As a runner, bananas should be my best friend for high potassium intake. But bananas are undoubtedly my least favorite fruit and fruit flavor (I prefer coconut water for potassium!). I don’t like the texture of bananas, and I resent them for drowning out all other fruit flavors in a smoothie.
But after running the Ragnar Relay D.C. last weekend, four of my teammate’s dozen or so bananas (they were a popular meal for a 200-mi overnight relay) ended up in my bag. As the bananas quickly browned on my countertop, I knew the only acceptable way to consume them would be mashed with sugar, flour, cinnamon, eggs, and vanilla as banana bread.
My go-to source for reliably delicious baking recipes is my cousin C’s baking blog, Ipso Fatto. Sure enough, cousin C had two banana bread recipes posted. One was a standard recipe she culled from her days of a kitchen assistant in college, and the other was from pastry chef Joanne Chang at Flour Bakery in Boston. Cousin C sang the praises of the Flour Bakery version as her new go-to banana bread recipe, so I decided to give it a try.
Because my intended recipients were 3rd-5th grade girls that I coach for Girls on the Run D.C., I compromised the ideal texture of the bread by making two batches of mini muffins (for the girls) and six larger muffins (for myself and other grown people :)). I also substituted 1/4 of the 1/2 cup of oil with unsweetened apple sauce, and instead of sour cream, I used almond milk. I may have targeted an easy crowd, but all the recipients were pleased, and I thought the larger versions were delicious in spite of the very strong banana flavor I usually dislike. The cake is definitely very tender, so I’d imagine the full loaf versions are even better than the muffins; I will definitely give it a try the next time I have bananas ripening on my counter!