Everyone has a banana bread recipe that they swear is ‘the best ever’ and it might be true. However, I have yet to find one as good as this. It’s simple, moist, tender, and very flavorful. Until a few years ago I had no idea you could freeze bananas. I know that sounds weird but once they went over ripe I used to throw them away. One time my husband stopped me and was shocked at what I was doing. He explained to me that you use frozen over-ripe bananas to make bread. I looked at him like he was speaking another language. Then thanks to the power of Google, I was shocked – he was right!
I had enough to make the bread and I was just ecstatic at how good it was. Really the best result was as simple was freezing the blackened over ripe bananas for future use. Just add your rapidly-darkening extra bananas to the “banana shelf” in your freezer until you have enough to make a loaf of bread. As the fruit defrosts, the water crystals that formed during the freeze break down the flesh into a syrupy mush. You will notice the now defrosted fruit won’t hold its shape but if you snip off one tip you can squeeze it out like toothpaste. It is the ideal texture for the bread and has an intense banana flavor. It’s so simple! I really cannot believe it took so long for me to know this.
Now that the cold weather is upon us and I can turn on the oven without getting heat stroke, I had to make some. It freezes very well and defrosts quickly. I usually make up a batch and freeze the slices individually or as mini-loafs. Then as we head out the door to work we grab a slice and by time I get to work to settle in with my coffee it’s defrosted and delicious. This also saves me tons of money because I don’t have to buy it at Starbucks to go with my coffee. They own enough of my soul already with their soy vanilla latte’s. This is one of our regular favorites and easily adapts to a loaf, mini loaves, muffins, so have fun and enjoy!
Banana Nut Loaf
- 4 Ripe Bananas, mashed
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 7 tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 2/3 c Flour
- 3/4 c Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- Pinch of Salt
- 1/2 c Chopped Walnuts
Pre-heat your oven to 350°F and prepare your loaf pan(s) by lightly spraying with baking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl add the bananas, eggs, egg yolk, melted butter, and vanilla. Mash together until well mixed with a fork or potato masher. Set aside.
In another medium size bowl add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together to mix.
Pour the banana mixture over the flour mixture, and add the nuts to the mixtures. With a large spatula fold all the ingredients together until well incorporated and there is none of the dry mixture left. Pour into the prepared pans and for one large loaf, bake for 50-60 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. For mini loaf(s) bake 30-40 minutes, and Muffins 25-35 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack in the pans. Store in air-tight containers in slices or chunks (or whole loaves) and freeze for as long as you or your family let them last. Enjoy!
Adapted: Cooking for Engineers