Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blueberry Banana Bread

We always have bananas on hand at home and many times we end up throwing out the last few because they are beyond use. Even though I know that the best banana bread is made using those old brown bananas, often, I just don’t have the time to bake. I've sinced learned that you can freeze those old bananas! You can either peel and slice them, or just toss the whole thing, peel included, into a freezer bag. The peel will turn brown but the banana is perfectly fine for later use. Last weekend I was not only hungry for banana bread, but bound and determined to use the ones I had up and to make a healthy version of this beloved bread.

There are lots of yummy partners to bananas and one of my favorites lately is blueberries. It’s like they were made for each other! Well, they are at least a very close second to chocolate chips…in fact, that would be a great variation to this recipe if you were so inclined!

Last week, my grocery store offered BOGO blueberries so I scooped them up. Blueberries are great to freeze so if you can take advantage of a sale like that, do so. I just pop the entire plastic container into a freezer bag and take some out, wash them up and use them as I need them.

This is a great hearty bread using whole wheat flour, oatmeal and flax seed meal. It will definitely fill you up and hold its own in the toaster later. I also made a little honey almond butter to go with it, mmmm….

Ingredients
1 cup flour, whole-wheat
3/4 cup flour, all-purpose (I used bread flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oatmeal, quick cooking
3 tablespoon butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1 cup banana, mashed (about 2 bananas)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
4 T ground flaxseed meal

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Combine
both flours, the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the oats.

Cream
the butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Beat in the egg; add the bananas and lemon juice. Stir until blended.

Add the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Gently fold in the blueberries.
(Note, the batter at this point is very thick – almost like cookie dough; don’t worry!)

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes; turn it out onto a wire rack to cool.

This was great the next day toasted with the honey almond butter, but just as yummy when it was warm out of the oven, too!

111 Calories/slice – 16 slices

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