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Oatmeal Banana Bread

I know Bananas are not the type of produce I typically discuss on this site but, you see, I really love banana bread, and so does Dustin. A few years back I found a fantastic recipe for banana bread from the Flour bakery in New York and I have been making that very same one ever since. And, you see, its hard not to because it is simply the best, moistest, and most decadent banana bread I have ever eaten. Its dense, tightly packed crumb made it easy to take slices to go, or bring a slab along on a hiking, camping, or road trip. But today I am not telling you about that recipe (you can find that one on epicurious), I want to tell you about another recipe for banana bread that I baked up last weekend which is just as amazing in its own, wholesome way.

The fact is that every time I bake up a batch of that amazing banana bread from Flour it disappears at an alarming rate, and I say alarming because, while it isn’t exactly a devils food cake with icing, the bread doesn’t have much going for it from a health perspective. What I wanted, instead, was a recipe for my favorite loaf that was just as enticingly moist as the original and had the same brilliant perfume of banana but incorporated some slightly more redeeming ingredients. Basically, I wanted my cake, and I wanted to eat it with a shred less guilt than before.

Thinking about how to give one of my all time favorite recipes the makeover it needed to become a real staple in our baking rotation, my mind drifted to breakfast, and from breakfast to a long time breakfast favorite a oatmeal. And thus oatmeal banana bread was born. The crumb is made up of a combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour. I decided to use a slightly healthier agave nectar for a source of sweetener which seemed to me to be a better alternative to the traditional white sugar. The result was exactly what I was looking for, a wonderfully sweet and moist loaf with nuggets of mashed banana and toasted pecans. And finally a loaf that I can munch on with a guiltless little smile on my face.

Oatmeal Banana Bread

3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Agave Syrup
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 TSP Baking Powder
1/4 TSP Baking Soda
1/4 TSP Salt
1 1/2 TSP Cinnamon
3/4 Cup Rolled Oats
3 Small Very Ripe Bananas, Lightly Mashed
1/3 Cup Low Fat Buttermilk
1/4 Cup Canola Oil
1 1/4 TSP Vanilla
2 Eggs Beaten
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans, Toasted and Cooled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with butter.

In a large bowl sift together flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add oats to other dry ingredients and stir with a whisk to combine.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together bananas, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until just combined. Don’t overmix.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake 40-45 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

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