Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Brown Butter Banana Bread with Strawberries and Walnuts

So I made banana bread again. For what feels like the 1,437th time. That may be a slight exaggeration, but only very slight. I love the stuff! Can’t stay away. It is to me what chocolate and French fries are — totally addictive. And can I just tell you, when you make brown butter banana bread, not only does it completely reframe your thoughts on banana bread, but it also makes your kitchen smell like heaven in a worldly form. It’s divine.

I originally made this recipe because I had hordes of frozen, over-ripe bananas cluttering my freezer, and with a move on the horizon, I’m trying to work through the obscene amount of food in my house. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that part of the reason was for a new guy in my life, who makes me almost as happy as banana bread does, and it just so happens he likes to eat about as much as me! His taste is not impeccable in all areas (who doesn’t like ketchup? or dark chocolate?), but he makes up for it with his appreciation of things like banana bread. A banana bread lover can’t ever be all bad.

Brown Butter Banana Bread with Strawberries and Walnuts - Sweetly Serendipity

For food lovers like me (and presumably, many of you), the start of a new relationship often involves a lot of food — a lot of eating out, spending money, and indulging in things you normally wouldn’t. It’s been that way for a few months now, and even though I’ve loved every second of it, after a while it kind of kills your budget… and your waistline. So I finally decided it was time to rein it in, and while banana bread isn’t exactly a health food, it’s definitely better in homemade form where you can control the ingredients that go into it. This recipe has it’s unhealthy components (it is a quick bread, after all!), but it’s also 100% whole wheat and has loads of strawberries and walnuts for a few more nutrients. Plus, the entire loaf probably cost me a fraction of what it would cost me to buy one similar slice at a bakery. I’d say that’s a win right there!

Brown Butter Banana Bread with Strawberries and Walnuts - Sweetly Serendipity

This recipe originally came from Seriously Delish, one of the only cookbooks I’ve ever bought at full price, right when it came out. I’ve loved reading her blog, How Sweet Eats, since the very beginning, so it felt like a cookbook I just had to have in my arsenal. I’ve not always been great about actually using my cookbooks, but lately have been making a point to put away the computer and endless Pinterest scrolling in favor of paging through cookbooks to find something I want to make. The process is therapeutic and relaxing, and it gives me a sense of peace and happiness that not much else does.

Brown Butter Banana Bread with Strawberries and Walnuts - Sweetly Serendipity

I changed around a few things (added strawberries and walnuts, used white whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat pastry), but the bread still came out looking almost identical to the photo in the cookbook, which is always a validating feeling. And of course, most importantly, it’s exceptionally tasty. The brown butter flavor comes through in a big way, which sets this recipe apart a lot from other banana bread recipes, and makes it nearly impossible to tell the banana bread is made with 100% wheat flour. If I were to make it again, I’d definitely add walnuts again, because I love the crunch and I think they complement the nutty nature of the brown butter, but I’d probably ditch the strawberries, not because they were bad, but because I wouldn’t want anything messing with that ridiculous brown butter flavor. All in all though, this one is a keeper.

Brown Butter Banana Bread with Strawberries and Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned
  • 1/2 light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • /12 teaspoon salted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped strawberries
  • 1/3 cup whopped walnuts, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the browned butter and brown sugar. Add in the coconut milk, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla extract, and mix well to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until just barely incorporated (no more than 10-15 seconds). Add the chopped strawberries and walnuts (if using), and continue mixing until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan, and bake for 60-65 minutes, rotating once, until nicely browned all over, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes in the pan before loosening the edges gently with a knife, and inverting onto a cutting board or serving platter. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
http://www.sweetlyserendipity.com/breads/quick-breads/brown-butter-banana-bread-with-strawberries-and-walnuts/




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