If you haven’t figured it out by now, I would rather bake anything, anyday than cook. I do love cooking, but I REALLY, REALLY love baking.
Given that, I’m often trying to figure out things I can bake that offer some nutritional value and that won’t clog our arteries and make our thighs look like (any more like) trembling Easter hams.
Enter Merepoint Banana Bread.
I first learned about this recipe about ten years ago when I was editing a cookbook, and I latched onto it HARD. What?! No butter?! And it tastes this good? And is this easy? And is dairy-free for all of those out there with milk allergies?
Not only that, read what the recipe submitter wrote about it when she first tasted it. You’ll be hooked.
I first had this bread fresh from the oven with a cup of steamy hot coffee sitting on the porch of a cottage on Merepoint, near Brunswick, Maine. We sat talking over a day filled with sunshine and salt air on Casco Bay. A bite of this bread never fails to bring back a sense of that jewel-like day.
Heard enough? Okay, start baking!
Merepoint Banana Bread
3 medium or large ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sifted flour (I often replace the white flour with some or all of King Arthur’s White Wheat flour. I do this in lots of baking, actually.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Mash bananas in a bowl. Add eggs, sugar, flour, salt and baking soda. (No butter or shortening is used, the only fat in the recipe comes from the egg yolks.)
Bake one hour at 350 in a greased loaf pan, 9 x 5 inches or equivalent.
For variety, try adding the following, singly or in combinations:
Almond flavoring, pecans, walnuts or almonds, grated orange or lemon zest, spices such as cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg, chopped candied ginger or chocolate chips.
I made this last week with all white wheat flour and raisins for a kid’s playdate. Myself, I prefer it with double-strength vanilla extract, a full half-teaspoon of Vietnamese Cassia cinnamon and several generous handfuls of mini-chocolate chips. Got to make up for that lack of butterfat somehow.