Banana Bread and Pumpkin Butter

My friend Liz has a lot of dietary restrictions, and our families eat together several times a week. I’ve figured out how to adapt recipes to fit her diet, but it seems like I’m always trying something a little bit different. My most recent banana bread trial was based on the recipe in the Betty Crocker cookbook, but has no eggs, no milk, and less sugar. It does contain butter so it’s not totally dairy free, but you could probably use coconut oil instead. I haven’t done that though, so experiment at your own risk.

I thought this batch of banana bread would be a flop. I didn’t have any flax milk (which I usually substitute for buttermilk) or applesauce (my egg replacement), and my bananas were frozen with the peel on. To top it all off, I decided to try cutting down the sugar a little bit. I’ve heard of replacing milk with apple juice, but since I also didn’t have any apple juice, I used Tropicana Farmstand Pomegranate Blueberry juice (the only juice I had besides orange). Instead of replacing the eggs, I just left them out altogether. “But what about the frozen bananas?” you asked. The microwave, of course! I defrosted them for 30 seconds at a time until they were just thawed enough for me to peel (brr!). The stand mixer did the rest. Amazingly enough, they mashed up so well that there weren’t even any chunks in the batter.

The bread turned out great! It’s a little dense, but still fluffy; it’s moist in a good way and has just a hint of sweetness. I cooked up some yummy not-too-sweet pumpkin butter yesterday, too, and it made the perfect pairing. Try it and let me know what you think!

Banana bread and pumpkin butter

It’s not quite as photogenic as it tastes.

Banana bread

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 butter, softened
3 over-ripe bananas
1/2 c fruit juice
vanilla to taste
2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Throw sugar and wet ingredients (including bananas) into a bowl and mix on medium speed until it looks well mixed and there aren’t any chunks.
Add dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
Pour into a 9 X 5 loaf pan and bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours (until the center isn’t gooey anymore).
Let cool a few minutes.
Remove from pan and enjoy piping hot, or wait a couple hours if you like your bread cool and not fally-aparty.

Pumpkin butter

Inspired by this recipe.

1 medium pumpkin (bigger than a pie pumpkin, but small-ish for carving)
1/2 cup brown sugar
Ground ginger
Ground cloves
Ground nutmeg
Dash of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.
Cut pumpkin in half (or smaller pieces), clean out the inside, and place cut side down in a large baking dish.
Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan 1/4” to 1/2” deep.
Bake for 1-2 hours, until you can easily pierce the skin with a fork.
Remove from oven and let cool enough that you can handle the pumpkin.
Scrape the flesh off the skin into a blender or food processor. Discard the skin.
Puree the pumpkin flesh.
Pour the pumpkin puree into a slow cooker. If it looks really thick, you may want to add a bit of water.
Mix in sugar, spices, and vanilla. (You can be generous with the cinnamon, but don’t overdo it on the other spices).
Cook on low, stirring every couple of hours, until the mixture is dark brown and has a buttery consistency (6+ hours).


2 thoughts on “Banana Bread and Pumpkin Butter

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