My aunt gave me her tried and true banana bread recipe years ago. I don’t think I’ve actually ever followed the thing BUT I riff on it every single time I made a fruit/veggie bread.
My baking style is to have a really good outline but to experiment. It’s just food. If it’s awful, there’s always next time and if it’s awesome well booyah! (That’s also what I tell myself whenever I get a haircut.)
John and I have been in loaf mode for breakfast for the last 3 weeks, switching between banana and zucchini, with alternating sidekicks like walnuts, coconut, poppy seeds, molasses, etc. So I slap it together on Sunday, we keep it in the fridge, and voila: instant breakfast all week! When I get to work I warm mine up for 30 seconds and have it alongside my morning cup of tea.
Which leads me to a small digression: Comfort food is comfort food is comfort food. I don’t really believe in seasonal. I could have a toasty slice of banana bread and tea in the midst of summer (which I’ve been doing) and enjoy it just as much in the winter. I don’t like equating hot food with cold months and vice versa. Seasonal produce is a different story but, like I said, I digress.
On to the recipe!
Like I said, I riff, I dabble, I never follow a recipe. So here’s the approximate version of this bread:
1/2 cup Smart Balance
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) wrung out frozen zucchini, shredded before it went into the freezer
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tbsp. wheat bran
1.5 tsbp. ground flax seed
1.5 tbsp. poppy seeds
handful of oats
handful of coconut
2 handfuls of walnuts
1.5-2 cups vanilla soymilk
a few sprays of grapeseed oil
Bake bread at 325 degrees in a greased pan for roughly 30 minutes.
Frozen zucchini (it got a little deformed in the freezer). You really gotta wring all of the moisture out before using it. Paper towels work just fine.
Liquid ingredients – smart balance, eggs, vanilla, sugar:
Dry ingredients I just eyeball going in – oats, wheat bran, flax seed, coconut, poppy seeds:
Dry ingredients I measure – cinnamon (I like a TON paired with zucchini), nutmeg, baking soda, and whole wheat flour:
I stir everything together, knowing it will be dry. I like to add the walnuts and then add enough soymilk to wet the batch but not soak it.
Mmm walnuts. Munch munch.
Add enough soymilk (or regular milk, almond milk, whatever) just to get a batter-like consistency:
I spray my pans with grapeseed oil. Use whatever you have though.
Batter. Look at all those delicious bits in there (oats, zucchini, poppy seeds, flax seed). I like seeing what’s in my bread.
Done bread! I let it cool for 5-10 minutes then get it right out of it’s pan. I read somewhere that keeping bread in a hot pan will lock all the moisture inside the bread and make it gross on the inside. I flip them out on to a wire rack and let them fully cool on there.