During each of my pregnancies, I become obsessed with a select few food items.

With Hadley and Nora, it was Ben & Jerry's Phish Food ice cream. And waffles. So many waffles. And pancakes. Okay, sugar. Just SUGAR.

This go around, it is this banana bread.

I think I have made this particular banana bread 8 times now in the last month and a half.

It usually only lasts two days, if we're lucky. The girls and I devour it like animals. Josh is lucky to get one bite.

So many great things about banana bread...

  1. It's an easy staple to add to your recipe collection.
  2. Doesn't everyone always end up with some bad bananas? I've purposely kept ripe bananas from the girls just to save them for this bread. I feel no guilt about it.
  3. It makes the whole house smell so cozy.
  4. Chocolate chips.
  5. It's basically dessert for breakfast. But also, fruit. Win, win.
  6. Goes great with a warm cup of joe.
  7. Chocolate chips.

Now, confession time, I'm not the most natural baker.

It's an odd thing for me, really, because I took a lot of Chemistry classes through college, which required a lot of precise measurements in the lab. In fact, I excelled in a lab atmosphere, so you'd think this would be a piece of cake. Heh.

But, no. For some reason, baking never came easily to me.

However, one little switch in the kitchen made a huge difference for me, and that is this little scale.

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Once I started measuring by weight instead of volume, I was able to get much more precise and could tell a big difference with my cookies, breads and cakes.

If you're on the dry or weird texture struggle bus of the baking world, I suggest trying out the scale to see if it helps.

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My little Nora loves to bake with me.

She asks me to, "Make her food" which by her standards requires a mixing bowl, always. The kid won't even let me microwave her leftover mac-n-cheese these days. Everything must be from scratch, woman!

I think she's just in it to eat chocolate chips and boss me around.

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I feel like banana bread is very particular for some folks, like how your favorite chili recipe becomes so near and dear to you.

You guys have a near and dear chili recipe, right? It's not just me?

Some like nuts in their bread, some use peanut butter, others top it with a crust.

For me, chocolate chips have to be there or I'm not even playin' witchu. I love the addition of whole wheat flour here to add a nutty flavor to the bread. I also love the use of yogurt to give it a rich and moist consistency.

Now if you don't have the yogurt but must make the bread STAT (been there), you can use a combo of whole milk and sour cream in a bind and it will still be incredible.

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Go ahead and give her a go. Let me know how this one fairs against other banana breads of your liking, because I will taste test them all.

Really, it's best for the baby. I hear bananas are good for them.

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My Favorite Banana Bread

Recipe from Stir by Jessica Fechtor


Ingredients

Dry

1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (57g) whole wheat flour
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chocolate chips

Wet

1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas, about 3 bananas
1/4 cup whole milk plain yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚ and grease a 6-cup loaf pan (8 1/4" x 4 1/4").
  2. In a bowl, mix your dry ingredients together and set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix your wet ingredients together. Gently fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, careful not to overmix.
  4. Pour into the loaf pan and add a few more chocolate chips to the top for good measure.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Mine always takes 60 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven to cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes, then turn out to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Slice, eat and be very, very happy. If you really want to indulge, heat the bread up and lather on some butter.

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Notes

  • If you'd like to make this in muffin form for an easier to-go breakfast or to make the perfect little holiday gift for a teacher or loved one, here are baking instructions..
    * Mini muffins - bake at 350˚ for 20 minutes
    * Regular muffins - bake at 350˚ for 25 minutes
    * Jumbo muffins- bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes

With love <3