I thought I would share my favorite bread recipe with everyone. This recipe is a banana nut bread, and is by far my favorite quick bread, not only because it tastes amazing, but because this is my nanny’s recipe. This recipe has been passed down from generation to generation.
My nanny’s name was Marian, and she was the most amazing person, and the best grandparent I could have asked for. My memories of her are all so wonderful. She was loving, caring and fun. I was always so excited when she and my grandfather would babysit my sister and me as kids. Her and my grandfather lived in Westchester, PA, and it seemed we were always at their house, or they were at ours. Their set babysitting day was usually Thursday, and that was always the best day of the week for me. Marian was a great cook and an amazing baker. She came from the school of ‘everything should be made from scratch’. She never used box or can desserts. She was the real deal, using all whole ingredients. When my mom came across her banana bread recipe, I just knew I had to make it.
The banana nut bread does have a secret ingredient…. Black walnuts. Yes that’s right, not just any walnuts, but black walnuts. They give the banana bread such a distinct, amazing flavor… far better than regular walnuts. I would know since the first time I tried this recipe, I used regular walnuts instead, not knowing there would be a big difference. My mom could tell right away that the bread tasted different. She went out to the store to get me black walnuts, and viola’… Game Changer!!!!
So here’s the breakdown on black walnuts; they produce more flavor, much bolder and earthier than English Walnuts. Black walnuts are definitely less common that English walnuts, but well worth the search. They have a much harder and tougher shell than the English walnut. The actual color of the nut meat is slightly different also, with black walnuts being darker, and having a more powdery exterior. Both walnuts, like any other nut have great health benefits. Black walnuts have no cholesterol, just like cashews. They are also high in the “good fats”, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. What’s more, they contain no sugar, yet still taste great! These nuts also beat English nuts in the protein department. They contain many vitamins and minerals, with high doses of Iron and calcium. They even help to lower cholesterol, and with cardiac health. Furthermore, they have amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The list goes on and on, so time to go out and get some black walnuts!
This recipe uses sour cream for a really soft, moist texture. The bananas being so ripe add natural sweetness, along with additional added softness to the bread. The black walnut taste really heightens the banana taste for a great synergistic effect that gives the bread flavor that extra umph.
The only change I made to this recipe was replacing the white sugar with honey. This not only reduces the sugar intake, but adds a nice flavor. Bet you can’t have just one piece.