Banana bread is in heavy rotation in our house. With 5 and 7 year old boys around who demand plenty of bananas, which in turn necessitates buying lots and winding up with extra, it seems every second day a loaf is in the oven. I’m getting better – and faster – at it. I can now mix up the batter in approximately two minutes flat.
The boys love it when I add a handful of chocolate chips or raisins to the batter, but bananas go well with all kinds of ingredients – chopped dried figs, dates, berries (fresh or frozen) and blueberries in particular, which I almost always have stashed away in the freezer. Recently I was grating fresh ginger for something else, and decided to dump a spoonful into a batch of banana bread batter. Yum.
When adding frozen berries to a muffin or loaf recipe, don’t thaw them first – they’ll become too juicy and make your batter wet (and turn it green). Toss them in last, straight from the freezer. If you only have dried ginger, use only about a teaspoon. This recipe doubles well and freezes beautifully; cool it completely, then wrap it, sliced or not. We’ve been known to tote many a loaf to the park for sunny fall picnics, and individual slices often go into the boys’ lunch and snack bags.
Blueberry Ginger Banana Bread
3 very ripe bananas¨
3/4 cup sugar¨
1/4 cup canola oil
¨2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. vanilla
¨1 1/2 cups flour (try half all-purpose, half whole wheat)¨
1 tsp. baking soda¨
1/4 tsp. salt¨
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas, sugar, oil, eggs, ginger and vanilla with a potato masher don’t worry about getting all the lumps out. It will look sort of cottage-cheesy.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt and stir with a spatula until almost combined; add the blueberries and stir just until blended. Spread into an 8×4-inch loaf pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray and bake for 60 minutes, until golden and cracked on top and springy to the touch.