Cooking Without the Cow

I have a dairy allergy. I digest it well enough but it gives me a headache, which is not fun. I do use a little butter, especially in baking, because margarine scares me. Cheese is such a prevalent ingredient in even vegetarian offerings that I have had to experiment with different dishes to come up with some staples that will work for my family. I hope you enjoy them, too!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

So many banana breads, so little time

Because of all the smoothies The Boy and I have been having/making lately, I’ve been stocking up on bananas like never before. Sometimes they turn more brown than we’d like sooner than we’re ready, so it becomes time for banana bread.

While going through my recipes I discovered that, over the years, I’ve accumulated more recipes for banana bread than I realized – five, in fact, not counting the one I cobbled together. There is Applesauce Banana Bread, Easy Banana-Nut Bread, Fat Free Banana Bread, one simply called Banana Bread and, from Elise’s Simply Recipes site, is her ski friend’s mother’s recipe, so I gave it her name and now Mrs. Hockmeyer’s Banana Bread is also included in my file. I don’t know how to weed through these variations other than to make all of them...or maybe there’s no need. :)

My own recipe borrows the notion of replacing butter with applesauce and the healthier alternative of brown over white sugar. The cinnamon, raisins and/or blueberries were just an inspiration worth remembering for their pops of fresh, fruity, spiciness. I've also used cocoa nibs for a bit of chocolate crunch that's not overpowering.  Be sure not to skimp on the baking soda or the final product will be overly moist and very dense.

My Banana Bread

2 eggs, beaten
3 overripe bananas, mashed
½ cup applesauce
¾ cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
cinnamon to taste
¼ cup raisins or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat first four ingredients together. Sift the dry ingredients together and then stir them into the banana mixture just until moistened. Add raisins or blueberries. Bake in greased loaf pan for 60 – 65 minutes. Cool on rack.

On an unrelated note, does anyone know why the average word processing program will reduce halves and quarters to compact fractions but not eighths or thirds? I find that discriminatory. They should be included for their frequency of use in recipes, don’t you think? We should all send Microsoft a loaf of fruitcake come the end of the year. That’ll teach ‘em!


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