Mother Lovin' Banana Bread

Time flies like an arrow- but fruit flies like a banana.
— Terry Wogan

This Memorial Day weekend was so restorative. We traveled across the state of Montana to celebrate well-earned accomplishments and visited with friends, old and new. Selfishly, though, one of my favorite parts about the weekend was coming home to Missoula to find that my bananas had turned brown. You're probably thinking, "Molly, brown bananas aren't good- in fact they're awful; all mushy and bruised.."

Well, my friends, do I have news for you. From now on, you'll share this excitement with me, at just the sight of your next brown banana, because when life gives you bananas that have bit the yellow dust, we make banana bread! And no, I'm not talking about your classic ultra sweet, pound-cake type banana bread, I'm talking the real thing. 

As a child, my Mom made the dankest (adj. of the highest quality) banana bread. The aroma made your mouth water, and the oven timer all of a sudden seemed to move at glacial speed. We'd stand in front of the cooling rack just waiting for the green light to take the first slice. 

After moving away from home, to the other side of the country, I quickly realized that I didn't have Mom around to bake me that golden-brown loaf of warm greatness, and was on my own. I had to get my hands on that recipe! I called Mom up on the phone with desperation in my voice, brown bananas in hand, so excited to finally give this famous recipe a go. But she didn't have it. She looked high and low, but couldn't find the recipe anywhere. My fragile, wilty bananas were doomed. After hanging up, I shamelessly used the first recipe that came up in my Google search and was sorely disappointed by the overly sweet, dense loaf that came out of my first apartment's oven.

  Photo Courtesy of  Tom Attwater  

Photo Courtesy of Tom Attwater 

But don't fret, friends! After many years of failed attempts to find that childhood taste, I think I've finally got it. This surely isn't mine, or your Mother's banana bread recipe... dare I say, it's better? This loaf is packed with fiber, nutrient-rich whole grains, healthy fats, natural sweetness (no granulated, refined sugar!) and best of all? It's 100% on-the-go, breakfast friendly! 

 

Mother Lovin' Banana Bread

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of flour (I used equal parts oat and whole wheat) 
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract or one half of a sliced and scraped vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of ghee (you can try subbing in local butter or coconut oil if ghee isn't your style)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 
  • 3 bananas, ripe and ready
  • 2 eggs (vegans: sub a 1:1 ratio of chia seed to water at 1 tbsp per egg- let the seeds gel before adding to batter)
  • 1/4 cup of milk (baker's choice on this one: nut, cow, goat..)
  • optional: nuts, ground flax, seeds, dark chocolate, etc. 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenhiet
  2. Grease standard size (8 1/2" X 4 1/2") loaf pan
  3. Mix all dry ingredients together
  4. Mash bananas to the consistency of your choosing, and add in the wet ingredients
  5. Fold the dry ingredients in with the wet until just mixed
  6. With a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl, emptying the batter into greased pan
  7. Bake in the oven for about 60 minutes, giving it the toothpick test before pulling
  8. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes
  9. Carefully remove your Mother Lovin' loaf from the pan and gently place on a cooling rack until completely cooled
  10. Slice in and try not to consume all in one sitting