Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Best Banana Bread in The World

It has been a busy week at Casa des Sprung!  We have had appointments almost every day, and having to do them in the heat has not been fun.

Our first appointment was one that we have waited a long time for.  Owie had his barium swallow study at BGH.  Now I am not a huge fan of the place because we have had some bad experiences, but this time it was pretty good.  He had a lovely nurse, and the Doctor that did the test showed amazing patience with him.  Which was a good thing, because I was not aware that the upper GI rads require that one stand on a table that gradually tilts the patient back into a laying position.  Did I mention that Owen has great difficulty with balance and proprioception?  Can you imagine trying to convince a frantic boy (who really was more like a fractious cat) that he not only had to drink the barium but that he had to stand on a table that was going to make noise and tip him backwards?  Once the panic set in, and I explained WHY he was so panicked, the doctor was nice enough to alter the test.  Which was a good thing because I had no idea how we would have gotten him do it.  Once the table was flat and he was sure that we were not going to tip it he laid down and drank the barium with no questions asked.  He wiped his tears as he drank the "special juice" and watched his tummy on the monitor.  The nurse asked him what he would have for breakfast when his test was done, to which he tearfully replied "Banana bread".  How could I not run home and bake him some after such a rotten morning?

The nurse looked at me funny when I said that in the veterinary hospital we sometimes used barium for dogs that had ingested foreign bodies (like children's toys, or large bones) because it often pushed the item through the intestines and prevented expensive and invasive exploratory surgeries.  (As a side note I could tell you such stories of interesting objects that I have seen come out of dogs!  More on that later)  She said that barium is often constipating.  Well, warning- in Owie's case, it was sooooooooo not constipating.  I better leave it at that!

Now we prepare for the scope and biopsy later this week.  That test is done under sedation, so it's worrisome, but much easier on him mentally.

So your treat for this week is a sacred recipe for The Best Banana Bread in the World.  I have no idea where it came from, other than somewhere in my childhood.  The combination of the larger amount of baking soda and the long slow cooking time make this bread dark brown, and very moist.  It is not heavy and glutinous, just full of flavour!

The Best Banana Bread in the World!

  • 3 medium very ripe bananas
  • 3 to 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar (I use brown or demerara)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (GF blend works well)
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk  or sour milk (make sour milk with 1tsp lemon juice plus milk to equal 1/2 total fluid)
  • 3/4 cup of chocolate chips **optional, but as a mom I must remind you to never underestimate the power of a chocolate chip!
Now you get to see just how lazy a cook I am.  Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Throw the bananas in a large mixing bowl with the eggs, oil, salt and vanilla and beat the heck out of them until the mixture is smooth.  Next, measure the flour and soda in a bowl, mixing well.  Then toss it in to the bowl with the banana mixture, turn your electric mixer on and slowly pour the  buttermilk in.  Stir in the optional chocolate chips.  Pour into a lightly greased and floured 9x5 inch loaf pan.  Bake at 275 degrees for 2 hours.

Yes, you read the right.  The low temperature and the long cooking time are correct!

I have altered this recipe a number of times.  Sometimes I double it and cook it in a bundt pan (oddly, times and temps stay the same) and use a cream cheese frosting for a special treat.  And sometimes I replace 1/4 of the flour with finely ground nuts to increase the protein and fat content for Owie. Raisins or dried cranberries are a welcome addition as well! 

We love this bread so much that I often buy extra bananas just so that they will go brown.  We will be having it again this morning, along with spinach smoothies before we head to the beach!

Spinach Strawberry Pineapple Smoothies...
 So, what are you having for breakfast?



  1. May just try this recipe, I love making banana bread!

  2. It's really a simple recipe, and I love that you can toss it in the oven and walk away for so long without burning:)