Growing up, we always had bananas on hand. I loved watching them ripen and then eagerly peel one open once it reached that beautiful yellow color with no green in sight. But, in college, the dining hall usually had bananas that weren’t quite ripe. Sometimes they were just green. But I had to have my daily banana, and came to adore not quite ripe bananas. Years later, I still prefer somewhat green bananas. Once they become too yellow, I toss them in the freezer to make banana bread later on.
Often, later on doesn’t happen and I end up with a freezer full of bananas. My husband has asked more than once why there are so many bananas in the freezer. Why? Because his wife is a nutcase and believes she will get around to making banana bread even though she hates it.
Yes. I have, for years, kept bananas in the freezer to make banana bread that I did not like. In my defense, I do what my mom did: toss overripe bananas in the freezer to make banana bread because I want to be just like my mom. My error is that I don’t eat it and my husband doesn’t take it to work like my dad would (he liked to use it to butter up his colleagues whenever he needed a favor).
Well, in all honesty, I didn’t like banana bread. When I was a kid. That dislike carried over year to year. But, recently, I decided to make it so I could take pictures to include in my old banana bread post. My daughter loves bananas and desperately tried to eat it as soon as it came out of the oven. My son hates bananas, but desperately wanted me to slice it. I am indifferent to banana bread, but really, really wanted to avoid unnecessary whining, so I sliced it up and started feeding a slice to my daughter while my son smelled it and went “ew.”
And I decided I might as well give it another try, too. After all, it has probably been at least 20 years since I last had it. Two pregnancies might have affected my taste buds and maybe now I’ll like it.
It’s quite heavy on the banana. But the bread is dense, but not too dense, and sweet, but not too sweet. It was moist and soft. I won’t say I was an immediate fan, but, with a light spread of Nutella on top, it became my breakfast for a week, especially since my daughter decided she was done with banana bread.
Note to self: try swirling in some Nutella next time. Then I can just grab a slice and go.
So, how do you make this simple bread?
Step one, if you have bananas in the freezer, take them out and defrost them. They’ll be easier to mash that way. You’ll need about 1 cup.
Then, in a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. If you plan on adding nuts (I never do), take a tablespoon of the flour and mix it in with the nuts. That way they won’t sink to the bottom.
In a larger bowl, mix together the sugar and oil.
Now add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each eggy addition. Then add the milk.
Now the flour mixture and mashed bananas get to take turns being added into the big bowl. I usually do a quarter from each at a time. Sometimes a third. Finally, add the nuts if you so choose to add them. Again, I don’t. I’m not a big nut fan.
Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If you’re afraid it might not come out, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom and put it in. It’ll prevent the bread from sticking to the bottom of the pan and it should easily slide out.
We’re not done yet. Keep it in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack. Now, if you really love bananas, you’ll have to be patient. Let the bread cool completely before slicing, unless you enjoy crumbly messes. Regardless, enjoy!
Oh, and my mom notes that if the top gets too brown while baking, just put a piece of foil on top.
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 cup ripe mashed bananas
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.
- Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time. Add milk.
- Add flour mixture and bananas alternately.
- Add nuts.
- Pour into greased loaf pan.
- Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes in pan. Turn out onto cooking rack and cool completely before slicing.
Enjoy! From one person who previously did not enjoy banana bread, this one is worth a try.