Project of the day: waste not, want not
You know when you take too long to eat bananas? And they get all brown and soft? I like my bananas just past green, but even if you like them more on the brown side, for most people there’s a point of too far gone. When that happens, don’t throw them out! Make banana bread!
You have the power to transform mushy unwanted produce into moist, delicious bread that will attract every nose in your building to your kitchen, where their attached faces will wait and stare at you imploringly until they receive a fresh warm slice. And it makes an awesome grab&go breakfast!
The other cool thing with banana bread is that mashed bananas are often used as a substitute for butter or eggs in vegan cooking. SO all you really need to make this is flour, sugar, baking soda, and bananas! If you have an egg it will help it be less crumbly, and the oil helps keep it moist, but if you don’t have any, just add some more banana! The spices and extracts just add a little extra flavor. Use what you have, and if you have none, it will still taste like bananas, so you’re good! Assuming, of course, that you like bananas. (If you don’t, what are they doing in your house anyway?)
If you’re lucky enough to have a freezer and don’t quite have the time to bake, throw your past-ripe bananas in the freezer until you do. They’ll keep for a long while and be even mushier when you thaw them out.
3-4 very ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil (or melted butter)*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups flour
1 pinch salt
a few shakes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or ground cloves**
1 teaspoon vanilla extract and/or almond extract**
1 teaspoon dark rum, nice whiskey, amaretto, or orange liquor**
*optional. replace with another banana
**optional. feel free to experiment with different combinations of flavorings
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grease a loaf pan (or pie plate, 9×13 pan, muffin tins, casserole dish, whatever)
If your bananas are frozen, let them thaw 5-10 minutes until you can peel them. They don’t need to be completely thawed before you start, in fact it’s easier if they’re not.
Peel the bananas into a large bowl. Mash them coarsely with a fork (you want banana chunks, especially if you aren’t using oil).
Continue to use your fork to mix in sugar, then oil and egg if using.
Add salt and any extracts, spices, or liquors you’d like.
Mix in the baking soda.
Sprinkle the flour over the surface then mix until just incorporated.
Pour into your greased pan and bake until edges are golden brown. (This loaf is likely to fail the knife-come-out-clean test because its so moist. you don’t want the middle liquid, but jiggly is ok)
This takes 40-60 minutes in a loaf pan, but will likely be shorter (20-40 minutes) in a shallower pan and less than twenty minutes if you’re making muffins. Peek at it every ten minutes or so to be safe.