Every time I read the descriptive head note for a recipe for banana bread, it will more likely than not contain a line like this, “it is a great way to use up over ripe bananas”. And I get completely envious of people who need to think of ways to use up bananas that are too ripe to eat. In my kitchen, bananas get consumed too rapidly to get to the dalmatian-spotted stage – the stage where they are perfect for baking.
This winter, a loaf of banana bread has been a weekly staple in my kitchen. I have been deliberately buying huge bunches of bananas so at least three of them can over ripen on my counter in time for my weekly bake. It doesn’t help that the supermarkets I go to all sell bananas that are as green as Kermit. Since an 8″ x 4″ loaf doesn’t last more than 24 hours in my house (we have four banana bread fans), it is always quite an agonizing wait for the next fresh loaf.
I find that banana bread is quite the perfect food to tame your hunger in between meals. My husband and I like to have a slice for our bedtime snack. My daughter likes to have a small slice packed into her lunchbox on days when she stays in school for lunch. My son loves to end dinner with something sweet (a habit inherited from me, I’m afraid) and I like giving him homemade chocolate chip banana bread, which he will put away into his tummy in record time.
My all time favourite recipe for banana bread is the Low Fat Banana Bread from Epicurious. I have a serious problem with following recipes to a T and thus have never made this the same way twice. Sometimes I replace half the all-purpose flour with whole wheat, sometimes I throw half a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter, sometimes I use brown sugar instead of all white. Despite my tweaks, this reliable recipe produces a great loaf every time I make it; the bite is chewy and the taste is comforting and familiar as how banana bread should always be. And those two slices you see above? They became mine and my daughter’s afternoon snack after their photo shoot.
And now, I’m off to bake a tray of lemon shortbread that I plan to cut into little cookie hearts with the help of a cookie cutter for Valentine’s Day tomorrow. I’m going to pack one into my daughter’s lunchbox for an extra special lunch treat!