I've never been a fan of bananas. They bruise, they get mushy and brown, and they have those weird stringy things that are attached to them when you pull off the peel. To be perfectly honest, they really gross me out. So when I had my first sone Lucas, I never bought bananas. It was stupid now that I think of it because it's the easiest snack in the world to give them but I can't peel bananas with out gagging...literally. Just ask my husband. So one day someone offered Lucas a banana when he was probably 18 mo's old. He, of course, LOVED the banana. This began my struggle with the long yellow fruit.
Lucas is 5 now and he has 2 younger brothers so we always have bananas around. I thought by this time they wouldn't me grossed out anymore, but they do. If my husband Chris is around I make him peel them. Unfortunately, my kids taste buds go in and out of banana phases and you never know if they'll love them or hate them. So, sometimes we have yucky brown bananas sitting on the top of my nice, clean granite countertops. Eyesores! I had to come up with a disposal plan. I can't just throw them away, I'd feel extremely guilty about wasting the food. Ain't no way I'm eating yellow banana much less a brown mushy one. Then, I remembered my granny. She'd always make banana bread. This may seem like an easy idea for most of you but to me I hated bananas so much that I couldn't even imagine putting them into anything I'd actually eat. Since I love baking I figured "what the hell" and try it. Just once.
I built up the nerve to make banana bread. My husband LOVES it and his mother would always send us home with a loaf, so I knew that I'd get some major brownies points. The first instruction was to mush up 3-4 mushy bananas. It was gross but I accomplished it. I was proud of myself. I'd conquered the bananas and turned them into this lovely smelling loaf of yummy goodness that I actually loved. The smell filled my house and even my kids mentioned that something was smelling REALLY good in the kitchen! I was so proud of myself and I dare say that my banana bread now tops my mother in laws. Sounds like a challenge is the cards! :)
Here's the recipe for all of you that need a good one. I can't remember for the life of me where I got it but it's really good and REALLY easy! Happy baking everyone!
Banana Bread Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack to middle position. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Set aside.
Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.) Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread can be frozen.
Makes 1 - 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf.
Banana Bread Recipe:
1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe large bananas (approximately 1 pound or 454 grams), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract