Sunday Morning….Banana Bread

It’s a funny thing how the mind left to it’s own devices can ramble and roam going back and forth, weaving from the past, to now, then to the future and back connecting memories. Often one thing, in this case making banana bread on a Sunday morning, led me to think about The Velvet Underground and Nico singing Sunday Morning from an album in which one of Andy Warhol’s banana images was the cover. Which led me to many other mental ramblings that gave me much pleasure on the Sunday morning while I was baking this bread.

Start with 3 quite ripe bananas…….

Batter mixed, spread into loaf pan, topped with ripe banana sliced….baked until golden brown. Sunday morning’s are special in that the world seems quieter, more subdued, allowing the mind to wander and weave. Enjoy your Sunday mornings and be well.

Sunday Morning....Banana Bread

Ingredients:

3 very ripe bananas + 1 not-so-ripe banana

3 tablespoons almond butter

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup oat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

pinch of sea salt

1 tablespoon raw or turbinado sugar for topping baked bread

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash 3 very ripe banana with a fork. Add almond butter, vegetable oil, oat milk and vanilla extract.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, espresso powder and sea salt.
  4. Blend the flour mixture into the banana mixture, stirring just until combined.
  5. Pour/scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Cut the not-so-ripe banana in half lengthwise. Gently place the two slices on top of the batter not overlapping.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the batter has risen and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cook in increments of 5 minutes more at a time if batter is still wet.
  7. Place pan with baked bread on a cooling rack to totally cool before slicing. While bread is still hot from the oven sprinkle the top with the raw sugar.
  8. Serve cut into slices. I prefer this bread toasted and smeared with a bit of butter, or a slice of white cheddar to bring out all the flavors. Keeps well wrapped in the fridge for up to one week.

teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Peanut Butter-Banana Bread, Clean Water & The “Farm to Fork” Dinner

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My friend Liz makes the best banana bread. It is moist, nutty with just the right amount of spices & banana flavor. Every Christmas a few lucky friends are gifted a loaf or two of her bread. Due to her acumen in this field of baking I am always a bit hesitant to make my own banana bread fearing the results will be disappointing.

Last week 4 very, very ripe bananas were either going to be tossed or turned into a loaf….I chose the latter. Not trying to copy Liz’s bread, but to try something different, I made this loaf without nuts and with the addition of peanut butter powder. Have you used this yet? We add a shake or two to our smoothies each morning. It has all the yummy peanut butter flavor without the calories.

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Brown sugar, Greek yogurt & vanilla bean paste…all part of the batter….

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….resulting in this lovely loaf of goodness using over ripe bananas that could have been tossed, but were saved for better things!

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Speaking of “better things”….You may now be curious about the heading for this post…”I get the banana bread part, but what is the reference to this “Farm to Fork” dinner?”

Coming up very soon, October 27th to be exact, is a celebration dinner and fundraiser here in Nashville. The Cumberland River Compact’s 5th Annual “Farm to Fork” Dinner once again brings together local chefs, farmers, artists & musicians to celebrate the fall harvest and keeping our waters clean. This is a very important fundraiser for us all.

The job of the Cumberland River Compact is to work to create awareness of the need to keep the waters of our beloved Cumberland River and it’s tributaries clean and safe. This takes the time of many dedicated folks and money to keep the public aware. For more information on this fun and delicious night next Thursday, October 27th click here.

Just imagine trying to cook and run a kitchen without clean water? Imagine and be thankful.

Peanut Butter-Banana Bread

  • Servings: 12slices
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter powder
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raw brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a regular size loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment mash the bananas. I leave them a little bit chunky.
  4. Sprinkle in the peanut butter powder and mix.
  5. Add in the softened butter, egg, vanilla bean paste & sugar. Mix well.
  6. With mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, along with the yogurt,  and mix just until blended.
  7. Scrape batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the top of is a dark golden brown. Test with a cake tester to make sure the inside is baked. The tester should come out clean with just a few crumbs. Let loaf cool in pan on a wire rack before slicing.

This bread is yummy for a few days and is sublime toasted and smeared with butter.

Teresa Blackburn      www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Viva Nigel, Viva Me, Viva Chocolate Banana Bread, Gluten Free

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In case, over the past few years, you have not noticed that I have a crush on Nigel Slater then let me say this….I do! I have even shared this with Wouter who just takes it in stride. It is not just Nigel looks (I know that is shallow of me), but his approach to gardening & cooking is very seductive. I mean who would not have a crush on a  man who has an entire mini orchard in his small backyard? A man who can give you at least two dozen ways to cook beets and you will like them all…who can whip up a loaf of chocolate banana bread without breaking a sweat?

(You can find another of my blog posts based on  a pumpkin recipe in “Tender volume I” here)

Nigel Slater Cookbook

My daughter, Whitney, gave me “Notes From The Larder” for a gift perhaps aware of my penchant for all things “Nigel”.

Discovering his recipe for “Chocolate Banana Bread” coincided with my return from a recent trip to Quintana Roo, Mexico. While on my trip I purchased some pure         Mexican Vanilla extract, a couple of bags of Muscovado Sugar which is a cane sugar that is very moist with a strong molasses flavor, as well as a few interesting bars of “Ki’ XOCOLATL” brand chocolate that is delicious for baking and nibbling on. For the chocolate banana bread I used a bar of their very dark chocolate with chipotle chile, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg & all-spice.

Chocolate, Bananas, Vanilla

When I travel one of the most important “tourist” stops for me is a local grocery store. I love perusing the aisles hunting for unusual, but useful, ingredients for cooking. Most of my gifts upon returning home come from these forays. Spices, chocolates, extracts that are typical of the region of the world I just visited.

This box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa gluten-free flour was languishing in the back of my pantry. Why not make Nigel’s recipe gluten-free? Quinoa, a grain originating in South America fit right in with the ingredients bought in Mexico.

Quinoa Flourbatter

A thick chunky chocolate & ripe banana batter (the sticker on my bananas told me they were also a producto de Mexico)……perfecto.

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This loaf has a crusty outer layer with a very moist cake texture inside.  Delicious eaten warm as is, or toasted. A recipe inspiration from an English cook using ingredients from my recent trip to Mexico….Viva Chocolate Banana Bread!

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Chocolate Banana Nut Bread

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  Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Quinoa Flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup Muscovado Sugar
  • 1 lb very ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp pure (Mexican) vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 4 ounces Dark Chocolate, chopped

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9″ loaf pan with non stick vegetable spray. Line the pan with 2 sheets of parchment paper cut to overhang the edges of the pans.
  2. Sift together the Quinoa flour & baking powder.
  3. Using an electric mixer cream together the butter & muscovado sugar until light & fluffy.
  4. In another bowl using a fork mash the bananas leaving them somewhat lumpy. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Add eggs to the butter-sugar mixture and beat well.
  6. Into the eggs-butter-sugar mixture fold in the mashed bananas & the chopped chocolate until well blended.
  7. Gently fold in the flour mixture. When blended scrape batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the center of the banana bread is set and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out moist, but clean.
  8. Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Loosen sides of bread with a spatula and lift out with the parchment paper. Cool on a rack. Best served warm or toasted.

Recipe inspired by “Chocolate Banana Bread” from “Notes from the Larder” by Nigel Slater, Ten Speed Press