PANE COME UN PIATTO COLAZIONE… Banana Walnut Snack Bread!

by valentinalucia

With ever-ripening bananas in the kitchen and my urge to bake something that could recreate one of my favorite instant oatmeal packets (strange urge, I know), I fiddled with a recipe from Family Fresh Cooking to make a new kind of bread… Banana Walnut Snack Bread!

This bread is wicked moist! Even with all of my changes to the original recipe, I wasn’t expecting this bread to be any more moist than normal. The bananas add so much moisture, and since mine were larger bananas and super ripe, the moisture content was through the roof. Personally, I like moist bread, but if you can always downgrade the amount of banana you use. Use your own judgement depending on the size of the bananas and their ripeness.

Nevertheless, I’m happy with the taste and smell of the bread! As it was cooking, and even before when I was making the batter, the aroma was exactly the same as a prepared bowl of one of my favorite instant oatmeal breakfasts—Quaker Instant Oatmeal Banana Walnut. As a college student, I began eating oatmeal as one of many quick breakfasts I could make in my dorm room, and I still love it. There’s something oddly comforting about the oatmeal I eat, and this bread has the same flavor as my beloved breakfast bowl—just with a great, homemade touch. It’s not super sweet, but it has a mild, natural sweetness from the bananas and from the tiny bit of sugar in the batter. I love the crunch and texture of the walnuts, too. It’s a great bread to pair with coffee in the morning, or as a snack in the afternoon with a glass of milk!

Banana Walnut Snack Bread

Adapted from Family Fresh Cooking’s Banana Almond Snack Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup whole wheat graham flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

4 medium very ripe bananas, separated

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

1/2 cup nonfat milk

1/2 cup 1% low fat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and separated

Preparations:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 5 x 3″ loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2. Mash 3 bananas in a bowl until there are very few chunks visible (you want these bananas smooth because the remaining banana will add chucks). Add applesauce, egg, milks, and vanilla and whisk well.

3. To the wet ingredients, add all dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, sugar) and mix well with a spatula.

4. Chop remaining banana into medium-sized chunks and fold into batter. Add 1/4 cup of walnuts to the batter and fold to incorporate.

5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Sprinkle top of loaf with remaining walnuts.

6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack until at room temperature. Flip cake out of the pan and slice to serve.

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