Please allow me to introduce to you a certain highly celebrated, nutrient rich, infinitely adaptable, and downright delicious friend of mine, the Loaf.
My obsession with this special loaf began around this time last year. I wanted banana bread. Bad. I wanted something moist and bursting with flavor, yet humble enough for every day enjoyment. I also wanted something that wouldn’t pitch a tent on my thighs three days later. So, my crafty little banana loving brain went to work and out popped the loaf of my dreams.
It’s hearty and satisfying (healthy too! fiber!) from the oatmeal and whole wheat flour, but still chock full of flavor from the banana, sweet potato, and buttermilk. And remember how I said this was infinitely adaptable? Yeah. One time, this was avocado-banana-coconut milk bread. It’s been cranberry apple carrot bread. Fancy yourself some chocolate? Banana chocolate chip bread is awfully splendid. Zucchini date yam banana bread has happened. You can literally throw in whatever floats your boat, and this bread will not fail you. However! Be careful when adding lots of mushy add-ins- if your ratio of wet to dry is too high, your bread might never really cook through. If I’m adding a truck load of banana and yam and various other fun things, I’ll add in an extra tablespoon or two of flour.
Oatmeal Sweet Potato Banana Everything Bread
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (feel free to sub in some all purpose flour for a lighter bread)
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup oat bran (No oat bran, no fear! Just sub in extra oats.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup buttermilk (I’ve used non-fat greek yogurt here many many a time. It gets the job done, but buttermilk’s always better.)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (I’ve used raw sugar here in an effort to be extra healthy- it’s just as good.)
2 tablespoons canola oil
Up to 1 1/2 cups of whatever add-ins your heart desires- Here I’ve used 1/2 cup banana and 1 cup mashed sweet potato. Cranberries, raisins, chopped up dates, grated zucchini, diced apple, mashed yam, and grated carrot are just a few ideas.
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan (I use a 7.5 by 3.5 inch pan and end up with a few muffins worth of extra batter) with non-stick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. If you’re using dried fruits, toss them in and coat them in the flour and oats. In another bowl combine the applesauce, buttermilk, brown sugar, oil and egg. Stir in any wet add-ins you’re using. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add in the wet. Stir together just until all dry ingredients are incorporated.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan, leaving about a 1/2 inch space at the top. Use any extra batter for muffins. Bake for 45-55 minutes (depending on how many wet ingredients were added in) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Best served with tea.
Do something creative today. Make ridiculous bread.