Maple Walnut Banana Bread


Hello there– We have a treasure sitting in our fridge– it’s a huge jug of real maple syrup fresh from upstate New York!  Our daughter-in-law’s Dad, Alfie is a warm and wonderful guy.  Every year he taps trees around his town and in the spring is joined by family a friends at in the maple sugar shack to boil down gallons of maple syrup.  Then being the generous guys that he is, he mails big jugs to people far and wide (including lucky us!!).

So this little recipe uses a precious half cup of that lovely syrup and which accounts for it’s rich and wonderful flavor.  Plus while it’s baking in the oven, for kitchen smells like that New York maple sugar shack– maple luscious!

2 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp. maple extract (optional)*
3 tab. milk
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4  cup walnuts, chopped and divided
3 tab. brown sugar

In a large mixing bowl, smash the bananas to a creamy substance.  Then mix in the maple syrup, oil, egg, maple extract and milk until all blended.  Add in the flour, baking powder and salt and stir it all together.  Finally mix 3/4 cup of the walnuts.

Spoon the mixture into a 5″ by 9″ loaf pan** that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Mix together the brown sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts and sprinkle them over the loaf of banana bread.

Bake it all up at 350 degrees for 50 -55 minutes until it’s browned and a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.  Delicious warm from the oven– or toasted the next day for breakfast  with a smear of butter!!

*maple extract is optional– it just adds a little more maple flavoring.
** I used 2 half size loaf pans and cooked it about 5 minutes less.


Double Chocolate Banana Bread

IMG_8723Hey there– When Larry and I get to spend a day walking down by the beach in Balboa, I can usually drag him over to the shop that sells ice cream– and also frozen bananas.  That’s where the difference in opinion comes in.

Larry loves those frozen banana. While they do have the virtue of being dipped in chocolate, I fail to see their charm. I stick to chocolate dipped ice cream, obviously much tastier.

All that to say, there is one one chocolatey banana combination, that really is worth tucking in to.  This stuff has a rich chocolate  flavor, but it’s the bananas that shine through.  Hey, and if you added a scoop of ice cream along side you’d have the best of both!

3 bananas
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa*
1 cup (about 6 oz.) mini chocolate chips**

Mash the bananas completely with a fork in a mixing bowl.  Stir in the oil, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla.  The mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa.  Finally fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into a standard bread pan –(or I use 2 smaller 3 1/2″ by 7″ pans)– that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Pop the banana bread into the oven at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

*I love the Hershey’s dark cocoa, so much richer than their old standard cocoa.
** Mini chocolate chips work better than normal size chips, that tend to sink to the bottom of the loaf.
*** If I were just baking this for myself, I would also throw in a heaping cup of walnuts or pecans!!

P.S. — If you look at the photo, you can tell someone in a striped t-shirt is taking the picture.  Oh brother!

Nutella-laced Banana Bread

Hello friends–  Baking banana bread.  It’s a domestic skill you pick up early– about the same time you learn to use a washing machine or how to flip a good pancake…  So I’ve been making banana bread for decades!!  And what’s more cozy than good old banana bread?  But it can be improved upon– with swirls of Nutella for the little chocolaty flavor and it is melt in your mouth good!

3 really ripe bananas
1/4 cup unflavored yogurt
2 eggs
6 tab. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2/3 cup Nutella

Smash the bananas with a fork in a mixing bowl.  Then stir in the yogurt, eggs, oil and vanilla.  Next add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix it all up and then stir in the walnuts.  Then spray two small loaf pans (or one standard bread pan) with cooking spray.  Spoon half of the batter into the bottoms of the of the pans.  Then microwave the Nutella for about 30 seconds to soften it.  Pour half the Nutella over the banana bread and then swirl it into the batter with a knife.  Finally spoon the second half of the the banana bread batter into the pans.  Top with the remaining Nutella and once again swirl the Nutella into the top of the bread.  Bake it at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes until the bread is firm to the touch.

This slices up better once it’s cooled a bit.  And it super toasted the next day, til it’s slightly crispy around the edges with, a mug of tea.