Monday, July 5, 2010

Best Banana Bread Ever

I love banana bread. There are two schools of thought when it comes to this nutty banana confection. Some people like their banana bread to be like bread. My mom for example makes an excellent banana bread that can be sliced, toasted, and buttered. Just like any other bread but with a nutty banana flavor. I, on the other hand, prefer my banana bread to be more cake-like. I prefer a sweet, light bread that could pass for a muffin. And I really like it with chocolate chips.

I have been making banana bread for years. Usually just once or twice a year during my quest for the perfect recipe. The perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness, of bread and muffin. Up until last month I was still searching. I had found some decent recipes but none that really stuck out in my mind and none that I had bothered to put into my recipe book for future use. That is until last month.

Last month I was preparing to go to Phoenix to visit my mom. I knew that I had a long flight with a 3 hour lay-over. I also knew that I did not want to spend a boatload of money on airport food or even worse, airplane food. So I decide to pack myself a dinner and snack.

I made a yummy turkey sandwich on homemade whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. I was going to pack some fruit when I noticed that I had 3 very over-ripe bananas sitting in the fruit bowl. What else do you do with over-ripe bananas besides make banana bread?

So I hit the internet on a search for a quick recipe that used what I had handy in the house. I finally ran across an awesome recipe on the blog How Sweet It Is.

I tweaked the recipe to add an extra banana, walnuts, and make the whole thing dairy-free. It is seriously the best banana bread I've ever eaten. It is moist, sweet, nutty, and full of banana flavor. I made 4 mini loaves so I could bring some to my mom in Phoenix. We ended up eating all of it within my first week there.

I don't know how to put into words how good this bread is. I've already made the recipe twice since returning from Phoenix last month. I even purposely bought bananas and let them over-ripen just so I could make this bread with them. I currently have 2 mini loaves in the freezer, for fear that we will eat them too quickly.

If you are ever going to make a banana bread, make this one. If you have made one before and didn't like it...make this one instead. I guarantee you will fall in love with it.

Best Banana Bread Ever
From How Sweet It Is


1 Stick Margarine, Softened
3oz Soy Cream Cheese (Tofutti brand)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Very Ripe Bananas
1 Large Egg
1/4 Cup Soy Sour Cream (Tofutti brand)
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour (may substitute Whole Wheat)
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 1/2-2 Cups Chopped Walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Grease or line pans.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the margarine, sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the bananas, sour cream, and egg.
  5. Mix until smooth.
  6. Mix in the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  8. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

This can be baked in 2 regular sized loaf pans for 60-75 minutes, 4 mini loaf pans for 35-40 minutes, or in regular size muffin pans for 25-30 minutes. These baking times are approximate and will vary by oven and location.

Yields: 2 loaves

Don't be afraid to experiment with this recipe! Try different kinds of nuts or different types of chips (peanut butter chips would be interesting). It really is a very tailorable recipe.

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