I really love bananas and can’t resist buying a few every time I’m in the grocery store. But for some reason, I end up letting a lot of them go bad because I really only like them when they are just a tad under-ripe with no spots at all. Once they have a few spots, they don’t appeal to me. And before you know it, I have black bananas sitting on my counter.
I first discovered banana bread as a child at my best friend Cathy’s house. Her mom made it regularly to use up the old bananas. My mom, who hates bananas, rarely bought bananas so they always got gobbled up before they were too ripe to eat.
As a teenager, I eventually asked Cathy’s mom for her recipe, and that’s how I made banana bread for years (subbing regular milk for sweet milk and leaving out the nuts). Then I discovered a variation of this recipe and it’s become my go-to recipe when the bananas on my counter turn black.
Blueberry Banana Bread
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons oil (coconut or vegetable) or unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 medium mashed bananas (2 bananas and 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce)
1 cup frozen blueberries (see note below for using fresh berries)
NOTE: Keep in mind, if you only use 2 bananas for the full recipe, the banana flavor will be very mild. If you want a stronger banana flavor and only have 2 bananas that are over-ripe, then cut the recipe in half (still using 1 whole egg).
In large bowl, mix all ingredients except blueberries just until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. If the mixture is too dry, then add a little more applesauce or milk.
Fold in the frozen berries. If you prefer fresh blueberries, I suggest you freeze them first before adding them to the batter so the blueberries don’t bake away while baking. I like small wild blueberries for these muffins best, but have also used regular size blueberries.
Pour the batter into 2 loaf pans coated in cooking spray on the bottom. Or, make one loaf and some muffins. Depending on how much of the batter you put in the loaf pan and the size of your muffins, you’ll get between 5-10 muffins.
Bake at 350º for 50-60 minutes for the loaf pan and 22-25 minutes for the muffins. They are done when the top looks finished (the loaf has a crust that is slightly cracked) and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool slightly, loosen the sides with a dinner knife and turn out onto a rack to cool. When cool, wrap loosely with plastic wrap or tin foil.