09 December 2011

Bananas are cheap so let's make banana bread

I've baked banana bread this afternoon, for the first time this year!

I popped into my local fruit shop this morning to pick up the things on my grocery list  and joy of joys  there was a crate of bananas marked down to 99c a kilo!  I did a double take - I haven't seen bananas that cheap in over a year.

I know many of you have been able to get them for $1.69, even $1.49, and have been enjoying a treat. Who would have thought back in January that we'd think of the humble banana as a rare and expensive treat?

At that price I bought up big. They were so cheap because the skins are starting to brown, making them almost ready to use in cooking.  I bought three big bags for a total of $9.33 - just over 9 kilos for under $10, what a bargain.

When I was unpacking them they felt quite firm, not at all soft or bruised so I just had to try one. Double bargain - the fruit is just right for eating.  Some found their way into the fruit bowl and the others, all bar six, have been put on oven trays and placed into the freezer.  I'll use those to make banana bread, banana cake, banana muffins and banana custard over the holidays.

If you've never frozen bananas before, it's so easy and a great way to keep them.  Just pop them in the freezer, no need to peel or mash. The skins go black, don't worry, the fruit inside is fine. When you defrost them the skin will go quite mushy but as it's only used in the garden who cares? The banana itself will be just right for using in your baking.

Oh, if you have frozen bananas, they make great ice blocks. Peel and eat - it's just like eating banana ice cream. Yum! When the kids were babies I used to mash frozen banana with a fork and feed it to them on hot days. They loved it although I'm sure if I suggested such a thing to them these days they'd shake their heads at me. For some reason anyone over the age of two thinks mashed banana is just gross. Doesn't matter that they almost inhaled it when they were babies. We humans are odd sometimes aren't we?

The six bananas I left out have been turned into two loaves of very yummy banana bread.  This is the recipe I use, complete with step-by-step instructions and pictures.

Banana Bread
6 bananas
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups plain flour
2 tsp bicarb soda


Step 1:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees F).

Step 2:
Grease two loaf tins with butter, oil or cooking spray – whatever your preference.  Personally I prefer to butter the tins as I use silicone bakeware these days. Cooking spray seems to stain silicone pans. If you don’t mind the staining cooking spray is fine.  If you are using silicone bakeware place the loaf pans on a baking sheet before you fill them with the batter. They'll be much easier to move into the oven this way and you won't end up with a lopsided cake because the batter was tipped to one side when it went into the oven.

Step 3:
In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until very pulpy.

Step 4:
Melt the unsalted butter or margarine in a small saucepan (you can do this in the microwave if you prefer - using a microwave safe bowl instead of the saucepan of course).

Step 5:
Add butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla to the bowl with the mashed bananas.

Mix until well combined.

Step 6:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients including flour, bicarb soda and salt. I use a whisk to "sift" the dry ingredients. It's faster and less messy than getting the sifter out.

Step 7:
Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Step 8:
Divide batter into the loaf pans and place in oven for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Check if the loaf is done after 50 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not continue baking a further 10 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.

Let rest in pans 5 minutes before turning onto a cake rack to cool. Allow to cool completely, slice and serve. If you don’t need 2 loaves, you can freeze one. Just wrap it tightly in clingwrap, place into an air-tight container and save it for when you need it.

Now you can eat it as is or you can spread it with butter or cream cheese. Or you can make a scrumptious cream cheese frosting and spread it over your banana bread. Personally I enjoy it with a thin scrape of cream cheese and a cuppa.


  1. sounds yummy!
    I had frozen bananas in the freezer but hubby thought they were in there by mistake and threw them out.
    I was not a happy chappie

  2. I have a feeling you meant to type 'tsp' next to bi-carb soda, as 2 tbsp seems way too much and it tasted horrible. Will try 2 tsp next time.

  3. Thank you Sonya, I've edited the recipe.

  4. I bought 99 cents/kilo bananas at Woolies just as the rain hit Qld, but before the cyclones. Needless to say, that was the last time I bought bananas until a few weeks ago. The entire time I couldn't afford them I thought to myself "I should have bought more that day, they were only 99 cents!"

  5. Oooh I'll have to try this, I love banana bread and so do my grandchildren. My mother used to make banana bread when I was a child and it was wonderful - I must see if I still have her recipe somewhere and compare it with yours :-)

  6. We often add cocoa or cinnamon for a change too


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