I am so excited to be writing Nickels & Noodles I just don’t know where to begin. I feel like the first recipe I post will set the tone of the blog; should it be soup, stew, pie, dog treats? I decided after much deliberation that I should start at the beginning, well at least my beginnings in the kitchen. As a kid I was blessed with a Mom who loved to cook. She would patiently bake with me on rainy afternoons. I would stand on a chair and stir while she did the measuring. I loved these afternoons, and I had no idea that not everyone was as fortunate as I was. It wasn’t until I was school aged that I realized that there were other kids who had never had homemade treats before.
The first recipe that I ever made all by myself was banana bread. It was a recipe that my mom and I had been making together for as long as I can remember. When I was “let loose” on my own for the first time I measured and stirred all the ingredients extra carefully just to make sure that I didn’t mess up. I was too young to take things in and out of the oven, so I called for my mom's assistance. I have been making this now for over twenty years. Originally it was my mom’s recipe, although over the years I have made some “tweaks”. My version is a little bit healthier than the original. Over time I have reduced the fat, while keeping the flavor and texture that I love so much.
I always keep a stash of bananas in my freezer in case the urge to make banana bread arises. This is my go to recipe for book club, visiting friends or rainy afternoons. Once my bananas get too ripe for me to enjoy them I just throw them in the freezer, peel and all. Then I defrost them when I need them and I am ready to go. Since I buy bananas almost every week this also cuts down on the amount of unnecessary food waste that I produce.
Mom’s Modified Banana Bread
Yields 1 Loaf
$2.54 (CAD) per Loaf
1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (it should be at room temperature)
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
5 Tbsp Fat Free Vanilla Yogurt
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Celsius
Grease a 9 X 5 loaf pan
Cream together butter and sugar. You should do this until the color changes and the constancy looks light and fluffy. This will help your bread be less dense.
Add in the applesauce and vanilla. Stir.
Beat in eggs.
Mash banana separately, then add to the dough (this helps prevent lumps). Give the dough a stir.
Add in one cup of flour and half of the yogurt. From this point on, just stir as much as you need to so that everything is combined. If you over mix you will get air tunnels in your banana bread once it's baked.
Mix together the salt, baking powder and the remainder of the flour.
Add the dry mixture to the dough. Stir.
Add in the last of the yogurt. Give the dough a final stir.
Turn the dough into a prepared loaf pan and bake for one hour. You will know that your bread is done when you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. If dough sticks to the toothpick, put the loaf back in the oven for a little while.
This bread freezes very well. You can wrap the whole loaf and put it in the freezer, or you can slice it and individually wrap the slices before freezing. If you are using this recipe to make muffins, cut the cooking time down to about 20-25 minutes depending on the size of your muffin tin and your oven.