This is the skinny on eating better!
I LOVE the aroma of Gram's Old Fashioned Banana bread baking in the oven. It's a fresh treat loaded with bananas and NO butter!
Running up the path to the back door after school, we could often smell fresh baked banana bread emanating from the open window. I never knew it back then, but Mom was actually recreating Gram’s old fashioned banana bread recipe, with buttermilk and overripe bananas. We knew even before we stepped inside the kitchen that the bread would be sliced on the cutting board, with a dish of softened butter right next to it. It was Mom’s greeting to us after a long day at school. I think she was glad to see us.
It's tough to wait long enough for it to cool in the pan before tipping it out onto a cutting board. Gram and my Mom made this for snacking on after playing outside, after school and for school lunches. Mom would sandwich two slices around butter and wrap in waxed paper. What a treat!
Keep this version plain and without butter for a lower caloric version. Maybe substitute a little blueberry jam or a thin spread of cream cheese if you insist on a topping.
Recipe makes one loaf for 10-12 generous slices.
Prep your pan:
Lightly slather soft butter on the bottom and sides of a 9”x5” loaf pan.
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
Mash your Banana Bread Ingredients:
1 C Banana, mashed ripe (1-2 bananas)
1/3 C Shortening (lard, to Gram)
3 T Buttermilk (or heavy cream)
1 C Sugar
1 t Vanilla extract
1 t Almond extract (optional)
1 C Flour
1 t Baking powder
1/2 t Baking soda
½ t Salt
1/2-3/4 C Nuts, rough chopped (I prefer Pecans)
Mix it by hand:
- Mix all the wet ingredients with the sugar.
- Sift all the dry ingredients together and stir in. Just stir to combine. Do not over stir.
- Pour batter into baking loaf pan.
- Bake at 350F degrees for 50-60 minutes. I check it at the 50 minute mark. If the top bounces back when you press it with your finger, it’s done. My oven needs to bake it for 60 minutes.
- Cool it on a rack for 10 minutes.
- Slip a knife around all four sides. Tip it and let it slide out of the pan onto the rack. (This is a good time to sample it by slicing yourself a warm piece and spreading a little butter on it.) Let the loaf set on the rack until completely cooled before packaging it.
- Our family always spread a little butter on it.
- I love it toasted with a little butter and jam on it. The banana flavor is delicious with strawberry or blueberry jam.
This is one of my favorite recipes from Gram and Mom. When I bake it, the aroma takes me back to when I used to make it with Gram. Mom used to make 4-5 loaves at a time. She would slice one loaf and wrap the others in foil and then seal them in plastic bags. With five kids in the family, it was good to have some for backup in the freezer. It’s another recipe to “Bake your own Memories.”