Thursday, May 19, 2011

reduced-fat blueberry banana bread

I am ageist when it comes to bananas. I have a deep rooted prejudice against the smelly, overripe portion of the banana population. I like them when they are a little under-ripe and have a greenish hue. At that point in their life cycle, they make a perfect snack or cereal topping. Then they start turning a deeper, warmer shade of yellow. Still edible, but beginning to take on a slightly more mature flavour - I can handle it, but it's noticeable and I am not pleased.  All bets are off when the first brown age spots arrive. That's it. Spotted bananas have one possible destiny, my freezer (a veritable banana graveyard), and ultimately, my banana bread.

I labeled this reduced-fat because there's only 1/4 cup of butter in it, as opposed to a 1/2 cup. It's important to note here that if you go too heavy on the banana or the berries, your banana bread will take too long to cook through the middle and will end up being dry. Exercise restraint.  Of course, you can switch chocolate chips or whatever you want for the blueberries. I am not a big fan of chocolate chips myself, so I tend to go the fruit route. I used to add flax seeds and nuts to this as well - it makes it more filling, but gives also gives it the appearance of being much more healthy than it is!

blueberry banana bread

3 medium overripe bananas
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a loaf pan with aluminum foil.

Mash your bananas in a medium bowl, then add melted butter, sugars, egg and vanilla. Mix well.

In a second medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the bowl then, using a spatula, scrape your banana mixture into the well. Mix until just combined, then fold in blueberries.

Pour batter into loaf pan and use spatula to spread it evenly.  Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Banana bread is best served straight from the oven, but does very well the next day as well!

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