How can you not love banana bread?
Banana bread is the ultimate multitasker: It makes good use of your overripe bananas. A low-sugar version with a little wheat germ thrown in and topped with jelly makes a perfect breakfast. Toasted with butter, it’s the ideal snack. Or mix in chocolate chips with a side of ice cream and it’s a scrumptious dessert. These tips will increase your appreciation of banana bread—and help you make the most out of this humble sweet treat.
Easy banana bread
The easy banana bread recipe listed here below uses self-rising flour so that you can skip the baking soda and baking powder (though there's an easy substitute listed below for that, too). The vanilla extract and brown sugar help create a nuanced loaf that can be enjoyed for breakfast or in the afternoon with tea.
Is banana bread good for you?
One slice, depending on the size, contains anywhere from 80 to 140 calories and three grams of fat—compare that to a slice of cheesecake, which can have as much as 400 calories and 18 grams of fat! Banana bread also provides up to five grams of fiber and six grams of protein. The mashed bananas keep it moist and sweet, replacing some of the oil and white sugar you'd otherwise need for a sweet quick bread like this one.
How ripe is ripe?
We all know that you must use ripe bananas. But for best banana bread, though, your bananas should be not just ripe, but over-ripe—even black. You can let them sit on the counter until the skins are no longer “spotted” with brown but are completely brown. Then either refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to go. Gooey and oozy make for moist, sweet and flavorful banana bread.
Do it quick
No time to wait for your bananas to ripen on their own? Try this instant trick: Bake unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet in a 250-degree oven until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool, peel, and, voila! You’re ready to bake up a storm.
Yes, for many, chocolate chips are a staple of banana bread. But for purists, the sweetness of the chocolate may detract from the unadulterated banana taste. If you're in that camp, instead of chocolate chips try walnuts, which add a toasty nuttiness and crunch that is a perfect complement to the banana flavor. If you must add chocolate, fold chopped chocolate pieces into the batter along with the walnuts. A slice will tide you over for hours. If you use mini chocolate chips for this, they'll almost melt into the batter, giving an overall chocolate taste that many adore.
Stop the sinking
When your batter is mixed properly, banana bread bakes with a slight crest in the center. But if your loaf falls, there may be several culprits. Excess moisture can cause the middle of your loaf to sink because the center of the bread is too moist and soft. If your bananas are extra mushy, the banana mixture will have a higher liquid content; to offset this, add a tablespoon of flour at a time into the mixing bowl to help reduce the moisture of the batter, just until it is thick, a little lumpy, and not watery. Your baking time should stay the same.
So many bananas—so little time. Yes, you can add almond extract or ground cinnamon to liven up your BB. But why not get a little more adventurous? Using ingredients you probably already have, try these creative takes on traditional banana bread:
• Make banana breakfast casserole, using leftover bread, evaporated milk, and maple syrup.
• Add pureed avocado to the batter for extra creaminess.
• Mix your banana bread batter with funfetti cake mix—woo hoo, party time!
• Savor the ultimate delicious no-brainer—peanut butter banana bread!
• Replace the butter with coconut oil and sprinkle the prepared loaf pan with coconut flakes before you pour batter in.
• Pour the batter into greased muffin tins and make banana bread muffins. This will reduce cook time significantly: Start checking to see if they're done at 20 minutes.
- 3 bananas (ripe, mashed with a fork)
- 7 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 cups self rising flour (or all purpose flour sifted with 1 tsp. baking powder)
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Melt the butter and place it in a bowl.
- Add the sugar and the eggs and beat with an electric mixer.
- When the mixture is foamy, add the bananas.
- Heat the milk without bringing it to a boil and add it to the batter.
- Add the vanilla extract and the self-rising flour.
- Place the batter in a loaf pan and bake for approximately 1 hour. Cover the banana bread with a sheet of aluminum foil after 45 minutes and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the banana bread from the oven and cool on a wire rack. It is possible to add nuts, dates, cinnamon, chocolate chips, or other spices to the batter.
PER SERVING *
|Calories670Calories from Fat220|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
|Calories from Fat220|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.