Foodie Friday: Snacks You Will Love

Posted: 9 years ago | By: Christine Somers | In: Food & Drink | Read Time: 3 minutes, 38 seconds


Did you know as we age we lose our sense of taste? I discovered this quite by accident when I was working as a hospice volunteer. The person I was visiting weekly was "Mary", a lovely woman who was residing in a local nursing home. Mary dressed immaculately each day and had her hair professionally done. She would be sitting in the common room in a wheel chair when I arrived.  I was always looking for something of interest to her that we could talk about when we were together.

On one of my visits I took a few slices of my Flower Child banana bread to Mary. Once seated together, I handed her the zip lock bag with the banana bread; I was surprised and alarmed to see how quickly she consumed it. I was surprised because she reminded me of a little kid who quickly stuffs a whole cupcake in her mouth so her mom can't tell her she to share it with her siblings. I was alarmed because I was afraid she might choke. Fortunately, she did not choke but her reaction to the banana bread got me to thinking about food as we age and about how our diets change over time.

In my reading I discovered that there are physical and emotional reasons our diet shifts and we start seeking high salt, high fat foods. You can read a comprehensive explanation of the physical reasons for the age-related changes to taste at the Mayo Clinic web page. I personally believe that texture also plays a big part in how much some people enjoy food as they age. When my own mother hit her 80's, I watched as she started to eat potato chips and ice cream regularly. These were foods that were never a staple in her diet when she was younger but at 80 she found enjoyment in the salty crunch of the potato chips and the cold, smooth sweetness of ice cream. 

If you have an aging parent at home or in a nursing home that you are concerned about their diet, you might try introducing a few easy snacks to their regimen. This way you can find out whether it is a reduction in taste that is driving their dietary change or maybe it is something else. Keep in mind that nursing home's prepare hundreds of meals a day for people with various health issues. Additionally we all struggle to remain creative in the kitchen and nursing homes have the same challenge. 

Below is my Flower Child banana bread recipe. You can prepare this as a loaf or as muffins. I like the muffins because I can easily freeze them and pull them out as needed. Having a whole loaf of banana bread is a disaster waiting to happen for Marty and me. The muffins are a workable solution to helping us avoid late night runs on the kitchen and manage portion control. I have a great snack idea that I am working on for next Friday. See you then.


 Flower Child Banana Bread 

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of honey
1 grated lemon rind
2 beaten eggs
2 cups of banana pulp 
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of chopped nuts
1/2 cup of raisins (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a loaf pan

1. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. Mash bananas in small bowl. Set aside.
3. Blend oil, honey and lemon rind until nearly smooth.
4. Add beaten eggs to the oil mixture and beat.
5. Add sifted ingredients in three parts alternating with the banana pulp.
6. Fold in chopped nuts and raisins if desired. 
7. Pour in loaf pan.
8. Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick in the center comes out clean.
9. Cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan. 

**I use 1 cup of white flour and 1 cup of wheat flour for a lighter loaf that still has texture. If you prefer a heartier and heavier loaf, use two cups of wheat flour. 
***I like the honey but you may also use white sugar for a lighter taste. 
****Serve with cream cheese, fresh fruit, a dab of whipped cream or plain. 
*****I found that this loaf took 65 minutes to bake.
******If you decide to go the muffin route, bake for 25 to 30 minutes.