I was rummaging through my fridge looking for something tasty to temp me. I do this most days. Sometimes I just stand there staring, waiting, searching for an interesting edible thing to leap from the cold and shout, “PICK ME.” No luck. Fridays are never the tastiest days of the week to find something munch-worthy. Because I do my weekly grocery shopping trip on Saturdays, there’s usually nothing fun left to eat by Friday. Bummer.
So I got desperate and peeped into my freezer. Now, I’m not one of those people who keeps lots of frozen food kicking around in the depths of the cold box. Freezer-burned food kept long past the expiry date may be cold, but it sure ain’t cool. It just takes up space, costs moolah to keep cold, and no one ever eats it anyways. If you have a freezer full of food dating back to the Ice Age, do yourself a solid — clean it out or compost it, now.
So anyways, back to rummaging and foraging for food. My freezer proved fruitful. After digging around I found a bag of frozen organic apples left over from last year’s harvest, a container of dried organic cranberries I had saved from a Thanksgiving sale, and a bag of flour. Yes, I keep my flour in the freezer. Ever since my parents’ Great Weevil Infestation incident in the early 1990s, the whole Taylor clan stores their flour in the freezer. Trust me, you don’t want to start baking something delicious when your flour is wobbling full of buggy weevils. I still have nightmares.
Ok, so I have apples, flour, cranberries, and a hungry pit in my stomach. Luckily, I spied a bunch of overripe bananas sitting on my counter and decided that today was the day to make banana bread! Yay!
How to Make Frugally Easy Banana Bread
It’s really hard to screw up banana bread. Banana bread is just one of those recipes that demands you clean out your fridge (or freezer) and add ingredients already kicking around the kitchen. That’s why this recipe is frugal — you use the ingredients you already have on hand, and keep overripe fruits from hitting the trash can.
Ingredients like nuts, chocolate chips, eggs, spices, and even vegetables like zucchini go great in Frugally Easy Banana Bread. The only way to mess up banana bread is to buy it. Store-bought banana bread is usually stuffed full of hydrogenated oils with not enough bananas. Go figure! Plus, it can be costly to buy. So skip the store, rummage through your fridge, and bake your own banana bread.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3-4 bananas (1 1/2 cups banana, mashed)
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup cranberries (or chocolate chips or nuts)
Step One: Prep ingredients and preheat oven
Assemble and measure your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) degrees. Add a little no-stick spray to an 8×4 loaf pan.
Call me a nerd, but I made my own apple sauce by putting thawed (previously frozen) apples into a blender. When it comes to making low fat banana bread, I find that apple sauce is the perfect ingredient for making banana bread moist.
I left the peels on because apple skins contain many nutrients. Besides, I find the peels pretty, they add fibre, and I’m too lazy to remove them. So there.
I put my homemade apple sauce aside for later.
Step Two: Mix dry ingredients
In a large bowl, mix together your flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg.
If you’re into chocolate chips or nuts, then mix those in as well.
Step Three: Mix wet ingredients
In a large bowl, mix together your mashed banana, apple sauce, egg, vanilla extract, and cranberries. Now that’s a very moist banana bread recipe despite the lack of butter and oil.
I must admit, this stage doesn’t look too tasty.
Step Four: Combine and pour into pan
This is super easy, people. Just stir and combine your wet and dry ingredients. Pour the batter into your pre-sprayed loaf pan.
Ok, I had a glass loaf pan. You’ve gotta work with what you’ve got.
Step Five: Bake your banana bread
Bake your banana bread in a preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Remove banana bread from pan, and let cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Smells so delicious. I love how pretty the cranberries look when sliced. Now serve with a cup of tea or a glass of milk. Banana bread would also be splendid in a back-to-school lunch or as a healthy weekend snack for the kids. Enjoy!
More tasty things to do with leftover fruit:
- Healthy Snacks: A tasty twist on homemade ice cream
- Fresh Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Apples
- Easy and Healthy Granola Bars
Squawkback What do you put in your banana bread? What’s your favorite ingredient? Ever find weevils in your flour? Ack!