This banana bread is made with heart-healthy olive oil, for a moist, flavorful loaf, that holds up to slicing, but still melts in your mouth.
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It's a very, very rare thing for bananas to get fully ripe in my house.
We always go grocery shopping once a week, and I come home with a dozen almost-ripe bananas. My kids love them so much, they barely have a chance to turn yellow, and are usually the first grocery item we run out of each week.
I haven't seen spots on a banana in a coon's age.
Last week, however, my grocery store's pickup service gave me bananas that were already heavily spotted, and really good and ripe.
My 5 year old was horrified. "Mama! What's wrong with the bananas?!"
But I was already looking forward to what I knew we'd bake the next day. THIS banana bread.
It's a recipe that's loosely based on one I used to love in an old 1960's Better Homes and Gardens cook book. (That was back before I stopped eating so much sugar, and didn't know that "shortening" is the devil, and was trying to kill me.)
This one is a less sweet version of the original, and it's made with heart-healthy olive oil, instead of the shortening. The result is a soft, moist, flavorful loaf, that holds up to slicing, but still melts in your mouth.
Speaking of slicing--have you ever tried toasted banana bread? I'm pretty sure they serve it in heaven. I can't speak to whether this would hold up in a standard upright toaster or not (I don't own one), but toasted in a toaster oven, or under your oven's broiler, this banana bread reaches a really special level of sublime.
Try adding one of these favorite banana bread additions
I actually prefer this banana bread plain, but it's also wonderful with the inclusion of any of these fun add-ins. SO many things go well with the flavor of banana! Try adding:
- 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 cup of cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 3 Tablespoons of orange zest
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips (mini chocolate chips work great!)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of cardamom or cloves
- 1/3 cup dried chopped fruits, like apricots or dates
- 1/3 cup toasted rolled oats
Pecans or cranberries are some of my favorites. The kids prefer walnuts. Their absolute favorite mix-in though, is chocolate chips!
How should you store fresh banana bread?
A loaf of banana bread keeps its flavor and texture best, if left at room temperature. Unless the weather's especially hot, you can store it on the counter for about 3 days. Pop it into the fridge if it's not eaten by then.
Did you know you can freeze banana bread?
A well-wrapped loaf of banana bread can freeze beautifully, and keep its quality for about 4 months in the freezer. This site has great instructions on how to freeze banana bread.
I hope you and your family enjoy this quick and easy recipe as much as we do!
Olive Oil Banana Bread
- bread pan
- Preheat oven to 350°. Thoroughly grease a 9x5x3 bread pan, or line with parchment paper.
- Beat together bananas, oil, eggs, and sugar, until thoroughly mixed.
- Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Gently stir dry ingredients into banana mixture, until fully incorporated.
- Stir in nuts, if desired.
- Pour batter into prepared bread pan.
- Bake 50 minutes, or until top is golden brown, and center is set.
- Remove from pan, and cool on a rack before slicing.
- (This bread gets even better after resting several hours, if you can make yourself wait!)