Put your overripe bananas to good use and make a loaf of banana bread. We love this bread's moist texture and simple flavor. Banana bread should form a crack down the center as it bakes--a sign the baking soda is doing its job. Serve toasted with a smear of cream cheese, greek yogurt, or peanut and top with mixed nuts, if desired. You can even customize your bread with a crunchy streusal topping that the kids will love.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Upgrade 1 Marble it. Stir 1 cup batter and 1/2 cup melted semisweet chocolate chips together in a small bowl. Spoon plain batter into pan, alternating with dollops of chocolate-chip batter. Drag a knife through batter to swirl. Bake as directed.
Upgrade 2 Berry it. Fold 1 cup fresh blueberries into batter. Bake as directed.
Upgrade 3 French-toast it. Cut bread into 3/4-inch slices. Toast until slightly crisp on both sides. Whisk together 2 eggs, 2 Tbsp. milk, ground cinnamon and nutmeg to taste as well as a pinch of salt in a shallow bowl. Dip bread in mixture, let excess drip off, then fry, turning once, in a nonstick skillet lightly coated with vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
Upgrade 4 Chocolate-chip it. Fold 1 cup dark chocolate chips into batter. Bake as directed.
Upgrade 5 Streusel it. Combine 2 Tbsp. rolled oats, 2 Tbsp. flour, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. butter, melted, and 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg in a medium bowl. Divide batter among 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Top with streusel. Bake at 350°F until done, about 25 minutes.
This versatile bread is the perfect on-the-go breakfast, gift for a host, or holiday gift. When would it not be welcome? Top it with whatever you like, and even throw some additional ingredients like chocolate chips. It's the bread that everyone can get behind.