Last week, I bought bananas at the store!
That's not really an exciting way to start a blog post, is it? It gets better (sort of). That same day, my husband also stopped at the store on the way home and bought a bunch of bananas, and THEN, my teenage son came home and had bought ... you guessed it ... a HUGE bunch of bananas. What the heck?!? That's bananas! I hope we're not coming down with a banana deficiency or anything...
...Okay, none of that was an exciting way to start a blog post. It's not easy coming up with a way to make bananas look all sexy and exciting (is that a banana in your.... aw, forget it). But it IS an exciting way to start banana bread! I've joked over the years that sometimes I think my two guys purposely buy extra bananas just so I'll make banana bread. I got the hint, guys!
This banana bread recipe is my mom's recipe that she's made ever since I can remember, and I've been making it the same way ever since she gave the recipe to me while I was in college. It's moist and flavorful and just a good classic banana bread. I'm probably biased when I say my mom's banana bread is the best I've ever had, but it really is. :) There's nothing fancy about it, it's just a moist and rich banana bread with great flavor. Most of the time I'll add nuts to it like my mom does (my fave being walnuts or macadamia nuts) and sometimes I'll add a coconut streusel like I did here for a little crunch on top.
That's my mom! This was taken at The Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival at the Seattle Center last fall. She always makes it a point to come and watch my hula dance group whenever we perform. Isn't she a cute mama? You can blame her for my love of cooking, among other things. :)
This bread is so easy, I don't even take my mixer out for it. I stir the batter with a big spoonula like my mom does. She doesn't even make this in the method of a typical quick bread - she just dumps everything together, stirs it up, and pours it in the pan and it always came out great. She also use sour milk in this recipe. I think that's pretty much buttermilk, but I've never bought buttermilk for this. I'm sure it would work fine. I've always made it the way mom does, by mixing vinegar in with milk and letting it sit for a few minutes.
Since I had so many bananas, I made a double batch and still had extra batter, so I made a few little "cakes" too. These took less time to bake so I pulled these out of the oven after about 20 minutes:
Every time I make banana bread, I think of my mom. I think I'll surprise her and run these over to my parents' house. Thanks, Mom! For everything. :)
Mom's Banana Bread with Macadamia Nuts and Coconut StreuselPrintable version
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
1/2 cup sour milk (add 1/2 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar into liquid measuring cup, then pour milk up to 1/2 cup mark. Let sit 5 minutes to "sour")
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts, depending on how nutty you like it (walnuts are great too)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 5 loaf pan by greasing the bottom and sides. You can also add parchment paper to the bottom after greasing and then grease the paper. I've been doing that with my baked goods ever since my friend Jackie gave me that suggestion after a near cake fiasco, and it has worked like a charm (thanks, Jackie!). Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together sugar, melted butter, and eggs. Add mashed bananas, sour milk, and vanilla and stir until combined.
Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. It's okay if it's a little lumpy. Fold in nuts. Pour into loaf pan and put into oven.
While the bread is starting to bake, prepare streusel topping: In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, butter, and coconut and mix until combined. I do this with my hands.
About 15 minutes into baking the loaf, sprinkle the streusel topping evenly on top of the banana bread and let it continue to bake. Total baking time will be 45-65 minutes. Bread is done when toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. I usually use the finger test - if the bread springs back after lightly pressing on it, it's done. If it it leaves an imprint and stays sunken in, it needs more time to cook.
Let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely. Run a knife around the edges to loosen before turning out of the pan. So good while still warm with butter on it!