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~ Peanut Butter-Banana-Oat & Trail Mix Quick Bread ~

IMG_1003I'd love to tout this scrumptious breakfast treat as healthy -- I suppose in some oaty-grain fruit-and-nut-land sort of way it is, so, if that convinces you to give this recipe a try, I can live with that -- in the meantime, I'll just proclaim it to be a somewhat healthier option to most other sweets found in bakeries and coffeeshops (especially since my favorite way to indulge in a slice of this bread is toaster-oven-toasted and slathered with a touch of softened salted butter).  Just yum.

A bit about quick bread:  "Quick bread" is an American term that refers to bread that is quick to make because it doesn't require kneading or rising time.  It originated during the American civil war, when the demand for food and bread was high.  Innovative cooks began rapidly producing bread and baked goods that were leavened with baking soda rather than yeast.  Nowadays, the leavening agent is predominately double-acting baking powder, or, a combination of baking powder and baking soda.  In the case of baking powder, it is called "double acting" because the rising process starts the moment it makes contact with the liquids, and, gives a second burst of rising power when the bread enters the hot oven.  Typically, quick breads contain eggs, flour, salt and fat (butter, margarine, shortening or oil) and leavening.  That said, they can be sweet or savory and contain sugar, fruits, fruit purée, vegetables, vegetable purée and various liquids (milk, buttermilk, fruit juice or stock).  The wet and dry ingredients are mixed separately, in two different bowls, then briefly stirred together just prior to baking.  FYI:  Biscuits, cornbread, muffins, pancakes, scones, soda bread and waffles -- they all fall into the quick-bread category too.

Calling all lovers of peanut butter & bananas.

IMG_1020This bread is moist, chewy & chocked full of fruit & nut flavors.

IMG_07961 1/2  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1  cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1  teaspoon baking powder

1/2  teaspoon sea salt

1/2  cup salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (1 stick)

1/2  cup granulated sugar

1/2  cup lightly-packed light-brown sugar

2  teaspoons each:  pure banana and vanilla extract

2  large, 7 1/2-8-ounce bananas, smashed with a fork, about 1 1/2 cups smashed bananas

1/2  cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, your choice

2  cups tropical trail mix (dried coconut, mango, papaya and pineapple, raisins, banana chips, brazil nuts, cashews and peanuts), your favorite brand

IMG_0969~ Step 1.  Spray the insides of 4, 5 3/4" x 3 1/4" x 2" mini, 2-cup capacity loaf pans with no-stick cooking spray.  Feel free to bake this quick bread in one (8-cup capacity) or two (4-cup capacity) larger loaves, just know the baking time will be affected -- it will take somewhat longer.  I bake small loaves so Joe and I can eat one and freeze three for other days.

IMG_0807 IMG_0807 IMG_0807 IMG_0807 IMG_0807 IMG_0807~Step 2.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking powder and salt.  In a 2-cup measuring container, mash the bananas with a fork -- there will be about 1 1/2 cups.  Stir the extracts into the smashed bananas, then, add and stir in the peanut butter -- there will be about 2 cups banana-peanut butter mixture.  Set aside.

IMG_0812 IMG_0812 IMG_0812 IMG_0812~Step 3.  In a large bowl, starting on low and working your way up to high speed of hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter, sugars and egg together, while scraping down the sides of bowl with a large rubber spatula.  Lower mixer speed and fold in the banana-peanut butter mixture.

IMG_0826 IMG_0826 IMG_0826 IMG_0826~Step 4.  Remove the mixer.  Using the rubber spatula, alternating the dry flour-oat mixture with the trail mix, fold the two mixtures into the wet mixture, in two increments each (half then half).

IMG_0972 2 IMG_0972 2 IMG_0984 IMG_0986~Step 5.  Divide and transfer mixture to prepared pans -- I use a soup ladle and a kitchen scale. Bake on center rack of preheated 350° oven, 30-35 minutes, or until lightly and nicely browned, puffed up through to the centers, and, a cake tester inserted into the thickest middle of each loaf comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool, in pan on a wire rack, for 5-6 minutes prior to inverting from pans to cool completely, 1-2 hours or overnight, prior to slicing and serving.

Cool completely, 1-2 hours, prior to slicing & serving.

IMG_1011Dare to be square -- same recipe different pan -- for lunch boxes: 

IMG_0855Peanut Butter-Banana-Oat & Trail Mix Quick Bread:  Recipe yields 4, 5 3/4" x 3 1/4" x 2" mini-loaves/4 servings per loaf/2 slices per person.

Special Equipment List:  4, 5 3/4" x 3 1/4" x 2" mini, 2-cup capacity loaf pans; spoon; 2-cup measuring container; fork; hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; soup ladle; kitchen scale; wire cooling rack

IMG_9571Cook's Note:  I enjoy making muffins and quick breads using Summer fruits.  That said, I enjoy bananas all year long, I eat one each and every day, and, when it comes to Summer berries, strawberries are my favorite. In my recipe for ~ Summer Strawberry and Banana Breakfast Muffins ~, I combine the two, and, on occasion, for crunch, I throw a cup of tropical trail mix in them too.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)


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