What are you up to this weekend?
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I spent Saturday morning at our farmers market. The first of the season. I loved getting lost in the crowds, watching little kids with drippy ice cream cones, and petting a million puppies. I bought big bags of greens, pretty flowers, a few bottles of wine, and a really great breakfast burrito
Also on this weekend's agenda? (Wish me luck) This afternoon, I'm hosting the building's first-ever book club!
A friend and I thought .. what a fun way to get to know some of our neighbors. So, I've been making everybody's favorite cookies, a veggie tray with a few different dips, herby/cheesy party bread, and a big batch of tater tots
This month's book? What Alice Forgot
Friends, if you live in central Iowa and would like to come, we'd love to have you(!) (Message me: hello at veggiesbycandlelight.com for all the details)
There are lots of really great reasons to make banana bread
You stocked up on bananas because they sounded good on Monday and now they're nearing their end
You're hunkering down for the weekend and would love something toasty and cake-like to nibble on
You're into recipes made with few bowls, yet feed many
The calendar is filling up this Spring and you're stocking the freezer with all sorts of wonders
You passed one too many loaves at the farmers market and are craving something that's unquestionably delicious
Everyone has their favorite recipe for banana bread, and it seems there are very few reasons to reinvent. I mean, is there anything new to add? Even if there were, is banana bread something that should be messed with?
The answers are, of course, probably not, but due to a confluence of events, I found myself making an updated version this afternoon and it was so lovely that it deserves a mention
It's a nice recipe if you're craving classic banana bread flavor and texture, but want as little mess, drama, and equipment as possible. One of the easiest, interesting, two-bowl banana breads I've run across. But with a big pay-off. Classic flavor, a moist and tender crumb.
If you have four or five ripe bananas on hand, chances are high you'll have the rest of the ingredients as well
This version evolved into its current lazy-day state from a Lily Diamond gem. I skipped a number of the add-ins for simplicity's sake and would recommend a banana-only first pass. That said, you can absolutely add ingredients like toasted nuts, gooey hunks of chocolate, warm spices, toasted coconut, glazes, etc
The recipe works well with a gluten-free flour mix (I've been buying the Namaste brand from Costco). If you like to play around, a mix of whole-grain flours would make lovely partial swaps as well.
Admittedly, I had a hard time waiting for it to cool.
~ Adapted from Kate and Caramel
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (see notes above for substitutions)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- fine grain sea salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups mashed banana (4-5 very ripe bananas)
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup neutral oil (sunflower or grapeseed)
- ¼ cup coconut oil (melted but not hot)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped dates
- ½ cup chopped pecans (toasted makes them a bit more special)
- a handful of chopped toasted pecans
- a sprinkling or two of flaked and/or shredded unsweetened coconut
- a sprinkle of poppy seeds
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9”x5” loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, a strong pinch of sea salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, maple syrup, oils, and vanilla
- Add the chopped dates and whisk to mix
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and fold gently until combined
- Add in the toasted pecans and other mix-ins. Stir gently until fully combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Sprinkle the top with toppings (if using)
- Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes
- Remove the foil and continue to bake 30 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Mine usually takes another 10-15 minutes)
- Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack and let the bread rest for ten to fifteen minutes,
- Use the parchment to lift it out and cool completely on the rack before slicing.
- If wrapped well, will keep for three or four days.