Have you ever committed to a personal goal that left you scared of failure? Than I’m right where you were sitting. And from where you’re sitting you can expect 31 edible discoveries in the next 31 days. I’ve gone and done it. I’ve signed up to blog every single day in May with the women’s blogging community BlogHer.
This could get interesting people. Perhaps as interesting as healthy strawberry-banana bread… a less guilty play (the theme) on the classic…
Which leads me to this… At the Culinary Institute we are trained to avoid waste in the kitchen. Use as little as possible of everything: water, paper, and especially fresh ingredients. So as a product of my education, I refuse to throw away food in my refrigerator that’s well, to put it gently, past its prime.
I have nothing but guilt for the state of the above strawberries. As anyone who buys berries knows, the prime of this specific fruit’s life is fleeting at best, and a few days neglect results in a moldy, wrinkly, not so appealing bunch. But I won’t be discouraged! I’ll just bake up a loaf of brightly sweet strawberry-banana bread. And since it’s edging on swimsuit season, I’ll make it healthy with whole wheat flour, healthy fat and less sugar.
As a recipe tip, you can usually substitute half of the all-purpose flour in a recipe with whole wheat flour with pretty consistent results. I do it with pancakes, pizza dough, and yes, endless versions of banana bread. Folding fresh fruit into the batter is the perfect way to dial up the healthy and dial down the guilt. Especially when it’s coming at you from all sides.
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- 2 ea bananas, extra ripe
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed (dark or light)
- 2 ea large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (Bourbon recommended)
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- ¼ tsp orange zest
- ½ cup strawberries, diced small
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease bottom and sides of an 8 or 9-inch loaf pan.
- Into a large bowl, sift together first five ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork or potato masher until mostly smooth. Add brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil, orange zest and whisk vigorously to combine.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and mix just until the batter is smooth (over-mixing will lead to a tough loaf). Sprinkle diced strawberries with a little all-purpose flour, and fold into batter.
- Scrape into an 8 or 9-inch loaf pan, sprinkle with large crystal sugar (or regular granulated) and bake for about 50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If using a 9-inch loaf pan, cooking time will be slightly less.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then unmold with butter knife and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.