May 13, 2010

rally caps!

Am I the only person in the world who associates sunflower seeds with baseball? Even my earliest memories of playing t-ball and little league softball involve sitting in the dugout and going to town on a bag of those crunchy munchies.



The ground was always littered with the shells, and many of us kids wouldn't be recognizable without a wad of seeds stuck in our cheeks. You displayed great talent if you could de-shell a seed using just your teeth and tongue, no fingers required. (I'm sure that was the hope of the mothers out there, too--our hands were always filthy.)



Ah. Good times. I haven't had many sunflower seeds since then, but I recently found a tasty recipe calling for some and had to give it a try. This is not your light, la-di-dah kind of breakfast food. No, it's hearty and dense and filling--perfect for those needing a quick and long-lasting shot of oomph to start the day. Go team!

Little League Loaves
(adapted from this recipe)

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon wheat germ
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1 bar of chocolate, smashed into bits

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray pan of choice.
In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flours, sugars, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, oil, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquids. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the liquids by pushing them from the side of the bowl to the center. Stir just to blend, eventually folding in the raisins and bits of chocolate.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes for mini loaves, 22 to 25 minutes for muffins, or until the bread is golden brown and the tops are springy to the touch. To ensure even baking, toward the end of baking time, rotate pans top to bottom and front to back. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

66 comments:

Baking Monster said...

I could never get a seed out just using my teeth, I usaully just sucked on the shell for the salt, man its been to long since then. This looks perfect I'm always on the go and I do love anything bready!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That recipe is great and those loaves look scrumptiously moist!

Cheers,

Rosa

Chanel11 said...

I love sunflower seeds, as do the birds in my backyard. I love a dense, filling brekky, looks great.

Donna-FFW said...

What a great idea for a cake.. My daughters, all 3, teams eat the sunflower seeds during the game. The Ranch flavored is their newest favorite. They love them, I may have to give this a whirl, after your apple dapple:)

Faith said...

Toasted sunflower seeds are a wonderful addition to this bread! Also, I love the chocolate in there. I remember all the sunflower seeds at Little League...definitely good times. ;)

Pam said...

This sounds lovely! Perfect for bringing a slice into school and munching on when I get hungry. I have no sports stories to share however, soooo not sports inclined.

Von said...

I've never been to a proper T ball, softball or baseball game =] I only ever played it at school so unfortunately, I don't see any connectiong between sunflower seeds and baseball =] Using sunflower seed in a cake sounds really interesting though and delicious too!

Barbara said...

This is how old I am: there was no T-ball when I was a kid and nobody would have dreamed of eating a sunflower seed! And in my kids' era there were no girls playing and STILL no sunflower seeds in evidence. :0
But: I do love sunflower seeds now and so do they. Love this bread, Grace, wholesome, healthy and chock full of good things. A game winner if I ever saw one. Go team!

Bellini Valli said...

I like the addition of the sunflower seeds for my health and the "chocolate bar smashed into bits" just for me:D

haleysuzanne said...

I have to admit my impulsiveness on this one: as soon as I saw the first picture which showed me something decidedly bready, filled with cinnamon and raisins, I clicked on this post so I could bookmark it.

Sunflower seeds. Oh, bonus! Have to make it this weekend.

Then I discovered that it involved chocolate, too, so I am now planning on baking this....today. If the husband is lucky, there'll be a slice left when he gets home.

shaz said...

I love sunflower seeds too Grace, although these days I tend to get the shelled version. This recipe is kind of healthy too - yoghurt, oil, no butter, then kapow, have some chocolate. I like that in a recipe :)

Sophie said...

Another grand recipe of yours!! the loaves look so tasty & wonderful too!

Many greets from rainy Brussels!

Ingrid said...

Raisins? Why, Grace? Why raisins? LOL, raisin...EW!

I hate those stupid seeds! The boys put them in their back pockets and guess what? The baseball pants go through the washing machine and the leftover seeds are over everything else in the wash. AH!
~ingrid

Melanie said...

Well, I love the name of these little loaves...you are the queen of alliteration and the name is cute and clever.

Mimi said...

The chocolate is just the right touch to make this healthful bread a treat.
Mimi

ovenhaven said...

