Culinary Quest #7 – Banana Blueberry Bread

Blueberries are in season, and that means they are delicious at their peak and most economical (I bought them BOGO this week!).  They are great stirred into yogurt, whipped into a smoothie, or just eaten by the handful.  But, combine their tender goodness with warm banana bread and it’s a perfect match.  This marbled bread is also pretty.  It looks like it wants to be eaten. 🙂

Some breads can be overloaded with oil and sugar, making them a hybrid of bread and cake, and I feel guilty serving them for breakfast to my family.  I was able to keep the granular sugar at a reasonable level because of the natural sweetness of the bananas.

What we especially enjoy about this bread recipe is the dense, moist texture of the banana bread, yet it’s not “wet”  so it holds together nicely.  The texture is more like a pound cake, but healthier than one.  The banana flavor is tasty enough on its own.  Add the blueberries, with their juices, and a beautiful balance of sweet and tart, dense and moist perfectly compliments the crunchy top of golden crust and oats.

This recipe makes two loaves, so perhaps keep one and give one away! It also freezes well.  Great for summer mornings, work on the run, or you can make them into muffins or pour into a 9×13 dish and cut into small squares for a crowd.  Let’s get baking…

Banana Blueberry Bread

3                             eggs

3/4c                        oil

1 ½ c                      sugar

1t                            salt

2t                            cinnamon

1t                            cardamom

1 ¼ t                       baking powder

3t                            vanilla

3                              ripe bananas

3c                            flour

3c                            blueberries

1/2c                       oats (divided)

************************************************************

Preheat oven to 350 (325 convection).

In mixing bowl, cream eggs, oil & sugar with electric mixer.

Add salt, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder & vanilla.  Mix.

Peel bananas and break into large chunks and add to bowl.  Mix.

Mix in flour just until incorporated.  Like all breads, don’t over mix or the bread will be tough & rubbery.

Using a large spoon, blend in blueberries.

Pour into 2 lightly greased loaf pans (or muffin, casserole dish, etc.)

Sprinkle equal parts (½ c each for loaf pans) oats over bread mixture.

Using a clean, dry hand, press the oats into the mixture so they stick to the bread and won’t flake off once bread is cooked.

Bake for 1hr 25 minutes (or until testing stick comes out clean) for loaf pans.  Reduce baking time depending on which pan you use (about 20 minutes for muffins and 9×13).

*** Freezing tip: My grandmother had a great trick for freezing breads.  Wrap them in plastic wrap, then wrap them in newspaper.  She did this for our wedding cake and it was just as fresh on our 1 year anniversary as it was on our wedding day!

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