Saturday, February 8

Bed rest and Banana Bread

Hi there. I hope your February is going well. It's been interesting at my house. Here I will give you a snapshot. I have been on bed rest for the last 7 days. Usually in my house I plan all the meals, do majority of the cleaning and cooking, and shopping. For me to be on bed rest and off my feet completely without everything falling apart, I had to do some careful, crazy planning, and then choose to ignore everything else. Because no matter how you plan, life happens. So there has been lots of tv watching, movies, fast food, and my hubby gracefully stepping up to do things he doesn't like because he loves me. 

This is where the moist and delicious freezer banana bread recipe comes in. My guys loved baked goods - muffins, banana bread, coffee cakes - sweet yummy stuff and if its fresh out of the oven thats even better. Who doesn't love a hot chocolate cookie or a warm crumbly coffee cake? One thing I knew I wanted to try and make ahead for my time on the couch was a freezer banana bread I found in a cookbook. The recipe that "supposably" claimed to make 4 banana loaves all at once, still tasted good after being baked, frozen, and defrosted for later use. I thought that was a tall order. I have tried to freeze muffins and banana bread before but they always ended up dried out. The process of freezing just sucks the moisture out, and in the end rather sucks on your taste buds. I was excited that we would be able to have a yummy breakfast even though I was out of the kitchen.

Two weeks before surgery, give or take a day, I made the four loaves of banana bread freezer recipe. I wrapped them carefully with foil and put them fully cooled into freezer heavy duty bags and said a little prayer. Okay all of them but one. If they were going to fail because they dried out I wanted one fresh from the oven on the counter, and honestly that delicious bread smell floating and filling my kitchen was too great for me to hide and the guy's stomachs to ignore. It was delicious! 

The only changes I made to the original recipe were adding walnuts to one of the loaves, and whole wheat white flour instead of all purpose flour plus vital wheat gluten. I heart walnuts. My hubby doesn't feel as strongly about nuts so I only put 1/2 cup chopped in one loaf. 

Fast forward almost three weeks to today. Loaf #3 is sitting on the counter. I am amazed it is still there but it was the biggest loaf of the 4. I have been defrosting them about a week apart. So far we have served it for breakfast with sausage links, another time with just scrambled eggs, and another time with yogurt & granola and cereal. Each loaf has fed my family for 1-2 breakfasts.  Love that.  

After eating and enjoying this banana bread several times now, I determine it is a huge success. This will be a great freezer staple from now on. Once every couple months I can make a large batch and have it there when I need to supplement some meals or give a yummy loaf to a friend. 

The only problem I had with it was you have measure the batter into baking loaf pans carefully for even sized loaves. When you make this you are mixing a very large quantity of banana bread batter in one giant bowl. I didn't measure when I did this. I just poured the thicker than pancake batter into pans until it looked even. One of my loaves was tiny and another one was huge and the other two were medium sized. It was like the story the three bears small medium and large :) Next time I am going to make 3 bigger sized loaves instead of 4 and measure measure measure measure. 

The banana bread recipe comes from the cookbook "Not Your Mother's Make Ahead and Freeze Cookbook by Jessica Fisher" page 290. Please check it out. It is definitely worth your time. Provides an easy healthy breakfast option, stocks up your freezer, and by making all 3 or 4 loaves at the same time you save time and money with one shopping trip and one baking afternoon. I just ordered my own copy from amazon last night and will share the recipe with you another time. My original copy was from the library and they sort of wanted it back after I renewed it like 4 times. 

Enjoy some banana bread from me on the couch. 

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Please feel to comment about the pictures or recipe above. Looking forward to reading your comments. Happy reading, cooking, eating, and sharing good food!