Friday, November 29, 2013

Berry Nice Banana Bread

I do a lot of shopping before Thanksgiving and sometimes I just don't get to make everything I have planned. This year I knew I was not going to get to the big fruit salad and decided to nip the guilt of "wasting food" right in the bud. I had 3 super ripe bananas sitting on the counter, not to mention the abundance of cranberries in my fridge and decided to make a breakfast bread that my friend Carol posted on Just a Pinch. It's super simple and a great way to get a little nutrition into your body before you start cooking your Thanksgiving feast. Here we go, it's a quick bread and I know you'll be quick to make this recipe.

Cranberry Banana Bread
makes one loaf in a medium to large loaf pan

1 cup Splenda no calorie sweetener (of course you can use regular sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter softened to room temp
3 very ripe bananas mashed
2 large eggs beaten
1 tsp baking soda
2 c AP flour
1/2 c walnuts finely chopped
1 cup cranberries roughly chopped

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare loaf pan with cooking spray.

In medium size bowl mix flour, salt and baking soda. I use a whisk for this but Carol sifts her dry ingredients. I'm a bit lazy, and it didn't seem to matter. Set aside for the time being.

In large bowl cream your Splenda and butter with hand mixer for about 3 minutes. When it looks nice and smooth, add your eggs and bananas and combine.

This is when the mixture stops looking smooth and attractive. It takes on an aura of being curdled. Forge on because it will redeem itself. Add the dry mixture into the curdled mixture and stir with a large wooden spoon. From what I know about making quick breads, the less you fuss with it, the better the results. So you've mixed the batter and it's still not looking great? Me too. Grab that hand mixer and finish the job, that's what I did. Four or five whirls around the bowl and you've got a nice batter. Time to add the cranberries and walnuts.

Use your wooden spoon again and and combine all ingredients. Pour into your loaf pan and bake 55 minutes to one hour. You can tell when it's done because the aroma in your kitchen is calling you. Remove from oven.

Place on wire cooling rack for about 20 minutes or a half hour. Remove from pan and let cool completely.

It was so late when I baked this, that I waited until morning to dig in. But dig in I did, to this energy and flavor boost all at once.

You know I treated myself to nice little shmear of cream cheese on top of this yummy pre-Thanksgiving snack/breakfast. I promise, you will be berry happy with this one! Don't forget the cream cheese and since we're celebrating, how about a spoonful of honey too?  

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