I'm a big fan of all things walnut. Not only a good source of healthy fats and fiber, but also a lovely flavor addition that complements both banana and maple. We ALWAYS have over-ripe bananas (we live in a tropical country), but I would probably also just buy extra bananas in order to have some that I can toss in the freezer and save until I have enough for a banana bread.
My tip: take your overly ripe (well speckled or blackish spots) bananas, peel them and save them in a quart-size freezer bag. You can pop them out, one at a time for smoothies or you can make bread with them once you have enough.
This is a just-sweet-enough bread that toasts well, is perfect on its own, or enjoys a small smear of butter. It's a sturdy snack and a great addition to a lunch box. I hope you and yours like it.
Be sure to toast your walnuts for this recipe. The toasting really brings out the flavor and the crunch. I use my toaster oven for this, watching and stirring, as it can go from "almost there" to "black beyond saving" seemingly one second to the next.
This recipe is easy to double. Save one for the freezer or gift it to a friend. For my freezer stash, I stick a small note in the bag with the item's name and date of baking; most quick breads look very much the same, especially when pulling from the depths of the freezer. A quick note tells you what goodie you have in your hand.
Walnut Banana Bread
Yield: one 9 x 5 loaf
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups ripe mashed banana (about 4 medium bananas) 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, divided
Directions Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray (or line with foil and then spray); set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
Whisk together oil, maple syrup, yogurt, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Add bananas, stir well. Stir in flour mixture followed by walnuts, reserving a small handful of walnuts to sprinkle on top of the batter.
Spread batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle remaining walnuts on top.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let cool completely on a wire rack before carefully removing from pan and slicing.