Food: basic but not boring – banana bread

Every single coffee shop offers this. BANANA BREAD has to be one of the all time comfort loaves to accompany afternoon tea.  It’s not quite a cake, not quite a bread and not really considered a conventional dessert but it’s always reliably satisfying and somewhat healthy as far as sweet things go.  Make sure you use ripe bananas – it makes all the difference.

So here’s a great classic to start withWhat you need:               

 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1/3 cup of unsalted butter at room temp.

2/3 cup sugar (I use organic cane)

2 eggs, well beaten

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (roughly 3)

1 tsp. or more of lemon zest

Directions:

Heat oven to 350F

Sift first 4 ingredients (flour, baking powder, soda and salt)

In separate bowl beat butter (adding a bit of the egg will make it easier to blend), add sugar a bit at a time beating after each addition.  Beat in the rest of the eggs.

Slowly add flour mixture, alternately with banana beating smooth after each addition.

Turn into greased 9” x 5” X 3” loaf pan.  Bake in moderate oven of 350 approx. 1 hour 10 min. or until done and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Variations:

You can vary this recipe by using a bit less banana and adding some fruit like raspberries or blueberries.

Or; you can omit the lemon zest and add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

with dark chocolate chips, candied ginger & almond – my favourite.

Try chopped up candied ginger chopped almonds and/or some organic almond extract with the chocolate.

It freezes well and is always a good thing to have on hand for unexpected guests.

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