Whenever bananas start to get a little brown in our house, my husband always says, “Looks like we need to make banana bread.” Which means, I need to make banana bread. My Mom used to make fantastic banana bread but she always made it by hand which was kind of an ordeal – all that banana mashing and mixing. I found an easier way to make it, putting my own spin on it. My family loved it so we dubbed it Mama’s Best Banana Bread.
Mama’s Best Banana Bread
Makes two loaves (halve recipe if you only have 3 ripe bananas)
6 ripe bananas (brown spotted on the peel and soft on the inside but still edible)*
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup safflower oil or coconut oil
Pinch of salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) or you can sub chocolate chips or do half walnuts and half chips
*If you don’t want to have to hop to it and make banana bread every time a few start to go brown, you can freeze them in a plastic zipper bag in sets of three (to make one loaf, cutting this recipe in half). But the trick is to freeze them when they are still rather firm. Go too far into overripeness and, when you go to thaw them, they turn to brown goo in the bag. So. Gross. There’s a fine line between perfect to freeze and too old so try to catch them at the point at which you’d still eat them.
1. Put the bananas in a Cuisineart and blend them until they are mush.
2. Add all of the other in order. You can pour all but the two flours through the feed tube, keeping the machine running.
3. Take the lid off to pour in the flours. The only reason I don’t pour them through the feed tube is that they tend to overflow the small cylinder. But if you’re more talented than I am and can make it happen, go for it!
4. Keep the motor running until everything is blended, stopping to scrape down the edges if you need to, with a spatula.
5. Also using the spatula, add the nuts and/or chocolate chips at this point just to mix them in. The Cuisineart might chop them up which you don’t want.
6. Pour the batter into two bread loaf pans that you’ve sprayed with nonstick spray.
7. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Then rotate the pans around and bake for another 30 minutes. Check for doneness by sticking a table knife in the center and pulling it out. If it comes out clean, you’re done! If it comes out with batter on it, cook it two minutes more and check again. It will continue baking a little more for a few minutes after taking it out.
8. Remove the baking pans from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then turn them over and shake them a little. The loaves should come right out. Turn them right side up and let them cool completely before cutting into them. But when you do, use a serrated bread knife which will result in tidy slices that aren’t falling apart.
9. If you can resist the urge, the banana bread will taste even better the next day.
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