This recipe is the invention of one of my two-year-old twin sons, who picked seasonal produce off the kitchen counter – a yellow squash, a Bartlett pear – and asked if we could add them to the banana bread we were baking together. I said sure, why not, and helped him grate the fruits and mix them into a batter sweetened with maple syrup and four incredibly ripe mashed bananas. We used white whole wheat flour -a subtler, lighter variety of whole wheat -and added dark chocolate chips (my son’s idea, too.)
Fall Harvest Banana Bread
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1 cup maple syrup
4 very ripe bananas, finely mashed
1 yellow squash, grated
1 small to medium pear, grated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, with a spoon or handheld electric mixer, mix together olive oil and maple syrup. Stir in eggs, mashed bananas, grated squash, grated pear, and vanilla until well combined.
3. Add salt and baking soda. Stir in flour until just incorporated. Mix in chocolate chips.
4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for around 1 hour, or until a fork or cake tester inserted in the middle of the batter comes out mostly clean; a little batter may stick to the fork, but the bread will continue cooking as it cools.
5. Remove from oven and cool fully in loaf pan before slicing. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.