Growing up in Hawaii, I know a thing or two about bananas. We ate enough of them as kids. Apple Bananas, Bluefields, Cavendish…so many varieties thrive in tropical climates. And mostly we got them for free, a gift from somebody’s backyard.
We ate bananas in many ways – fried in butter with brown sugar for dessert, suspended in glistening Jell-O for a snack or scattered over cornflakes for breakfast.
I was never keen on bananas just peeled and eaten straight, but one thing I have always loved is banana bread. When I lived in New York, of all places, I discovered a banana bread recipe I really liked from the Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, which along with the Time-Life Foods of the World series, was a bible in every food professional’s kitchen.
Unlike Katie’s dessert-style banana bread with chocolate chips, this one is more of a breakfast bread. We add flax seed to the recipe to make it a tad healthier.
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½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground golden flax seed (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons milk (3 tablespoons if not using flax seed)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
In large bowl, combine oil and sugar and mix together. Add eggs and bananas and mix well. In medium bowl, combine flour, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix well.
Add dry ingredients, milk and vanilla to the banana mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts. Pour into a well-greased and floured loaf pan (9X5 inches).
Bake about 1 hour or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool before slicing.
Adapted from The Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cooking.
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