Bread and bananas are two things I am very frugal about. When we finish a loaf of bread, the heels go into a baggie in my freezer. When the bag fills up, it's time to make bread pudding. Similarly, bananas that have gotten past acceptable ripeness get thrown in the freezer for a future baking use. It's taken me all this time to realize that I could combine these two items into one dish. Originally from a Bed and Breakfast recipe, I've modified this and made it less sweet.

Banana Bread Pudding

About 15 pieces of a nice hearty bread (we use whole wheat potato bread), cubed
1 qt milk
3 eggs
2/3 - ¾ C sugar
2 T vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas (5 if small), mashed
1 C raisins (optional)*
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
splash of rum (optional)

Put cubed bread in a large bowl with milk; let stand for one hour. Preheat oven to 325°. Spray 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In another bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, and vanilla, then stir in mashed bananas, raisins, spices and rum. Fold this mixture into the bread mixture. Pour evenly into 9 x 13-inch dish. Place uncovered in center of oven and bake 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

* I have a raisin-hating daughter, so I leave these out. Possible (delicious) substitutions include chocolate chips or chopped toasted nuts.

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