Banana Graham Bread
I’m not really a fan of bananas.
They’ve just never been a food that I particularly enjoy or ever crave. But banana bread is a different story! I LOVE banana bread. Even if you’re like me, and don’t love bananas on their own, you need to try my delicious Banana Graham Bread!
This addicting recipe has an interesting inspiration.
We just moved. As anyone who has moved before can relate, sometimes it takes a looooonnnng time to get everything out of boxes and in its new place. Between work and my four year old, who demands near constant attention and wants to “help” with everything—also known as undoing half the moving-in tasks we accomplish—I am almost positive we won’t be fully unpacked until the New Year. If we’re lucky…! (:
That’s our life right now: crazy, exciting, FULL! Last week we all had a craving for banana bread, and I wanted to create a new recipe. And I really really wanted almond flour to be part of the batter. But as luck would have it, my almond flour was not to be found. Another item added to the list of things lost to Moving Box Land.
What I could find when I went looking for the almond flour was the graham cracker crumbs! Have you baked with graham cracker crumbs before? It’s exactly what it sounds like, graham crackers that have been pulverized to crumbs. Yes, you could just buy graham crackers and food-process them yourself. But why not make life a little easier? Just buy the crumbs, save a step in the recipe, and save some time by not having to clean the food processor! Here is my favorite graham cracker crumb deal.
You can usually buy them at your grocery store in the baking isle, but they’re not always in stock, and can be ridiculously overpriced. I love this brand because it’s a great deal, and the graham crumbs come in a sturdy canister that makes storage easy. How awesome is that???!
Anyway, those graham cracker crumbs became the inspiration for this recipe! And my goodness do they add such an amazing flavor and texture to banana bread! Who would have thought? Certainly not me, had it not been for my missing almond flour. I may never experiment with another banana bread recipe ever again, I just can’t get enough of this Banana Graham Bread!!!!
Anther unique ingredient in this bread is the vanilla bean paste. Feel free to substitute this with another tsp of vanilla extract, but if you have vanilla bean paste, use it! It’s almost as good as splitting a vanilla bean yourself, only it’s easier and much more cost-friendly. A little jar of this amazing stuff lasts forever, and a little bit goes a long way! I have to show you my favorite brand. Give it a try in this recipe!
Substitute vanilla bean paste for vanilla extract in pancakes, ice cream, cookies, and cakes whenever you want your baked goods to be speckled with those delicious flecks of vanilla bean. Can you tell I’m nuts about this stuff???
And I can’t eat this bread, or say its name, without thinking of two of Andrew’s and my dearest friends from our college days. (You know who you are!) Andrew and I have the best memories of playing Bananagrams with these fantastic friends throughout our years at university.
The words we invented together while playing Bananagrams still make me laugh. (EASTERCAT? TENRICH? BEEFDOG? Real words in my book!) For me, thinking about all our amazing times together brightens any day. Thanks guys!!!
These friends are the inspiration behind this recipe name. My dear friends, I dedicate this Banana Graham Bread to you! One thing’s for sure: next time we play Bananagrams, this bread will be on the table. (:
Banana Graham Bread
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, (or substitute with an additional tsp of vanilla extract)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened (use your favorite vegan butter, or just regular old butter!)
- 1 flax seed egg, (2 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water)
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Mash those bananas!
- Add the bananas to a large mixing bowl. With a fork or your hands, mash them up! You still want there to be texture and, well, clumps of banana…but mash those bananas until they’re pretty smooth!
- Now add the sugars, vanilla bean paste, and the vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
Make the flax seed “egg”
- In a small bowl, add 2 tbsp ground flax seed and 3 tbsp water. Whisk together with a fork, and set a side for 5 minutes. The water and ground flax seed will gel together, and get really goopy. (Note: skip this step if you are just going to use an egg in the recipe.)
Add the butter and (flax seed) egg
- Now take the softened butter and mix it into the banana/sugar mixture with your spatula.
- After the butter had broken down a bit, feel free to keep using your spatula to mix, but at this point, I prefer to use my hands. Just get in there with your hands, and help the butter incorporate into the banana/sugar mixture.
- There will still be little clumps of the butter (it will get colder and harden a bit when it hits the banana), and that is one of the reasons why the texture of this Banana Graham Bread is so good!
- Once the butter is mostly broken down and incorporated into the banana/sugar mixture, add the flax seed egg, and stir to incorporate.
Add the dry ingredients
- To the wet ingredients, now add the flour, graham crumbs, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and chocolate chips. Stir everything together with your spatula until just combined.
- Oil a 9x5 loaf pan, and pour the batter into the pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top, and help the batter distribute evenly in the pan.
- Alternately, you can bake the bread in two, 8x4 inch pans. I reccomend doing this if you are making this bread vegan. (See note below.)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. And I do mean mostly clean—there is nothing more disappointing than taking a quick bread out of the oven before it is fully baked, only to have the middle of the bread cave in!
- If baking in two 8x4 inch pans, bake the bread for 40-45 minutes.
Cool and serve!
- Let the Banana Graham Bread cool for at least 15-20 minutes. Then dig in and enjoy a slice! Preferably while playing Bananagrams. (:
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