Thursday, September 4, 2008

Peter Rabbit's Natural Foods Cookbook


I came across this cute looking cookbook at a recent library sale. Twenty-five cents was the price.

I've always had a place in my heart for Beatrix Potter works - I'm not big on animal movies/books but her critters are so cute, and yet not overdone.

I thought this little cookbook would be a fun book to use in teaching the children to cook. The recipes have such endearing names like "Pigling and Pigwig's Hot Rice Breakfast Treat" and "Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise's Spinach Salad" and "Samuel Whiskers' Roly-Poly Pancakes."

I have had some frozen bananas mouldering in the freezer for a couple of months...my dd only likes bananas that are hard and greenish (shudder), ds won't eat a banana to save his life, and I only like bananas during that brief window when they are no longer green, but not mushy either. Thus we tend to have bananas mouldering in the fruit bowl before they are thrown into the freezer.

Yesterday I was cleaning out the freezer to make room for some bread and saw the blackened corpses of the bananas and knew that I just needed to go ahead and do something with them. Banana bread - something I rarely make - sounded very tasty.

In the Peter Rabbit cookbook there was a recipe for "Squirrel Nutkin's Banana-Nut Loaf. Looked easy so my daughter and I got to work. The recipe seemed pretty standard but then to then in parenthesis it said you could use a mix of white flour/whole-wheat flour/oatmeal and wheat germ. I'm all for making it a bit healthier so we used the alternative ingredients (minus the wheat germ that I was out of).

Well I was disappointed in how it turned out. It was NOT banana bread...at least not the banana bread I was thinking of...the dark, speckled look was missing and the sweet, full banana flavor was missing too.

Then I looked again at the title of the book

"Peter Rabbit's Natural Foods Cookbook". The title of the book should have given it away. Probably if I had never, ever tried REAL banana bread before, I could be convinced it was OK. That's part of the problem when switching from unhealthy eating to healthier eating...until you get used to it the healthier stuff doesn't taste as good, doesn't taste quite right.

Having said all that - there are just some things you ought not to mess with and banana bread is one of those things! I'd rather have no banana bread than "faux" banana bread.

I compared the recipe from Peter to a recipe I found on a popular recipe website to see what was the missing link:

Peter's recipe:
2 bananas
3/4 c sugar
2 T shortening
1 egg
3/4 c milk
3 c flour (or the 1 c white/1 c whole-wheat/3/4 c oatmeal/1/4 c wheat germ)

Online recipe:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

I think I'd prefer the faux bread too!

CanadianGrandma said...

It's better to use the original recipes for taste and appearance! If you are worried about calories, moderation is the key.

Edi said...

Yeah - moderation is the key...but if you have problems with moderationn (like some of us do!) - then you do need some alterations. But if in everything you prepare you think "I'll just eat of it in moderation) - then pretty soon all those unhealthy things start adding up.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. That is one of the best recipes for banana bread. I got the book as a kid in the late 1970s and I still make it. It is easy to make and the bread rises high. You can add nuts or chocolate chips. Everyone has different tastes.