Breads,  Breakfast / Brunch,  Dessert

Oh girl….Can you ever leave good enough Banana Bread alone?

I’m sure I can’t be alone in this habit of mine.  I see a recipe that sparks my imagination… I am served an entrée at a restaurant that gets my creative juicing going… someone tells me about a fabulous dish they ate that triggers a new idea….and I’m headed straight to the kitchen!  I can never tell when something is going to grab my attention.  Like just last week, Chef Mom wrote about her amazing Banana Bread recipe from her friend Doree.

Okay, banana bread.  I would have read that post on any other day and thought it sounded good, I’ll try it someday.  However, on that particular day, it triggered a reaction.  What I loved about the recipe was its very basic, simple ingredients.  I like having recipes with a good foundation that I can seasonally add in ingredients or make adjustments like swapping out sugar for agave.  Chef Mom had rave reviews on this bread so that helped too.

The versatility of this bread is awesome from beginning to end.  I could serve this banana bread warm from the oven or top a toasted slice with whipped cream cheese and fresh mango for a special breakfast treat and later that evening, serve a grilled slice with rum sautéed pineapple, a scoop of coconut gelato and a sprinkling of nuts.  A drizzle of chocolate was later added to this outrageous dessert treat!

Banana Bread in all its glory

Adapted from Chef Mom – see her original recipe here

1 ¾ cup whole wheat white flour

¼ cup agave

½ cup raw sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 eggs

4-5 mashed bananas

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

¼ cup Greek plain yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine the dry ingredients; flour, raw sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  Using a large mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients; eggs, Agave, bananas, applesauce, yogurt and vanilla extract beating until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool on rack.

For the variations above:  

Breakfast Treat:  Toast a slice of banana bread under the broiler, flipping once for both sides.  Smear on whipped cream cheese and top with fresh fruit.

Dessert Idea:  In a skillet, sauté pineapple with maple syrup or honey and a splash of rum until warm and slightly carmelized.  Lightly toast or grill a slice of banana bread.  Top the bread with the warmed rum-sauce pineapple, add a scoop of gelato and a sprinkling of toasted nuts.  A drizzle of chocolate as I later did sends it over the top!

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.

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