Banana bread is one of the best, easiest, and tastiest ways to use up over-ripe bananas and save them from going into the trash or compost. Often some type of nut is added to give the bread a better texture, although it is not needed if you don’t like nuts, don’t have any, or have people who are allergic to them. Some other items usually added are dried fruits (such as raisins or apricots), chocolate chips (or carob chips for a healthier alternative), or a combination of all. Banana bread can also be very healthy if you use the right ingredients. Some popular spices for banana bread are cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Feel free to experiment with any of those. Usually the dosage is between half a teaspoon to one teaspoon for spices.
Also, you don’t need a mixer to make banana bread. Unlike cake, the batter for banana bread should not be over-mixed so it is better to simply mix the ingredients by hand using a spoon. A course texture is desirable, just like when making muffins. The best pan to use is a regular 8×4 loaf size pan. The following recipe for banana bread is pretty basic, some healthier and substitution options are given in parenthesis.
½ teaspoon salt (healthier option: sea salt)
2 cups all-purpose flour (healthier option: whole spelt flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar (healthier option: maple sugar, but only use ¾ cup as it is sweeter)
½ cup chopped dried apricots (you may substitute raisins or omit altogether)
½ cup chopped walnuts (healthier option: chopped almonds)
1 cup ripe bananas mashed
½ cup milk (healthier option: soy milk)
½ cup butter (healthier option: Ghee)
Spices per personal taste
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (healthier option: carob chips or omit altogether)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, dried fruit and nuts, and chocolate or carob chips if used. Mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, combine mashed banana, milk, butter, egg, and sugar. Stir into dry ingredients until blended. Pour mixture into loaf pan, bake for one hour or until bread begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and wooden toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for ten minutes, remove loaf out of pan and place onto a rack to cool completely.
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