The great thing about quick breads also is the most obvious. They're quick.
Stir together some ingredients, pop it in a pan, throw it in the oven. Your house will be filled with the fantastic smells of baking and you probably didn't do more than 15 minutes work.
This quick bread is no exception. It is equally at home on a breakfast or brunch table, served with coffee or tea mid-afternoon with a dusting of powdered sugar, or after dinner with a dollop of whipped cream. We've combined the spicy fall flavors of gingerbread with the sweet, moist flavors of banana bread.
For nutrition, we added some bran. For fun, we flecked it with chopped bittersweet chocolate. Be sure to use very ripe bananas for the best flavor.
CHOCOLATE BANANA GINGER QUICK BREAD
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (15 minutes active)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
6 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups bran
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground dry ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
Heat the oven to 325 F. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, oil, bananas, brown sugar, honey, molasses and bran. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
Once the banana-bran mixture has sat for 10 minutes, add the flour mixture to it and gently stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in the chopped chocolate and chopped ginger. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition information per serving: 380 calories; 110 calories from fat (29 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 25 mg cholesterol; 68 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 34 g sugar; 6 g protein; 370 mg sodium.