Buttermilk Banana Bread with Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds may not be the first thing that comes to mind when making banana bread, but they give a rich, nutty flavor when they are added to the batter. I love the combination, and while my kids thumb their noses to pecans or walnuts in banana bread, they'll devour the same bread with sunflower seeds simply because of the novelty of it. Check the labels to be sure they are the unsalted variety.

This recipe makes an even-textured quick bread, and will produce one large loaf or 8 to 10 mini loaves. See baking times below, and adjust the baking time when using larger or smaller sized baking pans.

Buttermilk Banana Bread with Sunflower Seeds

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup ripe bananas, smashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
Procedure:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the loaf pans.
  2. Mix together the buttermilk and baking soda. Reserve. The mixture will rise so a container larger than 1/2 cup capacity will be necessary.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Cream the shortening, sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add in the bananas and mix until well incorporated. Add in the eggs, scraping well after each addition.
  6. Add in half of the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Add in the buttermilk and scrape the bottom well, and then the rest of the dry ingredients.
  7. Stir in the sunflower seeds.
  8. Spoon the banana bread batter into the prepared pan(s).
  9. Bake about 25 minutes for the mini loaves or about 55 minutes for a large loaf. The tops should be browned and the centers will test done.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or cooled.
Note: Mini loaves make a great lunch box addition.

 

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