Here’s what happens in life. You ready?
The gas light comes on in the car. Your six-month dental checkup comes due. You realize you didn’t pay your credit card bill. Somebody gets the promotion you deserved. Your favorite pair of shoes loses a heel in the middle of the workday. And the bananas lie forgotten on the counter, turning from green to yellow to spotty to brown.
But that last one has a definite upside because all you do is bake it into banana bread. Moist, delicious, banana bread filled and glazed with brown sugar. Just for those days when things aren’t going quite your way!
The other day, we took the kids to a swim center with a three-foot therapy pool. If you’ve never been to one of those, I must recommend it. The water is warm (like in the 80s warm), and the pool is surrounded by hot tubs.
Sadly, I never actually bonded with the hot tubs because I was with my four year-old (who cannot swim), but it felt good to sit with her in the warm water, waves gently lapping to and fro. The pool also had a slide and splash fountains, which means my older kids had a blast.
See, here’s the thing. We’ve been desperately trying to get our children, especially our oldest, to swim. He’s fighting it like nothing else. We’ve been through six rounds of lessons and it’s still not technically happening. At least he’s not doing what he did last summer, which was holding onto the side with a death grip while floating his legs out, screaming, “I’m swimming! I’m swimming!”
Now we’ve got some head under water progress, and I’m waiting for the day when they can all float so I can breathe a little easier. I see families at the pool relaxing and I think, hey, that could be me someday. But somehow I doubt it. No matter how soon or how well my kids swim, I’ll always be that mom squatting at the edge of the pool, eyes darting back and forth at all her spawn. Yes, even when they’re 25. I can only relax at a pool when my kids aren’t there.
So after we all trooped back from the swim center, we had this banana bread waiting for us. It was a good after-pool snack because you know everyone is always starving after a swim. This bread is hearty and doesn’t disappoint.
To make sure everyone could enjoy it, I used gluten-free oat flour as the base. And instead of using just white sugar, I put a great deal of brown sugar into the batter to make it super moist. The top is covered with a buttery, thick brown sugar glaze. It tastes like caramel.
Life is full of inconveniences, but nobody ever complained about the leftover bananas on the counter. Or at least, they shouldn’t. Because they make the sweetest brown sugar banana bread ever. Whether you bake this up for Mother’s Day or just for a random day of the week, it’s a fantastic breakfast treat!
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 medium or 3 large ripe mashed bananas
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups oat flour (certified gluten-free)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter (salted if you want it to taste like salted caramel)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a loaf pan generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs and both sugars until well mixed. Add the mashed bananas, oil, yogurt and vanilla, stirring until smooth (there will be some banana lumps). Add the dry ingredients, mixing again until the batter is well combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely and remove the cake to a plate.
- Make the glaze. On the stovetop, heat the butter, brown sugar and heavy cream until boiling, stirring regularly. Let the mixture boil for a minute and then turn down the heat. Simmer for an additional minute and then remove the saucepan from the heat completely. Add the sifted powdered sugar, stirring until it dissolves.
- Wait a few minutes for the glaze to thicken slightly. Spoon it over the bread and let it set.
- Slice the bread when you're ready. Store covered.