What to do with leftover bananas

February 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

I like to eat bananas when they are still a little green.  Dave likes them when they’re a little brown.  You’d think that bananas wouldn’t ever have a chance to go bad at our house, with me eating them fresh from the grocery store, and Dave eating them just before they become blechy.  Oh, we also have some Irish Wolfhounds that like to eat bananas, too (and they couldn’t care less if they’re green or brown).

Even though we have two adult humans and some dogs consuming and loving bananas, we still somehow manage to end up with a couple of really awful-looking bananas that NO ONE will eat…yep, not even the dogs.  I hate to waste food.  So, I toss the bananas in the freezer.  They freeze beautifully, and their skins protect them from freezer burn.  When I get a little stash of 4 bananas, I make banana bread.  We have two favorite recipes for making it.  The first recipe is the one I invented in high school (it’s good, and healthy, too).  The second banana bread recipe is from a handwritten card we found in Dave’s mom’s recipe box after she died.  The card says it is from Tara’s Great Grandmother (whomever that is…neither Dave nor I know of anyone named Tara in his family).  The bread it produces is very moist and tasty.  We both enjoy it.

When we make banana bread, we eat it for days.  It’s good for breakfast (Dave says to try it toasted with a little butter), or as a dessert.  I just like it eaten out of hand.  I sometimes put a few pieces in my computer bag, and haul it in to the office to share with my coworkers…it’s just that good.  I’ll share my own recipe for banana bread some other day.  For now though, we hope you’ll enjoy this one.  And by the way, if you use frozen bananas, just take them out of the freezer an hour or so before you plan to cook the bread.  The skins will be black, but when they thaw, the insides will be perfect.  Here’s Dave’s mom’s recipe card, plus my adapted-for-modern-kitchen-version just below:

Tara’s Great Grandmother’s Banana Bread*

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3-4 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans (or other nuts)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit.  Stir together butter, sugar, bananas, eggs, and vanilla; set aside.  Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Fold in butter mixture.   Gently incorporate the pecans.  Scrape into a greased loaf pan, and bake for 50-minutes, until light brown, and a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes one loaf of pretty darn good banana bread.

*no, we have no idea who Tara is, and we have never met this girl’s supposed grandmother.  But, the banana bread is exceptionally good.  Dave says that his mom made this recipe all the time when he was a kid, and it’s the only banana bread that he loves…yes, later (someday), when I share my own recipe for banana bread with you, Dave will probably force me to tell you that my recipe (although delicious) pales in comparision to this recipe from his mom’s recipe box.

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