What better way to use up bananas that have peaked in freshness then to put them to use making this Walnut Brown Butter Banana Bread. Browned butter adds that extra nutty taste for a flavorful twist to this classic recipe.
I’m excited that today’s post is sponsored by my friends over at California Walnut Board. Whether toasted to bring out their flavor more, chopped, sauced or used in lieu of pine nuts for pesto, walnuts are so versatile.
To keep them fresh, I usually keep mine in the freezer and pull them out when ready to cook or bake with. Like for this Walnut Brown Butter Banana Bread.
This Walnut Brown Butter Banana Bread is a cinch to make, with or without a mixer and you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry. Fresh California Walnuts are chopped and added to the batter and the result is one tasty bread served warm, toasted or cold with a touch of whipped cream and fruit for a dessert.
I decided to brown the butter instead of just using melted butter to bump up the nutty factor here. It adds a delicate flavor and is easy to make.
How to Make Browned Butter
To make brown butter simply melt butter over medium heat and swirl the sauté pan to be sure the butter melts evenly. The butter will begin to foam and the color will change from yellow to golden to brown. Once you smell that nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat and allow to cool. It takes a few minutes total.
Now if you haven’t any ripe bananas and feel the need to make this right away, I have you covered there, too. The 3 bananas I needed for this recipe I accidentally used over the weekend in some fruit smoothies. So Plan B came into good use!
How to Ripen Bananas
Besides the usual way that takes 24 hours (place them in a brown paper bag and close it up tight) I preheat the oven to 300°F and place the unpeeled bananas on a lined baking sheet. Bake these for 20 minutes.
You’ll need to watch them, but don’t be alarmed or take them out when they turn black. Do the full 20 minutes, the peel will be shiny and black and the inside soft and sweetened, ready for baking.
Some Walnut Facts
Did you know that more than 99% of the walnuts in U.S. are grown in the fertile soils of California’s Central Valley? Internationally, California walnuts supply three-quarters of the world’s walnut trade. That’s pretty impressive! ?
Per the California Walnut Board’s site “you can maintain the fresh taste of California walnuts by keeping them cold. Walnuts go rancid when exposed to warm temperatures for long periods of time. Heat causes the fat in walnuts to change structure, which creates off odors and flavors. Fresh walnuts smell mildly nutty and taste sweet. If your walnuts smell like paint thinner, you know they’re rancid. And if they’re rancid, you should throw them away!”
What I love about these is that California-grown walnuts are not genetically modified either.
The California Walnut Board works closely with the University of California’s walnut breeding program to release new walnut varieties for planting that have been developed through conventional breeding methods.
Take a look at this video on How Walnuts are Processed. It’s pretty interesting.
For other tasty recipes using walnuts, check out my Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon, Chicken Spanakopita Rolls with Walnuts, or these Smoky Spicy Walnuts. For another browned butter idea, try my Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes with Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting. Enjoy!
Thanks again to the California Walnut Board for sponsoring today’s post. Thank you for supporting the companies that continue to make Kevin Is Cooking possible.
Walnut Brown Butter Banana Bread
- 3 bananas (ripe and peeled)
- 1/3 cup butter browned (See below)
- 1 egg large, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and coat a 4x8-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.
To Make Brown Butter
- Melt butter over medium heat and swirl the sauté pan to be sure the butter melts evenly.
- The butter will begin to foam and the color will change from yellow to golden to brown. Once you smell that nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat and allow to cool. It takes a few minutes total.
- Mash the ripe bananas in a large bowl with a fork by hand until smooth or in a mixing bowl with paddle. Add the browned butter, sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the bowl of wet ingredients along with walnuts and mix thoroughly to blend.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 -60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. If the bread is browning too quickly, tent the pan with aluminum foil.
- Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for a 5 minutes. Then run spatula along sides of pan and bread, tilt pan sideways and remove bread from loaf pan. Let cool on wire rack for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing.