In the spirit of boosting my immune system with any food and supplements I could get my hands on before the lockdown began, I grabbed one bunch of six bananas from the local produce market. I tried to eat one banana a day, but then four days later, I was left with very spotted, very soft, overly ripe bananas. For me, these are the worst versions of bananas to eat. But in light of the current situation, I dare not waste any food. What to do? What to do?
Make banana bread, of course! Since bread has become a scarce commodity in the supermarkets lately, what better thing to bake than your own bread! I looked around my house for the basic baking ingredients of flour, baking soda, sugar, salt, eggs, and butter. Got it! Now, how do I make this?
As you know from my previous recipe about pancakes, my approach to baking is to look up as many similar recipes as possible, mesh them together, and then experiment with my own modifications to be a bit healthier. I cut some things out, reduce some ingredients, and add my own ingredients. So, here I go.
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I'm not in any capacity a trained baker. But baking is truly a passion of mine. Cooking is often considered an art form because the chef can be creative and experiment. It's all about knowing which flavours go with which ingredients and making it all come together in perfect harmony. The more creative the better.
Chefs will say that baking is difficult and frustrating because it takes an exact mixture of ingredients to obtain a perfect result in flavour and texture. I agree, but I don't see it at all as frustrating because there's always room to change up baking recipes, such as banana bread, based on what you desire. Yes, ingredients still need to be perfectly balanced. But there's so much fun in searching for the balance. And you stand proud and amazed when your experiment looks and tastes like perfection!
But, why use overly ripe bananas for banana bread rather than just perfectly ripe bananas? It provides the consistency and the sweetness you want in your bread. Now let's gather what you need from your kitchen. You'll find the ingredients below. Know that some of these additives are optional.
I added chia seeds for their nutrients and fibre. I also added vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips because I love chocolate and that bitterness and richness that it brings. You can use regular dairy-based unsalted or salted butter. If it's unsalted, you'll need a pinch of salt to add to this recipe. I use salted vegan butter because I'm lactose intolerant. Remember, you'll need a loaf tin for this recipe.
In a bowl, take a fork and mash the peeled bananas.
Melt the butter. You can do this by putting it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwaving at 10-second increments until it's liquid. You want the butter melted but not hot.
Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and bananas to the butter.
In a separate bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients together: flour, baking soda, chia seeds, chocolate chips, and a pinch of salt if you used unsalted butter.
Add the butter mixture into the dry ingredients.
Whisk together until smooth.
Lightly oil the loaf tin.
Pour batter into the loaf tin.
Bake the loaf in the oven for 50-60 minutes. Watch the loaf closely for the last 10 minutes, making sure it's browned and insert a skewer or fork to see if it's baked through.
Carefully remove the loaf from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
I've been enjoying my chocolate chip banana bread loaf for the last 5 days left out at room temperature. It's kept well in a large Tupperware. If your kitchen tends to be a bit moist, you want to keep the banana bread in your refrigerator to keep from moulding. I can't wait for you to enjoy your own banana loaf. Don't be afraid to experiment and turn recipes into your own creations. Try it out and let me know how it turns out!
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