I’m not really a baker … I’m not even a big eater of baked goods (other than an amazing long-fermented sourdough bread made by a local baker at the farmer’s market, YUM). However, after the holidays, when the weather is a little dreary, I sometimes want something warm and sweet in the oven, and this banana-forward loaf (also great as muffins) does the trick!
Jennifer’s Banana Bread
Makes two large loaves – feel free to halve the recipe if you like, but it’s great to have an extra loaf to freeze or share!
• 6 medium overripe bananas (freeze ones as they get really brown and use any time!)
• 2/3 cup high quality maple syrup
• 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
• ½ to 2/3 cup avocado oil (or your favorite baking oil)
• 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking soda (make sure it’s fresh)
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 cup toasted pecans (or walnuts or chocolate chips or whatever you like – go crazy here!)
• Up to ½ cup (to taste – depends how sweet you want it) mix of organic brown sugar and maple syrup – or one or the other if you only have one.
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Drop parchment paper into your pan (or oil the pan, but parchment is SO easy) or use muffin pans.
2. Toast pecans lightly in a pan – just drop them in and let them toast until lightly brown and fragrant, tossing regularly.
3. Mash bananas with a fork or potato masher. I sometimes just leave them lumpy and then use an immersion blender after adding the other wet ingredients (next step).
4. Add maple syrup, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla. Stir until really well-mixed – or use an immersion blender to get a little smoother – don’t liquefy though.
5. Toss the dry ingredients (except toasted pecans) well in a separate bowl.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mix and stir everything together until just mixed. Don’t overmix or the bread will be chewy (ugh). The batter will be thicker than you think.
7. Fold in the pecans (or whatever you’re adding).
8. Place the batter into the pan and smooth out with the back of a spoon.
9. Combine the topping ingredients and immediately spread over the top. Don’t let the sugar dissolve into the syrup, you want the texture.
10. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
11. Remove the pan from the oven put it on a cooling rack. Allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes before removing it from the pan.
12. Slice and serve.