I’ve had a hankering for banana bread lately! As many Seattleites do, I found myself at Macrina Bakery one afternoon for an espresso and a delightful treat. Let me just say I’m picky when it comes to banana bread and their version is soooooooo good, but possibly an entire day’s worth of caloric intake. That said, it was worth it! The next day I wanted more, but this time decided I should probably try to make a healthier version at home. I wanted something classic, very banana-y, with crunchy toasty walnuts.
Unrelated to this banana bread rant (and recipe) is the information that I’ve been making homemade butter! You know how life is, so artisan and homestead… or not. BUT the butter thing is super fun and I’m 98% sure most people made it in kindergarten and let me confirm, it’s just as delicious. When you make butter, the butter fat separates from the buttermilk and now you have 3/4 of a cup of “artisan” buttermilk at your finger tips. It feels so wasteful to just toss it out with yesterdays compost, so I pour the liquid into a container and freeze for later use. When the banana bread craving hit, the buttermilk moved from the freezer to the counter and soon, I was whipping this quick bread into shape! If you haven’t made butter, which I cannot imagine, purchase low fat buttermilk at your local grocer. Now, let’s bake!
My loaf pan is a little smaller than the recipe called for so I poured the remaining batter into 1-cup ramekins and made two large muffins. It’s basically the best of both worlds. Cook muffin ramekins for 40 minutes, or until a wood skewer comes out clean.
Foodie note: If you have a countertop mixer, use it! This piece of equipment will make life very easy. If you don’t have one, a hand mixer will do the trick.
Recipe adapted from Eatingwell.com
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
5 ripe bananas, cut into 2″ chunks
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Flour (all purpose or pastry)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 (generous) cup toasted walnut halves
- Preheat oven to 375*F. Coat a 9×5″ loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of your counter top mixer (or use a larger mixing bowl), add buttermilk, brown sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and half the bananas. Mix until bananas are mashed and ingredients combined. Add remaining bananas, mix until smashed but larger chunks remain.
- In a medium sized bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.
- Turn the mixer on, add dry ingredients in batches until just combined; scraping down the sides of the bowl, fold almost all the walnuts in. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, sprinkle top with cinnamon, a dash of sea salt, and remaining walnuts. Place in center of the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a wood skewer comes out clean.
- Let loaf sit in pan for about 10 minutes, use a pairing knife to loosen the perimeter and let cool on a rack.