My father always used to talk about the Sacrificial Banana. You know – the one that’s left over after the rest of the bunch has been eaten, and that slowly turns brown and then black, before being offered to the gods of the compost bin. He suggested buying bananas, and just throwing one away immediately, so as to save time later on. Well, I had a bunch of those bananas sitting on my counter, and I decided that the gods of the compost bin had enough to eat, so I made banana bread instead. I used the recipe from the Baking Bible, also known as the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion, but instead of adding nuts, which aren’t allowed in the schools, I added white chocolate chips. Why? Because chocolate is a food group! I think that when you’ve added enough chocolate to bread, it becomes cake, so, to misquote Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat banana cake!”
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup banana, mashed (2 to 3 very ripe)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 2/3 cups flour
1 cup yogurt or 1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup sour cream
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, and oil. Add the mashed banana and vanilla and mix well. Sift together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. Add to the banana mixture and mix till just combined. Quickly stir in the yogurt and nuts, if using.
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake the bread for about 1 hour, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. If the bread begins to brown too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil after 40 minutes in the oven. When the bread tests done, remove it from the oven and place on rack for 15 minutes; after that, remove from pan and place on rack to finish cooling completely.