Once upon a time, I hated bananas. Something about the mushy texture and the smell combination. I carried on avoiding these awesome fruits until one fateful night when I had leg cramps so badly that I forced my way through a banana in hopes that the potassium would cure me. Not so surprisingly, the banana saved me from the leg cramps and suddenly bananas were back on the scene. I still avoid the perfectly ripe ones and really only eat mine when they are still just a bit green, but I now try to incorporate bananas into my diet frequently.
In my new-found acceptance of bananas, I’ve tried my fair share of banana breads. Some with nuts, some with dried fruits, some filled versions and some muffins, but I have to say this classic recipe from my mom is my favorite. This delicate and slightly sweet bread showcases the flavor of the bananas and is extremely moist.
- 1 ¾ cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup shortening (such as butter at room temperature)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 very extra super ripe mashed bananas, set aside
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Cream the shortening, add the sugar gradually and continue working until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar and mix well.
5. Add the flour mixture alternately with the bananas, beating after each addition until the batter is smooth.
6. Turn into a well-greased bread pan (8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 3 inches).
7. Bake about 45 minutes to an hour. Start checking your bread after 35 minutes though. My bread cooked in 45 minutes but mom’s oven usually cooks hers in an hour and ten minutes. Enjoy!