January 23, 2009

When Good Bananas Go "Bad"

I have always loved banana bread. It makes a great breakfast on the go, and a delicious snack.

Banana bread is great for a "Budget Diva" because it actually tastes better with super ripe, days old, brown bananas. The kinds of bananas you bought a few weeks back, never got around to eating and suddenly look completely unappealing. Don't throw them away - make banana bread!

The bananas on the left are perfect for your morning cereal or a snack. The skin is thick and the banana is sweet yet still somewhat firm.

The ones on the right have become less appealing to eat. The skin has thinned and become shriveled. They are almost completely brown and the banana itself has shrunk in size.

Now is the time to make bread! The starches in the banana have changed and developed into delicious sugars as they have ripened and browned. These sugars bring out a stronger "banana" flavor and will make your bread just wonderful.

Banana Nut Loaf

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
3/4 cup chopped nuts

Sift flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside. In another bowl, beat sugar, butter, egg and bananas until creamy. Add dry ingredients, slowly blending well. Using a greased loaf pan, bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. When done, spread butter on top of bread and cool 30 minutes before slicing.

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