As we move further away from January 1 and approach the spring season, schedules get busier, budgets get tighter, and motivation for that clean eating New Years resolution dwindles. By now we’re all looking for new and delicious ways to mix up our daily intake of fruits and veggies, and there’s no better way to do that than to turn a favorite fruit into a filling recipe that tastes like it came straight from grandma’s kitchen.
Before jumping into what you’ll need for this recipe, let’s take a look at why you should choose bananas as your fruit of choice for health benefits that can boost you through a busy schedule.
Health Benefits of Bananas
If you’re looking to stay fit, bananas are definitely the go-to. Just one banana is 10% of your daily fiber intake, making them the super hero fruit for digestion and weight loss. Bananas are also recommended by many nutritionists and dietitians because their filling sweetness helps curb cravings while also sustaining blood sugar levels.
You should also know that bananas are the happiest fruit! They contain tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to serotonin in the body. Why should you care? Because studies have shown that serotonin plays a key role in boosting mood and preserving memory. Beat the afternoon slump with a slice of banana bread and you’ll be whistling while you work.
Despite what the flavor indicates banana bread is surprisingly simple to make. Most banana bread recipes, including the one below, are adaptable and require staple ingredients that most people already have in their kitchen. Next time you’re multitasking between loads of laundry or power cleaning, try popping a pan of this banana bread recipe in the oven.
What You’ll Need
- Nonstick bread pan (8 ½ x 4 ½ inch pan is suggested, but similar sizes work)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- 3 medium bananas (The riper, the better! Speckled with brown & black)
- 1 stick of butter, unsalted & melted
- ¾ cups brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extra
- Optional Ingredients: chocolate chips, walnuts, pecan, slivered almonds, coconut flakes
1. Begin by heating the oven to 350º F.
2. In a bowl, blend the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas in small chunks (you can also leave bigger chunks for bursts of flavor within the bread). Once the bananas are mashed, add the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix thoroughly:
4. Add the dry ingredients to the mashed banana mixture and stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
5. Once thoroughly mixed, pour the batter into the bread pan and smooth. If you want, you can sprinkle some sugar or cinnamon on top of the batter for added flavor on the top of the bread.
6. Place the banana bread on a center rack in the oven and let it bake for about an hour. After 20-25 minutes, check the bread for a browning color. After 40-45 minutes, check the bread again and stick a knife into the loaf to determine mushiness. Depending on how gooey and moist you do or do not like your bread, you can eyeball whether or the loaf will require a full hour of cooking time:
7. After the bread has finished baking, remove it from the oven and, using oven mitts, remove it from the pan. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing and serving.
To put your own twist on this banana bread recipe, you can add your favorite nuts, chocolate chips, or other ingredients into the batter. If you’re looking for a leaner banana bread recipe, you can substitute white flour for whole-grain flour, or cut the amount of sugar in the recipe by adding more bananas.
Serving and Storing
Banana bread is best served after 15-20 seconds in the microwave. You can add a smear of butter, jelly, or Nutella and eat it like toast for a breakfast treat, or enjoy it as is. This banana bread recipe makes 8 banana bread slices, so keep that in mind when serving. To store, wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap and keep at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
Video Credit: via Datev Gallagher
Featured photo credit: Datev Gallgher via youtube.com