Grits & Gouda: One-Bowl Banana Bread

Grits & Gouda: One-Bowl Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

4 overripe bananas

3 large eggs

1 cup melted butter or canola oil or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light or dark brown sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

The more ripe your bananas, the darker your banana bread will be. I like using bananas when they have lots of black on the peel, but I usually can’t wait that long before wanting to make the bread.

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350. Coat pans with cooking spray or lightly grease.

If using butter, microwave the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl: microwave at HIGH for 1 minute, then stir well. If needed, microwave another 20 seconds. If using oil, hold off adding it until after mashing the bananas.

Mash the banana with a potato masher (or a fork up against the side) in the same bowl. Push the ashed banana to one side.

Whisk together the eggs in the bowl on the other side with a whisk or a fork. (It's perfectly fine if some of the banana mixture mixes in with the eggs.

If using oil instead of melted butter, add it now with the vanilla and stir together everything in the bowl. Add the sugar and stir until it is combined.

Measure the flour and pour each cup over the top of the banana mixture. Do not stir.

Sprinkle the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt over the entire surface of the flour.

Then, gently stir the dry ingredients together without disturbing the wet ingredients on the bottom. It's ok to not reach the bottom of the flour at this point.

Finally, you can stir the dry ingredients together with the banana mixture with a large spoon until combined.

That's how you only use one bowl to make Best-Ever Banana Bread!

Pour the batter evenly into two lightly greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 48 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center almost comes out clean. Be sure to let stand 2 minutes on a wire rack before turning out to cool. I LOVE warm banana bread so good luck waiting until it cools completely to eat.

Banana Bread Tips:

Banana bread cuts easier when completely cooled.

The crust is slightly crisp on the outer edges the first day. My favorite day to eat it is the second, third and fourth days when it the crust is soft and the banana flavor intensifies.

The darker the bananas, the darker the banana bread.

Can I freeze overripe bananas?

Yes. Peel them first because the peel kind of melts into the banana when thawed and it's messy to remove the peel at that point. I peel them and toss the into a zip-top plastic bag and remove them as I need them for banana bread or smoothies.

Do I have to refrigerate banana bread?

Short answer, no. Refrigerating banana bread extends the "shelf life" of the bread to about one week before needing to freeze it. Banana bread can be left on the counter in a zip-top plastic bag, plastic wrap, aluminum foil or an airtight container up to four days before needing to be refrigerated or frozen.

Can I freeze banana bread?

Yes. Wait until freshly baked banana bread is completely cooled then choose one of three these three methods:

Three ways to freeze banana bread

Wrap it in plastic wrap, then again in aluminum foil.

Place them in a zip-top plastic bag, pressing out as much air as possible.

Seal them in FoodSaver vacuum sealer bags.

Store in an air tight freezer-safe container.

Can I use unsalted butter?

Yes, just increase the salt from 3/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.

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