Great Depression Cooking: Banana Bread

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In 1931 a book called “Aunt Sammy’s Radio Recipes” came out and was available nationwide in the bookshops.

Aunt Samy was a fictional character and had her own cooking show called Housekeeper’s Chat. Its target audience was farm wives. She was introduced by the US Dept of Agriculture, Bureau of Home Economics during the Great Depression. Supposedly the wife of Uncle Sam, the character was voiced by different women at each individual radio station, using a standardized script.

The show was broadcast until 1944.

Banana bread recipe supposedly emerged during the great depression since the housewives were unwilling to throw away overripe bananas.

During my trip to Hawaii, I noticed that banana bread is very popular among Maui population and in my opinion it’s because the island has a lot of hiking options and banana bread is great for sustainable energy for such a long activity.

Pro tip: let the bananas sit at the counter at a room temperature for 3-4 days before using. “Just enough” ripened bananas is not enough. They need to be darkish for this recipe.


Serving size:

6 small servings


  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 bananas (overripe!)
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1.5 cups of flour
  • A little salt
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon


  • 392 Calories
  • 17.4g Fat
  • 54.6g Carbs
  • 2.6g Fiber
  • 6.1g Protein


Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

Cream melted butter and sugar and then add beaten eggs.

Mash bananas and add to the egg mixture. Mix well.

Mix flour, salt, and cinnamon.

Start adding dry ingredients to wet bit by bit.

Grease the baking dish and transfer banana mixture into it.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center on the bread comes out clean.

Serve warm or cold with a side of pumpkin spread and any jelly.





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