We waste an embarrassing amount of food in my house. I have the best of intentions while buying groceries but too often laziness, lack of time, lack of creativity, or just plain life gets in the way. I feel morally, socially, and fiscally guilty each time I toss perfectly good food in the trash.
So I have been on a bit of a mission lately to waste less. I'm looking around my kitchen at what needs to be used and then finding recipes that work with those ingredients instead of finding a recipe and then rushing off to the store to buy more food. A couple of past-their-prime bananas on the counter and the remains of a partially used can of pumpkin ended up becoming several mini loaves of Banana Pumpkin Bread.
I wasn't sure about this pairing at first. Quick bread legends on their own, would they play well together? As I prepare to take a Caribbean cruise in a couple of weeks, I was reminded that both bananas and pumpkins are tropical fruits so this should work. And work it did.
The banana and pumpkin complemented each other beautifully. This moist, flavorful slice of Fall was delicious! I made several mini loaves and a few small bundt size breads. In the mood to experiment, I toasted some plain pumpkin seeds with salt and maple syrup and added those to a loaf. Another loaf was the recipient of diced crystallized ginger. All delicious.
Give this easy recipe a try the next time you have some sad bananas and leftover pumpkin begging to be used up. You won't be disappointed!
Cooking Notes: I cooked my mini loaves about 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean. I also kicked up the temperature to 375F to ensure they cooked fully and had a nice golden crust. If you are making a full loaf, I think the cooking time should be increased to 50-60 minutes.
I also substituted a cup of whole wheat pastry flour for AP flour.
Banana Pumpkin Bread
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup walnut pieces (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, eggs, oil, pumpkin, honey and sugar. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pie spice and cinnamon, stir into the banana mixture until just combined. Fold in the raisins and walnuts if desired. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.