What is it about Banana bread anyway? It's our all-time favorite comfort food. It has a warm, cozy feel, and of course, Banana Bread is delicious! The ingredients are usually sitting in your kitchen cabinet, and even if you're no gourmet cook, most of us can still bake a good banana bread. It's even a great way to use those over-ripe bananas, so you don't have to trash them. Banana bread is easy to make, hard to mess up, and works as a snack, a yummy dessert, or a sweet breakfast. What's not to love?!
Whatever your favorite recipe, there are always ways to make it better. That's the beauty of the basic banana bread recipe.
Here we have the top 5 ways to take your banana bread to the next level.
Related: Banana Bread Cake Pops
1 Caramelize your bananas
Over-ripe bananas are sweet and delicious, perfect for banana bread, but did you know you could make them even sweeter? If you roast your bananas, you will caramelize them. Their natural sugars are optimized, giving you an even more flavorful ingredient for your banana bread. Another perk of caramelizing your bananas is that you won't need to use as much sugar as your recipe states.
You can flavor and cook your over-ripe bananas on the stove-top until caramelized, then use them in the recipe as required.
2 Add nuggets
Another way to take your banana bread to the next level is to add tasty treats to it. Here we have a list of just a few of the things you should consider.
Nuts and bananas seem to go together so well! The soft, moist texture of the banana bread is enhanced by the nuts' crunch - and vice versa. Try chopped pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts. These nuts may also be ground and added to the mix for an overall nutty flavor.
What recipe can't be made better with a few chocolate chips? This includes white chocolate, butterscotch chips, or even cacao nibs. Adding chocolate chips to your banana bread won't just make it tastier, but it will improve the texture and the look. Before you add the chips to the batter, dust them with a bit of flour. This will stop them from all sinking to the bottom and keeps them evenly distributed throughout the loaf. Don't forget to sprinkle a few on top - just for good measure.
Fruit - Dried or Fresh
This one might sound strange, given our love-hate relationship to fruit cake, but keep an open mind. Dried raisins, apricots, figs, or cranberries can take your banana bread from boring to brilliant! Add a little or a lot according to your taste, and remember to dust the fruit with flour before adding them to the mix. This will keep them from settling to the bottom of the loaf - unless that's the look you want.
You may also add fresh, seasonal fruit. Blueberries or strawberries are excellent choices.
For a tropical flavor, consider adding shredded coconut or coconut flakes to your banana bread. The flavors work well together, and the coconut will make each bite feel like a summer treat.
Related: Banana Bread Ice Cream Cake
3 Add Flavorings
You can enhance the flavor of your banana bread by adding to it any of the following. You won't lose the rich banana flavor, but you can create something new and exciting.
Not every recipe calls for spices, so you can consider adding warming spices like cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg. Cinnamon can bring out more of the sweetness of your bananas. You can add the spice to the mix in a usual sense, or you can create a cinnamon swirl banana bread.
If a little chocolate is good, a lot of chocolate is great, right? Why not try adding cocoa or cacao powder to your mix. With only a quarter cup, you can change your banana bread into something new and exciting. You could even make it a chocolate swirl banana bread.
Maple syrup and banana bread can make the yummiest breakfast you have ever had. The sweet, sticky heavenliness of maple syrup can be added to the bread batter, drizzled over the finished product, or better still - both!
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4 Change the texture
Some would argue that the texture of banana bread is already the perfect blend of moist, softness, but here are few things you can add to experiment with the texture.
Adding sour cream or Greek yogurt to your banana bread will take the texture to a new level of smoothness and gives the bread a tart flavor.
Peanut butter, or any nut butter for that matter, will add denseness to your banana bread for a more satisfying treat—experiment with crunchy peanut butter for a thick but less smooth texture. Drizzle with honey or syrup after, and you'll have a new favorite.
As a treat for the fall season, consider adding a little pumpkin puree to your banana bread. You can mix the puree with the mashed banana for a thicker bread and a fall aroma. A hearty slice of banana-pumpkin bread with a pumpkin spice latte is the perfect way to cap a fall evening.
A fifth way to take your banana bread to the next level is your choice of topping. Here are a few suggestions:
Remember our first tip about using caramelized bananas in your recipe? Well, you can take more of those same caramelized bananas, chopped and mixed with caramel sauce and hazelnuts, and pour the rich mixture over the top of your banana bread before serving.
Crunchy Streusel Topping
Try this super-moist banana bread with a crunchy streusel topping as an indulgent dessert on a rainy evening at home. Your taste buds won't know what to do with this delicious combination. The recipe is straightforward, even for beginners.
Related: ATTN Chocolate Lovers: Click Here
The last bite
As often as you bake it, banana bread never has to be boring - or the same. Experiment with as many of our suggestions as you like, and enjoy how happy, delicious banana bread makes you feel.
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