Banana Bread

When life hands you bad bananas…make of banana bread. You’ll be glad you did.

BB

I had a week that was not so hot. It all started last Saturday when my apartment flooded…again. Yep. This has happened before. Twice before to be exact, but who’s counting? Oh that’s right…me. The girl paying WAY too much rent for an apartment better suited for Noah and his stupid ark.

The first two floods, my tears raised the water level. In other words…I cried…a lot. This time though? Nothin’. My boss told me I’ve been hardened – and while he’s probably right – I can’t help but think that description makes me sound like I wrote Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know or something.

After what ended up being an awful night’s sleep, my landlord came over Sunday to check on things. When he saw me – sans makeup and in the same clothes I had been wearing the day before/slept in – he so astutely stated out loud, “You look tired.”

We all know what that means. I looked the same way I felt – like crap. In my defense though – I wasn’t trying to fool anyone. There were no smoke, mirrors or as I already mentioned – Maybelline – that day. I was owning how awful I looked. After all, my exhaustion had earned me at least that much.

I spent the rest of the week regaining some sense of normalcy and eating banana bread.

The banana bread made my bad week much better.

BadBananas

You don’t need to be having a bad week to make banana bread – you just need yourself some bad bananas. I like my bananas under ripe – with peels that still have a hint of green to them. The second they start to speckle and the fruit gets too sweet, I know it’s way too late to eat them on their own, but I also know it’s a little too early to whip up a batch of banana bread. You’ll want to let the bunch hang out for a few more days until the peels are more freckled than not and the stems up top start to dry out.

If you’re not in the mood for banana bread, but you have some bad bananas handy, you could always throw them in the freezer and defrost when you’re ready to put them to good use.

Although you should probably wonder what’s wrong with you. Not in the mood for banana bread!?

BeatBanana

To get yourself started, you could meticulously mash your bananas with a fork. Or, you could do what I do and use a hand mixer to beat the bananas to smithereens. It takes about two seconds, it guarantees your bananas get seriously smooshed and it doesn’t dirty any extra dishes since you’ll be using the mixer again in a sec.

Dry

Just add your dry ingredients into your banana bowl – flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Wet

Right on top of everything else that’s already in the mix, add in your wet ingredients. Nothing wild and crazy here – just some eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil and applesauce.

One of the ways I try and healthify (real word) recipes is to cut out some of the fat by sneaking in ingredients that aren’t so sinful. Here, I’ve halved the oil the original recipe calls for and subbed in some applesauce to make up the difference.

I grew up on this banana bread recipe and I’m not BS-ing you when I say this lower fat version isn’t lack luster. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s just as good – nay, better – than the original.

Batter
Beat everything in that big ol’ bowl together for a few minutes and then pour your batter into pans you’ve prepared to handle the task at hand. This recipe makes a TON of banana bread. I got myself six mega muffins and three mini loaves, but you could easily get two full-sized loaves or one 9×13 rectangle of banana bread goodness.

Whatever bakes your brownies banana bread!

BirdsEyeView

Banana Bread

adapted from Betty Crocker
Serves: 16
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35-65 minutes, depending on the pan(s) you use

Ingredients:
2 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 large) – I add in another for some extra bold banana flavor
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup applesauce
2/3 cup finely chopped nuts (optional)
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs

Directions:
Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins or grease and flour mini or regular loaf pans. In large bowl, beat the bananas to smithereens. Then, add in all the other ingredients and beat with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).

Bake muffins 23-25 minutes, mini loaves 35-45 and regular loaves 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely and enjoy!

PB

I prefer to enjoy my banana bread warm and slathered with some peanut butter. Crazy combo? Nope.

This combination is banana bread perfection in each and every bite.

We’re supposed to get some serious snow here in New England this weekend and I say bring it. I won’t mind being snowed blizzarded in as long as I’ve got my banana bread to keep me company.

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2 thoughts on “Banana Bread

  1. fortheloveofdessert February 11, 2013 at 11:46 am Reply

    I don’t think the peanut butter is weird at all! I mean, you gotta get that protein guurrl! Best use of old bananas ever! I can never seem to have bananas around long enough though..

    • Brie February 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm Reply

      Thank goodness you guys GET me!!! Yes, pb is a necessity. I could eat it everyday – all day long.

      I highly recommend trying this killer combo next time you’re able to hang onto bananas long enough to make some bread outta them 🙂

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