When the temperatures begin to dip and the leaves float from the tree tops to the earth’s floor. When the floral sundresses are traded in for plaids and oversized knit sweaters. When pool parties on Saturdays turn into football get-togethers on Sundays. When I start ordering my coffee hot, rather than iced. That is my favorite time. Fall.
And when the cooler weather forces me inside, rather than allows me to soak up every possible sun ray, I embrace the opportunity to spend some of that time in the kitchen, a place that often gets ignored in the summertime.
Today’s baking adventure came in the form of banana bread. Pure and simple, homemade and comforting. (Side note: A really cool thing about being an adult is already having all of the ingredients you need to whip up some baked goods. Including extra brown bananas.)
In the 1930s, recipes for banana bread became a staple in cookbooks across the country, and their evolution speaks to our history. For example, recipes popular in the 1940s didn’t include any spices and called for a single egg and buttermilk. During this depression-era, it was intended simply to fill stomachs, not inspire one’s tastebuds. Fast forward to the 90s, however, and you’ll see recipes that speak to the rise of food as creative expression and include nutmeg, cinnamon, nuts and more. Move forward in time one more decade and the recipes change once again, reflecting the healthful focus of the 2000s. More banana, less refined sugar. And today? My own little take on this sweet treat.
2 to 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 c. melted butter
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 c. sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 c. of all-purpose flour
Optional: 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
Optional: 1/2 c. toasted coconut flakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and butter a loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir in the melted butter. Mix in the baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until fully baked through. Slice, lather with butter and serve.