Almost Famous Banana Bread

For those of you that follow my Facebook page, you may remember that a long, long time ago, all the way back in April of this year, I got to make an appearance on a local tv station! I’m disappointed to say that I never got a copy of the clip (although I did PVR it!) so unless you happen to have watched it online during the few days it was up, you probably won’t see it (unless you feel like coming over to my house). So since you can’t watch it yourself, I’ll give you a little rundown of the goings on of my 4 minutes of faux-fame. The reason I was invited to come on the morning show was to help promote the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sales we were holding, and the station thought it would be fun to show people some vegan baking live on the air! They asked me to come up with 2 recipes that could be made on the set within 4 minutes, yup, that’s it and all I would have access to is the table I would be standing behind…no outlets…no microwave…no nothing. So, of course I tried to think of something that was easy to make, something that wasn’t ‘weird’ and something that wouldn’t require anything but measuring cups and bowls, something I like to call…banana bread. Oh, and granola bars, but we’ll save those for another day.

To make sure I was all organized the morning of, the night before I got out all my pretty green bowls, pre-mixed the wet and dry ingredients and baked a loaf of the banana bread. Then I proceeded to go to bed and lie there contemplating every horrible scenario that my mind could create. I was so worried that I’d screw up the name of the charitable organization that I repeated it so many times that it will be forever implanted into my brain! Seriously, 5 months later and I don’t think it’s even possible for me to get it wrong. I’m also, shall we say, socially inept, then you throw some shyness in there and you’ve got yourself a total spaz. Because the fear of speaking in public just wasn’t enough for me, I also had to (as a new driver) drive to the unfamiliar other end of the city for the first time, fun times!

To help ease my increasing anxiety, P kindly offered to drive half way to my destination so that I could follow him, phew! So that brought me down to about 8 on the freak out scale. Got there 30 minutes early brought me down to a 7. To kill time, I set up my station, then sat in the studio sipping coffee and watched how a morning show was put together, which was not what I imagined at all, but pretty cool nonetheless. Then once I was feeling deceivingly calm, the camera man came up to me to let me know that I would be going on in 2 minutes and all illusions of calm were shattered and my freak out meter started screaming 10! 10! 10!

Surprisingly, to me and to probably everyone that knows me, as soon as the camera focused on me, all my anxiety kind of vanished and everything went smoothly! I didn’t stumble over my words, I didn’t forget what was going on and stare blankly into the screen, I didn’t accidently dump banana goo all over the host, I acted like a normal human being! Yay me! Of course, we ended up running out of time and didn’t make it to the granola bars but we did make super delicious banana bread. Once I got back to work, I shared the banana bread with all my co-workers and everyone was happy.

I’ve made this banana bread so many times now that it has become a staple recipe for me. Everyone seems to have a favorite banana bread recipe, and this is my jazzed up version and by jazzed up I actually mean that all other banana breads cower in its glory! Ok, maybe I’m hyping it up a little too much but I really do love it, I mean come on! It has peanut butter! And big decadent chunks of chocolate! And crunchy bits of roasted peanuts! So good :) Even though my television debut was short lived and watched by very few people, I’m glad that I can still pass along one of my favorite recipes, because who knows? Maybe it’ll become one of yours.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread
Makes one 8.5×4.5 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 5 tablespoons water
  • 3 medium to large ripe bananas (about 1 ½ cups), mashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chunks

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

Stir the flax seed into the water, mix thoroughly and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat together the oil, peanut butter, agave, milk and brown sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, bananas, beating until well combined. Mix in the flax mixture.

Add the flour mixture to the wet and mix just until combined, then fold in the chocolate chunks.

Spoon the thick batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Scatter the chopped peanuts evenly over the top, then press lightly.

Bake the bread for 65 to 75 minutes. If the bread begins to overbrown, gently lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top. The bread should be finished when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow the loaf to cool for 10 to 15 minutes; then remove it from the pan, and set it on a rack to cool completely.

7 thoughts on “Almost Famous Banana Bread

  1. That’s the funny thing I find about performing too – I’m only ever nervous until I’m on that stage. Once I’m there, it’s all good! Congrats on the TV appearance too, even though it was several months ago. :)

    • I’m just thankful that I was able to get through it without freezing, public speaking is not more forte…in fact speaking in general is not something I’m particularly good at ;) Thanks! It’s ridiculous how behind on posting I am.

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