Monday, September 21, 2009

When life gives you bananas, make banana bread

I'm not sure when my love affair with banana bread began but I do recall that when I was in high school, we had "cake day" once a week at which point one of us would bring in cake to eat at break. Eventually, cake evolved into banana bread and I spent many nights trying various banana bread recipes to share with my classmates until I found the recipe that produced a dense, moist, bananaful bread. Since then, I have found a couple of other favorites, including Low-fat Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze which doesn't taste at all low fat.

But the old standby - tried and true, full of banana goodness - is a blueberry banana bread recipe I tweeked from the Southern Living's 1981 Annual Recipes cookbook. One change is that the original recipe calls for shortening but I've found only unsalted butter gives it the richness I like. While I do like some recipes that call for canola oil, it's true that butter makes everything better.

My husband has caught on that I "accidentally" buy too many bananas - more than we can eat before they begin to get soft and freckly. He, who will eat anything including brown bananas, now knows that those bananas are NOT to be eaten as they are, but to be preserved in bread (or frozen for bread to be made at a later date). I can't think of a more perfect way to eat bananas!

Blueberry Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups mashed bananas
1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add bananas and mix until smooth.
Combine the dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture, stirring until just moistened. Stir in blueberries.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x5x3-inch loafpan. Bake for 60-70 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool (if you can resist cutting into it immediately). Yield: 1 loaf

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