If you’re anything like me, you look forward to summer all year long. Sundresses, sunscreen, beach towels, wedge sandals, dinners on the patio, gooey s’mores – some of the best parts of the season, right? But that’s not what I’m talking about.
All year long I look forward to summer produce. And when it finally arrives, I cannot get enough of it. I go to farmer’s markets and instantly forget about what I already picked up at the store two days ago, or what will arrive from our CSA tomorrow. I go NUTS. I buy squash by the dozen and berries by the flat.
And then I get it all home and PANIC that I cannot possibly eat it all before it goes bad. Last week I saw an amazing deal on organic berries at the market, and couldn’t resist picking up – oh, you know – four pints of them.
These were the best berries I have had all summer. Ridiculously sweet, adorably tiny, and perfectly ripe. I started off strong – plowing my way through the first pint within the first hour. But as my attention turned to things like plums and melons, the berries started to look sad.
Nothing makes me cringe more than tossing out perfectly good (and expensive!) produce, so I wanted to make good use of what was left. It was the perfect storm of wilting berries and blackening bananas, and so I knew what I had to do.
Strawberry banana is one of those classic flavor combinations you always see on things like yogurt, smoothies, and bubble gum. So why not add summer berries to what I already know is amazing banana bread? If you have an abundance of berries this summer, I can’t think of a better way to use them up than this.
Strawberry Banana Bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55-60 minutes
Ingredients (1 loaf)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unbleached cane sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar (loose)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 ripe medium bananas
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients – flour through sugar.
In a separate dish, mash the bananas with a fork until they are totally broken down – they should look like goop! Add the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla and whisk until totally combined – try to work out as many lumps as possible.
Trim the tops off the strawberries and slice them into bite-sized pieces. If you have large berries, you may want to cut them in half more than once. Add the berries to the bowl of wet ingredients, and fold them in with a spatula.
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Try to avoid over-mixing! Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan, and pop into the oven. Bake for 55-60 minutes. The top will be golden brown and have a good crust. Test to see if bread is done by inserting a toothpick in the thickest part of the loaf (it should come out clean when bread is ready). Transfer loaf to a cooling rack, and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Do you see that oozing berry goodness? Yes, it tastes as amazing as it looks.
Fresh strawberries take this banana bread to a dangerously addictive level. They are gooey and juicy and I only wished I had added more so that I got one in every single bite.
This loaf lasted a total of ONE day in our house of three (adults). I’d like to say it was an event split, but I’m fairly certain that I am responsible for 80% of it’s consumption. No regrets.