Going bananas
Food for thought

Going bananas

The best way to use up that overripe fruit sitting on the counter

Phyllis Glazer is an American-born food journalist based in Tel Aviv, Israel. She is the author of several cookbooks that have been published in Hebrew, German, and Italian, and appears frequently on television and radio in Israel.

Banana bread (photo credit: roygbivibgyor [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
Banana bread (photo credit: roygbivibgyor [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

A funny thing happened to me the other day; I received a call from someone I didn’t know, asking me for my banana bread recipe. It wasn’t something I’d published recently; the recipe she wanted had appeared in my first cookbook, “Hagigah Tzimhonit” (“A Vegetarian Feast”), printed more than 30 years ago. Eek.

The caller explained that she had grown up with my recipes, and in fact, her mother still uses my cookbook. But her mother wasn’t home, and she lived in a different city, and she had a strong urge and all the ingredients to make the banana bread from my book. Would I read it to her?

I was, of course, dealing with someone with more than a modicum of chutzpah, given that she’d looked up my number and called me at home, just because she needed the instant gratification that could only be assuaged by my banana bread.

But, I have to admit, I felt some compassion. I, too, use the same recipe for banana bread and muffins, because they’re delicious and a great way to use up overripe bananas. And now you can enjoy it too.

Banana Walnut Bread

  • 100 grams (½ cup) butter
  • 1 packed cup brown sugar (or natural cane sugar)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup well-mashed bananas
  • 2 cups (less 2 tablespoons) whole wheat flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup hot water (it affects the texture, makes it lighter; it can be warm, just not cold)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
  2. Melt the butter, beat in the sugar with a wooden spoon (or in a mixer on low speed), and gradually add the eggs and bananas.
  3. Sift flour, salt and baking soda and add to the butter mixture alternately with the hot water. Stir in the nuts.
  4. Pour into a greased and floured 30-cm loaf pan, or a 22-cm square pan, for 45-55 minutes (depending on the size of the pan), or until a toothpick in the center comes up clean.
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