Happy Leap Day (yesterday) y'all! A whole extra day in the year which is essentially a freebie from Father Time as a reward for making it through the past three years. "Oh! I see that you endured 2009, 2010, AND 2011 without an extra day in February. Well this year, because you were SOOO good, I will gift you a whole extra day. Use it well and keep up the good work!" Yes, that is in fact how I think Father Time would talk too. All jovial and saint like, much like Santa Claus.
So what did I do to celebrate this extra day (disregarding the tornado warning and torrential downpour that soaked me to the bone for the rest of the day)? I made banana bread. But not just ANY banana bread, roasted banana bread. I know! Get back Jack, this stuff is good! I had read on one of my various food blogs that roasting bananas before adding them to banana pudding is a great way to develop natural sugars in the fruit and thus make it taste more banana-y. So, as I am not a huge banana pudding fan, applied this technique to banana bread.
|Bananas before the oven...|
|... and roasted bananas after the oven.|
After mashing and adding to the rest of my wet ingredients, which included a lot less sugar because of the banana's now more pronounced natural sugars, I tossed it with some flour and nuts and threw it in the oven to wait the excruciatingly long 40 minutes for the loaf to be done. I have already decided that whatever is left of this beautiful loaf will soon turn into roasted banana french toast - more on that later!
|Wet and dry, moments before marrying and making beautiful banana bread babies.|
Roasted Banana Bread
2 medium bananas, with their ends cut off
2 TB agave nectar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
Place bananas on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until skins are browned and inside fruit is warmed and fragrant. Peel bananas and mash with a fork. Mix in a bowl with all wet ingredients, mix completely. Set aside. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate, larger bowl. Pour wet into dry and stir just to combine. Pour in a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until center comes out clean when poked with a toothpick.