Continuing the week of love, today I’m doing Green Eggs and sharing one of my favorite recipes. “How does it fit in with the love theme?” you might ask. It’s my mother’s and her mother’s recipe, two people whom I love very much. I say it’s both of theirs because my Grammy originally made it but I always think of it as my mom’s since she often made it for my brothers and I when we were growing up.
It’s a recipe that I love because it’s easy and I always seem to have the ingredients on hand. What does it say about me that I usually have butter, sugar, flour, and bananas on hand but rarely have ingredients at the ready for a salad? Well, moving on…I think most people enjoy banana bread and if you’re the type who doesn’t make things from scratch or is afraid to bake, this is for you because it doesn’t get much simpler. It’s a great recipe to make and share with the ones you love.
Mom and Grammy’s Banana Bread
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening or 1 stick butter, softened
3 medium bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 3 tablespoons milk or buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
Chocolate chips (optional)
Chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream together butter and sugar.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Now is also the time for walnuts, chocolate chips, or blueberries if you wish. Toss any of these extras in a tablespoon of flour before adding to the mixture to ensure they’ll be evenly dispersed throughout the bread and don’t just fall to the bottom.
What I did: forgot to take a picture of ingredients added after sugar and butter. Instead, got distracted and took pictures of Hamlet. Decided to use the photo of ingredients laid on the counter as substitute.
Tip: frozen bananas work great, a trick from my mama. At my house one or two bananas always seem to go brown before I can eat them. I throw them in the freezer to save for banana bread (part of the reason I always have banana bread ingredients on hand). The riper the bananas, the better the bread so if yours are totally black, score one for you!
Frozen bananas are a bit more difficult to peel. With the peel still on, run them under warm water, making the peel easier to remove. Be mindful of the stringy inner peel parts that stick to the banana even more when it’s frozen. Feel free to microwave your bowl of bananas to make it easier to mash before adding to the bread batter.
4. Grease and flour a loaf pan or muffin tin and pour in batter. I used a 12-cup large muffin tin and I had exactly the right amount of batter. Feel free to use a large loaf pan, a few smaller loaf pans, or whatever strikes your fancy. I made half plain banana bread and half with blueberries. For the blueberry kind, I filled the muffin cup halfway, added a few blueberries, filled the rest of the cup with batter, and put a blueberry on top (so once baked, I could tell the difference between plain and regular).
5. Bake at 350° F for one hour* (if in one loaf pan). Adjust time for smaller loaf pans or muffins. I baked mine for 40 minutes and they turned out pretty well, maybe a bit more brown than I would have liked but still really yummy. Just keep checking yours until they are the desired level of brown (probably golden brown) and a fork or toothpick inserted comes out clean or with just a few crumbs (no batter). *Also keep in mind that I’m at high altitude so may require longer cooking time than those of you at sea level.
5. Taste test your muffins and share as desired. Give a treat to your dog in lieu of banana bread since butter and sugar are canine no-no’s.