Blackened, bruised and overripe bananas may not look like the most appetizing fruit, but the interior holds the richest and sweetest concentrated banana flavor. Perfect for banana baked goods, from muffins to cakes, quick mixes generally only require the overripe bananas and a bit of liquid. To speed this process along even more, use your microwave rather than the conventional oven. This method is also perfect for creating a one- or two-person serving without having to bake a whole loaf.
1. Container Choice
Choose the container for cooking the bread based on how many people will consume it. For creating several individual servings, mugs work well, and create an unusual and artsy vessel for the bread. Always use a microwave-safe container, preferably ceramic, as you'll likely serve the bread in the container. For larger breads, use a flat-bottomed, round container, as this will allow the batter to be distributed more evenly, therefore cooking more evenly.
Completely mash the ripe banana and whisk together the quick mix banana bread according to the package instructions. Lightly oil the inside of the cooking container to prevent the bread from sticking. Fill your cooking container halfway up the side with batter. This allows for room as the batter rises due to the microwave's heat.
3. Heat and Time
Use a microwave oven with a rotating tray, as this will allow for even heating and produce better results compared to stationary cooking. Set the microwave on full power and cook according to the size of the container, always checking after each 60-second interval for doneness. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes when using a mug and 6 to 8 minutes when using a larger container.
Add fruit, such as blueberries, and chopped nuts, such as walnuts, to the batter before pouring it into the cooking container. Serve the bread right away, either warm or cooled. If you want to remove the bread from the cooking container, add more oil to the inside of the container before cooking the bread, and dust the oil with flour. This will allow you to more easily remove the bread. Serve with fresh banana for added flavor, or with frosting for a sweet treat. Add chocolate chips to the batter, cook it in ramekins, and serve after a meal with a drizzle of fresh chocolate for an easy dessert.
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images