Friday, February 12, 2016

Easy Banana Bread for Kids

My son tends to be something of a picky eater. So when he requests a particular kind of food, especially if it's something healthy (or at least hides something healthy amid less healthy things), I do my best to accommodate him. He recently discovered that he likes banana bread, so when he asked if we could bake banana bread today, I immediately took him to the store to buy bananas.

Actually, before I did that, I had to look up a recipe for banana bread. I loathe bananas, so it's not a recipe I had in my collection. And because I've never made it, I made sure to find one that promised to be "easy" and "foolproof". And it came out great, so I figured I'd share it here, in case any of you is ready to make your maiden voyage into banana bread baking.

Start with three bananas, the browner the better. These are just barely soft enough. It would have been better to wait another day, but my son NEEDED his banana bread NOW!!!

This recipe is literally so easy a child can do it. My 6-year-old needed a bit of guidance with measuring, and I managed the oven, but otherwise, he did it all himself, starting with peeling and mashing the bananas. We used a potato masher, since our bananas were fairly firm, but for softer bananas the back of a large spoon works just fine. Mash the bananas until they're uniform and pulpy. 

Next, put 1/3 cup butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt it in the microwave. 

Then, break an egg into a small bowl and whisk it with a fork. It should be well-mixed, but not as frothy as a beaten egg.

 Measure out 1/2 cup of white sugar. 

Add the butter, egg, and sugar to the banana mixture and stir well. 

Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt and stir till blended. 

Gradually stir in 1-1/2 cups of flour. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a standard-sized bread pan with cooking spray. 

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula, if needed. 

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Test for doneness by sticking a wooden toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, your bread is ready!

Feel free to lick the bowl (and your fingers) while you're waiting. Don't forget to wash your hands really well afterwards!

As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, pop it out of the pan onto a cooling rack and let it cool for at least 10 minutes. 

Cut into thick slices and serve with butter. (Mickey Mouse plate is optional, but highly encouraged.)


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