Blueberry Banana Bread

August 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm 15 comments

Blueberry Banana Bread

I’ve told you all about my blueberry memories before here on SFTF; hinting at how these little blue orbs are such an important part of my summertime vigil over seasonal produce each year.  In short, I adore them. 

Bowl of Blueberries

Now, let me go into the full length version of “why.”  As a young man, my grandfather planted a half dozen blueberry bushes beside the old wood shop that sits catty-corner to the rambling farm house in which I grew up.   As someone who’s now trained in the ways of horticulture and small fruit production, I marvel that these bushes have not only survived this long in this spot, but have truly flourished.  But when I was waist-high to my mom, I only cared about one thing: the big ones! 

Mixing the batter

When the first berries on the bush began hinting of blue, I’d watch them like a hawk and usually ate far more before my mom found out they were ripe than she even realizes today.   Eventually the gig was up and she would have my brother and I grab the handles of our little white plastic picking pails to go about the process of harvesting all the blueberries before the birds got them.   We’d have to pick every couple of days and the joy of it all quickly wore off on my pre-adolescent persona.    What I quickly came to learn was that every season there was one special bush that bore the biggest bluest berries you’d ever see and if I got to that bush first, I’d quickly fill my bucket and declare myself “done!” with this berry picking business long before my brother.  My poor mother always got stranded alone – my brother and I no doubt off running through the lawn sprinkler, squealing like banshees – gleaning from another bush we could count on every year to  produce the tiniest berries you’d ever see.   They were as small or smaller than  the wild blueberries I’ve seen in Maine. 

Sweet goodness

Once my mom had corralled my brother and I again and got us dried off, we went inside to wash and sort the berries so she could turn them into delicious jam or pie filling.  To do this, we’d get out great big enamel basins, paint chipped with age, and fill them with blueberries and water.   After a good swishing, we’d pick up handfuls, spread our palms flat and then use the index finger of the other hand to pass judgment on one blueberry at a time, rolling the good ones into a bowl and the bad ones into the compost bucket.   This method, which I still use today, is highly efficient and effective.  As you roll the a berry from the clump on your palm and down your fingers, you test to make sure it is firm (squishy is bad) and also see all sides of it to determine if it is blemished or still has the stem on it.   

Hot out of the oven

But I digress… this story is really all about THE BIG ONES  (like the ones I had to make this incredibly moist and deliciously fruity Blueberry Banana Bread)!   So, after a successful day of berry picking and sorting, we’d have fresh blueberries over generous scoops of vanilla ice cream for dessert after dinner (or sometimes just for dinner on real hot days).  I would sit there and pick out all the big ones (bear in mind we’d quite often have a gallon of these berries) to put just on my bowl of ice cream.  I was a real brat like that.  But I swear, besides being leaps faster to pick in large quantities, the big ones taste better.  I find small blueberries to be a little tart and a little too seedy.   I know most folks will say the little ones are the sweetest ones, but I don’t abide by that.  Bigger really is better, believe me.

Sliced 

 

 

Blueberry Banana Bread
A Straight from the Farm Original

1 3/4 C. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. freshly ground nutmeg
1/3 C. margarin, room temperature
2/3 C. sugar
2 eggs, room temp and beaten
3/4 C. mashed bananas (2 large ripe bananas)
3/4 C. fresh blueberries (or thawed if frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease one large or two small loaf pans.  Set aside.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg (I put all mine into a ziplock bag and shake it around). 

Cream together margarin and sugar until fluffy.  Add beaten eggs and mix well.  Add a third of the dry ingredient mix, then a third of the bananas.  Continue to alternate these two until all is just combined in the batter.  Do not overmix.  Using a spatual or spoon, fold in the blueberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for an hour or until golden brown and springy to the touch.   To store for more than two days, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in fridge.  Delicious warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

(serves 12)

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15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tigress  |  August 18, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    blueberries are literally falling off trees at my house this time of year. this looks simple and delicious! i will try it this weekend!
    thanks!

    Reply
  • 2. Sarah  |  August 19, 2009 at 8:45 am

    What a great idea – thank you! I just picked up a pint of blueberries at the farmers market yesterday and have a couple of mushy bananas sitting on the counter…..it’s fate!

    Reply
  • 3. Becky and the Beanstock  |  August 19, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    The blueberries are fading fast around here (but then, it IS the middle of August so I guess I shouldn’t act surprised) and I am watching them go with great sadness. This post was perfect timing though, because the blueberries that I CAN come by are pretty soft and squishy and past their eat-by-the-handful date. So blueberry bread it shall be!

    Reply
  • 4. Rachel  |  August 21, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    your brother says…so that’s how it was! I was set up!
    But if weren’t for that hard work, you’d have nothing to write about!

    Reply
    • 5. Jennie  |  August 22, 2009 at 7:42 am

      Haha! I figured he was always just being the nice big brother and letting his baby sis have firsts dibs on the big ones. :) Those days certainly offer lots of foder for my “pen” so he’s absolutely right about the hard work paying off. Now I feel like I owe him a pail full of big blueberries! :)

      Reply
  • 6. Louise  |  August 22, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Big Blueberries are what memories are made of. I’ve been thinking about planting blueberry bushes at the new house in PA. You have convinced me.

    Thanks for sharing Jennie, the bread is inspiring…

    Reply
  • 7. George Davis  |  August 23, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Not blueberries, but the everbearing raspberries are in!! Big, fat, juicy and sweet. With all the rain we have been having, the birds have been leaving the berries alone. Have not had to go the netting route so far this year. Just bought some big local peaches, even a little over ripe. Peaches and raspberries for breakfast. Almost better than dessert.

    Reply
  • 8. A. Woz  |  August 28, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    oh gosh. blueberries took center stage this year when i paid for a fruit share from my local csa. Prior to this year, i admit, i have not loved, nor really eaten, fresh blueberries. THis time, it’s all different. The fresh blueberries have found their way into pancakes, muffins, and have been simply, and hastily, eaten by the handful from the package. Most recently, we made them into smoothiss…The kids LOVE em.

    Reply
  • 9. J.T.  |  August 30, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Making it this morning…can’t wait to try!!!

    Reply
  • 10. Ana  |  September 21, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Looks lovely, but why use margarine (a plasticized synthetic product) and not nutritious and delicious butter instead? I’m surprised to find that ingredient here!

    Reply
    • 11. Jennie  |  September 21, 2009 at 1:36 pm

      Ana – you could certainly use butter. I just happen to only have margarin on hand when I made this recipe and I always post my recipes “true to form”, meaning I list exactly what I used, not what I would have used if I had my druthers. :)

      Reply
  • 12. Multigrain Pumpkin Pancakes « Straight from the Farm  |  December 24, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    [...] been sitting unloved thanks to all the holiday sweets on hand (mash them up like you would to make banana bread and mix it into the batter); or make a plain batch and slather them with some local pear or apple [...]

    Reply
  • 13. banana blueberry loaf « far far away…  |  June 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    [...] as always, from having over-ripe bananas. And I also had blueberries so I searched and found this recipe from Straight from the Farm blog, which was chosen over the other recipes I found primarily [...]

    Reply
  • 14. Sarah Jo  |  January 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I made this recipe with my youngest child tonight for breakfast tomorrow. We followed the recipe exact, only making muffins out of this recipe instead of a loaf. We sprinkled each muffin with 1/4 teaspoon sugar before baking.The muffins turned out so PRETTY! We really liked this recipe, thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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