November 6, 2010 § Leave a comment
I’m a huge fan of banana bread. Well, actually, I’m a huge fan of homemade banana bread. I’m not sure why, but I find that most coffee shops and grocery stores seem to specialize in dry, artificially flavored banana breads. It is so easy to make a moist, tasty banana bread full of sweet banana flavor, I’ve just opted to only consume homemade banana breads. The one not-so-secret tip that I’ve found makes a huge difference is to use really, ripe bananas– and I mean, REALLY ripe, overly ripe in fact. When I have some bananas sitting on my counter that are accumulating more and more brown spots, to the point where their only purpose seems to be attracting fruit flies, I just pop them in the freezer. I leave them there until I am ready to make the banana bread, which could be months later. The day before I make it, I thaw the bananas in a bowl in in the fridge (the bowl is important because they will let off a lot of liquid). When I’m ready to use them, I peel them and place them in a new bowl. They are slimy and brown and all-around unappetizing, but so sweet and add the perfect amount of moisture to the banana bread, you won’t regret using them.
My favorite recipe for banana bread is Mom’s Banana Bread from Cooking Light. I don’t follow all of their suggestions for making a light version of banana bread, although I have a feeling this would be just as delicious. Here, I’ve also spiced it up just a bit for fall by adding some pumpkin. Oh, and of course, there were also some chocolate chips. Here’s what I used:
- 2 ripe bananas (approx. 2/3 cup mashed)
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter (softened), plus more for buttering pan
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinammon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 8 oz. chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until well-mixed.
3. Add mashed bananas, pumpkin, milk, sour cream and egg whites. Beat well.
4. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinammon and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in the mixer and beat until just blended.
5. Add chocolate chips (if desired), and mix well.
6. Pour batter in to greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
7. Remove from the loaf pan and let cool on a cooling rack before serving.
Notes on this loaf: As much as I professed my love of bananas above, I’m not that huge a fan of pumpkin. BUT, I loved the subtle pumpkin flavor in this bread. I thought it really complemented the banana. I couldn’t stop eating just the batter for this bread. I had even decided to add the chocolate chips to mask a bit of the pumpkin flavor, but I’m actually sad that I did that. Imagine that!! Although the chocolate was very tasty, the banana and pumpkin flavors would have been more prominent without the chocolate, and the bread would have seemed more appropriate for breakfast, rather than dessert. It didn’t really matter though– I enjoyed it any time of day.