Fruit and Nut Banana Loaf
After a trip to the food store or the farmers market, there are some fruits that go straight into the refrigerator… like grapes, peaches, nectarines or any kinds of berries. Other fruits like apples, oranges, grapefruits and bananas are always left in the fruit basket. Mainly, because they don’t need refrigeration but also because space inside the refrigerator is rather scarce.
This arrangement is fine with the apples and oranges, as they keep fresh for ages and get eaten fairly soon. Haven’t studies shown that fruit outside the refrigerator gets eaten way before those inside?
It is a different story with the bananas, though. They sometimes refuse to go along with the plan. One day they are sitting there looking pretty and the next time I look, they are all covered in brown spots. But that doesn’t matter, I can easily take care of them. After all, don’t I have a bunch of recipes for over ripe bananas? From banana bread to muffins to cream pies, they are all delicious. Sometimes I purposely ignore the bananas in the fruit basket till they reach that pulpy stage!
One of the easiest things to make with very ripe bananas is a banana loaf. And this past weekend, I got around to making a quick banana loaf to be part of a brunch I was planning.
This banana loaf has a very generic ingredient list. You need half a cup of dried fruits and half a cup of nuts. In any combination. I used a mix of dried apricots, plums and raisins. And almond slivers and walnut pieces for the nuts part. Actually, a banana loaf is a smart way of using up the last bits of fruit and nut in your pantry!
And the process is rather simple too. You mash the bananas…
Add the eggs and beat them together with other liquid ingredients.
Add the chopped fruits and nuts.
Finally add the flour and gently mix everything together.
Pour the batter into pans and it is ready for the oven.
One of the best things I like about a banana loaf is the fragrance of it baking in the oven, filling the whole kitchen.
Teamed up with eggs and grapefruit, it will make a wonderful breakfast.
Not only is this banana loaf easy to make, it is pretty much healthy too. As the banana provides most of the sweetness, you wouldn’t need to add much sugar. Also, instead of butter, this is made with vegetable oil. So an overall winner!
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 or 3 very ripe bananas
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 4 tbsp orange juice
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup dried fruit
- ½ cup nuts
- 1 tbsp orange rind, without the inside white part
- Preheat oven to 350 degree farenheit.
- Butter a 9 inch the loaf pan or two smaller ones.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Chop the dried fruits and nuts roughly.
- Thinly slice the orange rind. Or, if you prefer, you can mince it.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
- Add the brown sugar and orange juice and mix well with a hand-held beater.
- Add the eggs and continue beating.
- Add the vegetable oil and beat thoroughly.
- Gently blend in the chopped fruits, nuts and orange rind.
- Add the flour in batches and blend in.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans and bake in the center of the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or a skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
- Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Any leftovers can be frozen for later.