Category Archives: Quick Breads/Sweet or Savory

Cranberry-Pecan Banana Bread

Cranberry Pecan Banana Bread @ NancyC

It’s been awhile since I made banana bread, so when I had some very ripe bananas, I decided it was time to make banana bread again! I also had some dried cranberries I was wanting to use and chopped pecans sounded like a great addition to those cranberries. So I came up with this Cranberry-Pecan Banana Bread. The loaf browns a little more while baking than some banana breads, but it’s sweet and moist when you bite into it and the dried cranberries give it a great flavor. My loaf did sink a little in the center–probably because I took it out too soon and then put it back in the oven. So be sure to do the toothpick test when you’re baking this bread!

I baked this loaf over the weekend one cold winter morning and it tasted so good with a hot cup of coffee! It’s great for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack.  Also be sure to use a 9 x 5″ pan; an 8 x 4″ pan won’t be large enough.

CRANBERRY-PECAN BANANA BREAD

Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed, ripe bananas (about 3 small or 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In medium bowl, stir eggs, mashed bananas, oil, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract, blending everything well.

Add egg/banana mixture to flour mixture in large bowl and stir just until combined. Fold in the dried cranberries and chopped pecans.

Pour batter into prepared 9 x 5″ loaf pan and bake at 325˚F for 68 to 72 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

(Note: this bread may sink slightly in the center, but if you remove it from the oven too soon it will sink even more noticeably, so be sure to do the toothpick test!)

The weather has been colder lately, and that always puts me in the mood to bake. It’s always fun trying new banana bread recipes–do you have a favorite you stick to, or do you like trying new recipes too?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wow Us WednesdaysCreate It Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

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Egg Nog Mini Loaves

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Egg Nog is one of those foods that signal the beginning of the holiday season. I first noticed it this year in the grocery store about three weeks before Thanksgiving. I usually buy a few cartons during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and pretty much always have some left over after Christmas. Which is great, because it gives me an excuse to bake some egg nog goodies! Like these Egg Nog Mini Loaves, for example.

After having lots of super-sweet holiday treats, I was wanting something just a little sweet, and these little loaves turned out to be just the thing! They’re moist, slightly sweet, and have a mild egg nog flavor, so even those who aren’t crazy about egg nog may like them. These mini loaves rise really nicely, too (Note: I also tried making this recipe as a 9 x 5″ loaf, but since it sunk a little in the middle, I think it works best for mini loaves, and probably muffins, too).

If you’d like to sweeten these loaves up a little more, sprinkle on a dusting of powdered sugar after they’ve cooled or add an egg nog glaze on top (try the glaze that I used on these Egg Nog Muffins).

EGG NOG MINI LOAVES by NancyC

Makes three 5 x 3″ mini loaves

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup egg nog
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • Optional: Egg Nog Glaze

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour three 5 x 3″ mini loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In medium bowl, beat eggs, egg nog, yogurt, sugar, butter, and vanilla and rum extracts, blending well. Add this mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just enough to moisten.

Pour into prepared mini loaf pans. Bake at 350˚F for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (I baked mine for 32 minutes).

Cool loaves for 10 minutes in pans, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. If desired, glaze with Egg Nog Glaze (click here for the recipe–I’ve used it before on some egg nog muffins).

As the holidays wind down, these Egg Nog Mini Loaves are the perfect treat with some coffee or tea. Hope you had an enjoyable holiday and wishing you a safe, healthy, and happy New Year!

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Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Muffins

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After baking quite a few mini loaves for the holidays, I thought I’d try some muffins! I really like these muffins because they have dried cranberries, golden raisins, chopped pecans, and lots of spices–they just seem perfect for this time of year! You can top them with cream cheese icing if you want, but I like them plain if I’m having them in the morning–they’re sweet enough on their own. These are perfect for a holiday breakfast, brunch, or snack and this recipe makes 32 moist, delicious muffins–so you’ll have plenty to eat, share, and use in your goody packages!🙂

CRANBERRY PECAN PUMPKIN MUFFINS by NancyC, adapted from MyRecipes

Makes 32 muffins

  • 3/4 cup  (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: Cream Cheese Icing (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line muffin cups with paper liners; set aside

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.

