When life gives you overripe bananas, what to do?? Make banana bread, of course!
Ethos stories intrigue me; I’m always searching to find out just why someone lived where they lived or how something came to be. Banana bread is no different.
According to King Arthur website, banana bread ethos is something I hadn’t imagined it would be.
Bananas aren't native to most of North America and were only sparingly available in the U.S. throughout the 1800s. Ship captains had difficulty solving the puzzle of how to successfully transport a fruit that ripened (and rotted) so quickly.
…yeah. I thought the same thing, they made bread out of the over ripened fruit.
Nope. It wasn’t until refrigeration of the 20th century that bananas made their consumption more of a staple on the American breakfast table.
Bananas were also used in desserts, though more often as a garnish atop cake or pudding than a main ingredient.
It wasn’t until the Great Depression that people would use everything they had available to them, including rotting bananas. And there is when the banana bread craze happened.
Thus, the desire to use overripe bananas, paired with the ready availability of baking powder, inspired a horde of enterprising cookbook writers to come up with recipes for banana "quick bread" (as opposed to yeast bread).
By the early 1930s, banana bread recipes — using mashed bananas as the main ingredient, rather than banana slices as a garnish — had become ubiquitous, appearing in cookbooks from Better Homes and Gardens, Pillsbury Flour, the United Fruit Company (a chief banana importer), and more.
Today, we want the quickness of the “quick bread” of the depression, except our ancestors would die if they knew how much we pay for even just one slice of the “quick” bread.
The cost for a “slice”of at Starbucks banana bread is $3.69 (tax included).
The cost to make an entire loaf at home is about $0.33 cents a serving. About $2.75 per loaf. That’s right, it’s not a typo.
That’s more like it for our grandma’s and great grandmas of the depression.
So why do we do it? Why do we buy that expensive banana bread instead of making it at home? It’s “quicker” I guess.
It's quicker and cheaper to make it at home. So, if you can, give yourself the pleasure of making your own... and we will not waste the over-ripened b-a-n-a-n-a-s!
Cooking Class with Carol
I used a USA Pan Pullman Loaf Pan (without lid) and tripled the recipe. But any loaf pan will do. Make certain to butter the pan for a crispy firm outer crust.
Ripened bananas must be used to make the bread. The brown spots are a dead giveaway that the bananas are ready for bread. They are riddled with vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, it can be a perfect addition to your breakfast.
According to studies, bananas contain three natural sugars that are sucrose, fructose, and glucose combined with fiber.
A banana gives an instant, sustained, and substantial boost of energy. And research also indicates that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout!
2 to 3 medium (7" to 7-7/8" long) very ripe bananas, peeled (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups mashed)
1/3 cup butter, unsalted or salted, melted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (not baking powder)
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you would like it less sweet, 1 cup if sweeter)
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
What to do
•Preheat the oven and prepare the pan: Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.
•Mash the bananas and add the butter: In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
•Mix in the remaining ingredients:
Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
•Bake the bread: Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes at 350°F (175°C), or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. A few dry crumbs are okay; streaks of wet batter are not. If the outside of the loaf is browned but the center is still wet, loosely tent the loaf with foil and continue baking until the loaf is fully baked.
Cool and serve
Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes. Then remove the banana bread from the pan and let cool completely before serving. Slice and serve. (A bread knife helps to make slices that aren't crumbly.)
Wrapped well, the banana bread will keep at room temperature for 4 days. For longer storage, refrigerate the loaf up to 5 days, or freeze it.
Many people add something extra, and it's you to you-- chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans. What else could be included in the banana bread?