Sunday, June 3, 2012

Going Bananas

Bananas are easy to take for granted. They are available year-round, easy to digest, nutritious, and oh-so sweet. That's why it's very scary to hear that although there are over 1200 varieties of bananas, the two types most familiar in the US are under attack from two fungal diseases. According to some scientists, these bananas may be extinct in under ten years.

I don't want to sound greedy, but since hearing that news, I've been eating a banana every day. For breakfast, I love sliced bananas covered in milk, with or without cereal. For lunch, I love a banana halved lengthwise and tucked into a hotdog roll spread generously with Nutella. For dinner, I love banana bread instead of more traditional starches. Of course, banana bread is equally delicious for breakfast or a snack.

The easiest and most nutritious version of banana bread comes from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. I've adapted it for my family's tastes, substituting chocolate chips for nuts. If you have a fork, a bowl, and a loaf pan, you can make this recipe. With no butter and little sugar, it's almost a health food!

Chocolate Banana Bread
3 ripe bananas, well mashed
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a loaf pan. Mix the bananas and eggs together in a large bowl. Stir in the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Let sit for 10 minutes before removing from pan and placing on a rack to cool. Of course, you may eat it warm if you can't resist.

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