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Banana

Two slices of banana bread on a plate. Recipez...

Two slices of banana bread on a plate. Recipezaar recipe #195714 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best part of eating banana bread warm has always been the moist, banana-y goodness that just can’t be beat.  Many times, with many recipes, once the bread cools-off it gets, sort of, less moist.  I’ve tried many recipes over the years, and there are only two I’ve found that end up with the fall-apart moistness under the surface that I really go for.  

One of the recipes has been my go-to recipe for banana bread since moving back to the Ozarks — I found it on the back of a box, and really didn’t expect it to be that good.  I was so wrong!

To make it even better, this recipe is gluten free!  Don’t go running for the hills yet, because you will be pleasantly surprised at how good this banana bread turns out.  

When I was on a gluten free diet for awhile, my food intake was, well, eating to live.  Ho hum at best.  I was just learning the ropes, and had not yet learned how to add variety into that meal plan.  I tried this banana bread recipe, and not only did I find it good, but most of it was eaten by City Boy, who doesn’t like anything.  Pleasing him food-wise has been a challenge, so when I find something he likes, I add that to the repertoire of stuff I can fix for him that won’t end up in the Black Hole of leftovers in the fridge that never get eaten. 

In fact, we like this recipe better than the regular one we’ve always used.  Everyone’s taste is different, so all I can do is encourage you to give this recipe a try, not only for the health benefits, but because it’s really good!

The flour we use is a gluten free blend that is available at Walmart at a reasonable price.  I think I paid around $2.49, but don’t quote me on that — I know it was under $3, and may be different depending on the location of the store. 

gluten free baking mix

Bisquick also makes a gluten free mix that would work for this as well.  Arrowhead Mills, the brand I use,  is less expensive, but may not be available at all locations.

I have not tried this recipe with regular flour, so when I do I will update this post and let you know how it turns out.  We originally didn’t buy the gluten free flour for the banana bread; we used it to coat meat for frying, to thicken gravy, etc.  The banana bread recipe on the back of the box was an added bonus!

bananas

If you use the 4 bananas (the recipe calls for 3-4) you will need to bake the bread at the upper end of the time the recipe calls for to keep it from being a bit mushy in the center.  The more bananas, the moister the bread.  Wait to use your bananas to make bread until the bananas are past the point where anybody wants to eat them, but before the point of being rotten.  Very soft bananas will make wonderful bread.

Are your bananas already to the overripe stage but you can’t make banana bread right now?  No need for them to go to waste!  Peal them, put 3-4 of them in each freezer bag and pop them into the freezer.  When you are ready to make banana bread, thaw a bag of them on the counter, dump them out of the bag into a bowl and you are ready to go.  

One tidbit of caution:  the bananas will look totally disgusting.  I mean, you will be tempted to throw them away.  Once they have been frozen and thawed, the liquid from the banana separates and it’s a slimy mess.  They are still good to use; just mash them up as they are, liquid and all, the same as you would regular overripe bananas.  Your bread will still turn out great.

This recipe calls for a stick of unsalted butter or margarine — I always prefer butter, but in the absence of it I use whatever I have on hand.  Also, I did not have the unsalted kind available.  For this post I used the regular spreadable margarine in a tub.  No special brand.  1/2 cup of that seemed to work very well as a substitute for a stick of butter.

margarine

Here is the very easy recipe:

Really Good Banana Bread

Yield — 1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten free all purpose baking mix
  • 3-4 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1 stick unsalted butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Blend all ingredients together and mix well.  Pour batter into a greased bread pan.  Top with more walnuts, if using, and sprinkle top with sugar.  Bake for 45-55 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

If you have a cooling rack, put the pan of bread on it until it totally cools before turning it out of the pan.  If you don’t have a cooling rack, you can cool your bread on this just-as-good alternative to a cooling rack:

Frugal Cooling Rack

The possibilities for being frugal (cheap) are endless.  At any rate, when the bread is cooled, run a butter knife around the bread to loosen it from the pan and turn it out onto a plate (or any receptacle of your choice).

Banana Bread

Again, if you are using 4 bananas rather than 3, add a few minutes of baking time after the toothpick comes out clean to insure that the extra banana doesn’t make the bread mushy in the middle.

Whether or not you are on a gluten free diet, this bread will likely win you over!