Grandma Helland’s Banana Bread

Grandma Helland's Banana Bread (A Seat at the Table)

I’ve only dreamt about my grandma 3 times since she passed away in 2007.  Last night was one of those times.  We were at a family reunion/Valentine’s Day party and everyone was dressed in white except Grandma.  And she was there to babysit my cousins.  I told her that I’d just eaten some of her jam and she said she hadn’t made jam in 9 years.  And then I woke up.  While this isn’t a recipe for jam, there are few things that remind me more of Grandma than this banana bread.

This is a true classic.  Growing up there was always debates about when the bananas were ready for bread-making.  I like my bananas without a brown spot on them, but Dad loves them when they’re practically black.  So it can be a challenge to get three bananas ripe enough for banana bread.  But when the stars align you get to turn gross bananas into delicious, moist bread.  And because my family is a little nutty, we always add pecans or walnuts for a little crunch.  While this is fabulous on its own, you should definitely try it toasted and spread with peanut butter.Grandma's Banana Bread (A Seat at the Table)

Grandma Helland’s Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/3 cup)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix the oil, sugar, egg, milk, vinegar, and mashed banana.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stir until just combined.  Fold in the pecans.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let sit for 10 minutes and then turn out on a wire rack to cool.

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