Finding the Best Banana Bread – A 3 recipe trial

16 Aug

Currently, you can not walk through my living room. There are approximately 50-60 piles of magazine recipes in the process of re-organization. My huge super-nerd binders of plastic, sheet protected clippings have gotten out of control. With no rhyme or reason to where things are placed, it can take me a half an hour to hunt through them for a recipe, which usually leaves me too tired to even cook. With a laundry list of way more important things to do, I decided to forgo daily duties and start an insane project by categorizing them by ingredient, which is the way I tend to cook. If I go to the farmers market and pick up some beautiful golden beets or baby artichokes, I want to take the opportunity to make recipes I had torn out at a time when I didn’t have those items on hand. At the top of my “banana pile” was a series of recipes from Cooking Light on banana bread. I have had them for a while and yet I never seem to make them because I already have a great family recipe for banana bread that I love. This week I just happened to have about 23 super ripe bananas on hand leftover from a recent camp class I did and it just seemed about time to challenge the classic and try a new healthy version out. Why not start two crazy projects at once? With all the piles around the house there isn’t much room anyplace else but the kitchen anyway.

Scroll down to see the results of trial!

Aunt Linda’s Original Banana Bread

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together 1 stick of butter with 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Beat in 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Mix in 4 mashed ripe bananas.

Combine 2 cups flour with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp baking soda in a separate bowl; then mix into creamed mixture until combined.

Bake as  2 large loaves for 45 mins to 1 hour or 25/35 mins for 24 muffins until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Substitutions and alterations:

add chopped nuts

sub 2 bananas for 2 chopped apples

sub 1/2 cup oil for butter

Basic Banana Bread – slightly adapted from Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light Magazine Oct 2010

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine banana, yogurt, butter and eggs  in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until combined.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour,flaxseed,baking soda,salt, cinnamon and nutmeg . Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended.

4. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

5.Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool completely.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread – slightly adapted from Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light Magazine Oct 2010

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana

  • 1/3 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare bread, combine banana, yogurt, peanut butter,butter and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until blended.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, flaxseed,baking soda,salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Stir in nuts.

4. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool.

Results:
The original recipe is still the best, sweet, buttery and delicious with great banana flavor. It is also the easiest and quickest to put together. Unfortunately it is not low-calorie or low-fat. The Cooking Light basic banana bread was a close runner-up. It tasted the best when cool. It was slighter drier and tougher but for a low cal bread with heart healthy flaxseed and nutritious yogurt, I thought it was great and definitely company worthy. The peanut butter bread fell short on the peanut flavor for my husband, I don’t really like peanut butter to begin with so I let him be the judge. I would try this again with the peanut butter glaze Cooking Light posted( see the website ) and possibly add more peanuts.

Do you have a banana bread that you think might be better? Please share and I would love to do the trial again!

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2 Responses to “Finding the Best Banana Bread – A 3 recipe trial”

  1. Just A Smidgen August 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Your Aunt Linda’s recipe sounds the best… I think the four bananas is what makes it so yummy. My Uncle Bryan left us a recipe as well, you’ve inspired me to dig it out and have a go! Thanks for sharing…

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