- Main IngredientsOverripe Bananas, All Purpose Flour, Baking Powder, Eggs, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, Unsalted Butter, Salt, Chopped Almond Nuts
- Level Of CookingEasy
Banana Almond Nut Bread
Going Bananas for Bananas
What’s not to love about Bananas? Is it their sweet yet mild smell, that I seem to be able to detect no matter where they’re hidden in a room? Is it their sweet flavour that pairs well with Fried Groundnut (Peanut), Yogurt, Rolled Oats, Cereal, Pancakes, Rice and Tomato Stew, I could go on and on. Don’t even get me started on their amazing health benefits. There’s a reason Athletes prefer to snack on them when they’re taking a break. Just watch Roger Federer in play, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
So imagine my face when I hear someone say they don’t like Bananas….
You know how I mentioned in my Milk of Kudara recipe, that African Star Apples were one of my favourite fruits? Well, out of all the fruits I love, Bananas reign supreme, Numero uno, no contest, top of the chart since the 80’s. Anyway, I’m sure by now you get the point. I love Bananas. Bananas can do no wrong.
In continuing with our Food Pet Peeves Series, I’ll still be addressing the issue of waste today like I did in my Sweet and Savoury Plantain Fritters recipe last week. The amount of food we waste just because we can, is appalling. When ever you think about wasting food, think about how many people go without food for days. If you’ve got too much, rather than watch it go bad, give it to someone who needs it. Believe me, the feeling you get from sharing what you have with the needy, is indescribable. The best part is, God blesses you with more.
So in this aspect of the series, I’ll be showing you creative ways to transform your ‘trash ready’ foods, into something better than the original. Last week it was over ripe Plantains, today it is Over ripe Bananas.
You say Trash it, I say Bake it Baby!
You know how it can be, when you decide to start eating healthy, so you go out and buy a bunch of bananas. If you’re like me who doesn’t need a reason to stuff my face with bananas, you just drive by some pretty bananas, and you know you’ve got to have them. A few days later, and a few bananas down, you realize that you still have a few leftovers. They’re starting to have black patches, which means they’re over ripe.
Banana is naturally a soft fruit, but when it’s over ripe, it gets really soft, and can be a deal breaker for many people. So they simply trash it. Well I can assure you that those bananas are in perfect condition. Maybe not for eating whole, but for Banana Bread, they’re just the thing you need.
Bakerphobia (The fear of Baking)
I know it’s not a real word, but it’s a real phobia, and you get my point. A lot of people can cook up a storm in the kitchen, but when it comes to baking, the wheels stop turning. I admit, baking can be intimidating, but like many things in life, baking has some key rules. If you deviate from these rules, you will end up with something that’s not what you planned to bake.
Baking isn’t like cooking where the measurements may or may not be exact, and yet the food turns out great. With baking, the measurements have to be exact. 1 cup is 1 cup, not 1 cup and 2 pinches. Even if you want to tweak a recipe a bit, the basic ingredients and measurements have to be exact, Don’t go over board with the tweaking. It has led to many baking mishaps.
Three Simple Rules of Baking
I’m just going to list out a few basic baking rules. I won’t do a lot of explaining right now, but I’ll prepare a post specially for baking Do’s and Don’t.
- RESPECT THE PROCESS. I wrote this in all caps so you understand the importance of this rule. Why is this important? Because baking has a lot of chemistry, and as a Biochemist, trust me when I tell you to RESPECT THE PROCESS. For example, if the recipe tells you to fold-in the flour gently, do not stir it vigorously. Folding and vigorous steering aren’t the same thing, especially when it applies to baking.
- Unless stated otherwise, always make sure that all your baking ingredients are at room temperature. Not cold, Not hot, or warm, room temperature. At room temperature, ingredients incorporate better during the mixing process. There’s some chemistry involved, but I don’t want to bore you with all that.
- MAKE SURE YOU PREHEAT YOUR OVEN. The caps are out again! If you don’t preheat your oven, that means you don’t plan to bake. Start preheating your oven before you start mixing your ingredients.
I’ve made some epic mistakes in baking that yielded horrible results, all because I wanted to find a way around the process.
Baking Banana Almond Nut Bread
Right now, let’s get down to the business of turning overripe bananas to magic. Yeah, you heard me. I said magic! What else will you call an easy bake recipe that produces something so soft, and delicious, you don’t know if you should eat it or keep staring at it.
Banana Bread is by far the one thing I love to bake the most. it’s quick, easy, no mixers or food processors needed. So no unnecessary washing of components. Lastly, the main ingredient is my favourite fruit. You know how bananas have this wonderful, sweet smell? Imagine what they smell like, baking in the oven. I know they say the aroma of freshly baked Cookies makes a house smell great. For me, it’s banana bread baking in the oven. The aroma is heavenly.
For this recipe, I added some chopped Almond Nuts, for a little crunch. You can use chopped Toasted Walnuts, or any nuts you like.
Finally, I like to give credit to whom credit is due. This recipe is an abstract from one of my favourite Food Blogs, Chef John’s foodwishes.com . His recipes make want to get up at 2 a.m., head straight for the kitchen and whip something up.
I know you’re going to enjoy baking this. If you suffer from Bakerophobia hopefully this easy recipe will help you get over your fear. Enjoy!
- 4 fingers of average sized Overripe Bananas
- 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup of Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 Cup of Almond Nuts, chopped
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, soft
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C).
- Grease a 9X4 loaf pan with a little oil, or butter. Make sure it’s properly greased.
- In a bowl, measure out all the dry ingredients except the Cinnamon. Whisk the ingredients so they’re properly incorporated. Chop the walnuts with a cleaver, it’s faster!
- In a separate bowl, peel and place the bananas. Use a potato mash to thoroughly mash all the bananas. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl. Use the back of a spatula to mix them, till the butter is light. Add butter and sugar mixture to mashed banana, and mix with a whisk, till combined. Next add eggs, one at a time, each time mix till egg is incorporated with batter. Add vanilla extract.
- Add the flour mixture, Cinnamon, and Chopped Almond Nuts to the batter. Use the spatula to gently fold in the flour, and the other ingredients. As soon as most of the flour is incorporated in the batter, you can stop mixing. It doesn’t matter if you notice some lumps, or dry patches of flour. The point is to make sure you don’t over mix the batter or else the bread will turnout dry and hard.
- Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Tap the base of the pan against the surface of your kitchen (this will get rid of air pockets in the batter.) Place the pan in the middle of the oven to bake (this will help it bake evenly.) Bake for 1 hour, but make sure to check on it after 50 minutes. You’ll know it’s baked, when a wooden skewer, inserted in the middle, comes out clean.
- When it’s baked, get it out of the oven and place it on a cooling rack. When it’s cool, flip it into a serving dish.
- Banana Bread stays fresh for 1 to 2 days, but I don’t think you’ll be able to let this one last that long. Wrap in foil, or cling film, to keep it fresh and moist. Do not refrigerate, it’s okay in a bread box, or on top of your counter top.
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