Love every part of this except for the raisins bit! Hate those shrivelled prune-wannabes :P

Anyway, wheat germ has always intrigued me. Does it do anything to the taste/texture?

lisa said...

I love healthy, hearty, breakfast bread! Yogurt must keep it moist, and cinnamon is always good, and there's chocolate? All the bases are covered! pun intended.

Angie said...

That bread looks so good, I love the addition of sunflower seeds

The Teacher Cooks said...

All good things found in a loaf including chocolate. Cannot go wrong with this.

Hungry Dog said...

Cute post and cute loaves! I'm always looking for a sturdy little breakfast, this looks like it would fit the bill.

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

These Little League Loaves sound great! I love sunflower seeds. I buy 'em shelled....too lazy to have at them in the shell. Have you tried sunflower seed butter??....to die for! xo

Half Baked said...

Love the name of these loaves. They sound great pack with a little of everything and chocolate! Must make these soon:)

Marjie said...

I don't know that I can bring myself to smash the chocolate to bits. I might have to eat that, and leave everyone else lacking...

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What a cute name! Haha sunflower seeds always remind me of my dad who would munch on these as he read that they were good for you!

The Blonde Duck said...

Ben puts them in a salad. I just remember eating them in trail mixes.

Erica said...

I love chocolate covered sunflower seeds! This looks delicious.

Pam said...

Mmmm this sounds so good! I loved sunflower seeds as a kid. My sister and I would go through bags of them until our mouths were raw from the salt.

Silver Strands said...

my husband used to work in an industry where everyone chewed .... tobacco .... so he got into a sunflower seed habit. He can crack, separate and spit better than anyone I know :)

Leslie said...

Whhhhaaaa? Is this a healthy baked good I am looking at on your blog???? Looks delish!
And yes..sunflower seeds and baseball go hand in hand

LilSis said...

I have very fond memories of sunflower seeds! Weird how some stuff just takes ya right back to your childhood. When I was in Junior High, one of my best friends and I would buy a huge bag on a summer day and just walk for miles eating the seeds and chucking the shells as we talked about God knows what.

This recipe looks amazingly moist and deliciously dense. I'd probably eat way too much of it!

lisa said...

I loved sunflower seeds as a kid. But, only to suck on them whole then spit them out. Now, I like the taste of the actual seed. The sunflower seeds are a nice touch here!

elra said...

Sunflower seeds is my favorite snack, especially good to accompany me when I do a long drive. Your cake look so gorgeous. The crumb look so moist. Quite tempting!

vanillasugar said...

in college i used to have my sunflower seeds sprinkled on my buttered bread and call it a sandwich (obviously broke those days). so yep i have a fondness for sunflower seeds, used them in muffins too. i can totally dig this gracie.

Lynda said...

Oh, I love sunflower seeds, so these loaves are calling to me!Thanks Grace!

foodhoe said...

a stick to the ribs kind of thing that includes smashed chocolate bar and sunflower seeds really appeals to me!

♥peachkins♥ said...

I love sunflower seeds when watching a movie..

krissy @ thefoodaddicts.com said...

hmm i actually don't associate sunflower seeds with baseball.. that's probably because i was never in little league! why do you always tempt us with such amazing close-up photos of your desserts??

TKW said...

There was a kid in my neighborhood named David who could shell sunflower seeds using just his teeth and tongue. Funny, I'd forgotten about him.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

tasteofbeirut said...

Now you are making me feel like I missed out on something! I attended one baseball game or two and was bored out of my mind, and I like sunflower seeds, just never thought of eating them at a baseball game. Thanks for the education in Americana and the recipe!

Hornsfan said...

Delicious looking bread - the sunflower seed comment is so true, I remember and still associate them with baseball. Funny thing is that when I would go to games (in Houston and in Miami) I have memories of eating the potato sticks that come in a can, you know, the ones people top casseroles with...mmmm those were good.

The Domestic Adventurer said...

Wow, great recipe - and the bread looks really moist!

Lindsey @ pickyeatings said...

I actually totally love sunflower seeds. It was all about getting them out of the shell, the seeds themselves were just a bonus.

Lucie said...

Your closeups always make me so hungry!! I've never eaten many sunflower seeds, but this looks like a seriously yummy treat.

