Friday, November 13, 2015

Family Recipe Banana Nut Bread

The family cookbook began when my Dad died, over 20 years ago. As part of my grieving for him I began to gather old family recipes and to ask my Mom and siblings to contribute ones they had and to tell me if there were ones they wanted. A little less than a year later we had a family reunion at the beach and I brought a copy for each sibling and one for my Mom. Unfortunately I had neglected to give the printer the page for the index, but Mom solved that by making her own index on the inside of the back cover.

The next version came about because I noticed that Mom's copy was getting tattered and a few other family members told me that theirs were, too. This was not surprising since the books were about 17 years old! Since I was working in graphic arts at the time I decided to create a fancy version with color photos and organized around types of food. The original had been organized around seasons. I like this book a lot except for the paper. It is a pretty glazed paper which makes the photos look great but is hard to write on for changes I might make to the recipes. My solution has been to use sticky notes for changes, which works well.

Some of the recipes in the book, which I called Classic Comfort Food for the newer version (2012) and Family Food in the original version (1995), have been written about in this blog, but some have never been posted in their original form.

This Banana Nut Bread is an example of a great recipe that I have posted variations of but not the original. Even this one is a tiny bit different because the original used all vegetable oil and I used some butter and some oil. Otherwise it is the same and it makes a very fragrant, slightly sweet, very moist bread. I used pecans but walnuts are wonderful in this bread. When I took the loaves from the oven and smelled the lovely warm banana fragrance I was transported back to my Mom's kitchen.

This is an easy quick bread. Make sure to really cream the butter, oil and sugar before adding the eggs and bananas. Mix the batter just until combined once you add the flour mixture. Fold in the nuts with a spatula and you are ready to use the same spatula to scoop the batter into the prepared pans!

Classic Comfort Food Banana Nut Bread

½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 ripe medium bananas, mashed
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon wheat germ
3 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped nuts

Beat the oil (I used half soft butter and half oil) and sugar together. Add the eggs and banana pulp, and beat well. Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the sifted dry ingredients, milk and vanilla. Mix well and stir in the nuts.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan (9” x 5” x 3”). Bake in a preheated 3500 F oven about 1 hour. Toothpick inserted in center will come out clean or with a few crumbs on it when bread is done. Cool well. Makes one loaf.


  1. I LOVE this bread, and of course I make a few changes, too. I've started using half the oil and more banana to make up for it. I leave out the wheat germ because I never have it. The fragrance of the baking bread takes me back to Mom's kitchen, too. Thanks for posting this.

  2. We have so many variations on banana bread that we've never tried putting them down on paper, in my family. My mother uses pecans in banana bread, for some reason; I tend to use no nuts at all, coconut, and occasionally, chocolate chips... olive oil and raisins is the latest variation!