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Ba-na-na-na do doooo doo doo do

July 6, 2010

Love that ear worm I’ve just given you?

Today’s tip is a fairly obvious one…unless you’re like me and sometimes blind to the obvious?! lol

I freeze a lot of bananas. We love them, but don’t always eat them quickly enough. I also love them in baked goods and smoothies. I used to free them, whole skin – just toss them into the freezer. Then, when it was time to use them, I’d have to cut off the skin, and my fingers would be frostbitten by the time I was finished. Or my kitchen mitts would be gross. If I just let them thaw, inside the skin, they’d be this brown funky mess, that while inside a baked good didn’t matter, but it was wholly unappetizing. Then, one day, yes, once again, thanks to Alton Brown, I was watching one of his shows and he had a bag of frozen bananas in his freezer, skin off, and it occurred to me, D’UH!

If you peel  your banana, then place it in a zip top bag, they freeze so well. You can even flash freeze a few of them (placing them on a cookie sheet or other flat surface to freeze, then store in a zip top bag). You don’t have to come back and peel them. They break easily to go into the blender. Tossing them on a plate until they begin to thaw enough to mash them for a baked treat isn’t the same as when they were frozen in their peel. It’s nothing like that brown goo. ick. shudder.

And now…a shared recipe..because you can’t talk food without a recipe, can you?!

Banana Bread

1.5 C All-purpose flour

1.5 C whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4  teaspoon salt

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

2 cups mashed ripe banana – fresh is best, but pulled from the freezer, allow to thaw a bit, mash, then add to recipe  (4-6 depending on how big your bananas are)

1/2 C yogurt, full fat, non flavored. If your yogurt tends to be a bit runny, place in a piece of cheese cloth in a colendar and allow it to drain a bit. You can use creme fraiche or sour cream, also

1 teaspoons vanilla

2 sticks of butter (NOT  margarine) at room temperature

2 cups sugar (you can substitute any organic sugar here)

4 eggs

1 C  chopped nuts – optional. I prefer pecans

Preheat your oven to 350. Prepare your pans. Grease and dust with flour for bread and cake pans or  use paper for muffin pans.

Whisk together your dry ingredients.

Cream together your butter and sugar, then add one egg, one at a time until fully incorporated.

Add vanilla and banana.

Slowly incorporate your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients, being careful not to over mix.

Pour batter into pans

Bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour and ten minutes for loaf pans (check for doneness with toothpick) or 18-20 min for muffins.

TIPS: You can use a little less sugar, but not by more than 1/4C.  Add orange zest or lemon zest, or  blueberries (fold into final batter).

Enjoy!

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