Friday, June 18, 2010

It’s the age old question, bananas are black and mooshie, yikes what to do with them?! My husband eats a banana every day with little exception, so we always have them on hand. Well this week he was out of town for three days and simultaneously we have been launched into true Sacramento summer (‘bout time actually)with temps in the nineties, and since we do not have air-conditioning, relying on windows opened at night and good insulation to cool things down, the fruit in the bowl on the counter ripens up a lot faster. Before I knew it there they were, big, black, bananas…Now personally I only know of three things to do with bananas in this condition, and one of them is throwing them out. Wanting to go for something a little less wasteful, I was left with the other two options, a banana milkshake or banana nut bread. Banana milkshakes were my mom’s solution to overly ripe bananas. She would put a banana, a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream and milk into the blender and there it would be, a nice Saturday lunch for my sister and me. She figured it was pretty healthy – fruit and protein – as well as a nice treat and since we weren’t big eaters one shake took care of the two of us…

Well, today I didn’t have any vanilla ice cream in the house, but I did have all the ingredients for banana nut bread with the exception of walnuts, so imagining what bananas would taste like with pecans, which I did have, I went for it!

I used the recipe from ‘The Best Recipe’ by the editors of Cooks Illustrated – a great cookbook by the way if you are in the market for a good basic cookbook with good no fail recipes. It’s just a basic banana nut bread…

2C all purpose flour

¾ C sugar

¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt
1 ¼ C toasted pecans, chopped course

3 very ripe bananas, mashed well

¼ C plain yogurt

2 lg eggs, beaten lightly

6 TBS butter, melted and cooled

1 tsp vanilla extract

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 D. Grease and flour bottom only of regular 9” x 5” x 3” loaf pan – now I have to interject here, how is it that someone who owns no less than six different loaf pans, never has one the size that the recipe calls for – am I the only one who has this problem? Just a question…

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and pecans together in large bowl; set aside

Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter and vanilla with wooden spoon in medium bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan, bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.

Well, soon the kitchen smelled heavenly and out of the oven came a beautiful loaf of bread…we let it cool just enough and then treated ourselves to a slice with a little butter…yum-er-iffic! Nothing like good old banana nut bread!

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