Don’t Throw Away Those Ugly Bananas

2480

Yes, they’re squishy, speckled with black spots, and overly – er – fragrant. But don’t toss those old bananas in the trash bin. They’re perfect for banana nut bread, a treat that can be savored for breakfast with a cup of coffee, packed in the kids’ school lunches, or even dressed up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce for an easy dessert.

Note: You need to use over-ripe bananas for this recipe.

Banana Walnut Bread

¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup tightly packed brown sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup well-mashed over-ripe bananas
2 eggs, well beaten
½ cup vegetable oil (for a nuttier flavor, replace ¼ cup of the oil with walnut or hazelnut oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk (I prefer whole milk)
½ cup lightly toasted, coarsely chopped walnuts (you can also use pecans, hazelnuts or even macadamia nuts)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Flour and butter two loaf pans and set aside. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the mashed bananas with the beaten eggs, oil, vanilla extract and milk in another bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently until completely mixed. Do not overmix or bread will be tough and dense. Add the walnuts and incorporate them gently into the batter. Divide the batter between the two loaf pans and place in oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans, then remove bread onto a rack.