The Perfect Brunch Staple: Deceptively Delicious Banana Bread

Grandparents say the silliest things.  Great grandparents take it to another level.

My oldest daughter was the first grandchild and great grandchild on both sides of the family, so naturally when she was baptized, the relatives turned up in droves.  This included a visit from my Gigi (Grandma, Great Grandma to the kiddos) who graciously agreed to hand make my daughter’s stunningly beautiful baptism gown (and the three that followed).  Sadly, her exceptional sewing skills are not genetic.

This was a big moment in our journey as new parents and host to all of these guests, so we hired a photographer and had food catered and really felt like we were nailing this adult thing that day.

 

 

 

 

 

During some pictures at the alter with the priest and family members, our daughter was so over it all that she just started wailing, pretty intensely, to which my Gigi said, with that reliable and booming echo that only exists in church, “Shut uppa your face” in her best Italian voice.

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We all stood, shocked into stillness, wondering if we’d ever be allowed in church again.  You can’t say that, in church, to a baby, right?  And then, mercifully, the priest laughed, hard.  We all followed suit and finished up pictures back at the house, sans priest.  It was a memorable day.  Oh, that Gigi.

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Gigi is in Texas this weekend for a visit with some of our family, so we’re taking a road trip to meet her while she’s here.  She just celebrated her 80th birthday and I jump on any opportunity we get to spend time with her.  I love hearing her stories, trying out her recipes and seeing what fun games she has up her sleeve!  Plus watching her play with her great grandchildren is simply the best.

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We’re going to be gone for a few days and as I was cleaning up and packing, I saw the ripe bananas on the counter that will definitely not survive the weekend.  Since we will be leaving early and spending a good chunk of time in the car, I thought I’d make my Deceptively Delicious Banana Bread for the road trip.  I love packing something yummy for breakfast so we can get up and go without having to dirty the kitchen or stop along the way.

Since we will be in the car, I’m making my Banana Bread in muffin tins rather than the loaf pan I would normally use if we were home.  That way they’ll be extra portable and easier to pass back to the kids in the car.

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If you read my post Out and About for Milk & Cookies, you already know my chocolate chip cookies are vegan (depending on what kind of chocolate you use).  I call this banana bread deceptively delicious because it’s vegan too!  In my experience, people tend to get a little uncomfortable if you tell them that their dessert is vegan.  But folks, there’s nothing to be afraid of!  That usually just means the milk used is almond or soy and usually there are no eggs involved.  That’s it!  It certainly doesn’t mean that you’ve skimped on flavor!

If I’m being honest though, I do occasionally add Nutella to the batter just before pouring it into the loaf pan.  I love the chocolate and banana combination and that little extra hit of sweetness from the Nutella.

 

 

 

But if you’re making this for a strict vegan diet, do note that Nutella is NOT vegan because it does contain skim milk.  If you’re a vegetarian, like me, throw a few spoonfuls in!  Or when the banana bread is hot out of the oven, ditch the butter and spread on some Nutella instead.  Gigi would approve!

Deceptively Delicious Banana Bread
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 ripe bananas (more if you really like that banana flavor)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy or vegan yogurt (plain Greek yogurt works well too if you’re not concerned with the vegan part)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut or vegetable oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees;

Directions: Whisk the flour, baking soda and seat salt together; In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with the sugar and oil, then add the yogurt and vanilla; in two batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until you can’t see anymore flour; **At this point add the Nutella if you’re going that route, about 2-3 tablespoons**

 

 

 

Pour into a non-stick loaf pan covered in cooking spray; bake for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on your oven).  Remove and slather with butter or more Nutella and enjoy!

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*If you do mini-muffins like me, bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes depending on how big your scoops were

**Photographs by Julie Cope Photography.  We love you Julie!

 

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