Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

My neighbors have a banana tree.   Proof that I'm not in Colorado any more, right?

Their tree was going crazy and they gifted me with some of their bounty.    I couldn't eat them all at the time, so I put a few in the freezer for smoothies or baking.

Baking won out.    Surprise, surprise!

I've used the same base recipe for years, Basic Banana Bread, from Cooking Light magazine.     It's great on its own or with any  mix-ins or toppings that you want to put with it.

This time, I opted for a cream cheese, cheesecake-esque, layer in the middle.

What You Need

Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (2 or 3 bananas - you can  measure or just go with what you have on hand)
1/3 cup plain (or vanilla) fat-free yogurt
5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup  sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Cream Cheese Filling
1 egg
1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour

Combine filling ingredients in a small bowl and beat until smooth.   Then you're ready when it's time.
(filling recipe from Averie Cooks)

What You Do

Preheat oven to 350 and spray silicone 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.   If you're using a metal or glass loaf pan, I would encourage you to line it with foil and then spray.

In a large mixing bowl, beat bananas, yogurt, butter and eggs.   Add sugars and beat until combined.

Combine all dry ingredients (flax through allspice) in a separate bowl and whisk together.

Add dry ingredients to banana mixture until just blended.

Pour 2/3 of the banana bread batter into your loaf pan.  

Gently pour and smooth the cream cheese filling over the batter layer.   Use a rubber spatula to get the cream cheese filling to all the corners.      Pour remaining banana  bread layer on top, making sure that the cream cheese layer is covered.

Bake for 55 minutes.      Remove from oven, let cool in pan on a rack for at least 10 minutes.
Gently remove bread from pan (which is why I love my silicone pan...makes this so easy) and continue to cool.  

Enjoy when you are ready.    There is no wrong time for banana bread.

Meanwhile in Maui

Good friends of mine from Colorado were visiting this week, so we explored all over the island.

Pictured:  Haleakala National Park 

Do you have a go to banana bread recipe?   Please share!

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