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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Banana Bread Breakthrough

Happy Tuesday my pretties! Alison McQuain is going to be a new feature here at Fanciful Ink...we have plans of a collaboration down the road that I hope you will be thrilled about. In the meantime, she's going to be our guest for a bit. Today she comes bringing banana bread!
Well, sort of, you have to make it yourself though. She has included healthier options for the banana bread so you can feel better about eating it!
So without further ado, here she is-my awesome friend, former coworker, Italy traveler, bridesmaid, photographer of AMP....(drumroll please)...ALISON McQUAIN!

Hello again my fanciful people! I am coming to you today with a recent breakthrough in the kitchen! It was a big big day in the McQuain household. Either I am dense and have failed to know that other geniuses across this fine globe of ours partake in such goodness or I am the FIRST genius to think of this.

Ok. Here it goes. Banana Nut Bread with a peanut butter and nutella center!!!

Keep breathing. I know you are excited.

Calm down.

Yes, I too had such excitement on Sunday when I created this masterpiece of flavors. So excited, Laurie and I knew this knowledge had to be shared. It is so easy and more than worth the 30 minutes of mixing and 25-30 minutes of baking.

My bread starts off with a recipe from a church cookbook. The church I grew up in produced a cookbook of many wonderful southern showstoppers. This banana bread is one of them. Therefore, you can imagine what the nutella does!

In thinking of the New Year we find ourselves in, one might be wondering what some “better for you” substitutions are to the standard calorie-laden ingredients. You will find the recipe below along with some “smarter” substitutions.

Banana Nut (Optional) Bread

2c sifted all-purpose flour (whole wheat flour, the texture may change slightly)
1tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½c unsalted, melted butter 

(same amount maybe a bit more [the dough should not be runny] of unsweetened applesauce, plain greek yogurt, or Laurie enjoys using coconut oil [for this you will need to melt as you would butter])
3/4c sugar 
(you could also use a sugar substitute of choice; this is less sugar than the original recipe calling for 1c and with the addition of nutella, sweetness will be added to the bread)
2 beaten eggs
1tsp vanilla
3-4 very ripe bananas, mashed 

(I often use really ripe ones for flavor and add one
perfectly ripe banana for texture as the overly ripe ones mash to nothing)

chopped nuts (optional)

Nutella Filling: two parts nutella to one part nut butter (almond, peanut, etc.); you may also
use all parts nutella (I would only applaud you for such choices) - warm slightly so it
spreads easily


In a medium bowl, measure and sift together flour, soda and salt. (If using nuts, stir them into the flour mixture so they incorporate into the wet ingredients well) Set this aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla. Stir in the mashed bananas.

Fold in the dry ingredients in quarters to mix well without over mixing.  

This will make enough for 5 small loaves, two regular-size loaves or over a dozen muffins. Use well-greased loaf pans and muffin papers. When pouring into the desired baking dish fill halfway then spread your desired amount of the nutella mixture on top of the first half of batter then add remaining batter. Fill pans ½ - ¾ of the way full. Bake at 325-325 degrees for 50-55 minutes (regular-sized loaves).

I added some Nutella on the top of the loaf to remember which one was the prized loaf!

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