Carrot Banana Bread

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I haven’t made banana bread without carrots in it since stumbling upon this recipe for Carrot Banana Bread. It’s just that good! It also doesn’t hurt that you’re adding a vegetable… so now you have a fruit and a vegetables in a baked good. That means it’s an anytime food, right? My preschooler thinks so anyway. She loves to help me make this recipe and then the begging ensues before it even comes out of the oven. Imagine the incessant soundtrack of “Can I have some banana bread?” playing in the background to your every thought. Ok, maybe don’t imagine that. Just feel sorry for me and know that this quick bread is worthy of begging and pleading.

It’s come to the point that I no longer make a single batch of this carrot banana bread. We always double the recipe and give the second loaf to a lucky friend or grandparent. And, let’s be honest, sometimes we keep both loaves to ourselves so that we can satisfy my begging child that would gladly eat this bread for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert.

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Brunch is probably my favorite meal and this recipe would be a great addition to a brunch menu. It’s also flexible if you want to make a healthier version. I often substitute whole wheat pastry flour for all or half of the all purpose flour, swap honey for the sugar, or use apple sauce for some or all of the vegetable oil. I’ve even added in grated zucchini when I ran out of carrots. Of course those changes will slightly affect the texture and flavor, but I haven’t made a version we didn’t like yet. I’ll also tell you my Vitamix method that helps eliminate some of the effort and cuts down on dishes.

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Yes, the carrots from our garden were a little short and stumpy this year. Still delicious though. I hope you love this recipe as much as my family does!

Carrot Banana Bread

Yield: 1 loaf (8 thick slices)
Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe banana (2-3 bananas… a little more than a cup doesn’t hurt anything)
1/3 cup canola or coconut oil
1 cup grated carrots
2-3 teaspoons raw turbinado sugar (optional)

Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon) in a large bowl. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, banana, and oil until combined.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything together until no dry ingredients remain visible. 
  • Fold the grated carrots into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top with the turbinado sugar. The raw sugar is optional, but it gives the baked loaf a sweet little crunch on the top.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out of the center clean. Bake time will depend on factors such as your oven temp, a glass/metal pan, etc. Start checking for doneness at 55 minutes.
  • Cool for 10-15 minutes before releasing the bread from the loaf pan. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Vitamix blender method: To save time and dirty dishes, I like to use my Vitamix blender to “shred” the carrots. Peel your carrots and cut them into 1-2″ chunks. Put the Vitamix on Variable and 7-8 on the speed dial and turn it on. Feed the carrot chunks one at a time through the opening at the top, covering the opening with your hand after each addition. To remove the carrots, turn the canister upside down over a flat surface and tap to release the them. Measure out one cup and reserve to fold into the batter later. Without washing the blender canister, add in your wet ingredients (whole bananas, oil, and eggs) and turn on the blender for a few seconds to mix/puree. Then your wet ingredients are ready to add to the dry. Congratulations… you just saved yourself from washing a cheese (carrot) grater, banana masher, and a medium mixing bowl!

adapted from Taste of Home

 

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