Happy Labor Day! I hope you have something fun planned for today. We have some fun things going on, but I'll be keeping you in suspense on what they are for a bit longer.
I've posted a few quick bread and muffin recipes lately, haven't I? Well, that is partly due to the fact that I bought a large bunch of bananas that didn't get eaten quick enough. So, I had these really brown bananas perfect for baking! I'm also trying to stock my freezer with some healthy snacks that I can pull out the night before packing the backpacks for school.
This time, I wanted to try something a bit different and ended up creating a whole new recipe. The bonus is that it really worked. Not just turned out ok, but well enough that I'll be making it again! This is the first time I've really changed a baking recipe significantly enough to create something different from what was originally intended, so you can imagine how happy I must be right now.
Now, you are probably wondering what in the world did I do to make my usual banana bread recipe different enough to create something new and entirely different? Well, in addition to those bananas that are perfect for baking, I also had a big bag of oranges just hanging around. Do you ever notice how when you put fruit in the drawer in the refrigerator that no one ever remembers it's there? Then, it turns well... you know what happens, and it's never pretty. Anyway, before the oranges could turn into something inedible I decided to rescue at least one and use a bit of the juice and the zest. I really love the fresh flavor that orange adds to baked goods. I need to find more ways to use it.
I also wanted to increase the nutritional value, even if only by a small amount, so I substituted half of the original all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. I had read that if you are wanting to incorporate whole wheat flour into baked goods not to substitute more than half of it. I baked the batter in two 6-inch loaf pans. I really love using my small loaf pans because I can keep one loaf out for eating now and the rest goes into the freezer for later.
Well, I simply must tell you that the result was a really moist and slightly sweet banana bread. You can taste the fresh orange flavor, but it's not the main attraction. The banana flavor is what really comes through and you would never know that there's whole wheat flour in this bread. It baked up to a light golden brown and bread crumb is a nice size, not too fine. If you cover it completely in plastic wrap or put inside a plastic container, it will retain the moisture longer.
My Oldest was in love at first bite! Wait until I tell him, I made it healthier and it's an acceptable snack to send to school. He'll be thrilled! My Youngest is still not a bread or muffin boy, so while he did give it a try he was not won over by the sweetness of the bread. Maybe one day he will be.
Orange-y Banana Bread
3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 6-inch loaf pans by spraying with cooking spray.
Combine bananas through egg in a medium bowl. Mix to combine thoroughly.
Combine all-purpose flour through salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine all components. Add the banana mixture and using a spatula mix gently until just moistened.
Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched. Allow to cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Check out these blogs for more ways to use up those bananas:
Banana Pancakes from A Good Appetite
Black and White Banana Loaf from Chocolate Moosey
Banana Oatmeal Cookies from What Smells So Good