I have played around with many different types of banana bread recipes over the years, swapping out ingredients for whatever I happen to have available in the house (or not) and then perhaps combining them with some cool new baking tips or techniques I've either seen, heard or read about.
Which also means that my banana breads never really taste quite the same and, well, baking IS an exact science...DANGIT!!!...and not very conducive to spur-of-the-moment...wonder what happens when I do THIS?!?...sort of recipe mash-ups, either.
Oh and, around here, bananas usually don't last long enough to over-ripen.
Yesterday, we had one and I'm all...what am I going to do with one over-ripe banana?!?...while staring at the two very ripe pears sitting right next to it just BEGGING to be mashed-up...and then I remembered we almost NEVER run out of any chocolate chips, either.
This is where I wish there was an...if you could ONLY smell what I'm baking, ova here...recipe plug-in available for blogs...because chocolate, pears and banana bread...YO!
[inhales deeply, exhales in pure joy]
So, I've played around a lot with swapping out ingredients when baking (I really do need to plan on stocking my pretend pantry, a little better) and here are just a few of my tried and true favorites:
Olive oil vs. vegetable oil: we ran out of vegetable oil, so I substituted olive oil this one time (can't remember when, but if it helps any, my kids were A LOT smaller) and I liked the taste, so I've been using olive oil, instead of vegetable oil, ever since.
Brown sugar vs. white sugar: I am a BIG fan of using brown sugar, in all the things.
Raisins or Craisins vs. chocolate chips: depending on the time of the month (I have three daughters), enough said.
There are eleventy-billion other baking tips and tricks out there (this is where Google becomes your co-pilot and you hit Pinterest, HARD!) and I am ALL about encouraging OTHERS to...you know...play with your food...g'head, I'll wait!
[blows bangs out of eyes, takes a quick sip of coffee]
Okay, so what is this super-awesome recipe I keep talking about?!? Here it is (as of yesterday, I mean):
Chocolate Chip, Pear and Banana Bread
A twist on the classic banana bread recipe swapping out bananas (that we did not have in the house) with very ripe pears. They were Bosc pears (my favorite) but you could certainly use any type of pear, as long as it is ripe.
- 1-1/2 cup unbleached flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 1 very ripe banana, mashed
- 2 very ripe pears, mashed
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
- Spray a 8 inch x 4 inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- In a second smaller bowl, mix together oil, bananas/pears and eggs.
- Add the banana and pear mixture to the dry ingredients, fold gently until mixture is just about wet.
- Stir in the chocolate chips, do not over mix.
- Pour into the loaf pan you prepared earlier and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about an hour.
- Cool the banana and pear bread in the loaf pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out bread onto a trivet and cool completely, right side up.
There are even funkier combinations and Paleo versions of the classic banana bread recipe available (like peanut butter chocolate banana bread and avocado banana bread) that are supposedly much healthier, too.
Either way, I am SO GLAD other folks are NOT afraid to play with their food, either :)