Walnuts, pecans and chocolate chips are probably three of the most common add-ins for banana breads. I know that they’re my default choices, although I’ve been known to branch out into other add-ins from time to time, opting for peanut butter swirls and coconut instead of crunchy nuts and rich chocolate chips. This time around, I opted to add in some fresh blueberries to create a loaf of banana bread that seemed to have a lighter, more summery flavor.
This is not much more than my basic banana bread recipe with some fresh, farmers’ market blueberries mixed into it. The banana bread itself is easy to make and is fairly low in fat, so you never feel guilty about eating a slice or two for breakfast. Since it uses oil instead of butter, there is no need to wait around while your butter softens up and this loaf can mix up and be in the oven in just a couple of minutes. Fresh berries are going to give you the neatest look in this loaf because there is no frozen juice or liquid to come off them and “stain” the bread when you mix them in. That said, you can still substitute frozen berries if you want to make this loaf in the off-season.
The banana bread is moist and tender, with a good banana flavor punctuated by bursts of fruity blueberries. The banana bread batter is thick and it supports the berries very well; you won’t end up a loaf where all the berries have sunk to the bottom during baking. This will keep well for a couple of days when well-wrapped and is great for snacking, as well as for breakfast and for dessert!
Blueberry Banana Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla and mashed bananas until smooth. Add in flour mixture and stir until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Fold in blueberries with a spoon or spatula, then pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf