Brrr! It has been cold around here lately- we’re still digging ourselves out of the snow. I don’t know if I can take much more. I’m usually one to enjoy the seasons, but this weather has me dreaming of the tropics. It’s even interfering with wedding planning! My fiancé and I decided we wanted an active, explorer-type honeymoon, rather than lounging on a beach somewhere. Now I’m not so sure. A warm beach sounds amazing.
As we brace for yet another cold weekend ahead, I’ll leave you all with a little something to warm up your kitchen. A morning spent preparing an oven-baked, old fashioned banana bread is a perfect, if only temporary, escape from the outdoors. This recipe’s got all your well-loved traditional ingredients plus whole wheat, flax, and wheat germ to give it a bit more heft. I also cut back on the sugar a bit, but feel free to sweeten it to your liking. I hope it helps you to stay warm!
Ingredients (makes 1 loaf) – Adapted from Flour’s Famous Banana Bread Recipe
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 tablespoons crème fraiche or sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup flax seeds
2 tablespoons wheat germ
Directions: Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper or grease well.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl.
Add in flax seed and wheat germ.
In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs.
Next, add in the oil, mashed bananas, crème fraiche, and vanilla. I used ripe, frozen bananas that I had on hand and defrosted for this recipe. *Make a habit of throwing ripe bananas in the freezer just before they turn bad. This way you’ll always have them around for recipes like this.
If you are planning on using toasted walnuts, you’ll need to take a few minutes to toast them on the stove top. You could do this earlier in the process, but I figured this might be a good time to show you how it’s done. If the walnuts are already chopped, simply put them in a small pan on low heat and toast for just a couple of minutes until they start to become fragrant. If the walnuts are not already chopped, toast them in a pan and allow to cool before chopping on a cutting board.
Next, add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Gently, fold in the nuts. Do not over stir.
Pour into your loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. I found that this recipe took almost a full hour, so definitely take that into consideration when you’re planning to make this recipe.
Stick a toothpick or knife into the middle to test whether the loaf is done. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s ready to eat.
Allow the loaf to cool a bit and serve warm.
Add a drizzle of honey or a smear of peanut butter for a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast. Of course buttered or plain is also good.
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