Banana Bread

This recipe is all about being thrifty. Baking at home is one of the most satisfying experiences in the kitchen because you can turn a pile of flour, sugar, eggs, etc. into something warm and delicious with very little effort. One of the things I love best about cooking/baking is tasting the fruit of your efforts in a short period of time. This quick bread takes 5 minutes to put together and in one hour you will be diving into a warm, chocolate-y, gooey treat. And even more appealing than the minimal effort required is the availability of ingredients hiding in your kitchen. Take a look around…I bet in most kitchens there are a couple lonely, abandoned bananas that are turning black before your eyes. And you may have even made the sad mistake of tossing them in the garbage because you thought they were unfit to be eaten….WRONG!

Look familiar?
Look familiar?

The darker the banana, the better for banana bread. I will use any over-ripe banana (short of the moldy variety). When the banana peel turns dark it signals the natural sugars in the banana becoming sweeter…perfect for bread! I will forgive you for throwing the bananas away in the past, but now that you know how to use them I think you will find yourself buying extra at the grocery store in hopes of finding the “left-overs” at the end of the week. Who knew that something that looks so ugly can be turned into something so delicious?!

Ingredients

Note: This makes two loaves of bread; great for sharing!

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 medium bananas, mashed with the back of a fork
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 c. chocolate chips
  • 1 c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl mix sugar and eggs with a whisk.

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Before
Before
After
After

Next, peel bananas and mash with a fork until broken down but still chunky. Add into the bowl with the canola oil, cinnamon, and vanilla extract; mix thoroughly.

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Next, in a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold with a spatula until JUST combined. Next add in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts and fold until evenly distributed through the batter.

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Divide into two loaf pans; this is an important step. I used to bake this batter in one bread pan and the edges of the bread ended up over-cooked while the middle of the bread was doughy. Trust me, just divide into two pans ; )

Cup of tea while I wait...
Cup of tea while I wait…

Bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick is clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf; it will be beautifully golden brown on the top. Perfect for breakfast or dessert; enjoy!

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