December 13, 2009

Recipe: (Historic!) Banana-Blueberry Bread

This bread recipe came from the Best of Taste II cookbook published by the Minneapolis Star in 1974. Being as baking-obessed as I am,  I saw no choice but to make something as a part of my presentation on the Taste food section and its founding editor. Reason 173 to love grad school would be combining my love of food with archival research (!!), social history and journalism.  Plus, a little mid-morning sugar never hurts making it through a three-hour seminar.

Taste's original food writing was a notable feat in 1969 in an era when most newspaper's food stories were essentially unaltered releases from food manufacturers (shame on them). It was also part of a movement away from the traditional "fluff" reporting of women's pages to having non-gendered lifestyle sections with higher reporting standards and harder-hitting topics. (My apologies for dorking out over journalism history on my food blog.)

This recipe had a special asterick next to it in the cookbook noting that this "summery take" on banana bread was a special favorite of the editors. Luckily, with frozen blueberries I was able to treasure the taste of summer on day that required wearing multiple layers of clothing. The taste of the bread matched the sweet aroma that emanated as it baked; it lived up to  the book's claim that  “if someone could bottle the aroma of baking bread, he’d [OR she!, my edit] make a fortune." The inclusion of quick-cooking oats added a more little more grainy texture to the bread, but it was still sweet enough with the sugar and fruit to taste like cake.

Banana-Blueberry Bread
1 ½ cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp salt
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cups salad oil (apparently this is what they used to call vegetable oil)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups bananas, mashed
3/4 cup fresh blueberries (I used frozen)
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in oats. Add oil, eggs, bananas and blueberries, and stir just until all ingredients are mixed and moist. Turn batter into an 8 1/2x4 ½ inch loaf pan and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 60-65 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then removed from pan and let cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Wrap and store in refrigerator several hours or overnight before slicing.
Variation: Substitute 3/4 cup mashed fresh strawberries for blueberries.  


  1. I'm so proud to be a Minnesotan. This looks dee-lish!

  2. This looks fantastic! I'm looking forward to making it over the holidays. How many bananas do you typically use?

  3. Ellie, I think I used about 3 bananas. Enjoy!


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