Banana Nut Bread

3 Feb

The past few days, I’ve been feeling a little sick. Or maybe just tired, but I convinced myself I felt sick, because sometimes it’s nice to feel a little sorry for yourself. Either way, lately I’ve been so burnt-out that I got nine and a half hours of sleep (which is a lot!) and yet, by the time last period Biology class came around the next day, I was exhausted.

But I can never fall asleep in Bio; it’s probably one of my favorite subjects. Actually, most of my subjects are my favorite subjects, which becomes a bit of a problem when you’re a junior and you need to start thinking about what you’d like to study in college and what you’re planning to do with your life. More about that later. The fact is though, I really like Biology. The way that everything I learn explains and harmonizes with all that I’ve observed in life thrills me- especially when I have one of those aha! moments where it all just falls into place and I feel that I’m just that much closer to understanding the limitless intricacies of life. But it’s not just the subject, I just love my class and my teacher.

Today, when someone pointed out that the bananas in my teacher’s fruit basket were getting overripe, I immediately suggested that someone make banana bread (any self-respecting baker’s reflex-reaction to coming across overripe bananas). But wait, isn’t it me who always takes any opportunity to bake? Yes, that’s right! So, of course I said I would make banana bread. I went home, overripe bananas in hand, determined to bake, despite the fact that I hadn’t studied at all for my French test the next day.

Banana Bread

(adapted from Cooking Light)

Makes 1 large loaf (8×4 in.) plus 6-8 muffins, or 2 small loaves

I decided to give a loaf to my teacher, just because. I do hope she likes banana bread. Who doesn’t? In fact, I make banana bread so much that it’s not as exciting to make now. It’s not really much of a challenge if you’ve made it about ten times before, you know? Still, banana bread is one of my go-to baked goods, and its always comforting to take the first bite of a loaf hot out of the oven. Or to lick the bowl clean of batter. Mmm.

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3-4 tbsp butter, softened
2  large eggs
4  mashed ripe bananas
1/3  cup  plain low-fat yogurt
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes (for small loaf) to 1 hour (for large loaf) or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. I keep it in a bit longer, till the top gets nice and brown to give it a bit of a crunch. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.


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