I’m kind of picky about my bananas. I like them on the green side, starchy but not crunchy, with a thick peel and a semi-sweet taste. Brown spots? Nope. So soft it’s almost oozing? Never.
So you can imagine the difficulty I sometimes encounter at the grocery store when someone wants to (god forbid) buy bananas that are actually yellow. He claims he can’t properly digest green-ish bananas. (It’s true. Something about a belly ache.) But it’s not like he wants to buy three or four of these yellow-turning-black-in-a-matter-of-hours bananas to get him through the week. No, he wants to buy a humongous bunch that he’ll never finish before they do, in fact, rot. This is why I have so many spotted bananas on my counter.
There were three sitting next to the stove last weekend and I knew I had to do something with them before an invasion of the fruit flies attacked my kitchen. The only edible option: banana bread. I’ve been replicating one banana bread recipe for years, tweaking it a bit by using whole wheat flour instead of white flour and applesauce instead of oil. It’s my old quick-bread standby, though I’m pleased to announce my new obsession involving pumpkin bread with hazelnuts and golden raisins. We’ll get to that recipe another day.
In my world, one can never get enough peanut butter. Or chocolate. Or summer ale. Or summer vacation. Or vacation of any type, really, as long as it means I can sleep in and watch soap operas or hike up a giant mountain or stick my toes in the ocean or drink too many margaritas, even in torrential downpours that last for too many days.
I digress. I usually don’t add anything extra to banana bread, not even walnuts. The same someone who prefers very yellow bananas also strongly prefers to leave out the walnuts and the hazelnuts and the almonds and anything else that’ll make his bread crunchy. But this time, I wanted something new, so I tossed in husband-approved peanut butter chips. You know, nothing goes better with bananas than a little PB. The result: sweet but salty, a bit dense, more like peanut butter bread as the banana flavor took a back seat.
I should probably mention that I usually use three old, brown, spotty bananas for this bread. But I wound up using two old, icky bananas and one perfectly unripe banana because someone took one of the oldies to work and ate it, mush and all.
Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Chips
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens’ New Cook Book)