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Perfect Banana Bread


One of my favorite meals is brunch. Brunch, circa 2007, was exclusively a restaurant affair. It was filled with croissants, blueberry muffins, omelets, mimosas, good coffee, perfectly poached eggs, overpriced fruit, waffles made with buckwheat, and French toast made with some sort of liquor. Sounds pretty good, no?

Now brunch is more of a family affair done at home. Don’t get me wrong - everyone needs a little David Burke Kitchen in their life. (Best omelet I have EVER had outside the home—definitely my #1 right now.) But I love the home brunch setting so much more than I ever did the restaurant one. Spicy shakshuka, challah almond french toast (dairy-free), steel cut oats with the fixings, coconut flax granola and yogurt, fried eggs with tortillas, spicy huevos rancharos, all sorts of low sugar muffins, cheesy frittatas, sliced grapefruit, amazing coffee, blueberry pancakes, cinnamon sangria, vanilla fruit salad, incredible sandwiches stacked with Barney Greengrass lox and sliced avocados…. For real, I can let this paragraph go on and on. But even more importantly, it’s an activity. We always have music. There is always dancing. Sometimes we all bake as a family. When my nieces and their friends were younger, I would even give them cooking lessons that turned into Sunday brunch parties/aka dancing parties. Outside or inside, it’s really all about the company and good food.

With Mother’s Day here, many of you may be eating a meal with your loved ones this Sunday. One of my MOST favorite recipes that can easily enhance the meal you are making or going to is my banana bread recipe. This has been a recipe that I have been molding since my catering days. It is very low in sugar, which I think is important in banana bread - this is not a super sweet dessert. More of a "happy to give to your kids for breakfast" recipe.

I know you have seen everyone and their mother (Happy Mother’s day) post banana bread recipes, but as many as I have tried - this is by far the best. I have also spent many months adapting this recipe to be gluten free (I will post both versions below). This recipe freezes great and is a real crowd pleaser.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

A note about the bananas: This recipe is perfect for over-ripe bananas. Whenever I have nasty bananas laying on the counter (aka - ready for the garbage can) I peel them and wrap them in plastic wrap. Then they go in a zippered bag in the freezer.

Banana Bread Recipe

Ingredients for Gluten Free version:

2 ¾ cups of Gluten Free flour

½ cup almond flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

2 whole eggs

4 egg whites

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup of oil (canola, safflower, grapeseed - anything neutral)

3 cups of mashed bananas (about 5-6 bananas)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Ingredients for regular flour version:

3 ¼ cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

2 whole eggs

4 egg whites

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup of oil (canola, safflower, grapeseed - anything neutral)

3 cups of mashed bananas (about 5-6 bananas)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or 325 convection).

In a small bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt (and xanthan gum if you are using GF version). Mix well with a fork.

In the bowl of a mixer, put your whole eggs, egg whites and brown sugar. Fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the mixture for 8 minutes (that’s right - a full 8 minutes). The mixture will turn a very pale color and become nice and thick (aka ribbon stage – for all you show offs). After the 8 minutes, add the oil and mix for another minute. Then add the bananas and vanilla extract.

With the mixer running on the lowest setting, slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. You want to add just a little at a time and let it all incorporate slowly. Once everything is mixed together, add your walnuts.

Now pick your pan. You can put this mixture into loaf pans, Bundt pans, muffin tins - really anything you feel like using. Spray the pan and line with parchment paper if practical. If you are using anything but muffin tins do not fill the pan more than ½ way. It is better to split the batter into two pans than overfill 1 pan. Otherwise the cake will look ready on the outside but be raw on the inside. Bake the cake for 30- 40 minutes depending on your pan. The only way to know if it's done is when you dip a toothpick in it and it comes out clean.

When the cake is cool run a knife around the pan and flip the pan over to pop out the cake.

Freezing Directions: Wrap each cake in plastic wrap. I put multiple layers of plastic to ensure freshness. Use within 30 days for best results, but it will still be good up to 3 months. To defrost, just leave it out on the counter overnight.

#breakfast #desserts #glutenfree