Yes, I know: The phrase “seasonally appropriate” evokes images of Miss Manners telling you not to wear white after Labor Day. But this banana bread is a seasonally appropriate recipe if I ever saw one.
January tends to be “make up for December” month. A bunch of people who feel really bad about celebrating Santa with a little to much zeal make a whole bunch of promises they probably won’t keep. Suddenly that second helping of roast beef and extra slice of banana cream pie seem a little overindulgent (come on, we’ve all been there…and if you say you haven’t, you’re just lying).
So for starters, this banana bread would be fair game on most “resolutions” lists. It uses molasses in place of some of the sugar, along with whole wheat flour and oats for some added fiber.
And here’s the kicker: with some spices thrown in, the bread has a subtle gingerbread-like flavor that works perfectly this time of year. The holidays may be over, but winter is just getting started. I wouldn’t call this my “go to” banana bread recipe, but somehow it just tastes right this time of year.
So there you have it: healthy and wintery. Does it get more “seasonally appropriate” than that? I’m sure Miss Manners would approve.
Molasses-Oat Banana Bread
Adapted from Cooking Light
Note: As I mentioned, this is not a “standard” banana bread recipe; the molasses makes it a little different. The molasses flavor also makes it a prime candidate for the addition of raisins or other goodies.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2.5 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350ºF and coat an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan with non-stick spray.
Mix the flours, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl.
In a larger bowl, beat the butter with the sugar and molasses for about 1 minute, until the mixture is well-blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mashed banana, yogurt and vanilla and mix until blended. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix at low speed just until the dry ingredients are moistened and completely incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan onto a rack and cool completely.
Yield: One 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf