Oh so long ago, back when I was still in high school, my mom came home from work one day clutching a photocopied hand-written banana bread recipe. I wasn’t impressed, but she claimed it was the recipe for the best banana bread she had ever tasted in her life. It was a pretty bold statement, especially for my mom, who isn’t really prone to superlatives – she’s more the stoic type. Still, she stood by it. She even had a bunch of bananas, purchased with the sole purpose of ripening for the bread.
I had my doubts. I was wary of the illegible hand writing, the oil content, and, well, everything. But, I stand corrected: it really was the best banana bread ever. It was the banana bread dreams are made of. Moist, not too sweet, not overly oily, and loaded with banana flavor. The crowning glory was its crunchy, crisp, domed top. We must’ve made that banana bread hundreds of times after the first. The recipe got wrinkly, banana-stained, and well loved, until one day, it decided enough.
It was gone. We spent a good half a day searching. Its usual spot was stuck to the side of the microwave with a Care Bear magnet. The candy colored, Care Bear stare magnet was still there, its innocent smile belying its poor job performance. The magnet had one job – keep the recipe safe – and it failed.
Sadly, at this point my mom changed offices and the banana bread creator wasn’t available for consultation. We tried again and again to re-create the loaf from memory, but it was futile: some loaves came pretty close, but to be honest, they were never quite right.
To this day, I’m still searching for that elusive bread. In some ways whenever I have banana bread I feel betrayed. I’m always hoping for a taste of the past, only to be disappointed by overly sweet, dry loaves.
In desperation, I turned to the avocado. I don’t have a cool story for why I decided on avocados, aside from the fact that I thought it would be hilarious to have avocado toast made with avocado bread (the yeasted kind). From there I started thinking about quick breads and why bananas, zucchinis, and carrots got all the love.
Essentially, I substituted avocado in a slightly adapted version of my second favorite banana bread recipe. I ended up with a pleasantly green, slightly sweet, tender loaf. I topped a still warm slice with a scoop of ice cream and even Mike, who was a skeptic at first, thought it was a winner.
Avocado Bread Recipe
makes 1 small loaf
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup butter at room temp
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup mashed avocado*
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a small loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla throughly and then the mashed avocado and lime juice. Gently fold in the flour mix, being careful not to over mix.
Spoon the batter (it is very thick) into the prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until an inserted wooden skewer is clean with a few crumbs clinging. Cool completely, slice and enjoy.
Notes: The lime juice keeps the loaf a green color, you can skip out on it if you don’t have any on hand, just know that your loaf won’t be as verdant.
If you have a food processor or blender, blend your avocado – it needs to be completely smooth for this.