Hearty Banana Oat Bread
I’ve been dying for some banana bread. I’ve had three bananas in the freezer for quite a while waiting for the right time to make bread. Then the other day, Vince (he lives on our third floor), came down and was about to throw away four more bananas. “WAIT! No! Don’t throw them away!” I yelled at him. He stopped dead in his tracks and looked at me. “They are turning brown up there,” he said. “I’ll bake with them.” He didn’t even know you could do that with slightly browned bananas.
So today, after putting the boys down for naps, I pulled out the frozen bananas and all the ingredients to make my loaves. I wish I had whole wheat flour because I would have used that. But since I haven’t been doing a whole lot of baking of late, I didn’t want to buy it lest it go bad. So I decided to use oatmeal. I used regular quick oats. You can also put them in a processor and grind them finer if it floats your boat.
You can use anywhere from 4-7 bananas for this recipe. The more you use, the more dense it will become. It makes two large loaves. I split mine and made one more slightly smaller loaf for a friend. So while my loaves turned out a fine size, they could have been fuller had I not split it.
Also, you can choose to leave out the butter/margarine by replacing it with either greek yogurt or unsweetened applesauce. I actually used some butter and applesauce. That’s what’s so great about these quick breads: they are oh so versatile. You can pretty much do what you want, add what you want, mix things differently, and they will still turn out well.
There’s nothing quite like having bread of any type baking in your oven and then enjoying a delicious warm piece when it comes out.1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour or oats 2 tsp baking soda pinch of salt 1-2 tsp pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened 4 eggs 1-2 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (a kiddie cup is 1/2 cup, if you have one on hand) 4-7 overripe bananas 1/2 lb of mini-chocolate chips 1) Mix together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spice of your choice. Set aside. 2) Using a hand mixer, mix together the eggs, butter, and sugar. Add vanilla and applesauce. Using a potato masher, mash bananas into the egg mixture. 3) Add dry ingredients to wet. 4) Put on bottom shelf (so that the top of the loaf reaches center of oven) of 350 degree oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Cool on cooling rack until you can’t stand it any longer and have to have a piece.
Sooo… after writing this, I realized I made a common mistake (for me). I must preface this with Iamnotsurprisedintheleast. Since I am one of the biggest flakes I know personally (emphasis on ONE OF…), I have to expect this of myself. If I am distracted in the least, I make mistakes. And it’s extremely easy to distract me, I might add. So here goes… I left out the sugar. Completely, not an ounce of sugar in my bread. But you know what?? I didn’t even notice. Those 7 bananas plus applesauce I put in the mix surely made up for it. So if you have seven overripe bananas in your house that you need to use up, feel free to leave out the sugar. The overripeness of them is sure to make up for it.