They say it’s healthy to eat fruit everyday…..so I’m glad someone invented Banana Nut Bread :)

16 Jul

Truth be told, I really like fruit. Veggies, now that’s a different story. Yuck. But I’d gladly eat fruit anyday, and just about any kind. It’s a wonderful thing when something that is healthy for you also tastes good. 🙂 The problem is…..fruit can also be used to bake things that aren’t as good for you….and the end product tastes even better than the fruit by itself. So, I wouldn’t recommend getting your *entire* daily amount of fruits from baked goods…..but I can’t guarantee that I practice what I preach. 🙂

Those of you who know me well know that I make a lot of cakes. Even though they generally turn out to be very tasty, sometimes I can get almost tired of cake. (Did you notice that I said *almost* tired of cake? Ok. 🙂 Just checking). When that happens, I start craving something else sweet instead. One day when I was baking a Hummingbird Cake, I could smell all of the bananas, walnuts, and cinnamon in the batter and I really wanted a piece of it when it came out of the oven. Problem was, I was baking it for someone else. But then I started thinking…..although those flavors are sending a nearly intoxicating aroma swirling around in the kitchen…..I’m kind of in the mood for something besides cake. What else has those flavors? And then it hit me: Banana Nut Bread. I couldn’t remember ever making my own, so I knew I didn’t have a recipe for it anywhere. That’s when I turned to my trusty old friend, allrecipes.com. After skimming through several different recipes I settled on one that had great reviews, but still tweaked it a little to match my tastes (and also what I had available in the fridge). 🙂 If you want the original recipe, you can search on allrecipes.com for “Janet’s Rich Banana Bread.” At the bottom of this post, I’ll include my tweaked version. 🙂

First thing first: bananas. You want to make sure that you use bananas that have a little brown on them. If they are still bright yellow, they won’t be as soft and won’t create the texture you want. Mine could have probabably used an extra day to ripen a little more, but I’d already waited 2 days, and everytime I saw them on the counter I wanted to start baking right away. So once I started to spot a little brown, I gave in. 🙂

The first thing you’ll want to do is mash 3 bananas. I used my potato masher, which I’ve used for potatoes a grand total of twice. I realized that I’m not very talented when it comes to homemade mashed potatoes, but I’d be willing to bet that I’ll use it more for bananas than potatoes, once it’s all said and done. 🙂 If you don’t have one of these nifty gadgets, you can just use a fork.

Next, you mix 1/2 cup of melted butter and 1 cup of sugar. At this point, it doesn’t look too much like a bread mixture of any kind…..

….but that’s ok because we’re about to thicken it up a little. Mix in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Then, in a seperate bowl sift together 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.  The texture is looking more like what I expected at this point.

Last step: fold in 1/3 cup of sour cream, 1/2 chopped walnuts, and the mashed bananas. How easy is that? That’s what I like about this bread (besides being delicious). No bread machine. No kneading. No mixer. I like simple stuff. 🙂

Here it is, all ready to go in the oven. Somehow, I had imagined that the mixture would look darker at this point. Any banana bread I’ve ever had has been a dark brown color. Since this was the first time I’d tried this recipe, I was hoping that it would taste as good as it smelled, and that it would somehow magically change colors in the oven.

And it did! After baking for an hour, it came out all nice and dark. I was VERY tempted to cut into it right away….but instead I let it cool first. Waiting for something to cool is always the hardest part!

After it cooled on a cooling rack, I sliced it and it looked all nice and pretty. 🙂 And it tasted just as good as it looked!

Since Eric doesn’t like banana bread, I had the whole loaf to myself. I did give a couple of pieces away to friends, but I was greedy and kept most of it. 🙂 I decided to try to freeze a few slices and see it would freeze well and still taste good after thawing out. That way, I could bake one loaf of bread and then freeze it to enjoy it several times later. 🙂  I had a game plan. I would thaw it out after it had been frozen for 2 weeks. I figured at that point I would be able to decide whether it would freeze well and keep for later, or if I should just eat/share any future loafs right away. The problem was, everytime I opened my freezer the frozen slices were calling my name! 🙂 After 5 days, I couldn’t take it any longer. I took the bread out of the freezer and let it thaw to room temperature. 🙂 Still yummy! So I know for sure that it will freeze for a few days. Beyond that, I have no idea. 🙂 In all honesty……I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to keep it frozen too much longer than that anyways.

Here’s the full recipe:

3 bananas

1/2 cup melted butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Optional extras: raisins, chocolate chips

Prehead oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas in a medium bowl. In a seperate bowl, stir together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a seperate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Fold in the sour cream, walnuts, and bananas. Bake in a greasted 9×5 loaf pan for 60 minutes.

Random thought for the day: I got to see my new classroom for the first time yesterday afternoon! The teacher who was in the room last year retired, and since she wouldn’t need her materials anymore, she left tons of cool supplies in the room for me! There are lots of books, scissors, glue, markers, construction paper, popsicle sticks, tissue paper, and bulletin board pieces for every month of the year! I can’t wait to put it all to good use. And……there is even an electronic whiteboard in my room!!! I turned it on today, but didn’t figure out how to use it yet. 😉 Apparently it has to be hooked to the computer, and I don’t have a login yet to get onto the computer. But that will be taken care of in just a couple of weeks. I’m so excited! 😀

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One Response to “They say it’s healthy to eat fruit everyday…..so I’m glad someone invented Banana Nut Bread :)”

  1. Jessica Llanes July 17, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    Wow, an electronic white board? That’s awesome! I have to say your post pics look great-I don’t even like bananas but I would try a slice of that = )

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