It’s apparently a secret of sorts of experienced bakers, that ideal bananas for baking are extra ripe. Spotty is not enough. Like totally black is the real deal.
So, armed with this knowledge, I shrieked from joy coming across a banana sale at a local grocery store. They looked ugly, like defunct, but you know, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure (like this woman, Teri Horton, who picked up what is supposedly a Jackson Pollock original for $5 at a thrift store — watch the movie! — which would make the piece worth a hefty$50 million).
The decaying treasure I found was going for $1 for five pieces — so I picked up 10 packs, or, in other words, 50 bananas. I attracted some attention, so that this girl in the store, seeing the enthusiasm with which I was stocking up my piles (balancing case upon case — no time for a cart), so she, alarmed by my eagerness, started briskly walking up, but catching glimpse of the decomposing state of the fruits I was hoarding (like a mad squirrel stuffing its face with nuts) abruptly walked away in confusion…
(On a serious note — dreadfully serious actually, like I had trouble sleeping after learning this depressing fact — if you’ve ever wondered why bananas are so much cheaper compared to other fruits, see this amazing banana documentary, titled “Banana Land: Blood, Bullets and Poison.” Watch it for free here, and donate toward helping cover production costs here.)
Now, if your bananas are bright and yellow like the sun, don’t worry, there’s a way to quickly ripen them. Basically, bake them at 300°F for 40 minutes. Easy peasy.
Turns out I’m not the only one who fanatically love’s baking banana bread. Coincidentally this is what ESPN’s host Sage Steele has to say about banana bread’s magical bonding powers: “My kids have told me how much they love it when I make the banana bread for them, and that’s all I needed to hear — even if I’m not there to actually serve it to them. My banana bread is my way of being home in spirit. And I’m finding more and more that the little things I do for my kids end up making ME feel great, too.”
See? Banana bread will make you a more compassionate person. And the recipe here should have you feel even better, because it’s naturally sweetened, and made with whole-wheat flour and oatmeal!
Our sense of smell makes us fall in love, so be strategical with this knowledge! Seduce your crush with the intoxicating smell of baking banana bread. A powerful weapon in the hands of a skilled person.
Full of healthy ingredients, and, what follows, not overwhelmingly sweet. To make purely vegan, avoid the egg — the banana bread will still hold firmly. Alternatively, use a flax egg. For gluten-freeness, use gluten-free flour, geez.
Please note, the recipe has been adapted from Ambitious Kitchen — thank you for the wonderful inspiration!
Dear readers: Any banana documentaries you’d recommend? Though honestly, any darn good documentary is fair game!
- Coconut oil
- 1 cup (250 mL) mashed bananas
- ⅓ cup (70 mL) unsweetened apple butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 1 cup (250 mL) almond milk, unsweetened
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1.5 cups (355 mL) whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (125 mL) raw almonds, chopped
- ½ cup (125 mL) golden-brown flax seeds
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease 9-inch loaf pan with coconut oil.
- In large bowl, combine mashed bananas, apple butter, maple syrup, egg, almond milk, and vanilla, until creamy. In separate medium bowl whisk whole-wheat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Combine contents of both bowls, mix lightly. Fold in almonds and flax seeds.
- Pour into loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 min.
- Remove from oven, let cool, and indulge!