Friday, December 28, 2012

Banana Bread - a must-have staple in every household

Where do I begin.

The sheer versatility of banana bread just reconfirms how important it is in your life and that you should always have a fresh loaf in your home.

It is the perfect partner for afternoon tea, goes well with coffee, can be eaten as breakfast (my kids love it), is a perfect home-warming gift, and is your savior for bananas turning brown.

Not only are bananas an excellent source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C and B6, but they also help reduce high blood pressure and reduce heart disease (more benefits here).

There are so many ways to enjoy banana bread: with a smear of butter, a slab of cream cheese, a coat of jam, a blob of clotted cream...the list goes on.  I like it as it is - thick slice with a cup of chai 7aleeb.

The recipe is pretty simple (like all mine are) and the ingredients should available in your pantry:

You will need:
1 cup caster sugar (can be replaced with 1/2 cup of baking Splenda)
1 stick butter, softened
2  eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed (equivalent to 2 cups)
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon flax seed
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts), chopped

Simple steps to yummy banana bread:
Preheat over to 150.
In a mixer, cream the butter with the sugar
Add in eggs, bananas, and vanilla.
Add in flour, baking soda, and salt. 
Mix in pecans and flax seed.
Pour into oil-sprayed loaf pan.  
Bake the banana bread for 1 and 1/2 hours or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
Cool the loaf pan for 5 minutes. 
Then remove from the pan and cool completely, right side up of course ;)

How to jazz this recipe up:
Believe it or not, chocolate chips are AMAZING with banana bread.  Add in a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the final stage of mixing and bake.  You will LOVE the result.  

Hint: to prevent chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the pan and browning/burning, coat them with a sprinkle of flour and then mix them in the batter.  The flour makes the chips cling to the batter and that way they don't sink to the bottom.

Make this now.  Thank me later.