Banana bread fit for a Greek myth?

I don’t know about you, but we always have bananas sitting on the kitchen counter.  Sweet Pea loves them and Tom likes taking them to work for lunch, so we usually buy some each week.  Needless to say, we don’t always eat every single banana.  They have been known to languish on the counter for days and days until Tom or I take pity on their blackness and throw them away.  I pity the fool who walks into our kitchen before said extermination…the fruit basket is not a pretty sight.

Once in a while (i.e. when Tom appeals to my baking nature, or whines a lot) I make banana bread.  Mmm…warm, chocolatey, breakfast food of the gods.  Or at least the minor Greek deities.  I’ll bet Heracles ate banana bread in between labors.  (Yes, I did study ancient art in college.  Why do you ask?)  This recipe is an adaptation of my mom’s recipe, since I decided that if I was making it twice a month it should probably be a little healthier for us.

We love olive oil (it all comes back to the Mediterranean), so I’ve been experimenting with adding it instead of butter to baking recipes.  This is one of my most successful attempts, where I think the olive oil really complements the banana flavor.  I don’t use my expensive extra virgin olive oil for baking, because you’d never taste the yummy fruitiness.  I use plain jane olive oil from the grocery store, which I think adds better flavor than canola (I hate the taste of canola in baked goods, I always sub olive oil).  Since I use egg substitute because of Tom’s allergy, if I had the right chocolate chips this would be a vegan recipe.

The recipe is very forgiving.  I even accidentally used rye flour instead of whole wheat one time, and it still tasted pretty good, if a little stickier than usual.  The original recipe calls for nuts, which I’m allergic to, but if they float your boat feel free to add them to your heart’s content.

Tom wants me to now make the connection between Heracles eating banana bread and him eating banana bread while at work.  Clearly, he has more than twelve labors at the office each day.  Maybe with a little ab work, Tom too could slay the Nemean lion.  Maybe.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1 c. unsifted all-purpose flour

1 c. unsifted whole wheat flour

3/4 c. sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 c. ripe, mashed bananas (2-3 bananas, depending on size)

scant 1/2 c. olive oil

2 eggs whisked, or egg substitute equivalent

1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom only of 9 x 5 x 3″ loaf pan.  Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in large bowl, blend with mixer on medium speed until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

This bread freezes well, just wrap it in plastic wrap then aluminum foil after the bread has cooled completely.

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