One thing I've always been proud of is that I'm the least picky eater I know. This is totally true. Even as a little kid, I was constantly willing to taste things that others wouldn't. Sushi in elementary school, Brussels sprouts back when they weren't cool, and buckets of steamed clams that my Mom, my sister and I would chow down on no time. In fact, we're a whole family of adventurous eaters! It's one of my favorite things about my clan.
So how on Earth did I develop a distaste for bananas? To this day, it remains a mystery.
Actually, the real mystery is how I developed a distaste for bananas in their natural state, while still LOVING banana bread. Riddle me that, will you?
This is a recipe for one of the baking world's greatest inventions: the quick bread. For those of us that tend to stray from the reservation when it comes to cooking-- i.e., a little of this, a pinch of that...hey, what's that measuring spoon for??-- this recipe is very easy and forgiving. The banana plays second fiddle to the peanut butter, adding a hint of banana flavor and lots of moisture. Perfect for the banana-impaired. And how can you go wrong by adding a few chocolate chips to the mix?
I made this bread before heading off to a weekend cabin adventure near Talkeetna, Alaska and it was enjoyed for breakfast, a sweet treat at lunch, and dessert after dinner. Note to self for future Alaska wilderness adventures: quick breads are the perfect snack to bring along!
Just make sure your bananas are nice and ripe. I mean RIPE ripe. Mine were almost black- completely soft and sweet and at their peak banana bread life stage. This makes for the BEST bread.
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
(thanks to my friend Cheryl for the recipe!)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky- whatever you prefer)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8x4x2 inch regular loaf pans. Set aside.
2. With a whisk, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In a mixer, combine bananas, milk, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and the egg. Add the flour mixture, mixing just enough to combine (don't overmix it, or you'll end up with a tougher bread!) Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick or small knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove loaves from pans and cool on a wire rack completely.