We love bananas but they can get rather expensive here when all seven of us are home and consuming them, so I tend to buy them in bulk when they’re “on special”. I freeze a few when the peels are still yellow and we eat them right up until they get a bit spotty (they’re much sweeter that way), but occasionally one or two will make it to that little bit past their “Best By” date, even by our standards. Fortunately this Banana Bread recipe works best with REALLY REALLY RIPE BANANAS. If you don’t have time to make it straight away, just pop your over-ripe bananas straight into the freezer with the skin on. No need to plastic wrap them or put them in a container.
When you want to use them simply leave them on the bench to thaw until the skin peels off (usually about an hour depending on the weather), throw the skins in the compost or straight on the garden and use for baking as you would fresh bananas.
This is a great recipe to make with younger children as it doesn’t require a mixer. It gets bonus points because if you use thawed frozen or over-ripe bananas they’re easy for little people to mash all by themselves.
I’ve included a few ideas for variations on the original recipe that I’ve tested on the guinea pigs (aka: the family) in the ingredients list as well.
1 Greased Loaf Tin ( approximately 8 & 1/2 x 4 inches or an average bread pan – I grease mine with Olive Oil but you could use Butter or even Baking Paper if you wanted).
Skewer or long Toothpick
1 & 3/4 cups Plain Wholemeal Flour
1 cup Very Ripe Mashed Banana (about 2 medium sized bananas – the riper the better)
1 Egg (lightly beaten).
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
1/4 cup Light Olive Oil
1/2 cup Rice Malt Syrup
3/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Essence
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts or Pecans (these are optional).
Replace Mashed Banana with Mashed Pumpkin or Mashed Sweet Potato. Replace chopped nuts with dark Choc Chips or Cacao Nibs. Replace Rice Malt Syrup with Honey or Maple Syrup. Substitute any other lightly flavoured oil for Light Olive Oil.
Turn your oven on and set it to 350F.
Combine the dry ingredients, including nuts if you are using them.
Combine the wet ingredients separately before stirring into your dry ingredients.
Stir with a wooden spoon until combined into a thick batter.
Pour into prepared loaf tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. To test if its baked insert along toothpick or skewer, its done when the skewer comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
This Banana Bread cuts easier and more cleanly if you let it cool completely before cutting, but who can wait right.