Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.
Published on April 22nd, 2011
by Clarabella

Banana Breads

When one buys a big bunch of bananas with the intention of eating them in a healthy way, sometimes one does not make it through all of them before they get to the edge of the usability ledge. So last week, I had this big bunch of bananas, that for some or other reason I did not manage to munch my way through. And as I am loathe to throw food away, what else could I do but make banana bread out of them. Due to the sheer number of bananas that were slowly browning in my fruit bowl, I had the pleasure of not just 1 but 2 banana breads. And in the interest of interesting, they had to be transformed into 2 different banana breads. Why do 1 when you can do 2?

The first bread I knew had to be my favourite, Joy the Baker’s Peanut Butter Banana Bread. Just with a couple of little tweaks. I roasted the bananas as the other banana bread recipe called for roasted bananas and I found the concept fun. I also added chocolate chips. How could I not. So its Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Roasted Banana Banana Bread. What a mouthful!

I like bananas, for their creamy flavour, for their healthy fillingness, and for their built-in packaging. Sticking bananas in their skins into the oven is an interesting thing. The firm, yellow skins soon turn black and squishy and the bananas begin to ‘weep’ out their juices. But the built-in packaging keeps them all together and after 20 minutes or so, you can rip off the top and squeeze out the gooey, divine smelling roast banana from the inside.


The other recipe I found that I had to try was 101 Cookbooks’ Roasted Banana Pumpkin Breakfast Bread. I first thought that the recipe would contain actual pumpkin but it just contains roasted pumpkin seeds, and also rum soaked raisins. In breakfast bread. Awesome! All in all the recipe is a fairly virtuous one (minus the rum at breakfast time). There is only a little butter, and its packed with good-for-you stuff. Pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, roasted bananas, raisins. It has the most lovely texture and isnt very sweet so it really is a great bread to have for breakfast. I highly recommend it. And if you feel like it, throw in some actual pumpkin and let me know what thats like.

By now, the Pumpkin Breakfast bread has long gone, and the Chocolate Chip one is following close behind thanks to the insatiable appetite of my neighbour. Whats next? More cake balls I think. I tell you about cake balls tomorrow. They are fun and different and have inspired loads of flavour possibilities. Now if I only knew where I could buy lemon and lime extracts…




Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Makes: one 9×5-inch loaf
recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

What you will need:
1 1/2 cups mashed roasted bananas
1/3 cup plain or vanilla fat free yogurt
1/3 cup all-natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, you decide)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

What to do:
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flaxseed meal, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon and ground allspice.

In a medium bowl, whisk together  mashed bananas, yogurt, peanut butter and melted butter.  Whisk in eggs and sugars.  Blend mixture until no sugar lumps remain.

Pour the wet mixture into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients.  Fold together with a spatula until no more flour bits remain.  Fold in the chopped nuts as well.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and cake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before running a butter knife along the edges of the pan and inverting the bread onto a wire rack to cool completely.

This bread lasts, well wrapped at room temperature,for up to 4 days.  It is also great to store, well wrapped, in the freezer.


Roast Banana-Pumpkin Breakfast Bread Recipe

Makes: one 9×5-inch loaf
recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks

What you will need:
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup light or dark rum
2 ripe bananas, roasted
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a small saucepan, combine the raisins and rum. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and let stand for 1 hour. Strain the plumped raisins and set aside; discard any remaining liquid.

Place the bananas on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the skins are black and they have started to seep. Remove from the oven, set aside to cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Turn the machine to low and add 1 egg. Mix until completely incorporated and then add the second egg. Mix again until completely incorporated.

Meanwhile, squeeze the flesh of the bananas out of the skins and into a small mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk and vanilla and mash together. Add half of the banana mixture to the electric mixer bowl and blend thoroughly on low speed. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the remaining banana mixture, blend thoroughly, and add the remaining flour mixture; mix just enough to blend the ingredients well. Fold the pumpkin seeds and raisins into the batter and pour it into a lightly greased and floured 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

Bake in the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack, slice, and serve warm. The bread will keep well wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days. I’ll be surprised if it lasts that long.