I used four soft, speckled bananas to add natural sweetness and rich banana flavor to this delicious bread with minimal oil and sugar. The bananas and just 3 tablespoons of olive oil make this bread moist. Add strawberries for a taste of strawberry jam or blueberries. Add chocolate chips for a nice gooey sweetness.
1/3 cup 1% or skim milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup unbleached white flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup finely ground whole wheat flour
¼ cup ground flax seed
A dash each of nutmeg and cinnamon.
1/2 cup sugar plus 1 Tb for sprinkling on top. I used turbindo sugar for sprinkling.
4 bananas (1 ½ cups mashed)
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
3 Tb olive oil
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate bar pieces
3/4 cup roughly chopped strawberries (optional)
1/2 cup blueberries (optional) If you are using frozen blueberries, defrost them and drain them before adding
½ cup walnut and/or pecan pieces
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Add lemon juice to milk. Let it sit while you are mixing the other ingredients. The milk should curdle, resembling buttermilk. (You can skip this step and use buttermilk instead if you prefer).
Sift both flours, baking soda, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, and flax seed. Stir well to combine ingredients.
Mash bananas with a fork or potato masher. You can also whirl them in a food processor. Add them to the egg mixture, along with olive oil and vanilla. Whip for another minute.
With mixer on low, add half the milk and half the flour mixture, and then repeat. Mix only until ingredients are almost combined. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips and/or blueberries (if using) until they are just combined.
Spray a loaf pan or muffin tins with non-stick spray. (because of the low fat content of the ingredients, you should spray paper muffin cups with non-stick spray if you choose to use them.) For extra buttery flavor, wipe a smear of butter at the bottom. Pour in batter. Sprinkle the top with turibindo sugar.
Place on the middle shelf of preheated oven. Bake loaf 1 hour- 65 minutes, muffins for 35-40 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Remove bread from pan and let cool on a rack a few minutes before slicing.