Too Many Bananas? Bake Banana Nut Bread

While searching for a Banana Bread recipe to bring to a Jazz Brunch last summer, this one caught my attention. It said, “Extreme Banana Nut Bread (EBNB).” “Warning; may be habit forming.” That’s my kind of recipe.

Banana Nut Bread - 3 - IMG_6321_1-2014

The Banana Nut Bread was a hit. Plus, it’s an easy way to use up my never-ending supply of over ripe bananas.

The recipe was posted on Allrecipes.com WEB site and is used here with permission. It has been around awhile, published in 2007 and has received 1480 reviews and 1732 ratings. And the majority of the ratings are “outstanding.” Pretty amazing!

The author commented that the recipe is very accommodating and can be changed according to ingredients on hand.  Many of the reviewers shared adjustments; I tried making the recipe exactly as posted. It was a little burnt, but delicious and I liked the crisp edges!

Recipe Make-Over

The recipe is rich, dense and tasty. I’ve made Extreme Banana Nut Bread several times over the past year and it has always received rave reviews. But the recipe contains alot of sugar and butter. I kept thinking that perhaps I could make the recipe a little more healthy with a few ingredient changes. The make-over recipe turned out well; the bread is just as tasty. So here is the original bread, then the recipe make-over adjustments.

Tips for making the bread

Here are a couple of tips for making this bread. This is a rich, dense banana nut cake-type bread. It is a quick bread rather than a yeast bread.

  • Banana breads are best made with extremely ripe, mushy bananas. They have great flavor so don’t throw a banana away just because the peel is turning brown. I used a combination of overripe and very overripe bananas; some with bruises are fine. I chopped some of the bananas and mashed some.

Banana Nut Bread Ingredients - IMG_6105_1

  • This recipe uses walnuts which makes a good flavor combination with the bananas plus adds crunch. I toast the walnuts first (for 5 – 7 minutes at 350 degrees on a baking sheet) so that they are aromatic, then chop the nuts. I don’t use a food processor to chop the walnuts as they come out too fine. After toasting, immediately remove the walnuts from the baking sheet as they continue to bake and can become burnt.
  • I used real butter in the original recipe for a rich flavor but switched to soft margarine in the follow-up make-over. If using real butter, make sure it is very soft before starting the recipe.
  • Extreme Banana Nut Bread is a quick bread or batter bread, similar to muffins.The first ingredients (butter, sugar, eggs, bananas) just barely need to be mixed with the flour; the batter can be a little lumpy when it is poured in the loaf pans.
  • This is a large recipe. It makes two loaves. For the make-over, I halved the ingredients to make one loaf.

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  • The instructions call to bake the banana nut bread for an entire hour to 70 minutes. The top and sides came out burned. To avoid this, I recommend tenting the bread after about 35 minutes with aluminium foil and taking the bread out of the oven by 55 minutes. Actually the “burnt” edges added to the flavor, but even at 55 minutes this bread was somewhat “burnt.”

Banana Nut bread - 4 - IMG_6319_1-2014


Recipe for Extreme Banana Nut Bread.

Extreme Banana Nut Bread, submitted by SASEIGEL and posted in Allrecipes.com

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups mashed overripe bananas
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter or margarine and sugar until smooth. Stir in the bananas, eggs, and walnuts until well blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, and stir just until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans.
  3. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the crown of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for at least 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely. Wrap in aluminum foil to keep in the moisture. Ideally, refrigerate the loaves 2 hours or more before serving.

Used with permission from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/extreme-banana-nut-bread-ebnb/

The author suggests not cutting the bread until ready to serve and placing it in the refrigerator several hours prior to serving. It is delicious!

Recipe Make-Over

For an recipe make-over, I made just a few changes. I also reduced the recipe in half making only one loaf. Does it taste the same? No, but the flavor of this one is great, too.

New Ingredients - IMG_2162

My recipe adjustments are:

  • Real butter contains saturated fat. I used soft polyunsaturated margarine in place of the butter, keeping the proportions the same,
  • The banana bread is very sweet. I reduced the sugar by 1/3 – using half as dark brown sugar and half as granulated sugar,
  • To increase the fiber I thought about adding some whole wheat flour. But this bread is very dense. So I added bran flakes and a little buttermilk to absorb the moisture of the bran flakes. The bran flakes add a nice flavor.

Now the banana nut bread higher in fiber; it has less sugar; no saturated fats and it still contains the healthy bananas and walnuts. Walnuts are one of the nuts that are high in polyunsaturated fats. Not many changes, it still is tasty.

Here is the batter.

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And the baked bread.

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Banana Nut Bran Bread, original recipe by MayleesKitchen

  • Servings: 1 loaf or 12 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup soft margarine such as “I Can’t Believe It’s Butter”
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup very ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1 1/2 cups bran flake cereal
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or low-fat milk

Method and Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 9×5″ loaf pan.
  2. Place walnut pieces on baking sheet, bake for 5 – 7 minutes until aromatic but not browned, remove from oven and immediately remove from baking sheet. Chop with knife until coarsely chopped. Set aside.
  3. Sift flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. In separate large bowl of electric mixer, cream the margarine with the granulated and dark brown sugars on high speed until combined and creamy.
  5. Turn down to medium speed and add the eggs and mix to combine.
  6. Add the bananas and mix in.
  7. On low speed, add the flour mixture, bran flakes and buttermilk and mix until just blended. Mixture will be lumpy.
  8. By hand, stir in the walnuts.
  9. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes until knife inserted into the loaf comes out clean. After 35 minutes check the banana bread, if it is becoming too brown on the crust, lightly tent with aluminum foil.
  10. Remove from oven, let cool on a rack for at least 5 – 10 minutes; then turn out onto rack and cool completely. Best if placed in refrigerator several hours prior to cutting. Wrap leftover loaf with aluminum foil.

Banana Nut Bran Bread - 3 - IMG_2189

Enjoy!

 

 

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