For a brief space of time earlier this summer we were overrun with blackberries from our surprisingly productive brambles. It was a happy problem, short-lived though it was. The inability of our blackberry bushes to present berries of a decent size and flavor free of undeveloped drupelets never ceases to astound me. Of course my disgust with our bushes’ performance is never assuaged by my annual week-long stay at Grandma M’s house – that’s a marvelous tale of summer fun worth a post or three – that frequently coincides with the peak of blackberry season. Her thornless blackberry patch produces blackberries like a Tuscan vineyard produces grapes! Berries hang in dark purple clusters waiting to be plucked off the drooping canes in handfuls by violet-stained fingers. Uniformly large, perfectly sweet, and delectably succulent, these blackberries are the best in the world. Really. I’ve never had finer.
That is that standard against which I measure our berries, which of course pale in comparison. However, during this strange week or so our berries came as close as they ever have come. And there were lots of them. Maybe half a gallon bucket! Never mind that my cousins and I can pick four or five times that many in 15 minutes in Grandma’s garden.
With blackberries in such abundance and more tasty blueberries still to be eaten in preference, I needed to utilize some of the former. Banana bread, the perfect canvas for every flavor, offered the solution. Therefore: blackberry banana bread – a super-moist but oil-free and naturally-sweetened loaf full purple berry bursts.
Start with some basic whole wheat banana bread batter. Add a couple cups of fresh blackberries.
Pour it into a pan, bake it, and slice it!
Blackberry Banana Bread
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup or other liquid sweetener
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Beat the eggs. Mash the bananas well. In a small bowl combine the bananas, eggs, applesauce, brown rice syrup, and vanilla. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Carefully fold the blackberries into the batter. Pour batter into a greased, 9×5 loaf pan.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until bread has browned lightly and tests done when poked with a toothpick. Enjoy warm, obviously.
[100th post! Good grief. Took long enough.]