Monday, November 29, 2010

Apple Banana Chocolate Awesomeness

I love banana bread.  

I love nearly everything about it.  And if you add pumpkin to it, I'm gone.  It's lovely.  After my unsatisfying coffee shoppe (I like spelling it that way) experience this morning, I got inspired and made the following recipe.  The company at said coffee shoppe was fabulous, but the coffee shoppe itself not only didn't have a single thing I could eat freely, but the girl also sort of pretentiously suggested I go to Portland to find a coffee shop who did in fact provide for such a picky person as to need low sugar or low carb for my health.  But I don't live in Portland, I live in Beaverton, so I ended up with a bran muffin that I paid $1.95 for and of which I was only able to eat half.  So, while the company more than made it worth going, I felt the need to make myself a coffee shoppe-related goodie once home.  And my son is going on a cave tour/field trip tomorrow and will appreciate the nice banana bread in his lunch.    

I've made the base banana bread recipe many times, and it's by far the best I've found.  Easily tweakable, moist and without oil;  it's healthy and yummy; and when I replace the sugar with extra bananas and some splenda; perfect for my diabetic self.  And it smells awesome.  And it is awesome, because there's  chocolate.  I'd put up a pic, and I took one, but our computer is out so I have no way to upload.  So I'll just leave this to your diabetic imagination.  Moist, dark banana bread, with a hint of chocolate and cinnamon.  mmmmmmmmmMMmmm

I got the original recipe from the net, but haven't been able to find it again, so if I've re-used your recipe, let me know and I'll give props where props are due, this is the best recipe I've used, by far.  I almost always double it and it works fine.  And if you feel the need to add some oatmeal perhaps, just add a couple teaspoons of milk extra and some extra baking powder.  This current tweak is never before tried, so I'll comment to review it once done, but it sounds and smells awesome and like I said, I've made this base recipe many, many, times, and I've yet to have it truly suck.  Some times it's been maybe not as good as it could have been, but that's my fault, not the recipe.    

I'll list the base recipe then my tweaks in red: Remember:  I doubled the recipe, so what's listed here are the single batch ingredient lists, with my add-ons and tweaks. 

Nana's Banana Bread

The dry squad:
1 3/4 cup flour  *1 3/4 cups wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour and 1/4 cup almond flour this time
1/2 tsp baking soda *1 tsp
1 1/2 tsp baking powder * 3 tsp for double batch, a little more if using oatmeal
3/4 tsp salt *I still use 3/4 tsp for a double batch
I added 1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate to the dry squad here

The wet stuff:
3/4 cup sugar *I doubled the recipe, so used 5 bananas and 1/2 cup splenda here)
1 beaten egg *2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas *I use 2 more bananas here, sorta mushed up with my fingers
1/2 cup milk 

The fun stuff:
about a half cup cranberries
a good handful of dark chocolate chips
a cored, peeled and chopped apple

Yes I do indeed use 7 bananas altogether.  But if your banana experience is anything like mine, I'm tossing these things into the fridge regularly.

Put in all 5 mashed bananas (ones you've tossed in the freezer and then thawed work the best) and beat the life out of them.  If you've beaten them long enough then they get all lovely and frothy and yummy.  Then add in the splenda and the eggs, beating some more.  

Then, mix your dry squad together in a bowl, stirring well to get all the baking powder and soda and salt mixed in.  Cuz that's just yucky to bite into a giant bite of baking soda.  Especially if someone else made it and you can't say it's bad...  

You know that look you make, like when your kids make you something and you have to eat it, or break their little hearts in pieces.  "Wow, this is great!  Thanks, I love it!"  meanwhile your taste buds are trying to murder each other.

But I digress.  Once you mix the dry squad, alternate it with the milk about a third each at a time, until it's all mixed and happy.  You want it all to mingle, but don't kill it.  

Then using some big spoons, you can spoon it into prepped cupcake cups, maybe do 12, and still have enough for a second batch AND a loaf.  Or, if you have those cute little mini loaf pans, then go for like half an hour, maybe checking at 20 minutes.

350 degrees for about 15 minutes, for muffins or until the middle just barely depresses, but isn't gooey.  And for those of you who don't stick your fingers into hot from the oven muffins, just use a tooth pick.  If you have sort of moist looking crumbs, that's good.  If you have batter, then maybe let that go for a couple minutes or more, just for grins.

If you do a loaf, then go for 45-50 minutes, or until the above mentioned toothpick test is completed and passed.  Mini loaf pans take from 20 to 30 min.

Then let it cool off, and eat.  I have 2 boys and a hubbs, and this stuff never lasts for long.  Makes a great snack, like when you get up predawn to drink a cup of coffee before the hooligans come down to eat and get ready for school.  It's healthy so you don't die (ideally) but just decadent enough to satisfy your need for Apple Banana Chocolate Awesomeness.  Because it is...Awesome...really....try it...

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