The Banana Bread Switch Up

You are in desperate need of a coffee. You head to the cupboard to grab some filters—but they are not there. You can feel the panic rising as you look in another cupboard, then another. Finally, success…there they are right next to the Cheese Whiz. That’s funny, you didn’t put them there. You breathe a sigh of relief as the coffee brews. Now, just grab a mug and…what the hell, where are the mugs?

I’m sure that this is the scenario (or one very similar) that played out many years ago for my mom. I had just started my first full-time professional job (the one where I met Eva of Kitchen Inspirations) and I had moved in with mom so that I could get my financial feet on the ground. First thing I did was completely rearrange her kitchen.

Need I point out that she wasn’t impressed? Mom was particularly upset when she discovered that several of the items she needed hadn’t just been “relocated”—they’d been thrown in the garbage. I’d like to blame it on my youth—the verve of my adventurous twenties—but I can’t.

I’m just that way. I like to switch things up. You know, make them my own. I know that I’m destined to get what’s coming to me one day soon, as I have two very spirited and strong-willed ponytails.

But until then, I continue to switch things up—particularly with my mom’s recipes. This time, it’s her much-loved banana bread recipe. (It has quite a following with the after-church social crowd at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.) Although, this time I don’t think she will be mad at me—I didn’t throw anything out.

Mom’s Original Banana Bread

  • 1-½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) in small bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix wet ingredients (bananas, sugar, egg, butter and vanilla) in large bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour batter into greased loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 350° for 45 – 50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

#1 Switch Up: Whole Wheat Butterscotch Banana Bread

  1. Replace 1-½  cups all purpose flour with ¾ cup of all purpose flour and ¾ whole wheat flour.
  2. Add ½ cup butterscotch chips after completing step 2 in directions for Mom’s Original Banana Bread and mix well.
  3. Follow steps 3 and 4 of same directions.

#2 Switch Up: Marbled Chocolate and Peanut Butter Banana Bread

  1. Prepare Mom’s Original Banana Bread batter.
  2. Divide batter in half, placing second half in a new bowl.
  3. Add 2 tbsps of peanut butter to first half of batter and mix well.
  4. Add  2-½  tbsps cocoa powder to second half of batter and mix well
  5. Pour chocolate batter in half of greased loaf pan.
  6. Then, pour peanut butter batter in other half of greased pan.
  7. Using a knife or skewer, pull and swirl chocolate batter through peanut butter batter until you are happy with the marbled effect.
  8. Bake at 350° for 45 – 50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
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Chocolate & Zucchini Eat Quick Bread

I’ve finally managed to break free from my Banana Bread rut. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing like a slice of really good Banana Bread. The ponytails just love it and it is a great way to use up my never-ending pile of over-ripe bananas each weekend. But after a few months, the love starts to fade a bit.

I bought some zucchini to use in a veggie chili that I made recently and had a large zucchini left over. Then I realized it was time to start making room for another kind of loaf in my life.

I baked this bread on Saturday afternoon after my daughters’ swimming lessons, and the moans of hunger from the girls started about 10 minutes before I removed it from the oven. As soon as the loaf was cool enough to handle, I sliced and served a piece to each of them. When I turned around, I discovered that half the loaf was gone. In my house, you have to eat fast if you want to get your share. So, I think that this loaf is appropriately named. However, I might have also called it Chocolate & Zucchini Take Photo Quick Bread – since it was disappearing faster than the money in my wallet after payday. My husband Kevin has pointed out that I need to be patient, as the family is still getting used to this whole “cook and click” routine and that a picture of a partial loaf proves that it is a good recipe. Hopefully you agree?

Chocolate & Zucchini Eat Quick Bread

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup cocoa, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup sour cream (I used 1%)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350° and grease 9 ½” x 5 ½” loaf pan.

In medium bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, sour cream and vanilla. In a second bowl, stir together the two flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Add zucchini and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes (until inserted toothpick comes out clean). Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

TIP:

  • Walnuts and/or chocolate chips would be a great addition to this recipe (1/2 cup). I didn’t add the nuts because the loaf is this week’s school snack. I also wanted the zucchini to be the star of the show so I held back on the chocolate chips this time.