Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Banana Bread - TWO ways!

I love banana bread! I love it plain with a glass of milk or with some chocolate chips thrown in. One day I decided to switch it up a bit and came up with these two variations. You can use your favorite banana bread recipe. I like the Classic Banana Bread recipe from Cooking Light. I am including the recipe below with a couple of notes. I usually substitute a cup of whole wheat pastry flour to boost the nutrition. But, I like this recipe because it calls for yogurt. Yogurt helps cut down on the fat without really changing the texture of the bread.

Once your batter is made, then comes the fun part! You can mix cinnamon chips into the batter! I found mini cinnamon chips at a local restaurant supply store called Gygi's. You can order them online at Prepared Pantry too. Or, you could use the Hershey's brand cinnamon chips that you can find at the grocery store, and just chop them up a bit. Cinnamon chips are such a great addition to banana bread or pumpkin pancakes, or oatmeal cookies....or by the handful. Okay, I'm a bit addicted to these little babies.

The other thing I like to add to my banana bread batter is Nutella. Mmmmm...Nutella. Again, just use your favorite banana bread recipe. Mix up your batter and pour half of it into your prepared pan. Then, drop a few big spoonfuls of nutella in and spread it out as much as you can. Add the remaining batter to the top and bake as directed. The Nutella leaves this yummy, moist surprise in the middle of each slice of bread.

Be careful, both of these variations are addicting. You will probably find yourself eating banana bread for breakfast, lunch and snacks! (maybe dinner too!)

Classic Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour (I usually substitute 1 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, and 1 cup all-purpose)

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)

1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I use vanilla yogurt)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. (If using a 9inch bread pan, bake for about 50 minutes.)