Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mostly Mom's Banana Bread


I missed National Banana Bread Day.

Wait, there was even a National Banana Bread Day in the first place?? Yeah, news to me too. But according to the news mogul that is CNN, it blew past us on the 23rd of February. I actually just realized (like 5 minutes ago realized) that I have yet to flip the months on any of my 3 bedroom calendars. C'est la vie. Like so many other things these days, it will get done later. Just like going through bananas at our house - they seem these days to always be the fruit we "promise to eat tomorrow".

The bonus of that procrastination / busy life is that come the weekend, it's banana bread time! And this one is really not special - one of the gazillions I now have posted on this blog and quintillions I've made over the years. The difference for me, when I made it, is that the recipe this time didn't come from a website or a blog or a cookbook - it came from my mom's recipe box.

Granted, the recipe itself was sourced from the late 70's copy of The Joy of Cooking, but my mom re-wrote it years ago and added it to her files. Then, when I was searching for "the perfect banana bread", I found it and slightly updated it to not only use what I had on hand (yogurt for sour cream, 5 bananas instead of 4) but make it slightly healthier by reducing the eggs and mostly richer with dark chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. The recipe itself was perfect as is - dense, sweet and an undeniably homey excuse to eat cake for breakfast, snacks and dessert (hey, it had fruit!), but now it's even better. More moist, just as dense, without a real "heaviness" or "oily dampness", and the bites of nuts and embedded treats of chocolate made it that much more of a "moreish" coffee break snack.

So thanks, mom and the Joy of Cooking, for one super-duper loaf!

Mostly Mom's Banana Bread
Makes one loaf, 12 slices
1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek-style yogurt
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 over-ripe bananas, mashed well
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse
2/3 cup miniature chocolate chips  
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber
  4. spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky.
  5. Fold in walnuts as carefully as possible. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with very few crumbs, about 1 hour.
  7. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room
  8. temperature for up to 3 days).
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 331.3
Total Fat: 16.7 g
Cholesterol: 25.6 mg
Sodium: 41.8 mg
Total Carbs: 47.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
Protein: 5.5 g

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