Warm Weather Banana Bread

Don’t you just love those first days of Spring?  The first day you get to wear flip flops.  The first day you get to go outside without a jacket.  The first day you get to drive with your windows down.  Those are some of my favorite days of the year.  The kiddo plays outside while I make dinner.  We go for little walks after dinner.  Ahhhh.

And then if you’re in Utah, it’s usually all hindered by a random Springtime snow storm.  Yup.  Just a bit frustrating.  There I was in my flip flops with the snow coming down.  How inconvenient.  But then the next weekend we’re back up to the 70′s.  You could say that Utah is a little bi-polar when it comes to the weather.

There are some foods that I only make in specific seasons.  For some reason, I don’t make banana bread all year long.  I guess here and there in the colder seasons, I’ll whip up a batch, but for the most part, the bulk of my banana bread production comes in the Spring and Summer months.  Maybe because my bananas go bad faster?  I really don’t know.  Either way, I have come to associate the sweet smell of banana bread with the change of seasons from cold to warm.  So it came at no surprise to me that I was inspired to make my favorite banana bread recipe on one of the first warm days last week.

I have been making this recipe since my little guy was just a toddler.  I would make a loaf about once a week, and I would usually end up demolishing it before anyone else.  It’s the perfect pairing with your morning coffee.  A great mid-morning or after school snack for your kiddos.

And you know what tastes really great on top of a slice of this delicious bread?  Some sweet Tayberry Jam.  Strawberry would do just fine, but this jam is just… oh, there are no words.  We came across this Johnson Berry Farm jam last October when we were walking through Seattle’s Pike Place Market while on our honeymoon.  We were sampling all the food we could, and this jam was just stop-me-in-the-middle-of-my-sentence good!  I’m not really even a jam or jelly kind of gal, but this jam had a sweet brightness that was like sunshine on my tongue.  I wanted to stay at the booth and keep sampling all day, but I couldn’t resist buying some to take home with us.  A couple for us and lots for gifts to our family when we got home.  This is our last jar, and I was hesitant to open it because I know it’s only a matter of a couple weeks before it is gone.  I guess that just means we’ll have to go back to Seattle soon!  (of course there is online ordering, but that just doesn’t sound as fun!)  If you’re in the Seattle area, you’ve got to try them out!  They grow the berries on their 40-acre farm, they process the jam themselves, and they ship it all.  No middle man.  Just true-blue family owned deliciousness.  Check them out!  The tayberry and marionberry are my favorite jams.

I hope you are seeing some of the first signs of Spring wherever you are.  I’m looking forward to Saturday and Sunday morning when I can sip my coffee on the balcony of our apartment while reading a book.  And baking up a storm in the kitchen with the windows open.  Ahh, Spring, how I’ve missed you.

Fat-Free Banana Bread

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup splenda (or sugar if you’d rather)

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 egg whites

1 cup ripe banana, mashed (about 2 bananas)

1/4 cup applesauce

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly  great an 8×4-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves.

Add egg whites, bananas, and applesauce.  Stir until just combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated own for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Let sit for about 15 minutes and then turn out onto a wire cooling rack and allow to cool before slicing.

Wrap in plastic wrap to keep the bread moist.

Yes, I let my son lick the batter from a spoon. Yes, I know there are raw egg whites in the batter.  I’ve been eating cookie, cake, and brownie batter since I was his age and I’ve never gotten sick, so I’ll take my chances.  It’s one of those joys in life.  As a kid, I always looked forward to my mom giving me a spoon or beater to lick.  Or better yet, the whole bowl!

What warm weather foods are you looking forward to baking?