I woke up this morning with a plan. I set my alarm to get up in time to eat breakfast, read, then go a nice long run because I knew I was going to have a busy day and wouldn't be able to get a run in there unless I did it in the morning. So I woke up to the alarm and looked outside, to be greeted by the sight of some mysterious form of precipitation. I honestly couldn't tell if it was snow or rain or sleet or what. The ground was wet, it was snow-raining, and the sky was completely cloudy. But, I was already awake, so I went downstairs to have breakfast.
Much to my dismay, I peeled open one of our bananas that was on the brink of becoming over-ripe and it was covered in bruises. I cut out the parts that were still okay but figured we had to use up our bananas if they were all bruised, right? you can't just have bruised bananas lying around. So I took it upon myself to make spontaneous banana bread to solve the problem. (It also helped that I'd been waiting for a chance to use this recipe for almost a month, but let's make it sound like my actions were noble.)
So basically I had planned to go on a run but ended up making banana bread and sitting by the fire reading while it baked. Sue me. I dare you. My uncle's a lawyer.
I tried to be upset, I really did. But boy am I glad I made this. I'd been wanting to try something baking-related with olive oil for a while. Ever since I tried an olive oil sea salt chocolate bar. While this doesn't have chocolate (you can probably expect that soon), it has maple. And it's banana bread. And banana bread is just one of the most delicious baked goods ever. You can eat it any time of day and it just always brings to mind happy memories. At least for me.
I went into this thinking it was going to be good, that much was for sure. It was from Shutterbean (one of my food/baking/blogging models). And I mean come on, it just sounded so unique and cool that it had to have been awesome. Something with this intriguing of a combination wouldn't work or be published unless it was successful. You know?
But I wasn't sure how the combination of maple and olive oil was going to be and was exactly it was all going to turn out.
It exceeded expectations. Neither the maple, olive oil, or banana overpowers the other, and they all sort of intermingle on your taste buds to create some flavor that is the mixture of all three of them. You can't work out what they end product is- more sweet or more savory, can you taste the olive oil or is it something else, is it a dessert or a breakfast? It intrigues your tastebuds and they beg you to take another bite to encounter the mystery again. Like when the main character of a book sees something really mysterious (that's normally the source of conflict and plot) and knows they shouldn't get involved but they just can't crush they're curiosity and eventually they end up in the thick of things.
I just don't know how this combination works but it does and you simply have to accept that. And see for yourself.
Maple Olive Oil Banana Bread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup puree)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
for the topping:
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (Or 1 tablespoon normal sugar)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan. Line pan with a sling of parchment paper, with the long sides overhanging. Lightly butter the parchment, then set the pan aside.
Whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and brown sugar, breaking up any lumps. Add the maple syrup and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until fully incorporated. With a wooden spoon, stir in the bananas, then Greek yogurt. Add the flour mixture to the liquids, stirring until just combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan, evening out the top if necessary.
Mix together the turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the topping liberally over the batter and baked until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes. Remove from the oven, and leave the bread to cool in its pan for 10 minutes. Using the parchment sling, life the bread out of the pan, unwrap and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.