I have been trying to find a moist banana bread recipe that doesn’t call for applesauce. Why? I don’t always have applesauce lying around the house, in fact, I never do. I just can’t bake with applesauce. To me, it’s like cooking with jarred minced garlic. With that being said, I’m sure if you gave me a delicious cake, I probably wouldn’t notice the applesauce, maybe. I get it, it’s a “healthy alternative”, but if you are going to have dessert, have dessert! 😉 When I diet, the only dessert I eat is celery with peanut butter on it so, if I’m going to cheat and have dessert, it’s going to be something like Crème brûlée or a Tarte de Pommes a la Normande (French Apple Tart), or something simple like Oreo Cheesecake. But, to indulge in something that has applesauce in it on my cheat day or for my cheat meal, is just a waste to me. This banana bread has all natural ingredients and includes whole wheat flour for an added healthy alternative. I didn’t want to use all whole wheat flour so I mixed it with regular flour. Feel free to use all whole wheat in the recipe or just white flour.
I had this discussion with my friend Jenny the other day and she gets it. She and I both agree that butter is the way to go for desserts. Jenny is the complete opposite of me, she loves to bake. Her favorite recipes come from Martha Stewart and Giada DeLaurentis while mine are more from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa).
To tell you the truth, while I like to bake, I don’t love it. Baking is not my forté , but I like knowing that I have something to pair with my afternoon cup of joe. One of those favorites is Banana Bread. Finally, after mixing different amounts of flour, butter, sugar, and oil, I have found a wonderful recipe for very moist banana bread. My version of Banana Bread calls for whole wheat/white flour mix, brown sugar, vanilla, and a mixture of butter and vegetable oil. The vegetable oil is the difference that makes the banana bread really moist. The recipe I used before was from my go-to book for breakfast, The Joy of Cooking: All About Breakfast and Brunch. It is a great banana bread recipe, but my husband, Adam, complained it was too dry so I added some vegetable oil one day, and voila, moist Banana Bread. Then, after adding vegetable oil, I decided to play around some more by adding vanilla, mixing different types of flour, and reducing the salt. After about ten times making banana bread, I think I have found THE RECIPE! Here it is:
2/3 cup of Whole Wheat Flour
2/3 cup of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons of salted butter
1/8 cup of vegetable oil
1/3 cup of white sugar
1/3 cup of brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (use immersion blender or processor to mash)
½ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat on medium speed the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs slowly and continue to mix. Beat in the flour mixture until well blended. Lastly, pour bananas and vanilla into mixing bowl and beat for about 2 more minutes. Mix in nuts (optional). Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick or sharp knife comes out clean after checking center. The middle of the banana bread will “crack” when it is ready. Remember that the bread will continue to cook when it is removed from the oven. Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm with butter and a cup of your favorite tea or coffee.