Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A banana bread for breakfast

Is it just me, or is banana bread not really a breakfast food?
Maybe it's just me.
I dunno.
It's just, banana bread has always seems more of a cake to me. I mean sure, it's bread-shaped and yes, it has "bread" in the name. But it's got so much sugar and oil and, I don't know, fluffy cakeness.

Hold it, hold it. This is not me saying that I don't LOVE banana "bread." To the contrary, I have dreams about the stuff. But the dreams are more of the "slathered in chocolate sauce and whipped cream" variety than the "healthy breakfast" variety.

So yesterday, sick of jostling around the pile of brown bananas in the freezer, I decided to attempt a breakfast-worthy banana bread. And yes, I know I frequently say that pie is a perfectly acceptable breakfast food. But with this I guess I was going for something, I don't know, actually healthy?

I started with my favorite unhealthy banana bread recipe, given to me a few years ago by a student's mother. Who I may have harrassed daily until she did. What, that's not an appropriate use of parent contact information? Whatever, you've never tasted her banana bread! It's moist and sweet and fluffy. It's also got a full cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of melted butter in one loaf. But it is GOOD. So I started there, and I tweaked. Then I tweaked some more. And I ended up with something pretty delightful - it's still a bit sweet and it's definitely moist and flavorful, but it has no butter or oil, no refined sugar, a little crunch from the pepitas, and a good amount of whole wheat flour. Any doubts about its breakfast-worthiness were quickly dispelled this morning when the three of us managed to put away all but an inch of it before 8 am.

Jesse says it looks like a dinosaur's back.

Breakfast Banana Bread
Makes one large loaf

1/3 cup honey
1 large egg
3 mashed bananas
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup pepitas

Preheat oven to 325 and grease a loaf pan.

In a dry skillet, toast pepitas over medium heat. As soon as they start making popping noises (I didn't even know they did this!) take them off the heat and set aside.

Beat honey, egg, and bananas. Some lumps are ok.
Add in flours, salt and baking soda and mix just until incorporated.
Mix in apple sauce.
Fold in pepitas.
Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for about 55 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test.


honey - Green Hive Honey, Camden Maine
flours - King Arthur flours, Vermont
egg - Bowdoin Family Egg Farm, Warren Maine
appleasauce - our front yard 

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