Joanne said...

Somehow I don't associate baseball season with sunflower seeds...cracker jacks yes lol. This bread looks um amazing. Cinnamony. Yogurty. Heaven.

Have you ever had sunflower butter? I bet you would love it!

Mrs. L said...

Ah yes, sunflower seeds and baseball do bring back memories. Alas, when I traded baseball fandom for hockey fandom, sunflower seeds didn't quite make the changeover.

msmeanie said...

Sunflower seeds always remind me of childhood when I would buy the salted and flavored (BBQ was my favorite, ranch was good too) shelled seeds and just suck on the shells then spit the seeds out. Eesh, what a waste! Anyway, these loaves look tasty and delicious! Love the whole wheat flour!

Xiao Yen Recipes said...

Goodness Grace! The bread looks so oh so good!

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

Yes! We were adicted to sunflower seeds as kids. My mom totally hated how we spit the shells all over our driveway (but that's where the basketball hoop was!) and I still love sunflower seeds. This bread looks wonderful and fun - and healthy! Perfect for breakfast. Yum!

Lori said...

This sounds really good. I love sunflower seeds- especially in my salad. I need to try your recipe here Grace. It sounds really good.

sweetlife said...

Oh little league...the memories of ALL my little brothers games..we ate TONS of sunflower seeds and I could always get them out of the shell wout using my hands..so talented I was..great post and beautiful loaves..

sweetlife

Robin Sue said...

I am asuming these loaves have shelled seeds in them;-) My son plays in little league and those boys are loaded with seeds. Their favs are the jalapeno flavored ones and yes they stick the whole thing in their mouthes and spit out the shell. Mmm.

Foodycat said...

This looks great! My husband loves breads with seeds and whatnot in them, so I will have to make some of this for him! Cute story too.

culinography said...

Ahhh... sunflower seeds... one of my faves as a kid! This looks fabulous!

Amy I. said...

Ohh yum. Nuts and seeds are one of the many things I'm rediscovering as an adult.. as a kid I'd always prefer my baked goods without them, but now they make almost everything better. Dried fruit, too.

Grace, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your thoughtful comments on my blog. It always makes my day to see a comment come in from you, and I thank you for taking the time, it means a lot :) Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!

Kerstin said...

What a cute story and recipe title. I love all the goodness you packed in the bread :)

Karly said...

Ooh, these do look like a yummy, filling breakfast! I'm a big fan of sunflower seeds, although the last time I had some they were old and, well, I haven't quite recovered from the taste yet.

~~louise~~ said...

As a T-Ball coach in my youth, I usually had a stash of sunflower seeds for the kids. However, I wish I would have had a loaf of your yummy looking bread. Oh so good!

Thanks for sharing, Grace:)

theUngourmet said...

I love the name of these loaves. I love baseball too! I have been using sunflower seeds more in my recipes lately. My kids would really go for these!

Gloria said...

absolutely yummy!!! gloria

Lila said...

oh, perfect! I have a bag full of chocolate covered sunflower seeds. I bet they'd be all right in this bread!
Lila Ferraro
Queen Bedroom Sets

MaryBeth said...

I never played little league as a kid but I do recall enjoying sunflower seeds all the time. I oh so love them, and I bet the chocolate covered ones would be fantastic in this recipe.

Jay said...

Hy Grace,

Delicious recipe with awesome click..First time here...YOu have a lovely blog n yummy recipes. Glad to follow u.
Do drop in at my blog sometime.

Cocina Savant said...

what a great idea, and a great post! i instantly started reminiscing about eating sunflower seeds at the ball park, and wondering why we ate the flavored ones, ranch, bbq...neither of which would go well with your beautiful cake. looks delicious!

proofofthepudding said...

You know I loves me some whole grains. I'll definitely bookmark this one!

Carolyn Jung said...

Sunflower seeds make me think of elementary school and of recess, where we'd be chomping on them until we had to return to class. ;)

Danielle said...

Oh yes!! baseball and sunflower seeds go together like....hamburgers and cheese! My husband played softball for years...so i've had more than my fair share of sunflower seeds in my adult years! and now, I'm craving them LOL.
what a great bread!