If you have ever lost a loved one, you will know what I mean when I say that some days… you just miss that person. The sun could be shining brilliantly outside and the weather could be absolutely beautiful, but a sad, little smile of “I-wish-that-so-and-so-was-here-with-me” may cross your face… But you want to know what I’m finally realizing? Physical death, death of the body, is not what we should fear… On the other hand, SPIRITUAL death of the soul, separation from God, is what we should be afraid of and mourn (Matthew 10:28 and Luke 12:4). We should celebrate the receiving of our loved ones that knew Christ as their Savior back over to God 🙂 .
And so, rather than indulge thoughts of grief, I decided to celebrate my grandmother’s memory! I whipped out the church cookbook that Mammaw (Gerry Harden) gave me and turned to the page of one of her famous recipes.
Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread! (“Huh-why-yah” Banana Bread as my Pappaw calls it 😉 ) Next, I BRACED myself and got ready to pull out my HUGE container of oil and 25 lb. bag of flour. Yep… can you tell that I bake bread often?
Unfortunately I didn’t have any cans of pineapple on hand in the pantry, so I did something a little different. I added chocolate chips to two of the loaves and left one plain. After pouring the batter evenly into the three, greased loaf pans, I added a handful or two of chocolate chips and stirred them evenly in the batter.
…if only you could have smelled this baking in the oven…
“Sarah’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread”
- 3 cups of all purpose flour, sifted
- 1 cup of Splenda for baking
- 1 cup of sugar (granulated)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon… and then a another dash or two (I love cinnamon)
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 and (1/4) cup of oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 large bananas, mashed with a fork
- Chocolate chips!
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (except chocolate chips! Save for the end)
- Pour in oil, ALREADY beaten eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas.
- Stir until moistened but well-mixed. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides where dry flour stays. *Stirring until moistened but yet well-mixed is important because stirring too much can give the bread a different texture…not quite as light and fluffy. At the same time, biting into the bread and getting a pocket of flour would not be too tasty though…
- Add as many chocolate chips to the batter as you would like! It’s up to your discretion depending on how much you like chocolate. If you want more of the banana taste, you could add 1- 1.5 cups of mini chocolate chips. If you wanted to have chocolate in almost every bite, you could add 1-2 cups of normal size chocolate chips. It all depends on your taste buds and if the chocolate chips look evenly distributed once poured in the loaf pans. Remember… those amounts are just guesses, so experiment with it!
- Pour batter into 2 greased, loaf pans. (I poured it evenly into 3 pans, and the loaves were too short for my preference). You could also make these as muffins, mini-loaves, etc.
- Bake time depends on what baking dish you chose. Watch them! Here are my “guess-timates”: 10-15 for small muffins, 15-20 for big muffins, 30-40 for 3 loaves, 40-50 for 2 loaves.
- Eat and share with your friends and family!
“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures forever!”
Psalm 136:1 (NIV)