleaning routine to keep them shiny and buildup-free, too.

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