Going bananas over banana bread

A delicious and healthy snack, banana bread has been with us ever since we were children. To know more about this scrumptious dish, read the following article.

There are two things that come to mind when someone mentions banana bread; 1) banana and 2) bread. Bread has existed for centuries ever since the Neolithic times. Primitive men crush grains using stones and mixed them with water. Then, they spread the mixture on rocks placed on hot ashes.

Bananas, on the other hand, originated from Southeast Asia, most likely around the Malaysian region. Around 2,000 B.C, it had spread as far as India and Papua New Guinea. The banana has such a significant impact on their culture, that the whole tree is not wasted. The trunks are used as bridges; the leaves as food wrappings and the banana heart (single male banana) are used for medicinal purposes. However, wheat wasn’t common back then. Therefore, banana bread didn’t come from there.

The ancient Greeks were probably the ones who came up with the idea of banana bread. Although the banana was not native in the region, they have been many references to the fruit. One most notable example is in the book Historia Plantarum, loosely translated as ‘The History of Plants’, by a Theophrastus, a Greek naturalist philosopher. The Greeks already had a reputation for mixing bread with honey and other fruits. Why not bananas?

Modern banana bread was invented in the 1930’s. It grew popular during the advent of baking powder and quick bread. Sodium bicarbonate, or baking powder, replaced yeast as a leavening agent and this was due to fact that quick bread takes a lot faster to rise compared to using yeast, which takes hours.

Banana bread experienced another boom in popularity in the 1960’s when home baking was fast becoming the fad. Aside from that, several different variations of banana bread was also invented. Bakeries added nuts, chocolate chips and other fruits into the plain banana bread to produce more variety in their menu. There’s also a vegan version, where the eggs are replaced with tofu or soy.

Now, an article about food should have the recipe, especially if the topic in question is about delicious banana bread. To make this scrumptious snack, you’ll need one (1) cup white flour, half (1/2) cup wheat flour, one and a half (1 ½) tsp. baking powder, quarter (1/4) tsp. baking soda, quarter (1/4) tsp. cinnamon, one-eighth (1/8) tsp. salt, one (1) egg, one (1) cup mashed banana (3 medium), two-thirds (2/3) cup sugar, quarter (1/4) cup canola oil, one (1) tsp. lemon zest (optional), half (1/2) cup chopped pecans (optional)

First, grease the loaf pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, mix the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and make a well in the centre. Combine the eggs, bananas, sugar, oil and lemon zest in a separate bowl. Mix the two together and stir till moist. Add nuts if necessary. Spoon batter into the pan and bake at 350 for around 50 minutes. To check if it’s cooked, poke a toothpick and if it comes out clean, it’s done. Sprinkle brown sugar on top.

Bananas are an excellent choice of potassium. They also help in the cleansing of the colon and small intestine. Although their nutrients are slightly lessened after being cooked, that’s the price you have to pay to satisfy your taste buds.

01.01.2008. 08:24

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