not without a fight

I kind of just blew my entire budget…

I’ve never been much of an Ocean State Job Lot fan.  In fact, I usually avoid the store like its the plague.  Most of what they sell is stuff you don’t need (or want.)  Hence the reason why I never go there. 

Until today.

Don’t ask me what it was that first drew me in.  Not the aesthetics of the building, thats for sure.  But once inside, there was absolutely no turning back.  An entire isle was dedicated to nut butters.  Jams and jellies that you can only find at Whole Foods.  Flaxseed for half of the normal price.  I was a bit awestruck, really. 😉 

Current Favorite Snack: 1% cottage cheese with Bear Naked Banana Nut Granola and a dollop of Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter.

After recovering from my excitement, I felt like baking. 

It truly is a rare moment to have a bunch of spare bananas lounging around my house.  The occasional soggy apple or pear may find its way into the trash, due to neglect and oversight.  But never—never!—does this happen to a banana.  Green bananas.  Yellow bananas.  Brown bananas.  It really doesn’t matter.  They’re gone in a matter of days, as they find their way into each and every family member’s morning meal.

In order to celebrate the rare and momentous occasion of having ripe bananas at my disposal, I decided to bake a banana bread.

Just as a side note, I’ll usually take the time to read through the ingredient list before pouring everything in. 

I guess the excitement of banana bread overcame me, because I didn’t even give the list a second look. 

And—apparently—I don’t have cream of tartar sitting in the back (or front, for that matter) of my pantry.

I remember someone once telling me that you can substitute baking powder for a cream of tartar/baking soda combination.  I wasn’t sure if this was actually going to work, but there was no turning back.  My bananas were mashed, and there was no way I was going to give up.  Not, at least, without a pretty darn good fight.

(With the dry and wet ingredients, remember to only stir until *just* moistened.  This is especially important if you’re using whole wheat flour.  Nobody wants a tough, gummy banana bread!  Those lumps are completely okay–and normal.)

Substituting baking powder for the cream of tartar/baking soda seemed to work out alright.  The result was a little more dense than I would have liked, but all in all, at least my banana bread was saved from the doom of a trash can. 😉 

There was nothing fancy about this bread.  No cinnamon.  No nutmeg.  No vanilla.  No walnuts or chocolate chips.  Completely unadorned. 

Because sometimes you want those deep, dark chocolate chips.  Sometimes the crunch of a walnut, surrounded by the flavor of a sweet, sweet banana is nothing short of perfection.

But sometimes you just want the basics.  Bananas.  Bread.  Banana Bread.

Your Basic Whole Wheat Banana Bread

This is a spin off on my whole wheat chocolate chip banana bread.  If chocolate is what you’re after, just add 1/2-3/4 c. of dark chocolate chips after mixing the flour together with the banana mixture.  OR, try melting a bit of chocolate and drizzling it over the banana bread before serving.  Both ways are equally scrumptious. 😀

  • 1 c. mashed ripe banana (about 2-1/2 medium)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk until smooth.
  3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife.  Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir just until moist (do not overmix).  Spoon batter into an 8×4 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.
  4. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack, remove from pan.  Cool completely on rack.

Question: Have you ever substituted another ingredient after realizing that you didn’t have the one that was originally called for?  How did this turn out? 


17 thoughts on “not without a fight

  1. I LOVE PB&Co peanut butter. Never heard of that store though, I can only imagine what it’s like! At least you fuond some great stuff!

    The whole wheat banana bread sounds absolutely delicious! I never bake, but I might have to try this!

  2. I’ve had to do the substitute trick a lot. Sometimes I’ll substitute a flax egg or a buttermilk substitute (milk & lemon juice). I try to make it work! I’ve never thought of adding cream of tartar to my banana bread before, usually I just do a combination of baking soda & powder.

    Thanks again for visiting my blog!

  3. I substitute ingredients all the time for cooking, not so much for baking because there’s chemistry in that that I don’t understand. The few times that I substitute ingredients, the result wasn’t so good. But your banana bread turned out pretty amazing! 🙂

  4. Ocean State is great for that stuff! I kind of had the same experience as you when I reluctantly went in to look for something else and ended up coming out with those products. I can’t pass up a deal like that :).

  5. Your pictures are always amazing!!! You need to teach a class (or just me). 🙂
    I subsitute ingredients all the time, but I make sure to google them first. I don’t trust my judgement 100% yet…..

  6. I substitute all the time because I am kind of a scatterbrain in the kitchen 😛 I’ve never had to ditch anything because of it though… so I guess they’ve all turned out alright! My mom taught me how to substitute almost anything when she taught me how to bake, although cream of tartar never came up at all. I don’t think I’ve ever used it before!

  7. Your Killing Me!

    1st Peanut Butter Cookies and now Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, ahhhhhhhh, my “waist line” can’t take it!

    Luckily, they are both healthier than their white flour counterparts, however I still know sitting over a bowl full of uncooked Peanut Butter Cookie dough and eating it by the spoon just isn’t good, well yes it is VERY GOOD, but not good for my “waist line” like I said and now Chcolate Chip Banana Bread! YIKES, I can feel the inches piling one already. I guess I could not make it but you make it look so easy and good, I can’t help myself.

  8. Banana bread is my FAVORITE!! And you can totally sub baking powder for baking soda and cream of tartar!! 😀 I actually wrote my last post about learning that in my Food Principles class. I’m such a nerd. Anyways, I didn’t think you’d be able to tell a difference…I wonder if you have to use more baking powder if you use it as a substitute?

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