Monday, September 3, 2012

Honey Walnut Banana Bread

Last Wednesday I went to my first physical therapy appointment which mainly consisted of  trying to pin point where the problem was (without knowing the MRI results), discovering that my right leg which is where i'm having pain in is weaker than my left, and learning new stretches that help strengthen my core without straining my back or leg. I also learned that if you have back problems, that you shouldn't lean forward which  can aggravate the problem area, but to bend down. I never realized how much I lean forward until someone told me not to.

 Charlie and Gus Gus visited the vet on Friday to get fixed. I was a ball of nerves while they were gone since this was the first time they would be with other people besides us. It seems like just yesterday they were 2 tiny balls of orange that could fit in my palm and needed to be fed every few hours. Charlie got her belly shaved and she was the only cat that I recall in all of our years of owning cats to be aggressive and testy after getting fixed. I finally took pity Gus Gus since he was at the receiving end of her wrath and I took Charlie into my bedroom for some quiet time where she turned into a purring, cuddle bug.

  It seems that the bananas we have been buying are ripening faster than they use to and faster than we can eat. We always try to buy bananas with green on the tops so they last longer, but most of bananas we've seen have had no green and fully ripen after 2 days or so of having them which isn't a lot of time to eat an entire bunch. I found this tip to help make bananas last longer on Pinterest and I'm trying it with this week's bananas to see if it works. 
 When I found this recipe I thought that it sounded like it would be the perfect way to use the ripe bananas. This almost became an egg-less banana bread because I was in my "baking zone". I wanted the bread to be ready for pictures around noon so I had to pop the butter in the microwave to soften and laid the eggs by the window to come to room temperature. I mixed everything together, poured the rich batter into the pan, sprinkled with chopped walnuts and I was just about to put it in the oven when I put a bowl in the sink and I saw the 2 eggs sitting by the window. Crap I thought. For a minute I thought about leaving the eggs out since I just read another quick bread recipe where she also forgot the eggs and the end result was good, but I decided to add the eggs to be safe.
 The honey and sugar gave this dense and chewy bread a nice, subtle sweetness that pairs great with a cup of black coffee.

Honey Walnut Banana Bread
yields: 1 loaf 

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar** (see notes)
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup oats (old fashion)
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

**I actually don't add extra sweetener to this recipe anymore other than the 1/2 cup of local honey and it still turns out sweet enough for us. If your family likes it really sweet, you can add the 1/2 cup of brown or coconut sugar.

-If you start to notice that the edges of your bread are getting dark, but it still has a while until it's finished baking, just cover the top with foil.
-- 12 standard muffins take about 16-20 minutes to bake.

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl or a kitchen aid, beat the bananas, softened butter, honey, brown sugar (or substitute), vanilla, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until combined.
3. In a small bowl, combine the flour and oats. Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet batter until most of the flour is mixed in.
4. Switch to a spatula or wooden spoon and stir in 3/4 cup of nuts and combine until no flour is visible. Be careful not to over work the batter or it will be tough.
5. Pour the batter in a grease standard loaf pan, top with the extra nuts, and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
6. Cool slightly before serving if you want to eat it warm or wait until it's almost cooled before taking it out of the pan to cool completely. Store in plastic wrap or in a big Ziploc bag.


  1. honey, walnuts, banana, bread, talk about good for the soul!

  2. Awww I remember when we got our kitten fixed, and it was at the pound which was kind of dirty and gross so I was extra nervous! And that is such a pretty picture of your cat!
    Also--the recipe looks delicious! :)