Per Serving: $0.19
There are things you learn to live without, like television, and things you can't accept, like living without an oven. And then you move to Japan and ovens basically don't exist (I've never seen a real American-style oven here), and you're trying to figure out how to make your go-to easy bring-to-work snacks like Banana Muffins and Brownies and Empanadas and Whole Roasted Chickens.
So, with trepidation, you turn to the rice cooker and are pleasantly surprised because HOLY SHIZ it actually works.
For real. You can make so many things in a good rice cooker! So far I've made brownies, chicken, chicken stock, beans from dry, best-ever refried beans, yogurt biscuit bread, mashed sweet potatoes, chocolate banana cake, and this banana bread. And even though we just bought a used toaster oven for less than $10 (!!!), I'm still planning to put this rice cooker to work on the regular. (Apparently it is more energy efficient than most stoves, ovens, and toasters.)
This recipe is the most successful so far. I mean, they've all been pretty success. But this one tastes just like oven-baked banana bread, and had the right texture and everything. Chicken was also really successful, as were the brownies (coming soon!).
Whether you're in an oven-less-apartments kind of country like Japan or China or Peru, or you're a student trying to cook in your college dorm, THE RICE COOKER IS YOUR FRIEND.
Rules of Rice Cooker Baking:
- Don't fill it above the fill line. Seriously, don't do it. It gets really messy.
- Cut recipes in half. Well, if you have a small rice cooker like I do. I can't even cook two cups of chickpeas from dry in there at the same time. Gotta think small.
- Embrace the space-saving, energy-saving, push-a-button-and-walk-away convenience. YOU CAN MAKE BROWNIES WHILE OUT ON A RUN. And they won't burn, and your oven won't burn the house down. You might have to return after 30 minutes to press the button again though. But you probably needed a water break anyway.
Here's a familiar photo of one fantastic bento box, complete with rice cooker banana bread! I've made this recipe two times, cut the bread into smaller pieces, and froze it. I just ate the last piece yesterday for lunch and it was goooood.
I told one of my students that I made brownies and banana bread in my rice cooker and he couldn't believe it. He was completely flabbergasted. I'll have to bring him a piece.
Whole Wheat Banana Bread in a Rice Cooker!
- 1 ⅛ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 small ripe bananas
- 2 tablespoon yogurt
- 3 tablespoon prune paste or use 1-2 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoon melted butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a large bowl (or blender, mixer, etc.), mash the banana well and add the remaining wet ingredients – yogurt, egg, prune paste, melted butter, and vanilla.
- Stir to combine and pour into rice cooker.
- Cook for 2-3 cycles, checking after each to see the progress! (Mine was actually done about halfway through the 3rd cycle.)
- Notes: You might have to turn off your rice cooker for 30-90 seconds between starting a new cycle. I used a Japanese 3-cup rice cooker for this recipe. ALSO: Sometimes if I don’t have prune paste, I mix the wet ingredients in a blender/food processor and blend about 4-6 prunes with the bananas. Easy!