Kary Osmond: Need a quick bite? Making banana bread doesn’t require a huge time commitment

<p>Banana bread doesn’ t have a long shelf life, but this delicious morsel won’ t last long anyway.</p>

Kary Osmond/TNS

Banana bread doesn’ t have a long shelf life, but this delicious morsel won’ t last long anyway.

I love banana bread, especially with chopped nuts and chocolate chips! It’s so good hot out of the oven or even sliced and toasted with butter the next day. It’s a dangerous thing to have on the counter; I can’t help saying, “Just one more slice.”

Banana bread is considered a “quick bread.” There’s no kneading or rising required, so making it doesn’t take a huge time commitment.

Banana bread is made using the muffin-method:

1. Mix together the dry ingredients

2. Mix together the wet ingredients

3. Then add the dry mixture to the wet mixture

4. Gently stir until just combined

How easy is that? The trick is to make sure the dry and wet ingredients are mixed really well before they get combined to make the batter.

Can you prepare banana bread batter ahead of time?

Yes, but only up to a certain point of the recipe. If you let a mixed batter sit for too long before baking, it may not rise properly. So, to get ahead, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and leave it covered on the counter. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl and leave it covered in the fridge. In the morning (or when you’re ready to make banana bread), combine the wet and dry and bake.

Can you bake banana bread ahead of time?

Banana bread doesn’t have a long shelf life especially if it hasn’t been covered well. After it has cooled, store banana bread tightly covered at room temperature. Or, tightly wrap it and freeze for up to three weeks. I have a feeling a short shelf life isn’t going to be too much of a problem, though.

Banana Bread

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 to 4 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (slightly cooled)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1. Adjust oven rack to lower third position. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Grease a loaf pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

3. Whisk together bananas, brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Set aside.

4. In a second bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to bowl with wet mixture. Gently stir until just combined (just enough to moisten the dry ingredients). Gently fold in walnuts and chocolate chips, if using.

5. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs, about 55 minutes.

6. Remove from loaf pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Tasty tips

  • Don’t mix the batter until it’s smooth. You’re looking for batter that is uneven and lumpy.
  • Typically, the lower third position in the oven is between the lowest and middle position in an oven. Visually, divide your oven space into thirds; the rack position that matches up with your division is where you want to bake your banana bread.
  • This recipe can easily be made into muffins. All you need to do is fill paper-lined muffin tins two-thirds full, increase oven heat to 375, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

(Kary Osmond is a Canadian recipe developer and former television host of the popular daytime cooking show “Best Recipes Ever.” Her easy recipes include helpful tips to guide you along the way, and her love of plant-based cooking offers healthy alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. Learn more at karyosmond.com.)