Banana Bread

My roommates (and house-mates) have been giving me all these things to turn into baked goods. I know. How will I ever manage? (And let’s not even mention roommates that go apple-picking and bring back apples, carefully selected for baking. I keep getting distracted by apples now. Or the possibility of apple cakes. Or turnovers. Or muffins...we will have to talk about those at some point. Sorry, did I have a point?)
Upstairs had some spare bananas. They had forgotten about them for a few days. Then I did the same. I found them last night, and decided to blend them with some frozen blueberries. 

You had a nice smoothie, Kimberly, you say? No, why would I write about that? To gloat? I might actually. But no. I keep meaning to talk about Banana Bread. Because that is what I made. 

No, this one didn't have blueberries.

Bananas freeze quite well. So if you are the patient type, you can freeze any spares you have and then when you have enough, you pull them out and bake. Sometimes I do this. When I remember. Usually, I have one banana and think “I would like banana bread now”. Occasionally I will “forget” a few just to have the leftover bananas to bake with. 
If you "forget" them in the fridge, bananas look like this

It turns out, if you are feeling impatient and don’t have your full cup of mushed banana, which usually takes 2 or 3 bananas, you can fill up the rest of the cup with yogurt. It’ll be a little bit less intensely banana-y, but I found I quite liked it that way. The cinnamon came out more, I enjoyed the balance. The first time I was out of ginger, so I went with only cinnamon - both versions tasted good, one just tasted a little of ginger as well as cinnamon. If you aren’t fond of ginger, feel free to leave it out. I probably will on occasion, just for variety.
The toasted almond slivers I used as a substitute for walnuts, however, I wouldn’t recommend. Almonds are hard and crunchy. Walnuts are much softer, as nuts go, the almonds were an unpleasant texture interruption. If you are out of walnuts, I would suggest either just having banana bread without anything else in it, or adding chocolate chips.

So the next time I had three bananas, I still wanted to make it that way. There was only one good solution, which was two loaves! For which I still used yogurt. This time I left out the almonds.

Then yesterday, I had three very ripe bananas. Nate had suggested blueberries, and so into the blender they went. With some amount of milk, I would guess a half a cup or so. If you actually try to repeat this, I went with “that looks like enough for now”. How does this translate into one loaf? It didn’t - it made two. One went back upstairs, to the owners of the bananas.

In addition to all of this, I’ve been putting oat flour in my banana bread. I suppose I’ve been putting oat flour in anything that seems remotely reasonable. It resulted in some rather interesting cookies. But with banana bread, it’s been working out quite deliciously.

So this is my attempt at a recipe (adapted from Joyofbaking):

In a large bowl, combine:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup oat flour (If you don’t have any, just use all-purpose flour for all of the flour)
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
Optional: 1 cup toasted walnuts. Or chocolate chips. Or anything else that seems fun. Dried cranberries might be good, I haven’t tried this.
In a separate bowl, combine:
2 large eggs
½ cup melted butter, cooled
3 large ripe bananas, mushed well - about 1 to 1 ½ cups.
For Banana-Yogurt Bread: 1-2 large ripe bananas, mushed well, fill up to 1 ½ cups with yogurt. For Banana-Blueberry Bread: blend 1-2 large ripe bananas with ½ cup blueberries (frozen ones work fine) with ¼ cup milk.
1 tsp vanilla extract
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones, gently, until the batter is just combined. The batter should be thick and chunky, that’s fine.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured pan, and bake at 350°F for 55-60 minutes.
Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove the bread from the pan and let it finish cooling on a rack. Or eat it warm, up to you.
Enjoy with tea.


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