January 15, 2012

Foodie Files: Easy & Delicious Banana Bread Recipe!

It’s so odd to recall how much of a picky eater I was growing up, so much so that the Mum would request special ‘remedies’ be shipped directly from Haiti to help me gain a healthier appetite. Up till High School, the basics of my diet often included a bowl of Fruit Loops, bags upon bags of Frito Lays ranch crisps, and strawberry sour belts. At the age of 14 & barely clocking in at 98 pounds I had no inkling as to the sheer pleasure of ‘food’ until after High School and using my own kitchen to whip up lunches and quick suppers.

So, fast forward to this past week, staring at an untouched over-ripe bunch of bananas on the kitchen counter and imagining the exasperated look on Mum’s face if I pulled off a recipe….. which in the past included a fruit that left me with gag reflexes. I had fingers crossed.

What You’ll Need:

(adapted from FoodNetwork.com)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1 cup refined sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter (melted)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • *Confectioner’s sugar mix

Getting Down:

Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Combine & sift your dry ingredients into a bowl (flour, baking soda, salt). Begin melting your butter in a small saucepan, set aside to cool. In a separate small bowl, mash 2 of the ripe bananas until you get chunks (not mush), then set aside. With a whisk or hand-held mixer with whisk attachment, combine sugar and remaining 2 bananas for 3-4 minutes until texture resembles a creamy texture. Don’t worry if the mix does not resemble banana cream, it’ll still work. Now incorporate your cooled melted butter, eggs, vanilla and beat until well combined. Slowly begin to add your flour mix (try adding a third of the mix until well combined, then slowly add the remaining 2/3). Gently fold in your walnuts (or pecans) and pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan.

Baking times vary depending on depth of pan, but average time is 1 hour, maybe even less. Bread is done once you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. After it’s cooled completely, dust with confectioner’s sugar. *I use a mix that I love:

  •  4 tablespoons powdered sugar,
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

This bread is incredibly yummy, not too sweet and tastes even better toasted or warmed briefly then dusted with your favorite topping. I baked one loaf and made individual servings for a neighbor for easy munching in the mornings. If you are fan of banana bread, you will be fiending for this bread the minute you taste, and even if you’re a former picky eater who would’ve never thought to reach for anything resembling a banana, this one’s still for you.

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