Saturday, July 24, 2010

Havabanana Or Three

I don't make banana bread any more, not because I don't like it but because I don't buy bananas any more because bananas come from far, far away and in getting here they consume more carbon than they are worth.

But, My Beloved, being the good guy he is, bought three bananas for a friend who was visiting. When the friend left, he hadn't eaten them and we forgot to give them to him for the road.

So, after many years of no banana bread, I was given a
golden, no-guilt opportunity. I whipped out Mom T's recipe and decided to see if I could improve on it, stellar though it always was.

I added another half cup of walnuts - I like a lot of nuts. And I added some coffee flavor, too, thinking that it would add an exotic depth to the bread. I might have used some of the cold-brewed coffee I made last week but opted this time for freeze-dried coffee dissolved in the smallest amount of water, just to add the flavor without adding much more liquid.

Both additions were, in my view, improvements. While I couldn't taste the coffee itself, it did add dark richness and the nuts - well, in my view, you can never have too many nuts. The result was bumpy and deeply flavored, dense and packed with banana goodness. I think coffee is like bacon - it adds to any dish.

Coffee Banana Bread

1/2 cup oil (I used canola)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup crushed bananas (3 bananas; I crush them with a fork)
1 tsp freeze-dried coffee powder, dissolved in a tiny bit of water
2 cups flour (I use unbleached)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts but I was toying with the idea of macadamias to keep with the tropical theme)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix oil and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and crushed bananas. Mix well. Dissolve coffee powder in minimal water and add to banana mixture. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add nuts and stir well.

Pour into greased pans, either one large loaf pan or two small ones. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour + 15 minutes (less if you use the smaller loaf pans). Test for moisture during the last 15 minutes with a toothpick or cake tester - if it comes out clean, the bread is ready. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

This bread keeps well at room temperature, well wrapped in plastic. If kept more than a day or two, refrigerate.

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Blogger Greg said...

Bananas! I love them and will reduce my carbon footprint in other ways to enjoy.

Saturday, July 24, 2010  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

I've made it with walnuts, raisins and chocolate, but not coffee, I'll give that a go, Mr Brown LOVES banana bread.

Saturday, July 24, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, they are a rare treat in this house, but a treat nonetheless.

Ms Mouse, let me know if he likes this version.

Sunday, July 25, 2010  
Blogger Jennywenny said...

I dont know about you but I feel guilty every time I buy bananas thanks to that Ms Kingsolver and her 'Animal Miracle Vegetable'! Oh well! It looks delicious though!

Thursday, August 05, 2010  

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