Saturday, January 26, 2013

NEXT UP: Butter-Free Banana Bread

Something really amazing happened this week. 

I'm not talking about the arctic weather that has descended upon Manhattan this week. Ew. No. This nose-biting, ear-burning, can't-see-because-I-purposely-covered-my-eyes-with-my-wool-hat weather is not cool, Mama Nature. 

Something else happened. Something dee-licious. My bananas? Yea, they went bad.

Real bad.

Any one who knows me knows that I always have at least one banana at all times in my kitchen. I'll probably get sick of them one day, but for now they're one of my favorite foods. A morning is not complete without oatmeal and sliced banana and almond butter.

Usually I use them before they have time to over-ripen, but an excess banana supply this week meant I finally had the perfect ingredients to whip up a banana bread.

I was eyeing some "healthy" banana bread recipes that called for unsweetened applesauce. I didn't have any on hand, and remember that arctic weather rant? Yea, I wasn't leaving my apartment just for some apple mush.

I found a recipe that called for no white sugar or butter. So maybe it's not healthy banana bread...but perhaps healthier?

Remember, this bread takes about an hour to bake, so think twice before popping it into the oven after 11pm. *Guilty eyes*

This was a superb bread that filled my apartment with an amazing scent while baking, and tasted perfect fresh out of the oven, as well as the next day after a quick pop in the microwave, and the next next day with a thin layer of almond butter.

Guess this means I should always buy too many bananas, huh?

Butter-Free Banana Bread

1 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, mix together mushed bananas, brown sugar, canola oil, eggs, and vanilla until well-blended. Don't worry about small bits of banana left over; they actually make for a tastier bread.

4. Mix the dry ingredients into the banana mixture until just combined.

5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.

6. Bake in oven for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean, even if the top looks done.

7. Let bread cool before slicing. Store in an airtight wrapping/container on the counter or in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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