Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mom's Vegan Banana Bread

Where I'm from, banana bread is a staple. I know this isn't a very exciting recipe, but when a neighbor comes over for coffee or you need something to take to a friend when a pet has died, good banana bread is there for you. It may not be impressive, but it is familiar and comforting. It is the baking version of watching a favorite old movie - it makes you feel nice and you don't have to think about it. It's You've Got Mail.

It is also the traditional use for that last banana that got too soft before you had a chance to eat it - let leftover bananas get good and dappled-brown, then freeze them until you have enough to make banana bread. The full loaves also freeze really well, so double the recipe and have one to defrost when old Fido finally bites it.

This is my mother's recipe; she veganized it herself, too (the asides are mine), so she deserves full credit.

Mom's Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
5 Tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
2/3 c. sugar
3 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer prepared with 4 Tbsp. water
1 c. mashed very ripe banana (about 2 bananas - better more than less, I think, so if your two bananas go a little bit over or you have 3 to use and they make up slightly more than this, toss them in. It will add more moisture, though, so compensate with a little more flour if you need to)
1/2 - 2/3 c. walnuts

Let all ingredients get to room temperature before combining.  Preheat oven to 375 and grease a loaf pan.

Thoroughly mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, beat the sugar into the Earth Balance with a mixer on high speed until it lightens in color and weight. Add the flour mixture bit by bit and continue blending until it's all added, then gradually beat in the egg replacer.

With a rubber spatula or spoon, fold in the banana and nuts until just combined, then pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly.

Bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool it in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it to cool completely on a rack (if it is still to soft and hot when you try to unmold it, it is likely to break apart.)

Thanks, Mom!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Knoxville's Market Square Farmer's Market

Hello all! I don't have a recipe for you today, but I feel pretty bad about having gone so long without posting. It's not for lack of work -I have 15 drafts for recipes right now, some almost complete and others still in their seminal stages, several where I've made the dish once or twice and still have some tweaking to do.

So today, instead of a recipe, I submit as a peace offering some farmer's market pictures. Saturday mornings in Market Square are my favorite time of the week, even though I only get off work for about one every six months. Enjoy!

Janine Musick with her beautiful lettuces
Milkmaid-chic at Cruze Dairy Farm
Read the flavors - all handmade and great inspiration for some vegan alternatives
Knoxvillians - find this woman and buy her lip balm. I have the mint, and I love it!
So pretty - I love the slight contrast between the blues

Garlic scapes - locally grown, easy to incorporate, but still seem exotic
Jim Smith from Rushy Springs Farm is they guy to talk to about peppers, herbs, and garlic varieties. Basically all the stuff that makes food taste great. Don't let him talk you in to tasting the wormwood.
More of Jim's wares, including his hot sauces
I'm going to smuggle some of his chili powders into Scotland when I go
Read the sign for humorous quotation marks

Art installation + urban garden in a public park
Aaaaand a pipe band. The Highland Games were coming up.