June 23, 2009

a rare pair

It occurred to me recently (in the middle of the night, if you must know) that I've never eaten, seen, or created anything combining bananas and cranberries. (Another middle-of-the-night poser: Why do we have electrons, neutrons, and protons? Why not protrons?)(Yes, my mind is a scary place, and yes, I'm a science nerd.)


I've been looking for ways to incorporate thick, luscious Greek yogurt (all Oikos, all the time) into my baking, so when I had a few bananas reach the brink of liquefaction, I decided a banana bread was in order. Recalling my concern about the lack of banana-cranberry recipes, I felt that a healthy amount of the little red gems was an essential addition.


Nooks and crannies and cranberries, oh my!

The result? A moist, fragrant, bespeckled bread full of flavor and healthful benefits. So why haven't the sweet, ripe banana and tart, chewy cranberry ever been united in baked bliss? It seems like it should be a good match, and indeed it is.

Cranana Bread
(adapted from this recipe)

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
4 bananas, mashed
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan or a tray of mini-loaf molds.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the eggs, mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla. Mix in the cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and flours. Stir in the dried cranberries. Divide appropriately into prepared pan(s) and bake for 70 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

63 comments:

Albany Jane said...

Genious! At first I was like... wait, banana and cranberry jam? Uhhh...

But cranberries IN banana bread?! All hands on deck, captain!

kat said...

It does seem like a really great match. This is better than my middle of the night thoughts like did I leave my favorite sweater at the restaurant....

Donna-FFW said...

Perfect match!Looks so moist, and I love how you named it!

lisa said...

That does sound like a good match, and yogurt is great in banana bread. Looks delicious too!

finsmom said...

Such a good idea. I really like the banana/cranberry combo - I bet it was delicious! I bet the yogurt really upped the moist factor :)

Bellini Valli said...

I wish these could have graced my table this morning:D

Sophie said...

Your brain sounds a lot like mine :P! I'm more of a literary/art nerd though, so sometimes I stay up thinking about words that sound right together :D. Speaking of things that "fit", how about these flavors?! Very cool, yep, I've never thought of combining 'em!

Leslie said...

ohhh I love the flavor combo!

Culinary Wannabe said...

That's an interesting combo, but I like how your mind works! :)

Sandie said...

Cranana Bread! I love it! I have a few bananas on the brink of liquefaction myself (my husband sees them and says, "Oooo, so we're having banana bread soon? Yea!" lol)

Anyway, I agree with you whole-heartedly...bananas & cranberries sound like a great combo to me! I'll have to try this version soon...

Julie said...

I've been looking for a new grab-and-go breakfast item and I love this uncommon marriage. Bananas can party with absolutely anything!

oneordinaryday said...

Mm. That is a good match. I like how you think. Well, exc. for all that proton stuff. : )

Ingrid said...

Love the name, cranana! :)
~ingrid

Robin Sue said...

How come not banacran bread? Naw your name is better. Looks great and I don't know why it is not protrons either.

Rebeca @All Vegged Out said...

Ahhh Cranana Bread... my dad would love this... I'm going to make this for him as soon as our bananas are ripe enough :D

haleysuzanne said...

I'm liking that cranana bread. At first, I was concerned that you didn't address the required cinnamon, but then I saw two teaspoons in the ingredient list. All is right with the world.

Nazarina A said...

Leave it to a Science nerd( I mean no disrespect) to come up with a genius recipe! Yum!

Megan said...

That sounds delicious! I just made cranberry oatmeal cookies last night... so I have some dried cranberries in the house... and I have bananas... hmmm...

zoe said...

Genius! And whole wheat flour? Even better!

A. said...

I'm definitely going to try this one.

sliceofsueshe said...

i never thought about a banana-cranberry pairing. you may be on to something!
i have however, had the same thought about electrons, neutrons and protrons. :-P

foodhoe said...

The paired combination sounds quite invigorating!

Katie said...

I used to get in trouble in class for calling them protrons, it made sense to me. Glad to see I'm not the only one! And this looks great! I have never had cranberry and banana together.

doggybloggy said...

I want some cranana bread!!!!!!

Cucinista said...

Nice picture! I've been enjoying reading your posts. Thanks for stopping by my blog... I gave you an award -- come pick it up!

Deborah said...

Love the title of the bread!! I've never heard of this pairing - and I think it sounds wonderful!

Michele said...

This bread looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Jessica@FoodMayhem said...

