When I was in college there came a day when I felt like I needed to start baking things. I was a nanny for 2 boys who were in elementary school, and they loved eating sweets and baked goods. My go-to was a zucchini bread. Delicious? Yes. Healthy? Um, this could be debated, but I always had an excuse to make it because the vegetable garden yielded tons of zucchini’s every spring…..HUGE zucchinis. I’d make bread for my family, friends, families from the boy’s school…the zucchini was never ending. Eventually I decided to attempt some other breads…how hard could it be? I tried cranberry lemon bread, chocolate walnut bread, pumpkin bread (with chocolate chips, YUM!), and then finally the simplest of all, banana bread. I tried several recipes until I finally found one that was best. Moist, banana-y, sometimes with nuts or sometimes without…it was perfect. Hundred’s of loafs and muffins later, I am still using the same recipe. It is so easy and simple, yet so perfect. It can be made in a loaf, a cake, muffins…the options are endless.
Don’t have ripe bananas? No problem! Try this awesome technique on how to ripen bananas quickly!
- 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds) if you want
- No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Add nuts if desired. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan or muffin tin. Bake for 1 hour for the loaf, or 22-25 minutes for the muffins. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
- For a bit of a healthier take, divide flour and use 3/4 cup white flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour. Still comes out delicious!