Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Week 22 of 52: Banana Bread - 3 ways!

This week is banana bread week. Why you ask? Because I am a picky banana eater. In other words, I buy bananas and unless I eat them in the first 2 days, I end up with spotted bananas that either get used for smoothies or banana bread. And this week...I had nine...or yes, nine spotted bananas!

I am starting with the basic recipe that my Gramma Harris used and that my mama and I have used to make every banana bread ever. And since I have three loafs to make, I had to get to thinking.
If you are anything like me...well, let me sympathize! But if you are, then you stand in front of your baking pantry the same way I stand in front of my closet. "Oh, that pink/tan flowered skirt will go great with that black/tan striped shirt! And that polka dot shirt is definitely going with those striped pants." I must say...I like to mix and match. I learned to dress myself before they invented Garanimals...'nuf said.

The first bread was inspired by a packet of instant chai that I had. I love the drink, so it has to be good in bread, right? The second was inspired by the vast number of recipes I have seen using PB2. In case you haven't heard of this, it is a powdered peanut butter that gives you the flavor of peanut butter, but less fat and calories. The final one was a given - cocoa and coconut. Need I say more?

Basic Banana Bread Recipe
1 c sugar
1/2 c shortening
2 eggs
3 bananas, crushed
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c chopped nuts

Cream sugar and shortening together. Add eggs and crushed bananas. Sift dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Add nuts and vanilla. Bake 1 hr at 350F in greased and floured loaf pan.

Chai Banana Bread
Replace 1 c nuts with 1/2 packet of instant chai drink mix.
Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Banana Bread
Replace 1/2 c shortening with 1 stick unsalted butter. Omit nuts. Add 2 T PB2. After filling pan, top with 1 c white chocolate chips.
Cocoa Coconut Banana Bread
Omit nuts. Add 1/4 c unsweetened baking cocoa and 1 c sweetened, shredded coconut.
This makes a great muffin, too!

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