My Mom used to make Banana Bread when I was a kid from a recipe in her Betty Crocker Cookbook. It was dense and good, and we would top it with a spread made of cream cheese and crushed pineapple mixed together. Banana Bread is definitely a comfort food for me, which I have needed in my life lately for some reason. Maybe because winter seems to be going on and on, or I’m in the middle of a law suit about my roof. Who knows. Today I needed Banana Bread. Slathered with cold butter.
This recipe I got from a friend about 30 years ago. She brought it to a Pot Luck where we worked and after just one bite, I knew I had to have the recipe. It was moist with a soft crumb texture that melted in my mouth, not dense like the banana bread I had grown up with. I was so lucky she shared this recipe with me and it has been my go-to recipe ever since. Sorry Mom. The dates were not in the original recipe, but were added by me to jazz it up a little. The dates give it an almost liquor-like flavor. However, if you are not a date person, leave them out, or add a half cup of chocolate chips. Be creative. But make this for sure. You’ll be really glad you did.
Banana Date Nut Bread
3 large very ripe bananas (black skin is good)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix
½ cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are good)
½ cup dates, 3/8-inch pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom of 9×5x3 inch loaf pan.
2. Chop the nuts and dates. Set aside.
3. Smash peeled bananas on a plate with a fork until no lumps remain.
4. In a large bowl, stir together the wet ingredients thoroughly with a fork. Add the sugar and mix in.
5. Add the Bisquick and stir until moist. Beat vigorously for 1 minute until no lumps remain.
6. Mix in the nuts and dates until evenly distributed. Pour into pan.
7. Bake for 55 – 65 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes
8. Remove from pan and place top side up on a wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing.
9. Store, wrapped, at room temperature for up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.
Note: You can leave out the nuts and/or dates, or add ½ cup chocolate chips if you prefer.