I don’t know who I’d be without this recipe for banana bread. I say that quite honestly. Growing up, it was a special treat. There were a lot of us young-uns, and there were ALWAYS bananas in the house, somehow. My mother instituted a ‘one banana a day’ rule, I think out of necessity. Either to keep from going broke, or because when we were babies, we couldn’t digest more than one properly. And that was a problem because we were picky eaters the lot of us, but we all adored bananas! One of my brothers existed solely on bananas, hot dogs and peanut butter, jam and marshmallow sandwiches until he was a teenager, I promise you. One of my other brothers has staunchly held on to the ‘one banana a day’ rule, never thinking to question it because of my mother’s reputation for being right most of the time. The look on his face this Christmas when we told him he could eat more than one was priceless. To think that at 21 years old, he could eat as many bananas as he wanted was the best Christmas gift we could have given him.
But sometimes, even in our house, the bananas turned black before they could be eaten. Maybe it was because there had only been perfectly ripe bananas at the store. Maybe it was because they had been green, and then ripened too quickly while we weren’t looking. Maybe there had been a sale at the store, and dag-nabbit, we couldn’t eat more than one banana a day, so what were we supposed to do? Watching in horror as the perfect yellow bananas turned a level of spotty that no one can handle. Maybe it was because my mother, hoping she could make banana bread, put a couple in the freezer immediately. And a black banana is perfect for banana bread.
Thank goodness I married another banana enthusiast! I don’t make this banana bread nearly as much as I should! I’ve been staring at these pictures too much this morning though as I’m editing them – I will DEFINITELY need to make this once I post the recipe! It is magical. Incredibly moist, shamelessly flavourful, it’s a hit for every potluck. If it makes it to one! I definitely have a ‘one for you, one for me’ policy when it comes to making this for others.
On Saba, the tiny Caribbean island we lived for two years, this banana bread was so fluffy! It must have been something in the air, because every time I pulled it out of the oven, it had almost overflowed the pan. Here in Southern Louisiana, I expected much the same, but was a bit disappointed. Nevertheless, it’s still amazingly delicious!
First things first, put the kettle on to boil. This is key! And you will see why in a minute. You’ll also want to set your oven to 350° to preheat.
Next, take your black-skinned bananas, and peel them. When our bananas are getting old, I pop them in the freezer and save them for this. No banana gets left behind! You’ll want them to defrost completely. They can be a bit mushy and gross, and believe me, they look super weird before you mash them. But no worries, they’re still amazing. Can you make this with green bananas? Yes you can. But over-ripe adds more flavour! Now mash those bananas! If you’re doing this by hand, a fork works best. If you’re using a mixer, a low setting will do. Make sure it is nice and uniform by the time you’re done. You don’t want any giant chunks of banana in your bread!
Add your salt, sugar and butter to your mashed banana, and stir. Then add your eggs. I don’t always keep eggs in the house, they tend to go bad before I use them all! So if you don’t have eggs or are allergic, another ½ mushed banana will do!
Time for the boiling water! You’ll need 4 teaspoons of it, be careful measuring, it’s hot! Just put it in a cup on the side, and add your baking soda to it. Why boiling, you ask? I honestly don’t know. I’m assuming its to help activate the baking soda, but believe me, you do NOT want any other type of water. It just won’t be as fluffy without it! And since I’ve got water boiled already, might as well make some tea too.
Add your flour, baking powder, and vanilla and then mix.
Add your chocolate chips last. I find the chocolate chunk variety to be the best! I’ve also seen it done with peanut butter chips as well. I will definitely have to try that!
Put in a loaf pan, and bake for 1 hour. In the place we’re renting right now, we have the turbo oven from heck, so I set the timer for 50 minutes and it turned out perfect. I am also using a glass dish because hey, you work with what you’ve got. But if you’re using a dark pan an hour is fine too.
And there you have it! Gorgeous!
You’ll want it to cool for about 15 minutes before you try and get it out of the pan. I’m always over-eager, and wreck it! This banana bread tends to be extremely moist, especially if you cut it within an hour of baking. If you want smaller, thin, solid slices, I recommend waiting until it’s completely cold before you cut it. If you want it even more solid, wrap it in saran wrap and put it in the fridge overnight. If you can wait that long. I cannot. No way, no how!
It is delicious plain….
Or slathered in peanut butter (YUM). My husband prefers butter, because he’s a weirdo. My new favourite thing is PB2, which is peanut butter that has all the oils and fats taken out from it, so is super low calorie. You just mix the powder with some water and voila, peanut butter! So delicious. Enjoy!!!
Annnnnd now I’m going to go back to the kitchen to make some more… see you next week!
- 3 ripe bananas – creamed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup softened butter or margarine
- 2 well-beaten eggs (OR ½ banana for an egg-free version)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 tsp boiling water
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips (about ½ 12oz. bag)
Set kettle to boil and preheat oven to 350°. Butter or spray the sides and bottom of your loaf pan with non-stick spray.
Cream bananas until smooth, add salt, sugar, butter and eggs to the bowl. Stir until mixed.
When water is boiled, measure into a cup and add baking soda to the water. Add to the bowl, and mix.
Add flour, baking powder and vanilla, and mix.
Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed.
Bake for 1 hour. Let sit for 15 minutes before removing loaf from pan.
Serve! Top with butter or peanut butter or nothing at all. Enjoy!
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