Holy Banana Bread!

Wow, it’s been a while since I last blogged…my apologizes.  But, I can promise that have a lot to update you on!  I’ve got a baking fest of banana bread, a week in Italy, and my first triathlon.  Maybe by the end of this week I’ll have you all up-to-date.  (I’ll cross my fingers when I’m not typing).

Italy is certainly the most exciting part of my June, but in order to stay on track, we’ll go chronologically and start with the banana bread fest.

Here’s the deal – every time I pick up a bunch of bananas, I inevitably have 1 or 2 that don’t make it into a stomach before they’re pretty brown.  So, I throw them in the freezer promising myself I’ll use them in smoothies or banana bread.  Well, I was pretty stocked up.

It turns out that every Friday, we have a staff meeting and someone volunteers to bring in a breakfast of some sort for everyone.  My massive amount of frozen bananas meant only one thing…a banana bread baking fest!  I, of course, decided to use my mom’s recipe that we all love.

When I said I had a lot of bananas, I wasn’t kidding!

I figured it would be easier to cut and blend if I had them thawed out a bit…plus it might save my sensitive fingers some chilling pain.

Next step…find all my ingredients and pray I have enough for the seven (yes, 7!) batches I was planning to bake.

Start with one cup of sugar…

Add 2 eggs…

Next, 2/3 cup of vegetable oil…

Now the more difficult and messy part.  My mom’s recipe calls for 2 large bananas.  Since I had so many bananas and none were that large, I went with 3 for the batch.  Plus I love bananas so I certainly don’t need to mask the taste.

Yes, I know there are only 2 shown here…created a prettier and simpler photo. 🙂

I find it’s easier (especially if they’re frozen) to cut the banana in half and then in half long ways.  Instead of having to peel the skins off and end up with frozen fingers and gunk in your finger nails, the banana almost pops right out this way.

Next we mix…

Don’t forget to get the oven ready at 350 degrees!

And we’re done mixing…

Add 2 cups of flour…

1 teaspoon of baking soda…

And a dash of salt!

Ok, so here is the optional ingredient…walnuts.  Personally I like the nuts and that’s what I grew up with.  Since I was making some of this for staff at work, I chose to do some with and some without.

I tried my best to wash everything in between nuts and no-nuts, but let’s just say I’m glad no one at the office is deathly allergic to walnuts.  No wonder a lot of nutrition labels indicate that their products are made or packaged where peanuts (or is it all nuts?) are also made and/or packaged…it’s hard work to keep things separate!

So the walnuts.  The recipe calls for 2/3 cup of chopped walnuts.

And to make the chopping easy, my Pampered Chef Chopper, also familiar as the Slap Chop!

Just put those babies in with the thing upside down, put on the lid, chop away, and you’re left with nicely chopped nuts and very little mess.

To prevent any mess, just be sure to take the lid off while above your bowl of mixture!

Back to mixing!

And mixing…

I’ve never done it before, but this time I decided to mix things up a little and try some banana bread muffins, along with my loaves.

But the first batch went into the loaf pans…

And into the oven…

Recommended cooking time is 30-40 minutes.

A nice little trick I learned growing up is to stick a knife in the middle when the timer buzzes.  If the knife comes out with dough on it, they need a little longer and if the knife is clean, you’re good to go!  These particular batches were taking closer to 40 minutes to finish completely.

For the muffins, however, those took much less time and the first batch out of the oven was for taste-testing purposes.  GW decided that muffins were definitely the way to go…good to know for the next bake fest!

As the loaves and muffins were coming out, I’d let them cool briefly, take a spatula around the edges to loosen things up a bit, and then get them onto the cooling rack.

Did I mention that using some sort of non-stick grease, Pam spray, or a bit of oil would keep things from sticking too much?  Yeah, that’s probably because I normally forget that very helpful step myself.  This time I was a little more on top of it, so I consider myself lucky!

I just kept baking…

and baking…

Can you see the plastic bags of batches 1 and 2?  Those are batches 3 and 4 sitting on the rack.  Another thing I neglected to mention…each batch makes 2 loaves, or a loaf and a muffin pan, or two muffin pans.

Oh yeah, and baking…

Before finally (around midnight) I was completely finished.  My freezer was clear of bananas (yup…7 batches x 3 bananas in each = 21 bananas were gone), my kitchen was clean, all the bread was finished, cooled, and bagged…and I was finally off to bed!

Which is exactly what I’m headed to now…bed.

Until tomorrow (and the start of Italy updates!)…

————————————————————————————————-

What is your favorite bread recipe?  Or maybe your favorite family recipe?

Other suggestions for using extra ripe (aka brown) bananas?

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3 Comments

Filed under FOOD

3 responses to “Holy Banana Bread!

  1. Andrea C

    Holly banana bread batman! Nice work- AC

    • Ha…thanks! Maybe I’ll do another post for Thursday’s food…cucumber sandiwches here I come! Plus, I’m trying to make my own rye bread for them…wish me luck!

  2. Pingback: How Does Your Garden Grow? | Iowa Farm Girl

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