Thursday, August 30, 2012

Saving Bananas by Summer

For the first three years of our marriage I made a lot of banana bread. And I mean, a lot! The primary reason was that every week while grocery shopping, we would buy a bunch of bananas for the week.  My husband usually took a banana to work a day to eat with his breakfast, but somehow most weeks we had at least a banana or two leftover - sometimes more. Of course after awhile, I didn't always feel like making banana bread every month or every other week.

A friend of mine happened to mentioned that she puts her over-ripe bananas in the freezer.  I tried it and was amazed!  Even though they turn dark brown/black all over, and are super mushy when thawed, they taste the very same after baking with them!  This was an amazing discovery for me!  I usually use up any bananas that I have stored in the freezer within 6 months. The only thing to remember is thawing time. Usually I'll stick them in a bowl in the fridge overnight. Since we have had kids, my banana supply in the freezer is down to nothing (we usually finish up all of our bananas long before the week is over!)

Here is my go to banana bread recipe that I have used since I was first married.  It's easy and quick and most importantly, tasty!

Banana Bread from Better Homes and Gardens
1 3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I use 3-4 bananas)
1/3 cup shortening, margarine or butter (I always use butter)
2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
1/4 chopped nuts (optional - I almost always leave these out)

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add mashed banana, butter and milk. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended, then on high speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and remaining flour; beat till blended. Stir in nuts.

Pour batter into greased loaf pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool thoroughly on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

Additional notes:

  • I have started using a combination of flour and whole wheat flour.  I usually do 1 cup flour and 3/4 cups whole wheat flour.
  • This can be stored in the freezer.  I usually wrap in foil and then stick in a zip lock bag.

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