I don’t like to eat over ripe bananas. They are just too sweet tasting and make me want to gag. I always buy bananas to put in lunch boxes or for quick snack. During the week sometimes they become forgotten. By the time I remember three perfectly over ripe bananas are waiting to be made into banana bread.
Banana bread is one of my first solo baking experiences and has since been my favorite. I use the recipe from wonderful The Fanny Farmer Cookbook as an outline, but since I have baked this recipe so many times I have done some altering and elaborations of my own. The prep time is the same as the pre-heat time on an oven so it is always quick and super easy to bake. This recipe is appropriate for anyone first learning to bake, child or adult.
The most important part of this bread is to mash and mix well. I always mix this recipe by hand because in the time it would take to set up a mixer, I could have the whole thing in the oven. The bananas can be mashed at different amounts depending if you like chunks of banana flavor in the bread. The remaining ingredients become added to the moist items so mixing slowly and well is best. One time I didn’t mix the baking soda throughout the batter. I ended with a loaf that looked like it was trying to climb out the side of the pan while being cooked. I wish I had taken a picture; it was a bit creepy to discover.
Lately, I have been making a lot of quick breads because it pairs well with tea during my early morning work break. My husband complained that the banana bread wasn’t as moist as pumpkin bread, his current favorite. I realized that the pumpkin bread includes a large amount of vegetable oil which is why it is so moist. Apple sauce is recommended as a healthy swap for vegetable oil in parenting media so it seemed like a good pair for bananas. I tried adding apple sauce last week and it worked out well giving the bread the extra moisture needed.
Looking online for other banana bread recipes I noticed that most include some quantity of butter. This seems silly to me because it is chemically unnecessary and makes it over the top. They are taking perfectly healthy bananas and making it into fatty cookie bread. That may be what some may be looking for but I enjoy the simple and healthy version and then slather on butter before I eat it.
Easy Banana Bread
3 ripe bananas
2 cups flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup apple sauce, or vegetable oil
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 ˚F and grease a loaf pan, about 8 in x 4 in x 3 in size. Mash the unpeeled bananas well in a large bowl well with a fork. Add the eggs and beat until mixed well with the bananas. Slowly add the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in small quantities mixing each time. Add the apple sauce and blend. If desired, mix in the chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour. After cooling for five minutes, pop the loaf out of the pan onto a cooling rack. Slice warm and spread with butter to enjoy with a morning coffee.