Bananarama

There’s one staple that my family cannot be without:  bananas.  My little one has more potassium flowing through his body than a room full of monkeys.  He loves “denanas” (his pronunciation) so it’s rare that I ever have any overripe ones laying around.  But somehow we ended up with a surplus this past weekend so I decided to make banana bread.  As I mentioned before, my little booger will apparently only indulge in khaki colored sweets, so this treat meets all necessary criteria:  it’s bread, it’s full of his favorite food, and it’s the color of my husband’s favorite pair of GAP slacks.  I’ve used the same banana bread recipe for years and I was skeptical about testing a new one, particularly one labeled “low fat”.  But I’d had this recipe in my “need to try” folder for ages, so I gave it a shot.  I’m a proud dessert junkie and rarely find lower fat versions to be as good as the original, but I will admit that this one was a pleasant surprise.  Here it is:

  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approx. 2 large)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup plain low-fat yogurt (I only had full-fat yogurt in the house so (1) that probably means I shouldn’t call this recipe low fat and (2) that’s probably part of the reason it was so good.  But the way I look at it, if I’m going to eat a dessert with fat in it, isn’t it better for the fat to come from yogurt rather than from more oil?  See, I can justify anything…)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg or 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour (I’m slowly but surely using up my bag of whole wheat flour.  I think it’s reproducing because I can’t seem to get rid of it.)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or spray a standard loaf pan.

In a bowl mix the mashed bananas with the baking soda and yogurt.  Allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the batter.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla.

In another bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt.  Then combine the banana mixture with the oil mixture, and then add that to the flour mixture.  No clue why everything had to be split into 3 bowls, but I went with it.  Stir until everything is moistened, pour into prepared pan, and bake 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  It took mine exactly 45 minutes.

When done, let cool on a wire rack, remove from pan, and enjoy.

Here’s a little trick with regard to storing banana bread, or for that matter any other loaf of bread you slice.  I used to just wrap it up in plastic, but once the top starts getting a little gooey (which I personally love), the plastic wrap gets all gunky and I end up re-wrapping it 5 times.  So I started storing loaves in my plastic cake dome – a basic Tupperware one with a snap-on lid.  That was cleaner, but it didn’t prevent the most recently cut end from drying out, thus requiring me to shave it off and waste a piece.  So the other night I came up with a solution to this conundrum:  I saved the heel piece since nobody really wants it, and simply reattached it with a long toothpick.  Each time I cut a new piece I slapped the heel right back on and nothing dried out.  Problem solved forevermore.   My son was clearly in the presence of greatness that night.

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