Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Weather and Banana Bread

The past week and a half has been really difficult on our beautiful Colorado and its residents.  Unless you have been somewhere without television or internet, you know that we have had historic flooding, thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes and tragically human lives have been lost.  As always, the people of Colorado will rise above, lend a helping hand and rebuild stronger and better than ever.  But it has been hard for so many, and I feel so fortunate that our home stayed dry and didn't have any damage or loss. 

 While it rained here for days, I decided to do a little baking.  I am not sure why, but baking/cooking always calms my nerves and anxiety.  I think it must be because I am doing something I love and putting that love into everything I make.  It was the perfect fall weather-cool and cloudy with that crisp feeling in the air.....perfect for an afternoon of baking.  I had some really ripe bananas leftover from our two weeks of smoothie fun, so instead of tossing them out I decided to make Banana Bread.  I wanted to make a bread that was a little healthier than the ones in my cookbooks, so a few substitutions were made to my Betty Crocker recipe to achieve just that.

Banana Bread Recipe 
adapted from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook

1 1/4 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup butter-softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 Cups mashed ripe bananas-about 3-4 medium bananas
1/2 Cup skim or 1% milk (substitution-original recipe called for buttermilk)
2 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour (subsitution-original reciped called for white flour)
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 Teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray 1 loaf pan (9x5x3 in) with cooking spray.  Make sure to place cooking rack in lower position in the oven. 
2. Mix sugar and butter together in your large bowl.  Add eggs and blend. Add bananas, milk and vanilla and mix thoroughly until smooth.  Stir in flour, baking soda and salt until moistened.  
3. Pour into pan and bake bread for about an hour and 15 minutes.
4. Let the bread cool for five minutes or so and then remove from pan.....The recipe suggests waiting until bread is cool to slice.......I just couldn't wait that long.  :)

This bread is delicious for breakfast with a cup of coffee, or for a little sweet treat after lunch or dinner. If you are like my hubby, you prefer the bread warm with a little butter on top.....oh the calories!


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