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Banana Bread

I always seem to have bananas turning brown in my kitchen, which often end up frozen to be used another day.  I really can’t be bothered to make banana soft-serve, so they remain in the freezer until they’re taking up too much space (that’s how many bananas come to my kitchen to die).  At that point, it’s banana bread or bust for the sad fruit.  Fortunately, I have a great banana bread recipe and Josh’s coworkers love it.

 

I don’t know where this recipe came from, but it is very easy and results in a caramel-like sweetness, so I always add nuts.  Many people like chocolate chips in their banana bread, but this recipe really isn’t the best for chocolate.  I have another recipe I’ll share later that includes chocolate.

 

Vegan Vanilla Maple Banana Bread or Muffins

Preheat oven to 350˚ F, oil either a loaf pan or muffin tins

In one bowl combine:

3 very ripe bananas, mashed*

1/2 c. vegetable oil**

3 Tbsp. maple syrup

2 Tbsp. water***

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. brown sugar

3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Mix well

In another bowl combine:

1 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

 

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix slowly to combine.

Once mostly mixed, add:

1 c. toasted**** nuts of your choice (pecans from Georgia are the best, of course)

Once everything is well combined, pour into your oiled pan or muffin tins and bake: 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes for bread, 25 to 30 minutes for muffins.  Check the bread to be sure it’s baked through by inserting a paring knife near the middle of the loaf.  If it comes out clean, it’s done; if there is wet batter on the knife, leave the bread in the over an additional 15 minutes.  If your bread is already as brown as you want it, you can either cover it with aluminum foil during the last minutes or lower your oven temperature to 300˚F and leave it for up to 30 minutes until it’s baked through.  This is a tetchy recipe because of all the sugar, so making certain it’s baked through is essential for success.

1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes for bread, 25 to 30 minutes for muffins.  Check the bread to be sure it’s baked through by inserting a paring knife near the middle of the loaf.  If it comes out clean, it’s done; if there is wet batter on the knife, leave the bread in the over an additional 15 minutes.  If your bread is already as brown as you want it, you can either cover it with aluminum foil during the last minutes or lower your oven temperature to 300˚F and leave it for up to 30 minutes until it’s baked through.  This is a tetchy recipe because of all the sugar, so making certain it’s baked through is essential for success.

Check the bread to be sure it’s baked through by inserting a paring knife near the middle of the loaf.  If it comes out clean, it’s done; if there is wet batter on the knife, leave the bread in the over an additional 15 minutes.  If your bread is already as brown as you want it, you can either cover it with aluminum foil during the last minutes or lower your oven temperature to 300˚F and leave it for up to 30 minutes until it’s baked through.  This is a tetchy recipe because of all the sugar, so making certain it’s baked through is essential for success.

Cool in the pan for at least an hour, then remove from the pan and eat warm or continue to cool on a rack.  For muffins, let them cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then invert onto a clean tea towel, move to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Your pan and/or tins should be 3/4 full so as to avoid the dreaded overflow that turns into a burnt blob on the bottom of your oven.  I have had this problem, so I usually make a loaf of bread and half-a-tin of muffins.  If you have a larger loaf pan this shouldn’t be a problem, however, your baking time will be longer.

Recipe Notes:

*a good method to mash bananas is to squeeze them as much as you can inside the peel, then use a fork to mash the rest against the side of the bowl.

**I don’t recommend coconut oil as it will resolidify when added to the mixture.  If this is all you have, melt it and add it after everything else is mixed, stirring quickly to distribute it before it hardens again.

***I don’t add the water until the batter sans nuts is mixed to determine if it’s needed.  If I’m using previously frozen bananas there’s often enough moisture to eliminate the need for the extra water.  How to tell if you need it?  If the batter pulls away from the sides of the bowl as a clump rather than a soft batter, add the water and incorporate it slowly, then add your nuts.

***to toast nuts, as soon as you get them home, preheat the oven to 350˚F, spread the nuts in an even layer on a sheet pan and bake for 12 minutes until they are fragrant, stirring once halfway through.  Store in the freezer until needed.

 

It’s pouring rain here in Georgia today, but it’s delightfully cool, so I’m not bothered about it.  The heat will descend again tomorrow and the humidity will inevitably be on the rise, too, so the windows are open and I’m embracing the chill!  Though the rain is kinda getting in the windows onto the floor…I guess I should close them.  Whatever, I’m still chilled, so it’s okay.  Bye!

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