Raining outside today, so I took the opportunity to do some baking. There are a few overripe bananas in the freezer, let's use them up!
|Whole frozen bananas, and in the bowl defrosted and skinned bananas|
Bananas that have passed their prime can be frozen in the skin, defrosted and then slipped out to be used for baking.
The beauty of these bananas is that as they ripen the sweetness and flavour intensifies, your banana bread is moister and bakes faster.
For this recipe 1 cup of mashed bananas is needed, which translates to approximately 3 medium bananas. If you are using defrosted bananas, just slip them out of the skin and they are ready to go. If you are using fresh, well ripened bananas, you can peel and mash them using a fork.
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease 2 loaf pans, or 1 bundt pan, which is what I use.
Using an electric mixer, cream 1/2 cup butter with 1 cup of white sugar until it is light and fluffy.
You can substitute all brown or part brown sugar if you like. Your loaf will be slightly darker inside.
Add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, one at a time, scraping the bowl down in between additions.
Add the bananas and mix well to combine.
Combine 2 cups of all purpose flour with 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small bowl.
Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing to combine.
Then add 1 cup of sour cream (I use non fat Plain Greek yoghurt), and when that is well combined scrape the bowl down and add the remaining dry ingredients.
Mix in 3/4 cup chocolate chips of your choice...white, dark or milk.
You can use toffee bits or chopped nuts instead of chocolate chips.
If you prefer fruit, try fresh, frozen or dried blueberries.
When they are combined, scrape the batter into your prepared pan(s), smooth the top and bake until golden on top and a wooden skewer inserted into the loaf comes out dry.
When the loaf has cooled slightly, unmould it and allow it to cool before slicing. Enjoy!!
This recipe is fairly adaptable, try some of these ideas:
- Instead of a loaf, make 12 - 18 muffins, depending on how big you like them. Little kids love the mini size.
- Top muffin or loaf pan batter with a streusel topping. If I make fruit crumble and have leftover topping, I freeze it and use it up to top muffins.
- Mix together 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and some chopped almonds, or dried coconut and sprinkle this in the centre of the muffin or loaf - put half the batter into the pan, then the cinnamon mixture, the top with the remaining batter and bake
- The banana bread freezes well, as a whole loaf, or sliced and wrapped individually...these are perfect lunch snacks for school or work.
- If you want a more chocolatey loaf, substitute 1/3 cup of cocoa for 1/3 cup of the flour
- Spice it up by adding ground cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger
- Try butterscotch chips instead of chocolate chips
A couple of other tips for overripe bananas:
- Mash them first and freeze in 1 cup portions
- Slice them and freeze, this works well in smoothies or milkshakes
- Mix them into pancake batter as part of the liquid
- Puree them and use as a marinade. Add an acid such as lime juice, a bit of buttermilk, chili flakes or hot sauce, minced garlic and some rum if you wish. This tropical style marinade works well with grilled chicken or shrimp. Throw some chunks of fresh pineapple on a skewer alongside the meat.
As with anything, the ideas are as many and varied as your imagination...