In medium bowl, combine flour and next 6 ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg). Add chopped pecans, dried cranberries, and golden raisins to flour mixture, tossing to coat. Then add the flour mixture to butter/sugar/egg mixture alternately with the pumpkin puree, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in vanilla.

Spoon batter into lined muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in muffin pans on wire rack for 5 minutes; remove from pans and let cool completely.

If desired, frost with cream cheese icing. These muffins are so tasty, you don’t really need icing on them. But here’s the recipe if you want to try it…

CREAM CHEESE ICING

  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)

Blend cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar, mixing until smooth. Add Half & Half, 1 Tablespoon at a time, mixing until it has a spreadable consistency (the icing will be thick–add more Half & Half if you’d like a thinner consistency).

It’s hard to believe Christmas is coming up so quickly! Are you getting everything done that you’re needing to?

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Cranberry Pumpkin Bread and Mini Loaves

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I hadn’t made anything with fresh cranberries yet this year, so I decided it was time to do something about that! Plus, I still needed to make more mini-loaves for holiday giving. My Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread turned out well, so I decided to try making some pumpkin bread with fresh cranberries added in–it sounded like a great combination for the holidays! These loaves baked up so nicely, with rounded tops and a dense, moist texture. The fresh cranberries add to the moistness and flavor.

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This recipe will make one 9 x 5″ loaf or three 5 x 3″ mini loaves…or double the recipe and make a large loaf for you and your family and 3 mini loaves for giving away! If you do double the recipe, make sure you use an extra-large bowl for easier mixing.

CRANBERRY PUMPKIN BREAD AND MINI LOAVES by NancyC

Makes one (9 x 5″) loaf or three (5 x 3″) mini loaves

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil (or non-GMO canola oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour one 9 x 5″ loaf pan or three 5 x 3″ mini loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, blend the flour, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together; then add the spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, blending everything well.

In medium bowl, blend the pumpkin puree, light olive oil, and eggs, mixing well. Add this mixture to dry ingredients in large bowl, blending well (batter will be thick). Fold in the chopped cranberries, stirring until evenly distributed in batter.

Spoon batter into prepared 9 x 5″ loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans.

For 9 x 5″ loaf: Bake at 350˚F for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For 3 mini loaves: Bake at 350˚F for 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in pan or pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

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If you’re giving these loaves as gifts, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and add a ribbon around them tied in a knot or bow to make them look extra special! For inspiration, see these wrapped mini loaves here.

I still have more holiday baking I need to do–wish I had more time! Are you getting all the baking done you want to this season?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy and Inspiration Monday at Your Homebased Mom.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread and Mini Loaves

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I’ve been wanting to make pumpkin bread with chocolate chips in it for quite some time and I thought while I was at it, I’d make some mini-loaves too. Mini-loaves make great food gifts for the holidays, and just about everyone I know loves pumpkin bread and chocolate chips. So you can’t go wrong when you put them together! This Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is so good and moist, with lots of chocolate chips in every bite, so if you’re a chocolate lover you won’t be disappointed! Be sure to use the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips–they work really well in this recipe. It makes either one large 9 x 5″ loaf or three 5 x 3″ mini loaves–or you can double the recipe and make both sizes–that way you can keep one for your family and give the rest as gifts–a win-win for everyone!🙂 Use an extra-large bowl for mixing if you do decide to make a double batch!

CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN BREAD AND MINI LOAVES by NancyC

Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf or three (5 x 3″) mini loaves

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour one 9 x 5″ loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and granulated sugar, blending well; then add the spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, blending everything well.

