Banana bread on the cheap

17 03 2009

img_1607img_1593Mmm. Banana bread. I love a good banana bread, but if you’re anything like me, you rarely make it because you always wait until you have several bananas sitting all speckled and forgotten on the counter. And at our house, that almost never happens because we eat them so quickly.

So yesterday, while I was in the produce section of the grocery, I snatched up a 50-img_1599cent bag of over-ripe bananas. For fun, I weighed them on the produce scale — 2 1/4 pounds. Not bad. That’s just 22 cents a pound as compared to the usual 67 cents that groceries in our area typically charge.

Why wait for my full-price bananas to go mushy when I can buy them that way at one-third the price? I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure this one out!

After five or six days of rainy and cold weather in a row, it was the perfect day to bake. My daughter and I whipped up a loaf together in no time. She did most of the work, including the mashing, the egg cracking and the mixing. As she donned oven mitts and slipped the loaf pan in the oven, it struck me how grown-up she has become on the eve of her 11th birthday.

We used a recipe I found on the site of one of my favorite bloggers, Crystal, over at moneysavingmom.com. I tinkered with it just slightly to make it a little more healthy. See my notes below.

Quick and Easy Banana Bread

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oil (I used applesauce)
1 cup sugar (I used 1/4 Splenda and 3/4 cup sugar)
2 eggs, beaten
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir flour, soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside. Combine oil and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in eggs, banana, vanilla, and milk. Add flour mixture and blend until just combined. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry – about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes and transfer to wire rack.

Next time, I think I’ll make muffins instead of the loaf. That way, I can pop them in the freezer to have on hand for breakfasts on the go or a quick addition to my husband’s and daughter’s lunches.

I substituted the applesauce for the oil to make them a little more healthy. Same goes for the Splenda substitution. I honestly couldn’t tell any difference in the taste. Next time, I may also sneak in a little flax seed to boost the nutrition content even further. And if I have any EggBeaters on hand, I will substitute those for the eggs.

What about you? Do you have any favorite recipes using ripe bananas? Or do you have any tips on how to get cheap bananas? Let me know.img_1601

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3 responses

17 03 2009
Mary Ellen (Carolina Momma)

Our favorite banana recipe is The Banana Pineapple Bread from Tammy’s Recipes!

http://tammysrecipes.com/banana_pineapple_bread

It’s a family favorite and greatly enjoyed by all guests and coworkers alike.

My best banana score was finding 3lb bags of reduced organic bananas at Harris Teeter for .99 each!

17 03 2009
freetobefrugal

Wow, Mary Ellen. That Banana Pineapple bread sounds unbelievably awesome. Next time I find some speckled bananas I’m going to try it. Have you ever made them as muffins or mini loaves? And I think you have bragging rights on your 3 lbs of organic for 99 cents. Can anybody out there beat that?

18 03 2009
Mary Ellen

No, I haven’t made it as muffins – thought about it! I actually don’t even use a loaf pan, I use a tube pan.

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