Every year, downtown Pittsburgh hosts “Light Up Night”, when all of the office buildings stay lit up and the stores stay open and everyone walks around and enjoys the first holiday sights and sounds of the season.   They light a large tree and have live music, ice skating, fireworks, and other events spread throughout the city.

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Meeting up with Katie, Beth, and Amy for lunch and shopping yesterday was great.  We hope to meet once a month – other Pittsburgh bloggers and readers are welcome to join too!  Head on over to Katie’s post to see a pic of us (and her pathetic salad). ;)

Monday mornings are made infinitely more tolerable by a delicious breakfast.  I broke into my Kodiak Cake mix from Big Lots.

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The mix is great because it’s whole grain (this is whole wheat and oat), doesn’t have a ton of ingredients, and you only need to add water!

I added pumpkin (about 1/3 cup mix, 1/3 cup pumpkin) and 1/4 cup of almond milk to get the right consistency.

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It made six small cakes and I had 3 this morning and saved 3 for later in the week.

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I was planning on making another loaf of pumpkin bread, but instead decided to use up the two sad looking brown bananas on the counter.

I used Chobani to replace oil in the recipe and used flax eggs – only because I didn’t have real eggs in the house!  Although flax is a source of fat (unsaturated), it is also a great source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids – combined with whole wheat flour, this is a fiber packed breakfast treat!

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Heart Healthy Banana Bread (with chocolate chips)

1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp ground flax (added to 6 Tbsp warm water to make 2 “eggs”)

1/4 cup Splenda Sugar Baking Blend (equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar)

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2/3 cup mashed, very ripe banana

1/2 cup 0% plain Chobani greek yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1) Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees & grease loaf pan.

2) Combine all dry ingredients (except sugars) and whisk to mix well.

3) Mix mashed banana, milk, yogurt, flax eggs (when thickened), vanilla, milk, and sugar. 

4) Add wet mixture to dry and stir until incorporated.  Add chocolate chips.

5) Pour into prepared pan and bake 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes and then on a cooling rack.

Makes 1-12 slice loaf.

Approximate nutrition (per slice): 180 calories, 4 grams fat, 32 grams carbs, 4 grams protein

You could reduce the fat and calories by using egg whites (instead of flax, which I had planned on!) or not including the chocolate chips.  The ripe bananas give the bread so much sweetness that you could probably further reduce the sugar.  You would never know it was loaded with fiber.

Does your town do a holiday kick-off event? 

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