I was thinking a lot about my nana today. Mr. Charming has been working insanely long hours and I wanted to surprise him and his staff with something yummy, and I thought of my nana.
And her delicious, famous banana bread.
Growing up I always waited for a loaf of her banana bread. Whenever she would bake a fresh batch she'd make one for her with walnuts, and one for me and my sister with no nuts. It's how we liked it. We felt nuts got in the way of the soft, banana goodness. That and to me, walnuts taste bitter. Always have. If I wasn't careful I could finish a loaf in one sitting. It was seriously that good. And there were probably a few times when I lived on my own and she'd send me one that I did just that.
Before she passed away she gave me the recipe, handwritten, and I still have it saved in special drawer today. Although I can't eat the traditional ingredients, I like to make different gluten-free variations from time to time.
My system doesn't like too much banana anymore, which is sad, so when I do eat banana, a good banana bread is at the top of my list.
My nana was special. So loving and friendly in the years I was blessed enough to know her. One of her most adored items in life was her classic 55' Chevy. She bought it in the 50's and never drove another car. It was turquoise blue and I remember being so embarrassed when she'd want to drive me to school when I was little because it didn't look like the "normal" cars. I'd duck down in the bench seat and slide out the door. Looking back I see why she loved it so much, the memories it probably held for her, the pride she had in it, and I'd be honored for her to drive me anywhere today if she was still here.
She too, had a heart for travel. She went with us to Hawaii for my sixth birthday. She drove cross-country with us to visit Graceland, she was probably one of Elvis' biggest fans, and she always wanted to drive Route 66. I thought the backdrop for the photos was fitting. In honor of the dreamer she was too.
Here's to you Nana. I miss you and love you, and one day, when were all in heaven and together again, freed from our Earthly bodies and their limitations, we can share a piece of your perfect banana bread again.
Note: This is one of the very few recipes that is NOT Paleo. As from time to time I eat oats and oat flour as long as it is certified gluten-free. It helps with my digestion and is a good gluten-free flour to use in muffins, because they come out super-moist and spongy like traditional muffins.
2 Large Eggs
1/2 C. Honey or Bee Free Apple Honee (this stuff is AMAZING and less in sugar!)
3/4 C. Unsweetened organic applesauce
1 1/2 Tsp. Organic Vanilla
2 Medium Over-Ripe Bananas (Mashed)
1 1/2 C. Gluten Free Oat Flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 1/4 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Cream of Tartar
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small square cake pan, two bread loaf pans or a muffin pan with a dairy free butter. Mix together applesauce, eggs, honey or apple honee and vanilla until smooth.
In a separate bowl mix together all dry ingredients. Mix into the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Mash bananas until creamy and mix in. I didn't need a hand mixer for this, as the batter was so smooth, I just used a wooden spoon and good old fashioned elbow grease.
Poor into pan, muffin cups or pans and bake for 30-35 or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Muffins take a little less)
Serve warm with cool dairy free butter or sugar-free jam. Delicious!