In medium bowl, blend the pumpkin puree and softened butter, and then the eggs, mixing well. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in large bowl, blending well. Fold in mini chocolate chips, stirring until evenly distributed in batter.

Spoon batter into prepared 9 x 5″ loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans.

For 9 x 5″ loaf: Bake at 350˚F for 52 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For 3 mini loaves: Bake at 350˚F for 32 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in pan or pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

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If you’re giving these loaves as gifts, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and add a ribbon around them tied in a knot or bow to make them look extra special–just like little mini-gifts! I always seem to have ribbon on hand and I also save pretty fabric ribbons from gifts I’ve received–these usually are the perfect size for tying around homemade loaves!

Do you make food gifts for the holidays? What do you like to make?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy and Inspiration Monday at Your Homebased Mom.

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10 Sweet Potato Recipes

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Sweet potatoes recipes are perfect not only for Thanksgiving, but all holiday season long–and actually, some are great year-round! This Thanksgiving, I had made Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie, which was really good, and I thought I’d share a roundup of some other yummy Sweet Potato recipes I’ve made with you!

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These Sweet Potato Biscuits are just the thing for breakfast, with eggs, and they’re also great for lunch or dinner with your main dish and sides!

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Same for these Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins–good any time of day!

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Sweet Potato Bread is nice for breakfast, too, or later in the day as a snack.

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For a delicious side dish, these Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes are wonderful!

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Another side, Baked Sweet Potato Fries, are really tasty, and there are a variety of ways you can make them!

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I really like these Roasted Italian Potatoes, which are made with both sweet and regular potatoes.

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This Sausage Potato Bake, a yummy dish for lunch or dinner, is also a two-potato recipe, made with both sweet potatoes and red new potatoes.

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When you’re ready for dessert, you need to try this decadent Sweet Potato Cinnamon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

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And this Sweet Potato Pound Cake is pretty amazing, too!

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Last but not least, here’s the Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie I made this past Thanksgiving–a very easy recipe and so good!

Hope you enjoy trying these sweet potato recipes out!

Linked to I’m Lovin’ It at Tidy Mom, Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener, and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

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Apple-Zucchini Bread

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Apple-Zucchini Bread just seems so perfect for this time of year–early fall is when I’m inspired to bake apple-flavored things! This recipe not only has apples, but zucchini, too, which is great–you can never have enough good zucchini recipes for all that zucchini from the garden, can you? Or in my case, from the farmer’s market! This quick bread has a subtle apple flavor and is also flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. You can add pecans or walnuts in it too (I didn’t add any nuts to the loaf pictured above). It’s a moist, dense loaf on the inside, and a little crispy and crumbly as you cut into it on the outside. Make sure you grease and flour your pan well–I found that I also needed to loosen the edges of the loaf with a knife so it would come out of the pan easily.

Enjoy a slice of this bread for breakfast or an afternoon snack with some coffee, tea, or apple cider. It’s great just as it is, but you could also spread some apple butter on your slices for more apple flavor!

APPLE-ZUCCHINI BREAD by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes 1 (8 x 4″) loaf

  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1/2 cup shredded peeled apple (I used a Granny Smith apple)
  • Optional: 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 8 x 4″ loaf pan well; set aside (If you use a 9 x 5″ loaf pan, your baking time will be a little less, and your loaf will not look quite as full, since it will be a little wider and longer).

In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In medium bowl, beat eggs; add oil, sugars, and vanilla, blending well. Pour this mixture over dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in zucchini, apples, and pecans or walnuts, if using (batter will be thick). Spoon batter into your prepared 8 x 4″ loaf pan. Bake at 350˚degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (if you use a 9 x 5″ pan, your baking time may be more like 50 to 55 minutes).

Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Note: even though I greased and floured my loaf pan, I still had to loosen the edges of the loaf with a knife so it would come out easily.

