When life gives you overripe bananas…. make banana bread!
Easy banana bread recipe
Inspired by Nigel Slater’s maxim of ‘never throw away black bananas – use them in baking’, I decided to use up some rather withered-looking examples which had been sat too long on the side. However, I decided on a far less fussy recipe than the one Nigel offers, because as far as I’m concerned, baking should be simple. Particularly if you’re doing it just to use up old fruit.
The simple recipe worked wonderfully – the muscavado sugar gives a good depth of flavor and the sweetness of the bananas lifts the cake, balanced by the crunchy, nuttiness of the walnuts. It even tastes better with these favorite toast toppings here. If you want to try it yourself, here’s how to make banana bread:
- 2 over-ripe bananas mashed
- 100 g caster sugar
- 50 g dark muscavado sugar
- 125 g margarine
- 200 g plain flour gluten free
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 egg beaten
- 50 ml milk
- Vanilla essence
- Dash of mixed spice
- 25 g walnuts chopped.
- Preheat the oven to 170oC (150oC if fan assisted)
- Grease and line a loaf tin.
- Cream the sugar and margarine together in a bowl.
- Add the mashed bananas, beaten egg, milk and a few drops of vanilla essence. Mix well.
- Fold in the flour, bicarb and mixed spice, then stir in the walnuts.
- Pour mixture into the tin and bake for 35-40 mins until golden-brown.
- Take out of oven and leave for a few mins, then turn onto wire rack to cool.
About banana bread
The exact origins of this bread are somewhat disputed, but it is widely believed to have its roots in the United States during the Great Depression of the 1930s. This period was marked by economic hardship, and frugal households sought creative ways to make the most of their ingredients.
Overripe bananas, often too mushy to eat on their own, became the perfect candidate. The idea of incorporating mashed bananas into a bread recipe quickly gained traction, resulting in the creation of this bread.
While traditional banana bread remains a classic favorite, there are numerous variations to explore. People started to add various ingredients to this dessert, like peanut butter, zucchini, chopped nuts, granola, pumpkin, chocolate chip (banana chocolate chip loaf), spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves, and fruits like apple, blueberries, or raspberries (Fruit-infused banana bread).
There are even special versions like healthy banana bread (using almond flour, low carb, low sugar, no butter, and incorporating ingredients like Greek yogurt or applesauce), a vegan recipe (dairy-free and no eggs), or a vegan gluten-free variant.