a banana bread recipe

Yesterday, we had our third thunderstorm in three days. I love thunderstorms and I was enjoying the cloudy, grey days and crashes of lightening at night. Thursday night's storm was pretty big and bordered on scary. It was so big and right above our heads--lightening even struck a transformer near our home and it exploded (can transformers do that?) three times and knocked our power right out. Friday night's storm was fun. We were at a show at Red Butte Gardens and the lightening was right behind the stage. It was so neat to watch. Luckily, the rain started just as the concert was winding down--and it felt so good after the hot day. Saturday's storm was in the afternoon and it was so loud and rain was just pouring out of the sky. Colby was up in the attic when we heard a huge crash of thunder--normally I am the one who is a little shaken by such large storms, even though I love them, so it was funny to see him so shaken up by the intense noise it made in our little attic.

Since we were cooped up inside for most of the day, and Colby was busy with a little home remodel project (more on that later...) this was the perfect opportunity to a) stay in my pajamas all day b) find something yummy to bake. A couple months ago I decided to see how long I could go without having gluten in my diet. I think I lasted three weeks of being completely gluten free. But, then we went to Portland for a weekend and there were so many delicious things to eat... When we got home I re-evaluated my game plan. I decided to simply be more intentional about our meals and not fall back on breads and pastas for everything--which we were doing a lot of. It's been really great for us and we've really enjoyed trying to think outside the box for our meals.

So, back to the yummy recipe... I found an old recipe from Heidi Swanson's blog and it looked too good to pass up. The neighbors stopped by this morning and it was the perfect addition to our morning coffee while we chatted.

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup dark muscovado or dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cupsmashed, VERY ripe bananas (~3 bananas)
1/4 cupplain, whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
1/2 cup sifted dark muscovado or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice*

Preheat the oven to 350° F, and place a rack in the center. Grease a 9- by 5- inch loaf pan, or equivalent.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate pieces and combine well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. You want to get that beautiful color on the cake, but at the same time you don't want to bake all the moisture out of it. So the minute you're in that zone, pull it. Erring on the side of under-baking versus over.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. In a bowl, whisk together the sugars and the lemon juice until smooth. When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the glaze on top of the cake, spreading with a spatula to cover.

Recipe can be found here.

*I was out of lemons and, since I was still in my pajamas, didn't feel like running to the store. I left the lemon zest out of the batter, and for the glaze I used milk.