I recently came across a new food blog challenge, the Improv Challenge, a monthly blogging event hosted by Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. In this challenge, everyone participating takes the same two assigned ingredients and then lets their imaginations run wild.
Last month’s assigned ingredients were potato and cheese, and I whipped up a delicious asparagus and potato flatbread. This month’s assigned ingredients? Peanut butter and jelly!
When I hear “peanut butter and jelly,” I think sandwich … who doesn’t love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? I myself am a peanut butter and jelly purist—creamy peanut butter and grape jelly on white bread. What can I say? I grew up eating it that way. But, I also have a penchant for the peanut butter and jelly sandwich from the sandwich station at our local Whole Foods Market … peanut butter and jelly on banana bread!
Now, I couldn’t just make a peanut butter and jelly on banana bread sandwich for the Improve Challenge … that would be too easy, right? But, I couldn’t shake the thought of peanut butter, jelly, and banana … so how about peanut butter and jelly banana bread? Yes, you read that right … peanut butter and jelly baked right into a loaf of banana bread! Pretty smart, if I do say so myself.
I started with a basic banana bread recipe from Simply Recipes, adapted the proportions a bit, changed the baking soda to baking powder, and added in chunky peanut butter and grape preserves. I also added in a bit of wheat germ to up the healthiness factor.
So, how did my creation turn out? I was a bit worried during the baking process because the smell of peanut butter overwhelmed our kitchen, and I was hoping the banana flavor would still come through. We let the bread cool, sliced it up, and dove right in … and I’m happy to report that the peanut butter flavor is much milder than I thought it would be and the banana flavor is definitely there. Add in the moistness from the jelly, and I think this is one heck of a banana bread!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Banana Bread
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 ripe bananas, lightly smashed
- 2/3 cup natural, chunky peanut butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup grape preserves
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Cream butter and sugar together using a hand or stand mixer. Add bananas, peanut butter, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Beat at medium speed until well mixed, 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the flour and wheat germ; combine at low speed just until combined. Do not overmix.
3. Spread half of batter in greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Spread grape preserves down the middle of the batter, then top preserves with remaining batter, making sure to cover the preserves on all sides.
4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan, then place on wire rack to cool completely.
Notes: The oil in natural peanut butter tends to separate; don’t fret … just stir it back in. It’s also okay of this peanut butter is a bit softer or runnier than “regular” peanut butter … I increased the amount of flour to compensate for this. If you use “regular” peanut butter, you may want to cut back on the flour (or the wheat germ) by 1/4 cup.