No Waste Banana Bread
July 5, 2021 • Breads,
Anyone serious about issues surrounding food waste has heard of nose to tail, meaning use the entire animal and don’t waste anything. I try to come up with all sorts of interesting ways to use things like the liver, the head, or shanks, and I’ve been pretty happy about the results. But it wasn’t until I read a recent recipe in The Washington Post that I gave any thought to less food waste when it comes to fruits and vegetables.Whether on purpose or by accident, Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor Michigan discovered that you can puree the black banana peels along with the banana after they are frozen, adding more banana flavor and moisture while eliminating waste. I can tell you with certainty, this is brilliant! I even forgot to add the butter when I was baking this loaf and it was still delicious (although made better by slathering it with melted butter before eating a slice). The original recipe suggested a specific weight of frozen and thawed bananas – I’m not that scientific of a baker and think you can just use 3 bananas. I was also skeptical about such a large amount of sesame seeds in the batter, but the taste great and are not overpowering, so don’t hesitate!
- 3 medium very ripe bananas, frozen, then thawed
- 10 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour, or more if batter too loose
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 6 tablespoons black sesame seeds, divided
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup slivered or sliced almonds
- Grease a loaf pan with butter or cooking spray and then line with parchment paper with the ends hanging over the sides to make removing the loaf easier. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut off both ends of the bananas and puree the bananas along with the peels in a food processor until very smooth and no large chunks of peel are left. (I found a Ninja blander works really well for this.)
- Combine the pureed bananas with the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium until everything is smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the flours, ¼ cup of the sesame seeds, baking soda and salt and mix on low until just combined. The batter should be the consistency of thick pancake batter - if it seems too runny, add a bit more flour.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds and the almonds over the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60-75 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing the load by lifting up the parchment paper edges. Let cook on a rack before slicing. Best slathered with butter.