Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Blueberry Banana Bread

In the later days of summer, we do this thing with zucchini where we shred it up and stuff it into baked goods or meatballs or whatever, because we don’t know what else to do with it. We’re far more responsible with our blueberries, however, or at least I am. I like to add them into baked goods where they weren’t before, not because I don’t know what to do with them, but because I think they can make those baked goods even better.

That’s just what I did with my basic banana quick bread. An added cup (or more if you want) of blueberries makes a good snack staple into a seasonal treat. Not that you would have to make it just when blueberries are in season. Since they freeze so well, or are easy to buy in a frozen state at the average supermarket, I recommend stirring some blueberries into your banana bread all year round. And frozen blueberries do work just as well as fresh in this recipe.

I like the way blueberries keep to themselves when you stir them into a batter and bake it. They hold their shape and don’t affect the moisture of the final product excessively. Even though they don’t ooze out everywhere, however, they do lend their own berry character to a recipe. If they’re a bit sour, they’re tempered by a sweet batter, while extra-sweet blueberries just make something sweet even more flavorful.

This is really a very simple variation on a basic recipe, and I think you could stir blueberries into other classic recipes as well. That’s pretty much what I did with this coffee cake, which I converted from an apple cake, and I’m beginning to wonder whether my next blueberry purchase could find a home in a batch of this zucchini bread. You know, to keep all that under-respected zucchini company.

Blueberry Banana Quick Bread

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
¼ cup milk
¼ cup plain or vanilla yogurt (full fat or reduced fat)
1 2/3 cup mashed banana (about 3 large bananas)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to thaw if frozen)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.

2. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Whisk or sift together to mix well. Set aside.

3. Whisk the egg and melted butter together until smooth. Whisk in the milk and yogurt. Whisk in the mashed banana.

4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Gently stir in the blueberries.

5. Spray a 9-inch bread pan with cooking spray or grease it with butter or oil. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the bread comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

6. Remove the bread from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 1 9-inch loaf.

Coming soon: Easy Apricot Jam

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