Thursday, April 21, 2011

Banana Bread with Walnuts and Flaxseed Crust

I went to see a friend of mine, who lives in a great loft apartment above an old cement company, in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Heather, a.k.a. camera girl, is a photographer and lives with her playwright, musician husband, their two dogs and a black cat, Arturo, Gertrude and Kitten.

Heather had me over so I could see for myself how she makes her delicious banana bread recipe which includes over ripe bananas, walnuts, whole-wheat pastry flour, Turbinado sugar, whole fat yogurt, a flaxseed crust and as Heather calls them walk around chicken eggs (free-roaming). Each time she’s left with an over ripened banana from a bunch, she stores it in the freezer. When she has enough of them collected she takes them out to thaw and they are then perfect for making sweet banana bread. This sort of reminded me of how Latinos make maduros with very ripe brown to black plantains.

We had a great afternoon, baking, talking and finally sharing some banana bread with coffee and tea. I’m not sure if your as crazy about flaxseeds as I am, so they might seem strange to you, but the flaxseed crust was truly the best part, giving a nice crunch to this very rustic recipe. 

All images © Valery Rizzo

3 over ripe (brown-black) bananas

½ cup butter, at room temperature plus more for the pan

1 cup Turbinado sugar

2 walk around chicken eggs (free roaming)

1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup whole fat plain yogurt

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 cup flaxseeds

Remove your over ripened blackened bananas from the freezer and let them thoroughly thaw.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter your loaf pan and then coat the bottom and sides with your flaxseeds. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until they are fluffy, then add your eggs and mix everything together.

Using a large wire strainer sift to integrate the flour, baking soda and salt over a piece of parchment paper. If some coarse wheat bits get sifted out just toss them back in afterwards. Picking up the two sides of the parchment paper pour the whole mixture of dry ingredients your bowl with the butter, sugar and egg mixture and mix until combined.

In a medium bowl, peel your thawed bananas and using a wooden spoon mush them up so they are more of a mixable substance rather than being banana pieces. Then add them as well as your yogurt and vanilla to your batter mixture and mix to combine and remove from your electric mixer. Then take your walnuts and using a large knife chop them into bits and then stir them into your mixture in your bowl.

Pour your entire mixture into your prepared loaf pan, leaving the batter rough and rustic. Bake for about one hour and 10 min. Test it’s readiness by inserting into the center of the cake a toothpick or cake tester, and if it comes out clean it’s ready. Let the banana bread rest in pan for 10 min. Then you can turn it out onto a rack to cool.

Slice into large scrumptious pieces and enjoy with your favorite hot beverage. 


  1. love these pictures and this recipe - am definitely going to give it a whirl!

  2. I love this post, Valery! As per usual, your photos are fantastic! I love the little dog resting in his basket... so cute! I also love the atmosphere of the place which you so cleverly manage to convey through your pictures. You did it again! Well done!

    And the banana cake! Could you pass me a slice, please? Yum!


  3. Hi! I just discovered your blog.. I click threw a lot of them a day, but yours caught my attention because I really like your style.. And because I love banana bread, this crust sounds very interesting!