So the holidays were crazy, and while all I wanted to do was bake lots of tasty treats for my loved ones (and put the recipes up here), I found myself running all over the place nonstop. When my roommates and I realized that nobody would be home for Christmas to feed our two lovely cats, we had to call in a favor from our wonderful friend SaraLouise. She took amazing care of our kitties and I wanted to give her an equally great thank you present. But, being super short on time and money, I had to get a little creative.
My kitchen was full of overripe bananas, and I had a bunch of pecans and chocolate chips left over from past baking projects. The solution was simple: MAKE THE BEST LOADED BANANA BREAD EVER!!!
This recipe is super simple and takes almost no time to make. It’s super tasty and you can modify the add-ins any way you want. Don’t like nuts? Leave ’em out! Like coconut? Throw a cup of shredded coconut in! You can add berries, take out the chocolate, switch out the nuts, do whatever makes you happy! But here’s what I made for SaraLouise:
Fully Loaded Banana Bread
2 1/3 C all purpose flour (you could easily substitute a gluten free all purpose flour)
¾ C sugar
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 overripe bananas, mashed (you can use a fork or a potato masher)
1 stick (8 Tbsp) melted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 C pecan pieces, coarsely chopped
1 C chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix everything except the nuts and chocolate chips together in a large bowl until fully combined. If it’s easier, you can mix all the dry ingredients together first in one bowl, and all the wet ingredients together in another bowl. Then you can throw them all into a large bowl and mix! I use my electric mixer, but I have fond childhood memories of building my arm muscles while mixing banana bread with a wooden spoon. Once the batter looks nice and smooth, add the nuts and chocolate chips. Stir it all up!
Scrape the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. I cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of my pan. This’ll help the bread to come out much easier. The best way to test if your banana loaf is done is to stick a knife or a skewer into the center and pull it out. If the knife/skewer comes out clean, you’re good to go!
Let this puppy cool for at least 10 minutes before you dig in.
This loaded banana bread makes an excellent gift. It’s also fun to keep to yourself, but try not to inhale it all in one go. Again, customize this any way you like. To make this recipe vegan, sub 1/3 C coconut oil for the butter, and use the flax seed egg substitute I detailed in some of my previous posts. As always, I’d love to hear any of your modifications or questions.