Banana Bread

So, apparently there are all these national and international days of food that are popularized by hashtag on the Twitters and the internets and the like.  I for one, have been unaware of these “holidays” until I began food blogging.  While they are all fun and games for the purpose of awareness I suppose, I feel, that just like Valentine’s Day, you can express your love of a certain food group on any day of the year.

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However, I did just happen to have TWO epic banana bread recipes that I make all the time, (because we just can’t seem to eat up bananas fast enough in the house and into the freezer they go) saved for a rainy day such as this.

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While the chocolate drizzle is optional, anyone in their right mind wouldn’t skip it.  I mean, unless you’re allergic to the stuff, (I have a story about that, remind me to tell you sometime…) I don’t know who would skip this delightful topping!

I love the heartiness of this loaf and the texture that whole wheat flour brings to this recipe.  I have made this plenty of times in the past knowing that I eventually wanted more of the nutmeg flavor, so I doubled it!

So get in the kitchen and get to work!  And happy #bananabreadday!

Applesauce Banana Bread: 

You will need: 

Measuring cups and spoons, of course

A large mixing bowl

A medium mixing bowl

A small mixing bowl

A fork

A glass or metal banana loaf pan  (9×5)

Can of cooking spray

*A microwave  (optional for thawing frozen bananas)

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Ingredients: 

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas (approximately 3 medium bananas) They’re the best when they’re totally black and have been in the freezer.  I take mine out and defrost them in the microwave for a bit before using in the recipe.  
  • 2 eggs- large
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted & cooled off) (you might be able to use coconut oil -try it!)
  • 1/2 cup minus 2 Tbs. natural, unsweetened applesauce (I just get the pre-packaged applesauce cups and take two bites out of it!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Drizzle: 

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I’ve used almond milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350º F 

Stir together the dry ingredients in the large bowl and set aside.

(*Note: Dry ingredients include everything on the list up through the nutmeg.  Sometimes sugar is counted as a wet ingredient but not here…)

Mash bananas with a fork and work in the remaining wet ingredients.  Fold in the wet mixture to the dry mixture in the larger bowl and stir with the fork until just combined.

Pour into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

*Note-  I eliminated a few tablespoons from the applesauce cup because I’ve found that putting the whole thing makes the middle of the banana bread loaf a little too wet, and without burning the outside and cooking it longer, this posed as a challenge.  You may have to experiment with yours and take away even more.  Try it!

Set aside to cool on a wire rack.  Proceed to chocolate drizzle — it’s a must!!!

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Chocolate drizzle directions: 

Stir powdered sugar and cocoa together in the small bowl until combined.  Add the milk, vanilla, and salt until the mixture is smooth.  Pour over a completely cooled banana loaf.  If it it still hot, the drizzle will become too watered down and possibly soak into the bread!

 

Flaxseed-Walnut Banana Bread: 

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You will need: 

An electric mixer

One medium mixing bowl

One large mixing bowl

*This recipe fits better in a slightly smaller pan:  8 1/4″ x 4 1/4″

 

Ingredients: 

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  •  cups all purpose flour
  •  teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  •  cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 -3 large eggs ( I think I used 3 to make it more cake like – results may vary) 
  • 4 large very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed
  • ½ cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350º F. 

Spray baking pan and set aside.

Whisk flour, soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Using the electric mixer, cream the sugar, yogurt, and butter in the large mixing bowl.  Beat for about 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy.

Add the eggs and continue beating, scraping down the sides occasionally with a rubber scraper.

Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and add the flour mixture a little bit at a time until completely mixed.

Fold in the walnuts/chocolate chips/flaxseed with a fork or wooden spoon and mix in evenly.

Scrape the mix into the prepared baking pan and bake for 60-65 minutes.  Again, it will be finished when your toothpick tester is inserted and comes out clean.

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Let it cool completely on a wire rack and then slice and enjoy!!

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Enjoy!

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-K

 


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