I always wondered what you’re supposed to do with the bananas sitting at the bottom of the fruit basket that all too quickly become too ripe to eat and almost ready to throw out. Sure, you could always freeze bananas for later, but what about the bananas that are just too far gone? It has only been in the past few months that I have begun doing what most people do with their overripe bananas — make banana bread.
I tried a few different recipes with varying results, and one day, for lack of eggs but desperate to get rid of a few bananas, I stumbled upon this one on AllRecipes.com. I adapted the recipe and made a few changes, and it came out incredibly moist and pretty darn yummy! I’ve used bananas that were completely black on the outside and a bit mushy on the inside, and some that have just gotten past the spotting and browning phase. There were times, as I was preparing the batter, that I questioned myself for a moment whether the bananas were still okay to eat. Apparently those are the best bananas to use for banana bread as they have become extra sweet. (But don’t use ones that have liquefied and fermented… those are beyond saving.)
For this most recent rendition, I used a cupcake tin and made cute little mini-loaves of banana bread, complete with colorful paper liners. Personally, I like these muffins more than slices or wedges of a larger loaf. Food is just more fun to eat when it’s smaller!
Please note that this bread is eggless but the recipe still calls for butter and refined sugar. If you want to make it a vegan bread, try substituting coconut spread, apple sauce, or some other fruit puree (I’ve heard canned pumpkin could work well). I recently received some liquid stevia from NuNaturals, but I’m still working on adjusting the “bulk” filler that is needed to take the place of the sugar solids. Stay tuned for a veganified version!
Without further ado, here is the recipe.
1/3 cup white granulated sugar (I used a little less than this amount knowing how sweet my bananas were)
1/3 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup mashed bananas (I had three medium-sized bananas)
1 1/2 – 2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I’m really bad at remembering to leave the butter out to soften before embarking on my baking adventures, so I popped it in the microwave for a few seconds, watching very closely. You want it to soften but not melt. Melted butter gives a different consistency to the final product. It took me 15 seconds to get the butter from straight-out-of-the-fridge to where I needed it to be.
Cream the softened butter together with both sugars. Add the bananas and vanilla extract and mix well. Toss in the dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Start with 1 1/2 cups of flour and stir the batter. It will be thick, but if it feels too wet, add a bit more flour. Mix just enough to combine; you don’t want to overwork the dough.
Prepare your baking dish.To make these banana bread muffins, I lined a cupcake tin with paper liners. Using the double spoon method, fill each well with an even amount of batter. This recipe should yield just enough to make 12 muffins. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes or until the tops turn a pretty golden color and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the tins and let cool on a rack. Serve warm!
If you prefer a more bread-like banana bread, this recipe’s proportions will fill a 9x5x3 loaf pan or equivalent. In the past, I have also used an 8″ round Pyrex tupperware bowl lined with a parchment paper circle on the bottom. Alternatively, you could grease your pan or spray it with nonstick spray. Pour in the batter and bake for about 40 minutes. For this I started by setting my timer for 35 minutes and checking on it every 5 minutes thereafter. Use the toothpick method to test whether the batter has cooked through in the center, since every oven is different. When it’s done, transfer to a rack to cool so the trapped heat doesn’t form condensation and make the bread soggy. Lining the pan with parchment paper helps immensely with this step :) Just loosen the edges of the bread with a knife and carefully flip out of your baking vessel. I cut this bread round into 8 slices.
Leftovers freeze wonderfully. If storing the muffins, I recommend removing them from the paper liners first, as the paper can get gross and soggy. Just wrap each muffin or slice or wedge in plastic wrap and/or foil and store in a Ziploc bag. Microwave for a few seconds to warm up and it will be just like fresh baked! Yum!
An optional add-in to the batter that I have considered tossing in is a handful of chocolate chips. I suppose you could also add nuts but since I have a mild walnut allergy, I’m very grateful to have learned how to make my own nutless banana muffins. If I stumble across any other interesting flavor combinations, I’ll be sure to post. And as I mentioned earlier, I will be working on a veganified version as well. If you try making this at home, please let us know how it turned out!