When Wayne and I were first married, I found myself doing a lot of baking, gardening, canning, and even sewing. It was an enjoyable necessity grown from our reality of having more time than money. Eventually, many of my domestic endeavors fell away as life and responsibilities shifted and changed. We refer to the activities done back then as things Wayne’s ‘first wife’ did.
Since moving to Charlotte a few years ago, I have rediscovered the joy of baking. One day I noticed that my bananas had ripened past the point of pealing and eating, so I thought it would be a good time to find a banana bread recipe. My hope was to create something with a more robust flavor that was less sweet.
After some Googling, I found a variety of recipes, but none of them were what I was looking for. I ended up using a basic banana bread recipe and modified some of the ingredients. Cutting back on the brown sugar allowed me to include maple syrup. I also added a diced apple to the mashed bananas and used both cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. I’ve included the recipe at the end of this post. If you try it, be sure to let me know what you think.
Bananas are the perfect ‘take-along’ snack
If you are a busy caregiver (I know, it’s a redundant term), finding a sense of balance in your busy life can be tricky. You know the challenges of providing consistent care amidst doctor appointments, shopping, and other outings. I have found that bananas are an almost perfect food to carry with you wherever you go. There’s no need for a can opener or even a spoon. Bananas don’t have to be heated or refrigerated. Another advantage is that since they are soft and easy to chew, eating or teeth issues are less likely to be a problem. Also, not many folks have allergies to bananas.
Don’t let the sweetness of bananas scare you away from eating them, according to “The World’s Healthiest Foods” web site, bananas have a low glycemic index and are a good source of both vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.
If you or your loved-one is diabetic, an article in Healthline offers good banana news as well. It states that Bananas Contain Nutrients That Moderate Blood Sugar Levels.
It’s so easy being green
And, in honor of the color green usually associated with March (St. Patrick’s Day), may I suggest that the green bananas may be worth taking a look at. They are a great source of something called resistant starch according to an article in food.ndtv.com, 7 Amazing Green Banana Benefits You May Not Have Known
The term ‘go bananas’ was originally coined in the 1960s meaning ‘go crazy’. That term may be an apt description of your world some days. Take heart. Despite the toll it can take on you – not to mention exhaustion and sleeplessness, being a caregiver carries its own rewards. When you look into the eyes of your loved-one and see the child-like trust and love radiating back, I encourage you to ignore those who think you are crazy for the sacrifices of time and treasure – just, ‘Go Bananas’!
Banana bread recipe (2 loaves)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 ripe medium bananas, mashed
- 1 apple finely diced
- 2 sticks (16 tsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3/4 C maple syrup
- 3/4 C packed light brown sugar
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon together, set aside. In the bottom of a medium bowl, mash bananas into a chunky paste. Mince the apple and add to the mashed bananas. Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla together with the bananas and apple mixture until blended.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently and the batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into two loaf pans and place in the center rack. Bake 55 to 65 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
- After 30 minutes in the oven, check the bread for color. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil.
- When the bread is done, cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Wrap bread to store in the refrigerator up to a week, or freeze for up to three months.
Has your world been touched by dementia? My recent book, “FinishingWell: Finding Joy in the Journey”, is a collection of stories and tips about doing life with my Mama. May it encourage and inspire you to find joy on your own, unique journey. Find our group on Facebook