Something horrible almost happened to me today.
I was standing at the stove making lunch, with a bottle of canola oil in one hand and a mug of freshly brewed green tea in the other. You may know where this is going.
Only when the bottle of canola oil actually touched my lips did I realize that I was not actually about to take a sip of my green tea. Thank the good Lord that I realized in time, because I shudder to imagine what a big swig of canola oil would feel like sliding down my throat. Yeecch.
So, to help myself overcome the horror of what might have been, I decided to talk to you all about banana bread. But not just any banana bread. The best banana bread I have ever had! From the mouths of babes (not the young kind, the sexy-dental-student-husband kind):
I will never be able to look at banana bread the same ever again!
And it’s healthy, too!
Barley Banana Bread (adapted from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads)
- 1 C sugar
- 1/2 C butter (1 stick), at room temp
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 C brown rice flour
- 1/2 C wheat germ
- 1 C barley flour (I ran out of barley, so I used oat flour to make the full C–and don’t forget you can grind your own barley and oat flour!)
- 2 T ground flaxseed
- 2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and shortening. Break in the eggs and mix until light and fluffy.
Next, break the bananas into small pieces and mix them into the shortening mix. You can mash the bananas first, but I like finding chunks of banana throughout the bread.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Line a bread pan with greased wax paper. Here’s a little baking tip–if you are cooking with butter or shortening that comes in a wrapper, don’t throw it away! Use the wrapper to grease the insides of your pan. Easy peasy!
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and use a rubber spatula to push the batter up to the edges of the pan. This is to compensate for the “crown” that comes from the rising in the oven.
Place the pan into the oven (middle rack) and cook until a wooden toothpick comes out clean, about an hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes, then turn the pan on its side and pull the loaf out by tugging on the wax paper.
As with most banana breads, it tastes even better the second day–but likely won’t last that long.
This banana bread was spectacular. It was incredibly moist, and had a sweet, grainy texture that was completely addicting. We ate half the loaf as soon as it came out of the oven.
My only complaint was that it was a tiny bit crumbly, especially before we let it cool down completely. That actually might have been our fault.
This isn’t a completely healthy recipe (1 cup of sugar and a stick of butter!), but it’s definitely better for you than your standard white-flour banana bread–and I promise you that it tastes better. Far better. And it does pack a ton of fiber and omega-3s.
Today marks the end of the easy part of the semester. As of tomorrow, I need to start studying a little bit every day, so the frequency of my blog posts may go down a bit–but not too much. A girl needs her distractions.