They say necessity is the mother of invention, and this recipe is proof of that statement’s veracity. I always have fruit, and I most definitely always have bananas. It’s one of those habits that I picked up from my mother. Actually, that last bit is more the result of my father’s insistence on making sure we all got our “daily dose of potassium,” but the point is that I always have fruit. One person can only eat so much fruit, however, and I constantly wind up with a couple of pieces that I cannot consume before they get too ripe to eat.
Having too much fruit, however, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It gives me ample excuse to make fruit-filled pancakes, smoothies, and desserts. My favorite way to use up ripe fruit, however, is by making banana bread. I use my mother’s recipe and have wonderful memories of making loaves of banana bread with her when my dad bought way too many bananas.
When I realized that I had two very ripe bananas earlier this week, my instinct was to make some banana bread. Here’s the problem: my mom’s recipe calls for three bananas. Solution? Add an apple. I didn’t want to lose the banana flavor, however, so I decided to roast my bananas to intensify it. I also cooked the apple pieces for a few minutes so that they wouldn’t release too much water while baking and create a soggy loaf. Working off of my mother’s recipe, I noticed that the substitution of the apple for a banana made the batter a bit too thick. Solution? Add Greek yogurt. The result was an incredibly moist (Horrid word. I know. Apologies) treat that made for a pretty awesome breakfast solution this week.
Maybe it’s not such a bad thing to lack ingredients after all. Happy eating!
Cinnamon Apple Banana Bread
(AKA How to Avoid Using Air Freshener Because Your House Smells Too Good)
- 2 ripe bananas
- ¼ teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1 apple (I used a Fuji), peeled and diced into ¼-inch pieces (or a bit larger)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch ground cloves
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¾ to 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your fruit is)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (depending on your taste; I use 1 tsp)
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 5″ x 10″ loaf pan. Set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment. Place bananas on sheet and roast in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until the skins are dark and the fruit is just starting to ooze out. Remove from oven; cool before peeling.
- While the bananas are cooking, place a small pot over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pot, and add the diced apple. Stir to coat, then add cinnamon and ground cloves. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
- Once the fruit has cooled down, combine your sugar, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Stir together, then add in the roasted bananas. Mash the bananas up with your spoon and combine with the sugar-mixture. Add the vanilla, milk, and Greek yogurt and stir until just combined.
- Next, add the apples. Stir to combine.
- And now it’s time for the dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Technically, you should combine these in a separate small bowl. But I’m lazy. So I do this thing where I use a fork and kind of whisk them together on top of the batter below. Probably not the best scientifically speaking, but it gets the job done. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
- At this point, check the consistency of your batter. It should be slightly thicker than pancake batter. Add more Greek yogurt or milk if needed.
- Pour into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool for two minutes in pan, then remove and finish cooling on a rack.
Makes one loaf.