A banana story and loaf

February 2, 2011
I left for college a naive and giggly seventeen year old.  I remember my mom coming to visit once and staring at my fruit basket filled with a huge bunch of brown bananas.  She had to explain to me that just because bananas at the grocery store are in large bunches, you can only pick out the number of bananas you actually need. There was no telling how many poor bananas met their death by way of the garbage can in my first year of school away from home.  Fast forward quite a few (too many) years and I've come up with an even better solution!  Not only do I pick only the bananas I'll need, I don't waste the few that ripen too fast.  I've started chopping up the brown ones, sealing them in a plastic bag and freezing them.  That way, when a snow day (like today) rolls around, I have the best ingredient to make a banana loaf!

Chocolate Chip Banana Loaf with Toasted Walnuts

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
3  overripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and bananas.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. 
  5. Fold dry ingredients into banana mixture until barely combined (better to under-mix and leave a bit of unincorporated flour than to over-mix). 
  6. Gently fold in nuts and chocolate chips. 
  7. Spread into a buttered 9×5” loaf pan. 
  8. Bake 45-40 minutes until deep golden and cooked through.
Boyfriend will have this tonight for dessert served warm with Nutella on top in preparation for World Nutella Day!