Banana bread (that kind of crackles!)

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I feel like every story surrounding banana bread, specifically stories about making banana bread, all start with a version of “so I had some dying bananas sitting on my counter.” However, my banana bread does not start with that detail because dying fruit of any kind (and the bugs that come with it) have become one of my top five fears. I think it’s because I live with roommates and just allowing my fruit to die in our shared kitchen would make me the worst. Also, it’s gross. Also, I like to eat fruit.

My little “don’t die fruit” thing does become a problem, however, when I do want banana bread because (as we all know) the dish requires the bananas to be in a very specific, special state in their life. If I were to give them an age, with green being a baby and totally black and gross being 100, you want your bananas to be in their 70’s. They should be collecting social security and eating dinner at 4 p.m. So the problem is that most stores don’t have elderly bananas just sitting around – we’re supposed to buy them young and then they age at home, right? BUT WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO SPEND THE TIME WATCHING BANANAS AGE? Frankly, I feel like I’m aging far too quickly (in a moment of weakness, I bought anti-wrinkle cream last week) so the last thing I want to do is spend my week watching fruit go from baby to senior citizen.

(I can’t even believe I actually just typed that all out. You probable can’t believe these are the thoughts milling around my head.)

All of that nonsense up there is to say that if I buy bananas on the day that I suddenly want banana bread, I actually have to wait at least three days before I can actually make it. And normally by that time my tastes have moved on..to like, ice cream or something. The only reason this loaf came to life is because I ran across this recipe and just couldn’t get the idea of crackly banana bread out of my head! I thought about it for a week before I even bought the bananas! And then I kept thinking about it while I let the fruit age (gracefully, of course) on top of my fridge. In all honesty, they probably weren’t completely ready when I made this but we all know patience is not a strong point for me.

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So what is crackly banana bread? Well, I don’t actually know. While this bread was delicious, I’m not sure crackly is the correct word here. The millet definitely gave it a little crunch which I enjoyed, but when I think crackly I think of those little seaweed snacks (another obsession of mine!). Not that I want my banana bread to shatter when I eat it….but for some reason when I think “crackly” that’s what I imagine. I would say this bread kind-of crackled. If I just did a really good job of turning you off to this recipe, I should probably let you know that you can totally leave the millet out and this bread will still be great.

See? There are legitimate reasons why writing about food is not actually my job.

Let’s wrap this up. This banana bread may not be crackly, but it is delicious. Naturally, I trashed it up with chocolate and coconut but still enjoyed every last bite. And here’s a little tip from me to you: When the bread cools, cut it up and wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap. They’ll last in the freezer for a really long time, and are perfect to grab on your way out the door. If all goes right, it’ll be perfectly thawed as you’re sitting at your desk with a fresh cup of coffee (going through emails and wishing it was 6 p.m. already).

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“Crackly” Banana Bread (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Makes one loaf

3 large, ripe bananas (4 if your bananas are on the smaller side)

1 egg

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2  teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup millet

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips (depends on how much chocolate you like!)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mash bananas with a fork until they are super mushy and will mix well with the rest of the ingredients. A few lumps are totally okay, but it should be mostly smashed. Whisk in the egg and then add your oil, brown sugar, honey and vanilla. Then add flour, salt and spices. Stir to combine and then add in the millet, coconut and chocolate. Stir a few times to incorporate and then pour into a greased + floured loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick/fork/knife comes out clean. Let bread cool (for as long as you can stand it!) before slicing. Enjoy!

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