Simply Bananas

Does the internet need another recipe for banana bread? It’s a reasonable question, given the millions, if not billions, of hits that Google will pull up from the most cursory of searches, and one that I grappled with when deciding to share today’s post. By the strength of sheer facts and numbers, I would have to reason that one more dissertation on the blue and black / white and gold dress would probably be more innovative than yet another darned loaf of baked banana puree, and yet here I am, quick bread in hand.

Statistics don’t tell the full story of the banana bread, as far as I’m concerned. There are easily hundreds of solid, superlative formulas out there that have stood the test of time, but the rest of those recipes? Redundant, untested, or simply repugnant. So I suppose I must clarify and say that the internet definitely doesn’t need any more crappy banana bread recipes.

Packed with soft chunks of whole banana and crunchy pecans, this particular rendition relies more on the inherent sweetness of the fruit itself than additional sugar. Some may look at that crumb and cry out that it’s under-baked, criminally banded with a sad streak almost as thick as the slices themselves, but that’s exactly what I look for in a good banana bread. If it’s not dense and moist to a fault, it’s not a recipe worth keeping. So for all the fellow banana bread lovers looking for a genuinely reliable formula that offers a bit more banana goodness than the norm, this one’s for you.

Simply Banana Bread

5 Large, Very Ripe Bananas, Divided
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
1/4 Cup Light Agave Nectar
1 Tablespoon Molasses
1 1/2 Cups White Whole Wheat or All-Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Whole Chia Seeds
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Pecans, Toasted and Coarsely Chopped

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan; set aside.

Toss four of the bananas into your blender along with the non-dairy milk, agave, and molasses. Thoroughly puree until completely smooth, and then transfer the liquid into a medium saucepan. Set over moderate heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes. You may want to pull out your splatter shield if you have it, or keep the pot partially covered to help prevent splatter. Cook until the mixture has thickened and darkened to a toffee-like, amber brown hue. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, chia seeds, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and salt. Make sure that all of the dry goods are equally distributed throughout the mixture before chopping the final banana into small chunks and tossing in the pieces. Coat the banana chunks evenly with flour to ensure that they won’t just sink to the bottom of the loaf during baking.

Mix the vinegar, oil, and vanilla into the banana puree before introducing all of the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry. Stir with a wide spatula just until the batter comes together. Add the pecans last, being careful not to over-mix.

Transfer the batter to your prepared loaf and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out cleanly. Let cool completely before turning out of the pan, slicing, and enjoying.

Makes 8 – 10 Servings

Printable Recipe