Today for brunch, Michael and I decided to bake the same thing, despite being hundreds of miles away - a banana nut bread. But not just any banana bread, nope, we dressed it up in slightly healthier garments to see what would happen. And since we both made the same recipe(ish), it's as good as two tests to make sure it works. Genius, eh?
Mike's lovely golden loaf
This banana bread has the advantage of being whole-grain (I made mine with spelt flour, and Mike used a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour), low-ish in fat (4 tablespoons in the entire recipe) and naturally sweetened (I used agave, Michael used maple syrup). We then each made our own toppings (mine had a chocolate cashew spread, Michael used butter and maple syrup) to jazz up the bread. Success!
My less perfect, darker bread - still tasty.
Well, mostly. The biggest failure was over on my end - I cooked it a little long and it got too dark. Michael found the cooking time sweet spot, getting his bread nice and golden while still being cooked through and moist. Pssh, and that guy says he can't bake.
Banana Nut Bread
Makes 1 9-inch loaf
1 3/4 cups spelt flour (or a mix of whole wheat/all purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup agave (or other liquid sweetener)
1/4 cup applesauce (Mike used apple juice)
1/4 cup melted margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and lightly oil a 9-inch loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a blender, blend the bananas, agave, applesauce, margarine and vanilla until smooth. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and stir until moistened (but don't over-stir). Fold in the walnuts, and pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes clean. Let it sit on a wire rack for 10 minutes, remove from the pan, and let it cool another 10 minutes on the wire rack. Serve warm with butter and/or chocolate spread (see below).
Variation: Maple Pecan Banana Bread
Use maple syrup instead of agave, and pecans instead of walnuts. Top with butter and maple syrup.
Chocolate Cashew Spread
1/4 cup cashew butter
2 tablespoons agave (or other sweetener)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
In a medium bowl, mix together until all ingredients are combined. You might want to gently warm the cashew butter to soften it a little.
Despite being a little healthier than regular banana bread, this came out tasting great - dare I say moist again? Why is that word such a crime nowadays? Is it because of that TV show Dead Like Me? Or maybe that's too obscure of a reference.
Well I've had a nice and mellow weekend - we had some people over at our place for a happy communal meal, I experienced the giant monstrosity of the main Whole Foods branch, and I spent some time practicing Hirigana (an alphabet in Japanese). Since I'm lucky enough to have a roommate who's half-Japanese, I figure now's the perfect time to study something I've always wanted to study, just for fun. Maybe I'm super nerdy that way.
Anyway, hope you guys had a great weekend, and I'll catch you on the flip side!