Avoiding Shortening Can Be Difficult

One of my favorite things to make is banana bread. My mom’s recipe was really easy to make, easy to double or triple, and of course tasted delicious. The problem with the old standby was is reliance on shortening. It took me awhile to ween myself from shortening for pie crust, but I finally found a recipe that outperformed with just butter. After that shortening can finally was empty, I didn’t buy it anymore and boy did I find a lot of recipes that I forgot used it. Biscuits are still a trial to replicate well. But today is about Banana Bread.

I have searched online high and low and tried many recipes to find a no-shortening bread and all of my attempts were mere shadows of my original. Damn you shortening! Why do you have to make things so light and tender while clogging my arteries?!!

Well, I am here to tell you that experience of a trusted cook is way better than online research when it comes to recipes. I wish I had started there sooner. Alas, that is all in the past. My sweet sister, Jean, shared the one she’s used forever from the Moosewood Cookbook. Moosewood is a famous restaurant in upstate New York which was at the forefront of natural foods movement back in the seventies.

Happily the bread turns out moist and tender, it uses way more bananas than your standard recipe, so it is really good and banana-y. The recipe uses a cup of strong coffee too which makes for a deeper taste, almost toffee-like (I will confess that I’ve made it with and without, but with is better). It has an addition of grated orange which is quite nice. It also uses nutmeg which I am not a fan of and have left out each time. Moosewood’s original coats the pan with sesame seeds; I’ve read many reviews which leave those out and I do too…that is not the taste and texture I want in my banana bread.

Anyhoo, this is the absolute best time of year to make quick breads and who doesn’t have a few bananas about too soft to eat out of hand? Get in there and stir some up.

There are a lot of versions floating around online, but I will save you time by posting Jean’s version here.

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