Every few weeks, the Practical Cook fails to use the last banana. This is not a metaphor of some sort, this is a mismanagement of inventory. Never fear, gentle readers, all is not lost—the freezer pushes pause on the less than ideal banana. Simply put them in the freezer, skins on, and wait. When a collection of these freezer refugees develops, it’s time to make banana bread. Because when life gives you overripe bananas . . .
Banana Bread Recipe
This recipe is adapted from the Cook’s Illustrated version. Feel free to strip out the healthy add-ins. These are Practical Cook pantry staples from the Whole Wheat Waffles recipe. To mash bananas well, I’ve used a fork, a potato masher, and a hand-held mixer, choose your weapon based on your tolerance for time spent vs. clean-up.
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (can sub whole wheat flour)
1 Tablespoon wheat germ, optional
1 Tablespoon flax seed meal, optional
scant 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups toasted walnuts, chopped coarse (about 1 cup), optional
3 very ripe, soft large bananas, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups) **if using freezer bananas, either thaw them on the counter in advance, or microwave in their skins on a plate for a minute until thawed, peel and proceed
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the bottom of a regular loaf pan (nine by five by three).
2. Whisk flours, wheat germ, flax seed meal, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts in large bowl.
3. Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Gently fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined. Scrape batter into loaf pan.
4. Bake in the middle to lower middle of the oven for about 55 minutes, or until loaf looks golden brown and a toothpick pulls out clean.
5. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool further.
The recipe doubles well for Snack Week situations.
Up next, One Ingredient, Three Ways: Bacon edition. This one will not be veg-friendly. Facon does have limitations.
How do you manage Snack Week, or your own snacks? Send your ideas to practicalcook at gmail dot com or Twitter @practicalcook.