Banana Carrot Bread

7:46 AM


So, I'm one of those people that LOVES Banana Bread. Banana Muffins. Bananas. Yeah... I'm one of those people. I don't like fake banana flavoring, but when it comes to baked goods with REAL banana I'm all for it.

I also love Carrot Cake. I rarely EVER eat it because I take into account the cream cheese frosting and the possibility of just how much sugar is in the cake itself. Still, I have to admit it's one of my favorite desserts.

So, what better way to experiment in the kitchen then mix together two of my favorites? After researching many banana bread and carrot cake recipes, I tied together what I think is a rather successful, tasty (and healthy) treat.

Optional Streusel Topping and Cream Cheese Frosting Recipes are also listed below!

Ingredients:

- 2 C grated carrots (about 4 to 5 medium sized carrots)
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour

*If you want this bread to be more like carrot cake and a little less like a healthy bread, then skip the whole wheat flour and use 2 1/2 C all purpose, unbleached flour*

- 1 C all purpose, unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 C unpacked brown sugar
- 2 tbsp canola/vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 C applesauce
- *optional*1/4 C - 1/2 C chopped walnuts

Directions:

- Preheat your oven to 350.
- Grease a 4 x 8 pan (I believe this recipe should make about two of these. I made one loaf of bread and one pan of muffins).
- In a Medium-Large bowl mix (or sift if you have the option) together both flours, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.(I really didn't use a big enough bowl.)

- In a Large bowl beat the unpacked brown sugar and canola oil until they are as well combined as possible. Add the eggs and vanilla to this mixture and beat for another 30 seconds to a minute.
- In the large bowl, add the bananas and cinnamon. If you do not use ripened/frozen/thawed bananas (putting ripe banana in the freezer until you have enough, taking them out and giving them enough time to thaw, in which case they're easy to mix/beat in without having to do much work), then take a potato masher and smash the bananas in a separate bowl until they are broken up enough to beat into the mixture easily.
- Take the flour mixture and beat it into the mixture in sections. Only do this for about 2/3 of the whole flour mixture. Set the last 1/3 aside.
- Stir in the applesauce, carrots, and optional walnuts. (I would make sure you set enough time to grate the carrots, even the day before you make the bed, if you don't have an easier way than I do!)

*Feel free to add another 1/4 C of applesauce or so to make the bread more moist.*

- Stir in the remaining amount of the flour mixture.
- Sprinkle some walnuts on top or add the optional Streusel topping (scroll down for ingredients/directions).
- Cook the bread for 55 minutes to an hour. Check with a knife to make sure it comes out clean with no batter sticking to it. Served best with butter or cream cheese!
- This recipe can also be used for muffins. Cook them for 18 to 20 minutes!



*Optional Streusel Topping*

If you want to make the bread just a little sweeter, this is one way to do it.

Ingredients:

- 3/4 C unbleached, all purpose flour
- 3/4 C sugar
- 1/4 C butter/margarine
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tsp cinnamon
(Recipe inspired from Food.com.)

Directions:

-Mix all the ingredients together with a hand mixer/ mix master. Sprinkle the topping on the bread or muffins.
- TA-DAH!

*Optional Cream Cheese Frosting*

Another way to make the bread or muffins just a little bit sweeter (and less healthy).

- 8 oz (1 package) of low-fat cream cheese
- 1/4 C butter/margarine, softened
- 3 C Confectioner's (Powdered) Sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
(Recipe inspired from Food.com.)

Directions:

- Beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.
- Beat in powdered sugar 1/2 C at a time until you have the consistency that you want for your frosting, beating until nice and smooth.
- Mix in the vanilla last but not least.
- Let the frosting cool in the refrigerator until it's easy to spread. Add this to your muffins or perhaps serve it on the side to go with the bread!


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