Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Banana Nut Bread

Banana bread is the epitome of "giving food" to me. I never make just one. If I'm making banana bread, I bake multiple loaves and share the rest.

Which happens to be kind of often because Johnny will not heed my advice on banana purchasing. He consistenty buys two or three extra bananas per week. I've come to the conclusion it's his sneaky plan to require banana bread baking more often.

See- I freeze the extra bananas. Just freeze them whenever- bright yellow or starting to get spotty, it doesn't matter. They turn brown in the freezer and keep for a few months. It makes the banana bread really banana-y because they're so ripe and extra moist because of their thawed consistency.

Every couple of weeks or months I empty out the freezer and we have a guessing game of how many bananas will be in there. He always guesses low, in the teens. I think he's still in denial because it's always upwards to mid-twenties or low-thirties. I thaw them on the drain side of the sink in a big bowl, or put the bowl in the fridge overnight.

Warning- they will be soggy and somewhat limp. I usually snip the top by the stem with kitchen shears and then flip the banana upside down and squeeze it out into the batter kind of like a go-gurt. Johnny thinks it's really gross, which I guess it kind of is in comparison to a normal ripe banana. But once you taste the difference it makes in your banana bread you'll be willing to convert to this ritual. Trust me.

This recipe comes from one of my mom's cookbooks - I think a big, red Betty Crocker one? She made adjustments years ago- penciled into the margin and I make them by those directions that she emailed to me once I moved out. There are so many splatters and spills on that page from her making it over the years that you don't even need to look it up in the index- you just flip right to the dirtiest page! haha I'm sure she'd kill me for revealing that.

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (I always use 4 bananas)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients together, adding nuts last so they don't get too crunched up. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake 60-70 minutes until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean.

I usually dump everything into the Cuisinart in one shot and blend about 15 seconds, scrape down the sides with a spatula, and blend again. Then I pulse in the nuts until they're incorporated and plop into the sprayed pan. It works out great because once one batch is done I can just keep making bowlfuls quickly in the Cuisinart to swap out in the pans when the others are done baking.

Growing up we always put cream cheese on a slice and an ex boyfriend introduced me to putting peanut butter on while it was still warm so it kind of melts down into it. Also butter is great OR just eating plain. You can't go wrong with a good piece of banana bread no matter what the topping!


Nowheymama said...

We make banana bread all the time, too. I've never tried it with peanut butter! I bet that's good.

Anonymous said...

I thought I had a lot of frozen bananas in my freezer, usually about 6, not 25-30! No wonder you like to make this. I make a similar version but of course I have to add chocolate chips!