Soft Crunch Banana Bread

“I may have referred to myself as an STD today,” I said, sitting down next to Roo on the couch; my purse and gym bag still slung over my shoulder.

Roo furrowed his brow. “You what?”

“You know how I haven’t been able to take my favorite spin class because of the Lexington job?”

“Yes.”

I sighed. “Well, I finally went. When I walked into the studio, my instructor exclaimed, ‘You’re back!’ and I replied -”

“Do I even want to know?”

I looked down at the floor and muttered, “I’m back. Like herpes.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

Roo shook his head. “No. Just….no.”

“Then I said I made her a loaf of banana bread.”

“I’m guessing she wasn’t too excited to take it from you.”

“She looked at me as if I had put my hair in it.”

“Well-”

“I know!” I whined.

Roo patted me on the back and removed my purse and gym bag from my shoulder.

“Oh, thanks.”

“No problem,” he replied, as he opened my purse.

“What are you -”

Roo looked up. “I’m looking for the banana bread. So what if you put your hair in it.”

.

I didn’t put my hair in it.

This banana bread has a lovely soft crunch.  You can add millet, sesame seeds or even chia seeds, depending what kind of texture you’d like.  I love that it’s a hearty loaf; loaded with mashed bananas, yogurt (I used soy), and a bit of fruity olive oil.  The brown sugar gives it a bit of depth, although you’re more than welcome to use just granulated sugar if that’s all you have on hand.

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Makes 1 Loaf

Equipment

A medium mixing bowl

A whisk

A large mixing bowl

A spatula

A prepared 9×5 inch loaf pan

A wire cooling rack (or a large plate if you don’t have one)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds and a quarter cup plus 2 tablespoons of warm water, mixed and set aside

2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (you could use all purpose)

Quarter cup of uncooked millet (you could also use sesame seeds, or nothing at all for a basic banana bread)

Three quarters of a teaspoon of baking soda

Quarter teaspoon of fine sea salt

3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about one and a half cups)

Half cup of brown sugar, packed (this makes a slightly sweet cake, if you’d like something sweeter, use three quarters of a cup)

Quarter cup of plain yogurt (I used soy. I would not recommend light or fat free.)

Quarter cup of mild tasting olive oil

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Place the oven rack to the middle position in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, millet (or sesame seeds), baking soda and salt. Whisk the ingredients together till well combined.

In a large mixing bowl, add the mashed bananas, brown sugar, yogurt, olive oil, vanilla extract and flax seed mixture. Mix the ingredients till smooth and well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, folding them in until just combined. Scrape down and back up the sides of the bowl with the spatula to make sure that the ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan and baked until golden brown, about an hour, or until a cake tester (like a toothpick) is inserted into the middle and comes out clean. *Please be sure that your cake is done, otherwise it’ll sink in the middle as it cools.

Allow the cake to cool in the loaf pan for about ten minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve at room temperature. If you can wait till the next day, it’s better than the day of.

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2 thoughts on “Soft Crunch Banana Bread

  1. Speaking from a spin instructor standpoint, I LOVE when my students bring me gifts. So thoughtful! Recently one of my students brought me these amazing home made healthy energy ball cookies made with peanut butter, banana, oats, and dark chocolate chips. I was so touched…and then I ate them all in a fit of joy. But seriously that was so nice of you to do!

  2. I’m so glad! Sometimes it may look sketchy when we bring gifts for instructors, but I promise, the majority of us aren’t trying to be all single-white-female.

    And those energy cookies sound so good! I’ll have to look that recipe up.

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