A.. La.. One more Banana bread for the files. The bout of flu was pretty bad which meant I spent nearly a week and half playing nurse maid for the kiddos. The got sick in a cascade fashion.The weather here in NC was the most undecided – switching between “spring weather welcoming new life” to “hibernating winter chilly weather”. And Flu viruses had a field day and found new victims at my place, I suppose. Which naturally resulted in a lot of fruits getting underutilized. No smoothies as well as soups ruled the day. So, there I had 6 forlorn bananas looking at me. Like, asking when they would be put to good use. And I had a whole box of mismatched chocolate chips – ranging from big old chocolate chunks to mini chocolate chips. All the way from Super dark with 85 % cacao to semi sweet 65% cacao. Nearly 2 cups worth. But then again what’s a little bit more to cheer up my kids. And since I had some lovely neighbors who helped me out during the mad rush of the last 10 days, they got some nice chunky slices too. All in all , 6 bananas , 2 loaves and quarter of one left .
Some would say I was procrastinating or rather procrastibaking. A million jobs, but I had to bake ! Whoever came up with the word, was a sheer genius who understood the therapeutic aspect of baking. And online ordering of groceries. And the magical power of 10 min power naps. But if someone could still let my nutty lab know that flying leaves in the wind, trash trucks, delivery trucks, people working in the yard, AT and T servicemen yada, yada, yada are not threatening and there is absolutely no need to warn or bark her head off to keep me out of harm’s way. Or you cannot play with everyone coming your way. That works as well. It would be wonderful if she doesn’t go bonkers, but then again it would not be Maya.
The recipe itself is pretty simple. I just about emptied the contents of the fridge to make this and you can never really go wrong with Banana Bread. It is quite simple. You can dress it up or keep it earthy. Indulge with cream cheese or simply warm it and have it with a cup of tea. Or coffee. Or Milk. Have it for breakfast or as dessert. You get the point, it is absolutely versatile.I doubled this recipe and made 2 loaves. I had a few thankful friends who rewarded me with a thumbs up for this .The vegan and other options are listed as well in the notes and through the recipe.
- Bananas : 3 , mashed to yield roughly 1 cup or a bit more. It does not have to be perfect!
- Sugar : ½ – ¾ cup ( I used Turbinado sugar. Use the ¾ option if you like your bread a bit sweeter )
- Eggs : Large,2.(Use flax substitute for vegan option . See notes)
- Greek Yogurt : ½ cup ( Vegan option : Use silken tofu. See notes)
- Vegetable or Olive oil : ¼ cup ( You can use melted butter for richer taste)
- Whole Wheat Pastry Flour : 1 and ¾ cup .( See notes for options )
- Baking powder : ½ tsp.
- Baking Soda : ½ tsp.
- Salt : ½ tsp.
- Cinnamon : a pinch ( optional )
- Nutmeg : a pinch ( optional )
- Chocolate chips : ½ cup
- Toasted ,broken Walnuts : ½ cup ( optional )
- Pure Vanilla Extract : 2 Tsp.
- Pre heat oven to 350 F .
- Grease and keep aside the pan of choice.I used an 9 by 5 inch loaf pan as this works well as a loaf bread.
- Mash the bananas with a fork and keep aside. A few chunks of the bananas is what makes this bread a bit rustic. Do not pulverize the bananas. Or alternately using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer mash the bananas.
- Add the eggs or flax egg substitute, vanilla extract and whisk well. Add the Greek yogurt or its substitute, sugar, melted butter if using or oil , cinnamon and nutmeg if using .
- In another mixing bowl measure out the flour and add the salt, baking soda and baking powder and whisk it well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet one and mix only until incorporated. Do NOT OVERMIX.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and reserve some to garnish on top and stir in the nuts if using reserving some likewise to garnish the surface.
- Bake at 350 F for about 45 min- 60 min or until a skewer inserted in comes out clean.Keep checking after 38 min.
- Let it cool in the pan for about 10 min and slide out gently to finish cooling on the rack.
- Slice thick chunky slices . Eat plain, with cream cheese , or anyway you want .
- Egg substitute: 1 Tbsp. flax seed + 3 Tbsps. of water – pulverized well will yield a homogenous mass equivalent to 1 large egg.
- Greek Yogurt substitute: 1: 1 switch of blended silken tofu + a dash of lemon juice to give the tartness.
- Butter substitute: Canola oil / olive oil. 1 :1 substitution works perfect.
- Granulated sugar switch : Raw Turbinado sugar or jiggery
- Flour : whole wheat pastry flour is the best substitute for All purpose flour. If you do not have it and have only normal whole wheat flour, I would use 1 and ½ cups instead. It is quite dense. Or you can alternate 1 cup of whole wheat flour and ¾ cup of all-purpose flour.
- If you think your bread is browning too quickly and the middle is still squiggly and squishy, cover it with aluminum foil and return to baking.
- Can I make muffins out of this ? Certainly. Should yield 12-14 muffins, baked for about 16 min or so.
Have I baked using these substitutes ?
The short answer would be an unequivalent “Yes”. My observations though :
- Using jaggery has given me a more denser and squishy loaf because of its wet nature. Also I had better results with using store bought jaggery powder as 1 : 1 switch then pulverizing my own. I would assume that the commercially powdered jaggery was a bit more dry and hence worked better.
- Olive oil worked just fine as a substitute.
- Silken tofu also worked fine. Add in a Tbsp. or so of lemon juice to add in the tartness of yogurt. But I personally would look and choose the non GMO version of it. Make sure you blend it well before adding. You will not be able to blend it after adding it. Though unconventional, applesauce has work in a cinch too. The texture would be different a bit though.