Milena’s Cooking Adventures
I was banned from making this recipe by my former roommate (she who Travels to Istanbul and Brings Me Things, if you’ve been following previous posts). You might think that makes sense. Simple, you say. Maybe she didn’t want this sweet banana bread to tempt her. Maybe she’s allergic to bananas. Maybe I make messes in the kitchen (this last point is obviously blatant slander and has no connection whatsoever to the truth).
No, it was because of what I did with the bananas. Most banana bread recipes call for spotty overripe bananas, but I found that I never had more than one of these at a time. So scrolling down into the comments’ section of Smitten Kitchen (whence I adapted this recipe), I found the suggestion to freeze overripe bananas as they happen, then simply thaw them out when you need them for a recipe. “Brilliant!” I thought. “What a remarkable idea!” I thought.
Except no one told me what they look like.
In the interest of keeping whatever readers I currently have, I’m going to prepare you for it gently by first posting things that aren’t defrosted overripe bananas but look very much like them. Get ready.
1) Sandworms from the Dune novels
2) The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe
3) Just to give you a little respite before I spring the actual bananas on you, here, have a cute drawing of what could be an overripe banana creature, by one of my favourite artists, Ursulav:
So now that you are feeling a little bit woobly from all those gross things I showed you (and you’ve had a little breather with that cute Ursulav sketch), it’s time for the real things. Prepare yourself. They’re vicious.
Oh oops, wrong photo. Lemme try again.
There we go. These little gross wormies are why I was banned from making this recipe in front of any mortal eyes.
I’ve used the basic template of Smitten Kitchen’s jacked-up banana bread to create many variations (some of which I’ll be posting later, such as Bailey’s Cardamom Banana Bread), but today I decided to try something different, and add pumpkin, as well as omit the alcohol. It ends up very moist, with a richer more earthy flavour and just a hint of salted caramel. I highly recommend adding dark chocolate (milk chocolate is too sweet) and pecans, but you can stay plain, or add your own mix-ins to preference.
Pumpkin Banana Bread
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Jacked-Up Banana Bread, de-jacked
- 2 overripe bananas
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (I got mine from a pie pumpkin, but you can get canned)
- 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- a pinch of black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- (Optional: dark chocolate pieces and pecans)
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Mash the bananas (if from frozen, make sure they are completely thawed and room temperature!) and pumpkin puree together, combining thoroughly. Mix in melted butter. Add sugar, egg, vanilla, spices, and stir. Sprinkle baking soda and salt over mixture and combine. Add flour in small parts while stirring. Add any mix-ins you want and stir gently to combine.
Pour into buttered loaf pan (or a heart-shaped pan, or muffin tin). Bake 50 minutes for full loaf tin, and start checking after 20 minutes for smaller loaves or muffins. The bread is ready when a toothpick or knife inserted in it comes out with a few crumbs on it (it will continue to bake after you take it out of the oven).
For storage: For very moist squishy bread, put in plastic bags on counter after it’s cooled. For more crispy banana bread, store in paper bag or in an open container on counter with a clean dish cloth over it. If you live in high-humidity climates, or just want to be completely safe, putting it in the fridge is a good idea to avoid spoilage, but will make it go stale faster.
Oh look, a bonus wormie! 🙂