Banana Bread is the easiest way to use up extra bananas in your house. And it is also super tasty. And given the way 2020 went it's probably something that you tried at some time or another!
Making a "healthy banana bread" is also pretty easy, without having to sacrifice on taste. It's just all about making the right adjustments to the classic recipes.
Just adding bananas into a mixture full of white flour and refined sugar won't do it if you want a nutritious and healthy banana bread that doesn't result in your kids bouncing off the walls.
How To Choose Ingredients For A Healthy Banana Bread
To make a perfect banana bread you will need starchy ingredients as well as sweet ones but you'll also want to look out to really choose the best ones.
Using really ripe and over-ripe bananas will give your banana bread a sweeter taste. Yes, if you are longing to make banana bread and don't have ripe bananas you can use under ripe ones also. But if you want a sweeter bread, then you will need to add more sweetener.
If making it for the whole family with a child that is older than 1, I always add a sweetener. Usually it is agave syrup but I would go for maple, barley or date syrup as well if I'm out of agave.
If making for a baby that is younger than 1, I omit the sweetener. The ripe bananas will provide just the right amount of sweetness and we really don't want any added sweetener for kids that are younger than 1.
For your perfect banana bread you will need to use a flour that has starches so that your banana bread gets that fluffy appearance and taste and still rises nicely.
I always try to use wholegrain flour like spelt, rye or wholegrain wheat flour. The reason for this is that these grains provide far more nutrients than regular white flour which doesn't really provide any apart from simple carbs and calories.
Eggs are one of the key ingredients for a great banana bread. They bind all the ingredients together in baking goods and there is no perfect substitute for them.
In case you do need to go egg-free the best alternative would be using chia or flax. Mix 1 tbsp of chia/flaxseed in 3 tbsp of water and leave for 5 minutes to rest for every egg mentioned in the recipe.
In some recipes, you do need to use a fat component for your batter. I've tried almost all of them – from butter, olive and sunflower oil to coconut oil. And they all work. So it's just a matter of your preferences.
For a successful banana bread you do need to use baking powder. It is used to achieve that airiness and looseness you expect from cakes and biscuits. Just make sure not to leave your batter out after adding the baking powder or it can lose its effectiveness.
From What Age Can I Give This to My Children?
If you are making for babies under 1, omit the sweetener and just use really ripe bananas. It is a perfect snack or breakfast for babies any age and is great for baby-led weaning.
If you are using sweetener then it is a great as a snack any time of the day (other than before nap time or bed time) for toddlers or kids any age. The Walnut Banana Bread Muffins recipe is perfect to take on-the-go.
Appliances You Need For A Great Banana Bread
You really only need a couple things.
An oven and a baking tin. The beauty of the banana bread is that the batter can easily be made without a blender or mixer. Simply mash the banana, add the wet ingredients and combine with the dry ones with a spatula.
Can I Add Additional Flavor To My Banana Bread?
I love adding some chopped nuts on top of the banana bread if baking in a loaf tin. Sometimes when making muffins I'd sprinkle them with coconut or some chocolate chips. You can even stir in some strawberries or add chocolate chips to the whole batter!
Check out our favorite recipes below.
So no matter how you choose to make and flavor your banana bread, the main thing is to know the basic ingredients you need to use. And then mix it up from there.
I also love adding different spices like cinnamon or vanilla and even some seeds like flaxseed or chia seeds. The possibilities really are endless.
Let us know your favorite version in the comments below.