Banana Bread Saves the Day
By Karen Schulz
If you’re like me and overestimated how many bananas your family — even with all the college kids at home — would eat, then you are going to thank me for this tasty way to repurpose those now ugly, brown ones. Frankly, the mushier the better, so do not throw them away.
Eight weeks into the pandemic, we have had our fill of all 10,000 egg varieties and frozen toaster waffles, so this banana bread, which is chock–full of ground flax seed, can almost have you believing you are at Patisserie Salzburg enjoying one of their famous flax seed muffins.
The original recipe came from my friend Annette and has great bones, but I really love the flax seed tweak, which eliminates some of the white flour and ups the nutrition level. Flax seed is a great source of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a rich source of lignans, fiber-associated compounds which are thought to help lower the risk of cancer and control blood sugar. In addition to using ground flax seed to make this healthier than many loaf recipes, I substitute monk fruit sweetener for sugar.
You will find monk fruit in the baking aisle of your grocery store, right next to the sugar. While monk fruit has been around for centuries, it was only approved by the FDA in 2010. It is even sweeter than sugar, but contains zero calories or carbs, and is believed to have antioxidant properties. It is an excellent option for diabetics, or those of us who are trying to eliminate sugar.
Thanks to the bananas, flax seed, and monk fruit, this banana bread is almost good for you, and it’s perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea. Skip the chocolate chips on top if you’re being conscientious about what you eat, but they add to the deliciousness.
The recipe yields two loaves, so I often throw one in the freezer for another day.
Whatever you do, do not wrap them in aluminum foil, put them in a zip–lock bag, and pack them in your carry-on at the airport. If you do, be prepared to have your bag searched (as mine was), because they look a lot like the bricks of drugs you see in the movies!
3 very ripe bananas
½ cup vegetable (or canola) oil
5 T. milk (or almond milk)
1 t. baking soda
1½ cups flour
½ cup ground flax seed
1½ cups monk fruit sweetener
2 cups chocolate chips, optional
Preheat oven to 350°
Grease two dark metal loaf pans.
In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork and add remaining ingredients, other than the chocolate chips. Pour equal parts into loaf pans. Sprinkle chips in one layer on top so that most of the batter is covered. Bake for approximately 40-50 minutes, until top is golden brown.