Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Banana Rhubarb Bread

Ever have a bunch of food items that are going south quickly? Well, we had a bunch of bananas that ripened too quickly and I also needed to use up some frozen rhubarb... You know, when the freezer still hasn't been cleaned out and the next season's harvest needs to be put in soon! So I had an "A-ha" moment and realized I could kill two birds with one stone- and was this ever good! My daughter was even begging for some of this bread toasted with butter- our new way to enjoy sweet breads. Of course, if you really have a sweet tooth, you may glaze the top with a simple glaze, but I enjoy the simple flavors of the bread.

While on the subject about rhubarb, let me just say that I find people are often not very fond of the tartness of it, but it is something that blends so well with other flavors- both savory and sweet. If you do not like rhubarb, try substituting it for any of the berries and adjust the baking time.

Makes: 1 loaf, approximately 10 slices
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil or butter (I used a mixture)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1 /2 cups bananas, mashed (about 3-4 large bananas)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 2/3 cup flour (I used 1 cup white, 2/3 cup white whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (See note below)
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs and oil, beating well. Add in the milk, bananas and vanilla and mix again.
  • Sift together in a medium bowl the dry ingredients and then combine gradually with the wet ingredients. 
  • Stir in the rhubarb and nuts.
  • Pour into greased and floured bread pans.
  • Bake approximately 55-70 minutes (checking regularly after 55 minutes) or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out dry.
  • Cool on wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then turn out of pan onto rack to finish cooling.
  • After cooled, place in plastic bag to preserve moisture.

*Note: I used frozen rhubarb and included most of the rhubarb juice. If you are using fresh rhubarb, there will not be all the extra liquid but it will be inside the fruit and come out during the baking process. So check your bread as it nears the 55 minute mark and onward to make sure it does not dry out/overbake. I  also used glass bread pans, which seem to bake hotter/make the crust darker. So you will need to turn the temperature down about 25 degrees if using glass pans.