Remember those bananas I was set on turning into banana bread two weeks ago? Well, I finally got around to it today! At first I was afraid that I had let them sit too long but it turned out that they were perfect!
I found a super easy recipe (don’t worry, I’ll share) and had all the ingredients on hand, since I bought them two weeks ago. Each batch requires 3 overly ripe bananas, I had 10. I decided to make a day of it and invited a couple of women over and one of them happened to have a banana left from a packed lunch so we figured we could probably make do for 4 batches with 11 bananas. We were more than right.
Here is the recipe!
Cream together 8 tablespoons butter (an entire stick) and 1 cup of sugar
Stir in 2 beaten eggs and 3 mashed bananas
Slowly mix in ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Fold in 1/3 cup of mix-in (walnuts etc)
Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes
See, super easy! Also essentially fool-proof, I know because I unintentionally tested it out several different ways.
Our first batch we used walnuts as our mix-in, and I used 3 eggs instead of 2. I actually just realized as I was typing out the recipe here that it says 2 eggs and not 3. I used 3 for every batch, oops. I used a pan that made 4 mini-loafs and we cooked it for 30 minutes at 350 and a toothpick came out clean. That batch was nearly perfect.
The second batch mixed in halved cranberries and a couple of spoonfuls of flax-seed. I decided to use a brownie pan as my mini-loaf pan was still in the oven and it was while I was pouring the batter into the wells that I realized we had forgotten bananas. What?! Who forgets bananas when making banana bread? Apparently me. We went ahead and baked it anyway for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick came out clean. We tested some while they were still warm with a smear of butter and they were delicious! I may have found a new recipe haha.
The third batch we had decided we would just use 2 bananas and then use a bruised apple. We found some caramel chips in my pantry and decided that caramel apple would be delicious! Turns out I can’t be trusted to be in charge of ingredients while socializing as we missed the salt and baking soda, and we ended up using 3 bananas. What a mess. The resulting bread was so moist and dense that it reminded me of a bread pudding. We sifted some powdered sugar over the top to help pull out some of the moisture. The flavor was amazing but the consistency left something to be desired.
Our fourth batch we finally did make one with just 2 bananas, and all of the other ingredients were accounted for (including an extra egg). We added in about a cup of chopped blueberries. This one is the only one that I haven’t tasted, but I look forward to having it for breakfast tomorrow.
The fifth and final batch used up the last 3 bananas and about a teaspoon of cinnamon. The other ingredients (excluding eggs) were measured perfectly and included in the batter. It is of course delicious. One of my favorite sandwiches is banana and peanut butter but for whatever reason I had never used peanut butter as spread on banana bread. I had purchased whipped peanut butter yesterday while grocery shopping and smeared a bit on a slice and it was heavenly! If you haven’t tried it, you need to.
I still have a ton of mini-loafs left, even after everyone took some home and my dog stole one off of the counter. I am going to look into the best way to freeze them because there is no way that I will be able to eat all of this before it starts to spoil.
Baking things like banana bread serve several great purposes when trying to improve your finances.
- I used bananas that might have been tossed if I wasn’t looking for ways to save
- I used up several ingredients that were just sitting in my pantry (caramel chips, a bag of sugar, walnuts) before they had a chance to go bad
- I used portions of things that were sitting in my fridge or pantry that may have gone to waste otherwise (cranberries, flax-seed, baking soda, salt)
- I was able to purchase the needed ingredients without feeling guilty because I knew they would be used completely (eggs, butter)
- I made a ton at once, practicing money-saving time-management as well as knocking out food prep. We will have homemade banana bread for months
- I had a day full of fun for the cost of the ingredients, we even snacked on cheese and crackers and I was able to use up the ends of several small blocks of cheese and the ends of boxes of crackers that way too!
Today was so much fun! I was also mindful of clean up, so we used two pans, one mixing bowl and mixer attachment, one mini spatula, one scraper, two cooling racks, a knife, 3 measuring cups, 3 small bowls, and 1 measuring spoon. We just rinsed the missing bowl and scraper between batches and wiped any crumbs out of the pans before re-greasing them. Clean up was a cinch!
This recipe proved to be more versatile than I could have imagined, I look forward to playing around with it in the future whenever I find that I have fruit nearing its end. It will also be great for those odds and ends of things used in other recipes, such as nuts, chocolate chips, small candies, etc.
You can also adjust it for health concerns or dietary restrictions very easily! I didn’t use a cup of sugar as the recipe calls for (on purpose, unlike all of our other ingredient “variations”) I used a low-calorie baking blend that is made with sugar and stevia and claims that ½ a cup can replace a cup of sugar and I found the batches I sampled to be plenty sweet. I used organic whole wheat flour, but you could also use rice flour to create a gluten-free option. Like I mentioned, I am excited for the possibilities that could come from this simple recipe.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Monday! As always, I’ll see you tomorrow!