One thing we bought with our wedding gift gift-cards was this really cool fruit bowl that has a banana hanger. Supposedly this is the best way to store bananas and they are supposed to magically last longer. This is a semi-lie. They were getting some serious age spots 5 days after green purchase. Side note – I love bananas, but I can only enjoy them when they are still a little green. When they are ripe enough that the peel leaves those little strings on the banana and you have to try to pull them off with your fingers and your hands get all banana-y, that makes me almost want to gag. Sorry. Tangent ended.
So on Saturday, I decided that these bananas were destined for something better. Of course I could have made something really healthy, subbing the mashed banana for oil or something, but I decided instead to make my mom’s banana bread. Mom’s banana bread is borderline-famous because it is delicious and she regularly makes it for sharing with others. It’s just one of those great comfort food recipes that is worth making every once in a while. So go get some bananas today and you can whip this up on Saturday.
The ingredients. Notice the pecans – they are very important. No, you cannot leave them out. No, you cannot substitute walnuts; walnuts taste like dirt. Ok, moving on.
You may also notice that my milk of choice these days is almond milk. I really like almond milk – I think the flavor is better than soy milk, plus it has only 35-40 calories per cup. My husband isn’t really supposed to have dairy (although there is an unspoken rule that neither cheese nor Blue Bell fall into the category of dairy for his purposes). When he was a single guy, he bought Lactaid for eating with cereal, which is really the only time he ever drinks milk. I discovered that almond milk is actually cheaper than Lactaid, and it turns out that the husband liked the taste as well. So we are on the almond milk bandwagon for the time being. Any of you into alternative milks? (It’s just as edgy and cool as it sounds.)
Also vanilla is not in the original recipe, but I basically add vanilla to everything I bake. It also gives a caramel-y taste that really compliments the banana.
First you mix the oil and sugar, then add the eggs and beat it up. You could probably get away with using less sugar in this recipe as the resulting muffins are quite sweet. Also vegetable/canola oils are among the better fat choices since they are unsaturated. I’ve learned a lot about triglyceride molecular structure lately (yeah. more on that later.) and fats that are liquid at room temperature are slightly healthier than saturated fats (butter) and way healthier than hydrogenated fats (crisco). Moving on.
Mash your bananas really well with a fork and add to the sugar-oil-egg mixture. Beat it again.
In a separate bowl, get your dry ingredients mixed up. This is important so that the baking soda gets fully incorporated. Once everything is nice and blended, add about half of the dry mixture to the banana mixture and mix. Add the milk and mix. Add the rest of the dry stuff and mix. Unattach the beaters from your mixer and lick. Yummy.
Dump in the pecans and fold in. You should probably use a spatula for this. Not sure why I was being weird and using a whisk. Pour your batter into two loaf pans or muffin tins. My mom always makes loaves, but I decided to go for muffins. Pop ’em in the oven at 350 degrees. (See detailed recipe below for time)
These are so fantastic right out of the oven. And the next day. And the day after that. We devoured quite a few right then. Aggie football was on and I was making chili that still needed a couple of hours of simmering, so we needed a snack. Happy first day of Fall!! Is the weather even remotely fall-ish where you are?
Brenda’s Banana Bread
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 Tbs milk
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 very ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Mix oil and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat. Mash and add banana. Mix dry ingredients. Add alternately with milk. Stir in pecans. Pour into two greased loaf pans or muffin tins (makes 2 dozen medium-sized muffins). Bake at 350 degrees – one hour for loaves, twenty minutes for muffins.