Frugal Baking: Banana Bread
In my house, we all love bananas. Although my husband is a bit more picky about WHEN the bananas are ripe enough to eat (something to do about living in Brasil for a few years made him only want to eat them at peak ripeness… but I swear it ONLY translated to bananas!) The time period between when the banana is ripe enough for my husband to want to eat it and when it is too ripe is 12 hours. (okay, not exactly 12 hours, sometimes it can be up to 3 days. Others it is seriously only the waking hours of one day.) I tend to eat them BEFORE they are at my husband’s ripeness stage. My son will eat them at any stage and I have had to stop him from eating a completely green banana!
Due to the 12 hour period of perfect ripeness, we tend to have a few bananas that don’t get eaten before they WON”T get eaten. Thus I find myself with over-ripe bananas. If I have a few all at once, I love to dehydrate them (banana chips are so gross compared to dehydrated bananas). If it is only one, I stick it in the freezer. Once I have 4-5 (or 10) bananas in the freezer, I take them out, let them thaw and make banana bread (or muffins.)
Once time I was making banana bread I also had a box of instant pudding that needed to be used up… it was about to expire! So while this may not be the most frugal recipe ever, using ingredients that may otherwise go to waste is more frugal than throwing away food! Especially if they are used to make something delicious (okay the deliciousness of the food does not make it more frugal…)
Banana Bread (made with pudding)
okay, first you’ll need 1 stick of butter (or 1/2 cup – you can also use vegetable oil or that kind of stuff.)
Oh, it will need to be melted (or partially melted.
Add 1 cup of sugar to the butter.
Then toss in 1/4 cup brown sugar.
You’ll also need 4 bananas – mashed (about 2 cups)
Toss them in and mix it all together.
Next, you’ll need 3 eggs. Be sure to dump the cracked egg into a separate container before adding it to the batter – it helps make sure you’re not getting eggshells in the batter… Not that I’ve ever had to fish an eggshell out of batter. Okay, I have but we don’t need to talk about it!
Mix the eggs until well incorporated.
Next, you’ll need your 3.5 oz Instant Pudding. I used cheesecake flavor because that is what was about to expire. I’d also suggest using plain vanilla or banana pudding.
Add to butter/banana mixture and mix just until combined.
You’ll want some baking soda.
1 tsp to be precise.
Add that in as well.
And while you’ve got your teaspoon out,
toss in 1 tsp salt.
Next, toss in 2-1/2 cups flour.
As well as 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp nutmeg.
Mix until just combined. Pour batter into baking pan which has been greased. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes for a 8x4x2 inch loaf pan. (Or if you want to make a different size, bake 4.5×2.5×1.5 inch pans for 30-40 minutes, muffins for 15-20, mini muffins for 12-15.)
Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan. Cool on rack. Can be frozen for later use as well.