Easy Blueberry Banana Bread

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Banana bread is an easy way to use up bananas that have started to turn brown and stay ignored in the fruit bowl. You can throw the bananas and the other ingredients you probably already have in the pantry together in no time and you don’t need an electric mixer.  Other ingredients such as lime zest, nuts and chocolate pieces can be thrown into the batter.

Most importantly the house smells heavenly as the bread bakes in the oven.

Bananas were first brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers in the 1500 but didn’t take hold as a breakfast and fruit bowl staple until centuries later in the mid 1800s and especially after the conclusion of the Civil War.

Banana bread is the most searched for bread recipe and has an interesting history. A “quick bread” because it doesn’t require yeast, its popularity surged with the mass production of chemical leaveners like baking powder and baking soda and the Stock Market Crash which led to the Great Depression in the 1930s.  In an effort to conserve food and avoid waste, home cooks didn’t throw anything away, including overripe or “rotten” bananas. They figured out that mashing the bananas into the batter with the baking powder and baking soda rendered a moist loaf that finished baking quickly without the need to let the dough rise.

In this recipe the additional ingredient is blueberries. At just 80 calories per cup, blueberries are the ultimate power food. They are full of fiber and are low in sodium and fat. The humble berry also offers a plethora of vital vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and potassium.  According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, blueberries are a simple, no-stress food you can enjoy any time of day and anywhere. (Blueberries are the perfect, durable travelling berry.)

To make this bread you will need a standard loaf pan (9″x 5″), a mixing bowl, a whisk, a spatula, a toothpick and a wire rack. In about an hour your house will smell like a bakery and you’ll have a sliceable, delectable loaf to serve at breakfast, for dessert or anytime you need a snack.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the loaf pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed to yield about 3/4 cup of mashed banana
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) fresh blueberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 x 5  x 3-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.)
  3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until blended. Stir in the bananas and blueberries. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool for 15 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.
  5. Slice, serve and enjoy!

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