Heart Shaped Strawberry Banana Bread

Heart Shaped Strawberry Banana Bread2

Happy Wednesday!

Banana bread is the ultimate breakfast/dessert that almost everyone loves, and yet, there are thousands among thousands of recipes. Banana bread is fantastic because it allows for people to use up those bananas that we forgotten about. The longer they’ve been sitting out, the better. If they are spotted brown or even black, use them up! The natural sweetness is truly enhanced over time. Please do not make banana bread with fresh bananas–it is truly a disservice to this delicious sweet bread.

Banana bread, in addition to being tasty, has almost no prep work. All you need is a mixing bowl, a whisk, and a spatula. Once the mixture is made, you plop it (nicely) in your pan of choice. It’s so easy it should be illegal.

The only thing I don’t like about banana bread is how long it takes to cook. I mean, who wants to wait an hour plus time for cooling? If you make banana bread in a different pan (like a muffin pan or my mini heart shaped cake pan, for example), it will cook faster and taste just as good. My banana bread took approximately 25 minutes (but be mindful–the larger the pan, the longer the cook time!) Personally, I used my heart shaped cake pan because I was one of those suckers that buys heart shaped everything. Just because it’s not Valentine’s day any more does not mean that I can’t express my love any other time…to banana bread, I mean Zach. Plus, if you use a smaller pan, you won’t have too many crumbs like you would if you were to use a loaf pan and had to cut individual slices.

Strawberries and bananas just go so well together. They’re really good buds. I was on a chocolate covered strawberry kick from Valentine’s day, so I bought two pounds of strawberries…for myself. Yes, I know, it’s absurd. Once I got the idea of chocolate covered strawberries out of my system, I realized I needed to make some better use out of the strawberries, and voila–strawberry banana bread was born.

The real peel

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large or 3 small bananas)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered and tossed in 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (helps prevent sinking to bottom of the pan)

Go bananas!

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray your muffin/cake pan/loaf pan of choice.
  2. In a large bowl, mix egg, light brown sugar, canola oil, granulated sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Use a whisk!
  3. Once combined, add 1 1/4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combine– don’t overmix. You don’t want to make your bread tough.
  4. Add the bananas and fold gently to combine. I squished the bananas with my hands, but feel free to mash them with a masher or fork beforehand.
  5. Quarter your strawberries. First cut across to take off the tops (if you’re using fresh). Next cut it lengthwise in half. Lastly, quarter each half piece. Toss strawberries in flour as you go (lightly); you will add the strawberries tossed in about 3 tablespoons flour or so and fold gently to combine.
  6. Turn batter out into the prepared pan , smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  7. Bake for about  25-30 minutes if you are using a mini cake pan. If you are using a traditional loaf pan, bake for 55 to 65 minutes (I baked 60 minutes) or until the top is golden and a toothpick can come out clean.
  8. Leave banana bread in its respective pan for about 15 minutes, and then transfer carefully to a cooling rack.
  9. Baking times will vary based on moisture content of bananas and strawberries, so be sure to check every ten minutes or so. Eat immediately or within the week; you may freeze the bread for 6 months, alternatively.
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