When life hands you those 2 or 3 overripe bananas, either make a smoothie or banana bread. If you can't do this immediately, freeze the bananas, but harken to me: PEEL THEM FIRST. Trying to unpeel a thawed frozen banana is not fun and rarely successful.
This banana bread recipe comes from The Moosewood Cookbook. It's actually their carrot cake recipe but they are thoughtful enough to give the banana variation on the facing page. One quirky part of it is that you soak the 2 cups of pureed banana in 1 cup of strong coffee. And being that today was our annual Easter Egg Hunt, guess what we happened to have lying around but the quarter-full Box O' Joe.
So not only did I have the ripe bananas, I had a cup of coffee. I am so good. I rock. Mush up those bananas, pour the coffee over. Set the bowl aside and get busy measuring dry ingredients, humming happily to myself. I love it when these things just work out. I'm so smug. Coffee and bananas. You gotta pity those poor unfortunates who just don't have their shit tog—.... I have no flour.
No flour? Impossible. There's always flour. Flour is just one of those things that's always around, how could there be no flour? Commence the hilarious ballet of denial, looking in every conceivable and inconceivable cabinet in the kitchen, muttering to myself (in various four-letter words) that this is just impossible. After my triumph of glory of coffee and bananas, I'm going to blow it on flour?!?
I have no flour.
Thank God for my next-door neighbor who keeps me in eggs, and now keeps me in flour as well. The kids were up playing with hers, and she sent them home with 4 cups of flour in a ziplock, thus saving the bread.
Moosewood Banana Bread
This makes 2 loaf pans, or 1 9X13 baking dish, or some variation thereof if, like me, you think you have 2 loaf pans but you only have one (I'm an idiot). You could also cut the recipe in half.
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
- 1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups pureed banana soaked in 1 cup black coffee.
- Optional: 1 cup fresh or dried blueberries
- Optional: 2 tbsp poppyseeds
Preheat oven to 350. Spray baking pans with Pam.
Sift together salt, flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.
Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and orange zest.
With mixer on lowest setting, add half the dry ingredients. Then add banana-coffee mixture. Then add rest of dry ingredients and poppyseeds (if using).
If using blueberries, stir in by hand.
Spread batter evenly in pans. Bake anywhere from 45 to 55 minutes (a cake pan will take less time, a loaf pan more). A tester inserted in the center should come out clean.
Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and let cool completely.