It’s been a while since I blogged a recipe to our readers. Thankfully we have Claire and Sarah to do most of the food blogs for us, because they LOVE to cook. I, however, really don’t love cooking or baking. I’m not sure why. Maybe because as a kid about 12 years old, it was my job to make dinner! We were given a day of the week, and it was our responsibility to plan and prepare the meal for the family. My divorced mom had 5 kids living at home at the time (seven kids total), so it was a very smart, strategic move on her part. While I was proud of what I learned to make…lasagna, meatloaf, spaghetti…I always felt like it was a chore. But luckily, I married a guy who is simply fabulous in the kitchen! He does nearly all of the cooking, AND he has taught me how to simplify recipes, and to enjoy the process as much as the end result. So once again, he has helped me come up with a recipe idea for our Butcher Block Co. Blog!
For our walnut-themed week, I’m making easy, delicious Walnut Banana Bread! It’s timed perfectly for you foodies out there, because Saturday is also National Banana Lovers Day!
So what makes this recipe easy? Buy Trader Joe’s boxed Banana Bread Mix and a bag of Walnut halves.
What makes this recipe unique? Roast the walnuts, use frozen bananas, add vanilla, orange and almond extract, and add chocolate chips (of course)!
For those of you who know what you’re doing in the kitchen, you can probably stop reading now and go make this walnut banana bread. For the rest of you, there are a few helpful tips and adjustments to the recipe that are required to pull this off successfully, so read on…
- Trader Joe’s Banana Bread Mix
- Walnut Halves, chopped
- 1/2 cup Chocolate chips
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- * 1/4 cup water (not the 3/4 cup noted on the box)
- *1/4 tsp orange extract
- *1/4 tsp almond extract
- *1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 * frozen bananas (in the peel works best)
- * = adjustments to the recipe
Slightly roast the walnut halves in a dry fry pan on medium to high heat. Walnuts are done when they just begin to darken slightly AND you get a waft of nutty, earthy smell off of them. This should take no more than 10 minutes. Do not let them burn. Roasting will take the bitterness out of the walnut. Then chop them to the desired size. I used my handy John Boos Herb Board and Mezzaluna Knife for this. Yah!
Follow the directions on the banana bread box. Whisk wet ingredients together then add the dry mix to the wet and blend with a spoon until just mixed.
Now for the frozen bananas. Living in Arizona, I find that bananas turn really fast, so we have a freezer full of brown bananas at all times. Just toss them in the freezer, peels and all, and they are always on hand for baking and making shakes! So now, grab your frozen bananas and defrost them in the microwave just until soft. Squeeze the banana out of the peel into a bowl and mash them slightly with a fork. Add them to the mixture.
Add chocolate chips and your chopped, roasted walnuts and fold together. Pour into lightly greased bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for *50 minutes (instead of the recommended 40 minutes).
Cool. Slice. Eat. Repeat.
Easy, Delicious Walnut Banana Bread
Printer-friendly recipe:Easy, Delicious Walnut Banana Bread