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Yogurt banana bread hits the spot

By Sheila Gregory, N.C. Cooperative Extension Currituck County Center

As I sit here looking at my fruit bowl, I am relieved my bananas are getting a little over ripe. Because I have the perfect recipe for them. A delicious dessert-like banana bread that is moist and delicious, with loads of banana flavor. So if you’re tired of the same old banana bread, you can change things up a little bit with adding yogurt, which can be made ahead of time. And as an added bonus this banana bread recipe, it’s freezer-friendly!

How ripe should the banana be?

The more ripe the banana, the better for banana bread. As bananas ripen, the starches turn to sugar, so an unripe banana will not be as sweet or as soft (good for mashing). Try to wait until your bananas have no green left and are about half spotted. If your bananas get to the perfect banana bread ripeness, but you’re not quite ready to make banana bread, simply peel them, rub little lemon juice on each banana and wrap in some cling wrap, toss them into a freezer bag and freeze them until you’re ready.

Why add yogurt to banana bread?

Yogurt is a great ingredient for adding to banana bread and other baked goods. It keeps the bread moist, tender and super delicious without using a ton of butter or oil. You’ll want to use plain yogurt for this recipe, not pre-sweetened.

What else can be added to banana bread?

Banana bread is fun because you can add all sorts of stuff to it. You can use nuts like walnuts, pecans or even shredded coconut. Chocolate also pairs really well with bananas, so you can add ½ cup chocolate chips or melt the chocolate and swirl it into the batter once it’s in the bread pan.

How to store banana bread?

After baking the banana bread, let it cool completely to room temperature, then transfer it to a gallon-sized zip top bag and store in the refrigerator. It will last in the refrigerator for about five days.

Yogurt Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe uses plain yogurt to keep the bread soft and tender with less butter or oil. Add walnuts or even chocolate! This recipe works great in a muffin pan as well.

Ingredients:

1 cup mashed bananas (3 bananas)

1 cup plain yogurt

2 large eggs

½ cup sugar

4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled

1 tsp vanilla flavor

1.5 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ salt

¼ tsp nutmeg or cinnamon

½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions:

– Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray some Pam on the inside of a loaf pan to coat the bottom and sides.

– Mash the banana well, then add it to a large bowl along with the yogurt, eggs, sugar, melted butter and vanilla. Whisk these ingredients until they’re well combined.

– In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg until well combined.

– Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients and stir together just until there is no dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl (a few lumps are okay, just be careful not to over stir). Gently fold in the chopped walnuts.

– Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, then bake in the preheated 350ºF oven for 60 minutes or until the bread is brown, cracked open on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (a few moist crumbs are okay, just no raw batter).

– After baking, let the banana bread cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Once it’s slightly cooled, it will have pulled away from the bread pan slightly. Run a knife along the sides between the bread and pan, then gently turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Once cool, slice and serve.

For more information on delicious recipes, contact Sheila Gregory via email sheila_gregory@ncsu.edu or via phone 252-232-2261. This recipe was provided by https://www.budgetbytes.com/.

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