I was a bit confused when I noticed that this year’s “Recipe of the Year” from King Arthur Flour was a banana bread. It just seemed a bit plebeian and ordinary. However, I have a bunch of bananas in the freezer and we’re trying to eat more whole grains, so I decided to try it, or at least the muffin version. It’s a very delicious recipe! Maybe not as healthy as it seems, with more oil and sugar than our regular recipe which has served us just fine over the years, but I just may make this again a few times in 2018. Don’t be afraid to try it yourself!

Whole Grain Banana Bread

4 to 5 medium bananas, thoroughly mashed, about 2 cups
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted if desired; optional*
Cinnamon sugar, optional for topping

*Leave the nuts out, if desired; or substitute up to 1 cup chopped dried fruit, chocolate or butterscotch chips, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or other desired add-in.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly grease muffin pans.

In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts [I left the nuts out this time] into the banana mixture. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and mix again to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pans. [I used a regular muffin pan and a small mini muffin pan. This made 12 regular sized muffins and 12 mini muffins.] Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the batter if desired.

Bake for 12 minutes, then remove the mini muffins. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 6 more minutes, then remove remaining muffins. Serve warm.

The three mini loaf pan option – 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

If you want, pour the entire batter into a lightly greased 9×5″ loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 to 75 minutes, until the bread feels set on the top, and a paring knife (or other thin knife) inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs (but no wet batter). If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the final 15 to 20 minutes of baking.

Remove the bread from the oven. Cool it in the pan for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

Store leftover bread, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.