September has gone by much too fast for me–has it for you, too? The cooler, crisp mornings are really nice, but I do miss the longer days of summer. Are you enjoying autumn, and have you been trying out any new apple recipes?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy, Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner, and Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

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Banana-Zucchini Bread

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If you imagined what Banana-Zucchini Bread would be like, you’d probably guess that it would be moist, because it has both zucchini and bananas in it, after all. And you would be right–about this recipe, anyway. It has the perfect moist texture–not overly moist, but just right. And the bread rises so nicely. I was afraid it might sink in the middle like some other moist quick breads I’ve made before, but not this one! It has a nice loaf shape with a rounded top and makes two 8 x 4″ loaves. If you use 9 x 5″ loaf pans, the bread will be thinner and baking time may be a little shorter. But I think this recipe work best with the 8 x 4″ size pans, so keep that in mind if you try this. It’s a great end-of-summer bread that puts both your garden zucchini and ripe bananas to great use!

BANANA-ZUCCHINI BREAD by NancyC

Makes two 8 x 4″ loaves

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour two 8 x 4″ loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, beat eggs, then blend in sugars and oil. Add bananas and vanilla extract and blend well.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; stir into egg/sugar/oil mixture. Add shredded zucchini and nuts, if using, and and stir just until combined.

Pour into 2 greased 8 x 4″ loaf pans and bake at 350˚F for 48 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely (you may have to loosen the edges of the loaf just a little with a knife, and then the bread comes out very easily from the pan).

Some other really good zucchini breads I recommend are: Zucchini Spice Bread, Lemon-Zucchini Loaf with Lemon Glaze, and Carrot-Zucchini Bread.

Are you growing zucchini in your garden this year? What kinds of recipes do you like to make with it?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

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Blackberry Banana Bread

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It was just a matter of time before I made this Blackberry Banana Bread, since I love trying different banana bread recipes and blackberry season is in full swing! This recipe makes a nice, full loaf that is dense and moist and full of banana and blackberry flavor. It also has a rich buttery taste and the buttermilk gives it a great taste, too. I think this quick bread works best with fresh blackberries, but if you want to try using frozen, your baking time will be longer.

It’s getting a little hot to bake since we’re right in the middle of summer, but you can make this in the evening or early in the morning when it’s a little cooler. Hope you enjoy this bread!

BLACKBERRY BANANA BREAD by NancyC, adapted from Betty Crocker

Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups fresh blackberries (if your berries are big, use 1 3/4 cups)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, mix sugar, butter, eggs, bananas, and buttermilk until well blended.

Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt and mix just until moistened. Gently fold in blackberries, distributing evenly in batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 62 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 to 10 minutes, them remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

You can wrap and store the bread at room temp up to 4 days or refrigerate up to 10 days.

I’ve been having fun trying a variety of blackberry recipes–have you been doing much baking with berries?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

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Blueberry Oat Banana Bread

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When blueberry season comes around, I love baking with those fresh berries! So I thought I’d try combining blueberries and bananas in a bread, and I also decided to add a little oatmeal–I thought oatmeal would give it a nice texture and make a nice quick bread for breakfast.

This bread is so moist and packed with blueberries! It’s sweet, but not overly sweet–and the ripe bananas add just the right amount of sweetness and moistness to the bread. I actually didn’t taste my loaf until the day after I baked it, and it was wonderful the day after! I’m not sure what it tastes like while still warm, but I’m guessing it’s pretty good. The flavor of the bread is so good you really don’t need to put anything on it–but you can always add a little dab of butter on a warm slice, or lightly spread some cream cheese on a cooled slice if you want.

BLUEBERRY OAT BANANA BREAD by NancyC

Makes one 8 x 4″ loaf

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas (2 to 3 bananas, depending on size)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour an 8 x 4″ loaf pan.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In medium bowl, blend olive oil, milk, and egg, blending well, then add vanilla and mashed bananas, blending everything well. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in the blueberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350˚F for 50 to 52 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

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Fresh blueberries are the best! What types of treats do you like to make with them?