Banana bread has quickly become one of the most viral quarantine recipes on the internet. And, not only is banana bread delicious, but it’s easy to make, and actually one requires a handful of ingredients, making it an ah-mazing quarantine recipe to whip up while we’re all home self-isolating.
And, we’re letting you in on our top five favorite hacks to take your banana bread game to the next level.
Get ready because banana bread just got healthy (and even more delicious) — so much so that we’re inviting you to nosh on this for breakfast.
Ready, set, get baking!
5 Ways to Take Your Banana Bread Recipes to the Next Level
#1 Use the Right Bananas
There’s a science to making the most mouth-wateringly delicious banana bread, and it all starts with choosing the right bananas. This makes sense, right? I mean, bananas are the shining star in this staple comfort food recipe, so make sure you’re adding the right bananas to the batter.
Here’s what you need to know about the best bananas for banana bread:
- The only real rule here is to choose super ripe bananas. The riper it is, the sweetener it is (perfect for banana bread!)
So, if you think that banana that’s been sitting on your counter is too ripe to add on top of your bowl of oatmeal, that banana bread recipe is calling your name.
Another tip to making sure your bananas are just ripe enough for banana bread is to look for black/brown specs on the peel. This is a good indicator that your banana is ripe and ready to go.
Don’t have any overripe bananas? You have options! You can place your unripe bananas in a brown paper bag to help speed up the ripening process (this may take a few days).
If you need to make banana bread ASAP, just add an extra tablespoon or two of coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, or raw honey for that added sweetness you would normally get from those super ripe bananas.
#2 Add Some Superfoods
Superfoods are a game-changer for turning banana bread into a healthy treat. Some of our favorite add-ins include:
- Raw cacao nibs
- Shredded coconut
- Chopped walnuts
- Nut butter
- Collagen peptides
#3 Make it Allergy Friendly
Looking for a dairy and gluten-free alternative? We got you.
Make it Gluten-Free
- Try swapping out regular wheat-based flour for an all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free flour blend (like Bob’s Red Mills).
- Need a grain-free alternative? Try almond flour!
Make it Dairy-Free
- Use coconut oil in place of butter
- Or, try macadamia butter instead (the brand Milkadamia is delicious)
Make it Vegan
Use the dairy-free swaps above, and instead of eggs, use flax eggs.
Here’s how to make a flax egg to use in vegan banana bread.
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
- 3 tbsp warm water
Whisk the flaxseed meal and water together and allow it to sit out for 10-15 minutes or until it forms a gel-like consistency.
#4 Up the Protein
To make banana bread healthy and filling enough to eat for breakfast, consider upping the protein a bit by adding a scoop of collagen peptides. Seriously, you won’t taste it, and your gut health will thank you.
#5 Get Savvy With Sweeteners
While traditional banana bread is delish, we can make it a tad healthier by getting creative with sweeteners. Feel free to mix some of these together, like using 50% coconut sugar and 50% maple sugar… yum!
Here are some of our go-to healthier sweetener picks for banana bread:
- Coconut sugar — use at a 1: 1 ratio with sugar.
- Maple sugar — use at a 1: 1 ratio with sugar.
- Raw honey & pure maple syrup — for each cup of sugar your recipe calls for, cut it in half with a liquid natural sweetener to make sure the bread doesn’t come out too moist.
Bonus Tip: Make Sure Your Banana Bread Turns Into Perfection!
If you’re looking for a way to add some extra moisture to your banana bread, try using coconut oil in place of butter and use a liquid natural sweetener like raw honey or pure maple syrup.
Oh, and if you’re feeling fancy, feel free to top your banana bread with a slab of coconut or almond butter, and enjoy it for breakfast with dalgona coffee or matcha tea — if you aren’t a morning person, banana bread + dalgona coffee is an excuse in it’s own to get out of bed early!
3 Additional Ways to Enjoy Your Banana Bread
Made too much banana bread and don’t know what to do with the leftovers? Good news. You can totally use it in different healthy recipes.
Here are some of our go-to ways to use up leftover banana bread.
- Crumble some on top of a smoothie bowl
- Use banana bread slices to cook in coconut oil and enjoy like French toast
- Make into a nut butter sandwich
- Enjoy banana bread crumbles on top of your bowl of yogurt
The Only Healthy Banana Bread Recipe You’ll Need
Don’t think we’d leave you hanging without sharing our very own healthy banana bread recipe! Here’s how we like to take our banana bread game up a notch.
Healthier Gluten & Dairy-Free Banana Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free flour (like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 6 overly ripe bananas, mashed
- ¼ cup cacao nibs (or dark chocolate chips)
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9X5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil.
Add the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon to a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Mix together the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, and maple syrup in a mixing bowl. Stir in the eggs and mashed banana and mix until well-combined.
Stir into the flour mixture and mix until combined.
Fold in the cacao nibs and chopped walnuts.
Pour into the parchment-lined loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow the bread to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
Serve with a slab of your favorite nut butter.
Perfect Your Banana Bread Game
Use these tips to take your banana bread game to the next level. By adding some superfoods, making some healthy swaps, and topping it off with a slab of nutter butter, you have yourself a nourishing and wholesome breakfast or snack the whole family can enjoy.