October 24, 2010

banana bread

We've been in the midst of renovation hell for what seems like forever and, while the end is in sight, it's still at least a couple of weeks away.  With all the disruption and mess, not to mention endless trips to home improvement stores, I've become something of a crank.

Generally a perfectionist, the details are driving me crazy.  My patience has worn so thin I don't care about much other than getting the job done and the strangers out of my home.  Paint colour slightly off?  No problem.  Chipped cabinetry?  I can live with that.  Cracked tile on the floor?  Whatever.  JUST. GET. IT. DONE. Not the best long term strategy, I know, but I'm willing to bet that anyone who has lived through a lengthy reno can sympathize.

Today I decided to ignore the chaos that has become my life and see where the day would take me.  After spending a leisurely morning puttering around, I finally felt ready to tackle the blackened, shrivelled bananas that had been sitting on my counter for awhile, suffering from reno-induced neglect.

I've been making banana bread since my teens using the tried and true recipe from the Joy of Cooking.  It's a lovely dense loaf with loads of banana flavour, my absolute favourite recipe and I've never strayed from it - until today.  I recently purchased The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook and decided to try their lighter version - the "Better-For-You" banana bread.

I am rarely disappointed by Chris Kimball's team but, while this loaf was good, the cinnamon and nutmeg in this recipe overwhelm the banana flavour, so much so that it tastes more like a spice bread than a banana bread. 

So if you like your banana bread on the spicy side, this is the one for you.  If, however, you're like me and want the banana to be the star of your loaf, stick with the Joy of Cooking's recipe (you can substitute 6 tbsp butter for the shortening if you prefer).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go pick out kitchen cabinet knobs.  Sigh.


  1. I'm with you...I prefer to taste the banana in banana bread. Sometimes I also stray and add chocolate chips and 1 tbsp of peanut butter to the mix.

  2. Excellent recipe. banana bread went well. especially right from the oven. i replaced with a spoonful of sour cream instead of yogurt, and it was spectacular. I love it.

  3. I always have shriveled bananas!I'm going to try the Joy of Cooking one and try your other reader's idea of adding peanut butter, yum!!