Hey, didja ever see this video?  In it, the beauteous Heidi Blickenstaff makes a reference to ďAunt Susanís Bananapants Banana Bread.Ē  And ever since the video dropped, people have been asking where and when they can get the recipe.  Well the answer is here and now.

Letís take a look at the label on that recipe.  (Weíre speaking figuratively here, not literally.)  The corner is peeling up, and underneath the label that says ďAunt Susanís Bananapants Banana BreadĒ is another that reads ďMomís Banana Bread.Ē  And under that is another label, too faded to read after forty or fifty years.  So this recipe did not originate with Susan, and it probably didnít even originate with Mom.  For all we know, Grandma was making this as a young girl in the wilds of Ontario, Canada.  Well, thatís the way it is with recipes; if you are lucky, you can inherit one from someone who has worked out the kinks.

Weíll start by launching straight into the recipe, but please stick with us afterward.  Weíll also be discussing how our Mom would have made the recipe back in the Ď70s, variants on the basic recipe and the nutritional aspects.

Aunt  Susanís  Bananapants Banana  Bread
Beat together
     3 ripe bananas (1-1/2 cups)
     1 large egg
     1/4 cup oil or butter

Mix together
     1-1/2 cup flour
     2-1/2 tsp baking powder
     1/2 tsp baking soda
     1/2 tsp salt
     1/2 cup sugar
     1 cup oatmeal

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, just until blended.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees in a greased loaf pan
or 25 minutes in muffin tins.

Now let’s say you were to jump into your TARDIS for a quick jaunt back to the 1970s to watch our Mom make a loaf of banana bread.  The first thing you might notice is that she prefers to avoid dirtying dishes unnecessarily, so she doesnít get out any mixing bowls.  The dry ingredients for the banana bread go directly into a greased loaf pan.  The wet ingredients go into a blender jar.  The wet ingredients, once blenderized, are combined with the dry ingredients directly in the loaf pan just before baking. Quick and efficient.

Another thing you might notice is that there is no butter to be found.  There might be liquid vegetable oil, but maybe not.  What you would find is margarine, probably Blue Bonnet brand in a reusable cereal bowl.  These days, margarine is looked down upon as an inferior cousin of butter.  But having grown up on the stuff, we can enjoy the flavor of margarine-laced baked goods fondly.  And the flavor doesnít seem inferior or superior to items made with butter, just different.

If Mom is going to add anything to the banana bread batter, it is likely to be black walnuts.  Black walnuts have a hearty, almost unpleasant flavor when eaten by themselves, but they make an excellent counterpoint to something that is sweet.  Mom would sit on the concrete steps outside our house and shell her own black walnuts with a claw hammer, wearing leather work gloves to keep the walnut rinds from staining her hands.  Sure, you can use English walnuts or pecans instead, but it isnít quite the same.  Mom would never put chocolate chips in a banana bread, though; not one of her favorite ingredients.  But it is an option.

Speaking of options, you could leave out the bananas altogether.  That one and a half cups of bananas could just as well be shredded carrots, sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed butternut squash, apple butter or even thick apple sauce.  The trick is that you may have to increase the sugar to compensate for the fact that these replacement ingredients will not be bringing as much sweetness to the party as the well-ripened bananas would.  Hereís a trick: Add your sugar to your wet ingredients (but before you have added any raw eggs) and give it a taste to see if think it is sweet enough.

Oh, and just so you know, different substitutes for bananas will probably have different moisture content, and that affects baking time.  As always with quick breads of this type you will want to make sure a toothpick, skewer or butter knife dipped into the middle comes out clean.

We have preloaded the banana bread recipe into the Tonyís Plate Calculator so you can take a look at the nutrition and play around with the recipe.  You will notice that some of the ingredients do not have their rows checked off.  This is so you can see out what would happen if you made some substitutions in the recipe.  For example, you could get the nutrition of a squash-bread recipe by unchecking the row with bananas, checking the row with butternut squash and increasing the the amount of sugar.  Or replace the granulated sugar with brown sugar.  Or make the bread with 3/4 cup white flour and 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour.  Add some spices or raisins to the mix.  Only you will know what you might like.  Be creative.