One thing you can’t get away from in the Caribbean is the love and appreciation of bananas. So this banana nut bread is a common visitor in our kitchen whenever we have bananas which are about to go bad (rude house guest though – never sticks around for more than a day and just disappear s without even saying bye). As a boy growing up on the islands I recall always having a bunch of bananas or plantains hung up to ripe in the shed adjacent to our home… watching it closely for the first sign of ‘yellow’ so we could attack. We usually lost out to the many birds in the area who would zero in before we would.
Like the banana fritters recipe I shared with you all a while back, this banana nut bread recipe is great for using ripe bananas which are about to go bad (over ripe).
4 ripe bananas
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoon sour cream
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
You can also add some cinnamon and allspice to really give this banana nut bread that unique Caribbean flavor.
Notes: I used really ripe bananas (easier to mush) and it’s a great way to use bananas which are about to go bad. You’re probably wondering about the sour cream, but I assure you it will make this bread very moist and not dry as some banana breads are notorious for.
In a large bowl, place the sugar, salt and butter… we’ll cream it to a smooth consistency. I started off with a spatula but I opted for my hand mixer after, for easier work. If you have a freestanding mixer, remember to keep scraping down the side so you get the lovely creamy consistency we’re hoping for.
Now it’s time to add the eggs, vanilla and sour cream and continue to cream with your hand mixer for a couple minutes.
Now it’s time to add the dry ingredients, but before you do.. in another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. This way they will mix evenly. This is when you would put the cinnamon and nutmeg if you want to add a bit of spice to the final bread. Since I didn’t want to over-work the dough, I did the rest manually with my spatula. Add the flour and in a folding motion.. mix well. You should have a smooth, thick dough by this time. I’m sure you can do this step with your mixer.. but on low speed and not for too long.
It’s now time to mush the bananas to add to the dough. In a large bowl I placed pieces of the peeled bananas and using a potato masher I went to work. It took a few minutes, but at the end I had a smooth banana mash.. ready for the dough.
Before we move on, it’s probably time to pre-heat your oven.. set it at 350 as we want this to bake slowly. Now pour in the mashed banana (puree) into the main batter and fold it in until it’s completely mixed. Remember not to over-mix.
Add the chopped pieces of walnuts and fold in, so every slice of the finished banana nut bread will have a little tasty crunch. I used a silicon baking mold and though I probably didn’t need it, I still hit it with a tiny bit of non stick cooking spray. If you’re using a conventional baking pan, do remember to grease with butter and dust with four.. or baking spray. You’ll notice that I had the baking mold on a cookie sheet.. that’s just for handing purposes (get in and out of the oven).
By now your oven should be ready… place it on the middle rack and allow to bake for 1 hour. After 1 hr it should be fully cooked, but do check with a toothpick. Insert a toothpick into the deepest part of the bread and if it comes out clean, it means it’s fully cooked. Due to variations in everyone’s oven… you may need some additional cooking time. This is exactly what I needed, so I had to keep it in the oven for an additional 15 minutes. You’ll certainly get mad having to wait an additional 15 minutes as your kitchen will have the lovely scent of baked banana nut bread goodness.
Allow to cool (if you can) before slicing and enjoy.