When she speaks, I listen. And when her friends speak I listen louder.
Yes, I meant to say that. Louder. Because actions are louder than words and when they eat every morsel, every crumb, I know we have a winner.
Smudge is becoming a big help in the kitchen. I find myself stopping in my tracks to watch her flit from counter to cupboard, completely unaware of anything going on around her as she sings softly under her breath to the tune that never seems to end in her head. For good measure she’ll give a twirl, an elegant flick of her wrist then cock her elbow, throw her hand behind her head and rock a pumping sprinkler dance.
And then we return to the never-ending song in her head.
Recently a friend of hers came over for a playdate. What did they want to do? Bake banana bread. Well alright then, let’s do it. And we did. And they ate. And I listened when her friend declared this recipe was, “the best banana bread I’ve ever eaten.”
Umm, yeah. Perhaps because it tastes like a giant slice of banana bread chocolate chip heaven?
Hey, I’m just here to listen.
I’ve experimented with plenty of banana bread recipes including the recipe I used in 7th grade that called for vegetable oil as the main moistening ingredient resulting in a greasy crumb that deflated quickly. Using greek yogurt in this version gives ample moisture minus the greasy fingers. This is banana bread, not french fries people.
Of course adding in a few chocolate chips to any recipe can only make the world go ’round a little easier, a little sweeter. And not to take away from our banana bread goodness, but if you’re in the mood for some serious chocolate chips recipes, Averie has your number.
But when I’m in a need for a basic proven recipe I’m often drawn to my go-to 1,028 recipe tomb: The New Best Recipe Cookbook by Cook’s Illustrated. I’ve slightly adapted the recipe by adding a touch more vanilla, subbing pecans for walnuts and yes, aforementioned chocolate chips.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 3 bananas, very ripe and mashed well (about 1½ cups)
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan and set aside.
- Whisk first five ingredients together in large bowl; set aside.
- In a medium bowl mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, vanilla and chocolate chips. Gently fold banana mixture into dry ingredients until just combined. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm with a swath of sweet butter or at room temperature with a cold glass of milk.
Obviously as I was creating this post I was on the hunt for more lovely banana-inspired recipes and I must say, the banana is severely neglected out there unless its in a muffin, pancake or bread variety.
I say, “Raise the banana flag!” Let’s give the banana it’s sweetened day in the sun. Here’s a selection of food bloggers doing just that, and doing it well.
Modesty must be Glory’s thing because according to her Glorious Treats Banana Caramel Cream Dessert isn’t groundbreaking. I beg to differ.
Jaime gives us the perfect reason to splurge with a simple remedy for the midnight sweet tooth with Sophistomom‘s Caramel Bananas
Gluten and dairy-free but full of flavor with a history in family lore and subject that leaves Shauna in stitches, Gluten-Free Girl’s Coconut-Banana Cream Pie is sure to make us smile too.
Cassie makes sure the health nuts aren’t left out with a chia see and whole wheat flour recipe for Bake Your Day’s Vegan Banana Nut Breakfast Cake that’s enough to convert even the non-vegans in some of us
Diana layers her nana-nanas with an extra banana flavored icing thanks to banana extract in Created by Diane‘s Banana Icing on Banana Walnut Muffins