Yum, that sounds like the most perfect start to morning. I love Oikos, but try Fage too. LOVE IT!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hmm luckily I didn't read this before bed as
a) I'd be hungry and not able to eat as I'd have brushed my teeth
b)I'd stay up wondering about why there aren't protrons

:P Looks lovely!

Pam said...

Great idea!

I just finished listening to a Bill Bryson book, and I am sure I learned why there aren't protrons, but I don't remember!

MaryBeth said...

You may be a science nerd but boy can you cook....this is fabulous looking

foodcreate said...

This bread looks so tasteful!

Thanks for sharing your recipe:)

Welcome~~~
http://foodcreate.com

and you can visit me if I can visit you~

Have a Great Day!

LilSis said...

That looks so good! I love them both, but would not have thought of putting them together in a bread.

You're very clever!! Love how all the great ideas come in the middle of the night!

Bridgett said...

Very yummy combination! I never get tired of anything to do with bananas.

Barbara said...

What a super recipe, Grace! I have some soggy bananas on my counter- Greek yogurt in the fridge- and I'm going to make your Cranana Bread later today.

CookiePie said...

What a great idea for a pairing! The bread looks really moist and scrumptious!

unconfidentialcook said...

Love those foodie dreams....And this was a good one!

noble pig said...

Cranana...hilarious....and delicious.

I still dream of organic chemistry and following the carbon, that's what science nerds do.

ovenhaven said...

This sounds amazing! I've never tried bananas with cranberries, and now am wondering why I never had! :P

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

This sounds like an inspired idea! the cranberries would give a tasty tang to the blander banana. Brilliant! Looks beautiful too!

Lynda said...

This sounds like a great combo, Grace; you're brilliant! And the picture is mouthwatering, as usual. We keep eating our banans, so I'll have to hide some so they can get ready for this bread.

Talita said...

Haha! I loved how it's called this bread! Sounds funny and yummy!

Rebecca said...

yum!

Maria said...

Great creation!

giz said...

You seem to do your best thinking in the middle of the night. Let me guess, you're thinking you might try zuccini again?

Jaime said...

why is that once i make boring old banana bread, it seems that everyone starts posting these great inventive recipes using ripe bananas?!

thanks for the kind words you left on my blog

Heather said...

well i am SO GLAD you took care of the cranberry banana combo failure! and you did it in such an excellent way.

i wish i was as smart as you. my thoughts are not nearly as intelligent. last night when i was falling asleep, i was like "i wonder how i remember to keep breathing when i'm asleep". the fact that i don't have to remember to keep breathing when i'm awake? never crossed my mind.

Helene said...

That cake looks so moist and delicious.

OhioMom said...

I have four bags of cranberries in the freezer that I stashed during the short season we can buy fresh ... I have bookmarked this recipe, but no way now how never am I turning on the oven in this heat ... LOL! Later when it cools off, this will definitely be baked!

The Blonde Duck said...

I always called them protrons anyway. I was never good at science...

Lori said...

I knew I liked you. My husband is a science nerd. He think physics and math are a blast.

My Dad always thinks about these kind of things. Like he wants to know why they call it a his-tyrectomy when its her uterus. Like it should be a her-tyrectomy. Or why is it men-opause instead of her-opause. I could list a bunch here but I will stop there.

I love the way you think Grace. Despite what you may say- you have a very creative mind!

kimberleyblue said...

i love a good banana bread. i always get excited when i see the first brown spots creeping onto my bananas.

the cranberries must make an excellent addition!

pigpigscorner said...

What a coincidence! I just baked a cake with greek yogurt too!

Clementina aka "La Traductora" said...

Hola Grace!
The tanginess of cranberries--the rich moist sweetness of banana . . . why in the world did I never think of that, pray tell??
I'm going to make it for my viejo during cranberry season when it is cold and dark outside.

Vera said...

Grace, I think it's a great idea to combine these two together! And I love how you called your creation :)

Chef Fresco said...

A rare but great pair indeed. This stimulates me to try some other taboo combinations... what could that be?

Karine said...

Banana and cranberry? I have never thought of combining them together. I believe you had a great idea in coming them! Your jam looks sssooo good!

Peter M said...

...and why not? The kitchen is also a place of experimentation. You always get the moistest cakes...you are gifted, fo'sho.

Shelly said...

Looks delicious! I'm a fan of Oikos as well.

Nicisme said...

Great name and it looks wonderful!

Ann said...

WOO! this looks soo delish.

Angee said...

Do you think it would be okay to sub sour cream for the Greek yogurt? Just thinking of what I have at home in the refrigerator.

grace said...

@Angee: absolutely, that's a great substitution!