Banana Bread

Bananas are a big favorite in my house (although sadly my baby girl can no longer have them) so we usually have a few laying around.  The only problem is, I like to eat the bananas when they are still just a tiny bit green.  That means I pretty much have a one day window to get them eaten up at premium ripeness.  Once they get beyond that point I’m not very interested in them anymore.  For years I have said that I was going to learn to make banana bread to help use up my bananas and I finally found a recipe that I absolutely love!  The only ingredient I don’t normally have on hand was the buttermilk.  The bread turned out delicious and was gone entirely too fast.

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup stick margarine or butter, softened
2 large eggs
3-4 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (I think I left this out and it turned out fine)
1 cup chopped nuts (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and move rack to bottom (so tops of bread will be in center of oven).  Grease bottoms only of 2 8-inch loaf pans or 1 9-inch loaf pan (I suggest using 2 if you have them).

Mix sugar and margarine in large bowl.  Stir in eggs until well blended.  Add bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt just until moistened.  Stir in nuts and pour into pans.

Bake 8-inch loaves for 1 hour, 9-inch loaf for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for about 5 minutes in pans, then loosen sides and remove from pans.  Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days (although I doubt it will last that long).

*If using self-rising flour, omit baking soda and salt.

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