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Banana Bread Uses Rejected Bananas

I find that my family has a particular window during which they’ll eat a banana. Each one of us seems to have a favorite ‘state’ in which we enjoy our bananas. Rex likes his a little green, where Fox needs to have his bananas a perfect hue of yellow without a brown spot. Westley likes his with a few spots to assure that there is an element of sweetness to the fruit.

With so many picky eaters of bananas in my house, I find that about once or twice a month I have a bunch of bananas on my counter that need to find a purpose. Sometimes the older bananas go into my morning smoothie, other times they end up in pancakes, cookies and even cakes. Our favorite way to use bananas has to be banana bread.

Lately I have been playing with creating a healthy version of a delightful fall treat. Instead of using butter or oil in the recipe, I used a puree of prunes that works great. If you are interested in making this a vegan recipe, substitute the eggs with a tablespoon of flax meal and a tablespoon of warm water.

Enjoy!

Banana Bread

2 cups water
12 ounces pitted prunes
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup pecans (optional)

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare an 8-cup loaf pan by lightly buttering and lining it with a piece of parchment paper.

In a small sauce pan, combine the water and prunes. Bring prunes to a simmer; simmer until the prunes are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Drain prunes and cool. Puree the prunes, bananas and eggs in a blender until smooth.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in the banana mixture and combine. Gently stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for betweem 50 minutes to one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool the banana bread for a few minutes and then remove from pan. Allow to cool on a rack until you are ready to serve.

Serve plain or with fresh fruit for a delicious treat!

Enjoy.

Andrea Charroin was a trained baker and pastry chef in San Francisco before she and her family moved to Redding 11 years ago. After falling in love with Redding’s downtown, Andrea and husband Westley opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie, across from the Cascade Theatre. For the three years Rene-Joule was in business, it was renowned for making everything from scratch, using the best ingredients and keeping with a seasonal menu. To this day, Andrea is asked about her Marathon Bars, Orange Twists and sourdough bread.

Copyright 2009 Andrea R. Charroin. Visit her blog at bakerslove.typepad.com

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