As healthy as banana breads can get - a loaf of low-sugar, butter-free comfort that is just too good not to share.
With less than half an hour of prep time using simple ingredients, you'll get a beautiful loaf that will push you through the week (if you can make it last). All you need is a fork, a spatula, two mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a loaf tin or two, and you're ready to roll.
Ingredients (for two small loaves or one standard loaf)
Play with it.
In all seriousness:
4 bananas, ripe
1/4 cup vegetable oil (non-flavoured, i.e. not olive oil!)
1/4 cup brown or caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs (leave out for a vegan recipe)
1.5 cup plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp baking soda
handful dark chocolate or walnuts
In a large bowl, break chunks of banana into it and mash with a fork until a semi-smooth paste forms.
To the mashed bananas, add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
To make the banana bread light and fluffy, crack in two eggs to the mix and combine well. For a vegan recipe, skip this step.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the plain flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix well.
Pour the dry ingredients into the banana mix and use the fork to roughly combine the two before switching to a spatula for a cleaner mix.
Once the batter is ready, break up some dark chocolate - for a sweeter loaf - or walnuts - for a lighter one - into the batter and use the fork to weave in the toppings.
Grab your loaf tin, oil it lightly and coat with a light dusting of flour or line with a baking sheet. If it's non-stick... just grab it. Pour the batter into the tin(s) and let it rest.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wash your dishes - by the time the oven has preheated and dishes are clean, your batter would have rested enough.
Bake the mixture in the oven for 43 mins (standard loaf tin) or 35 mins (small loaf tins) until the top is golden brown and a test jab comes out clean.
Leave it to cool in the tin for at least 30 mins or until completely cool on a cooling rack before you cut into it. If you get impatient it will crumble on you. Though it does taste great straight out of the oven...
Storage and reheating
If it lasts...one week.
Keep the banana bread in a dry and cool place. If you are in a cooler country, out on the table in a bread tin works. If you're in a hot and humid country, fridge it.
The banana bread is easily portable for a quick school-time snack or a tea break at work. It's a family favourite, great to bring to picnics, tea parties, or even to work. Either way, it doesn't stay long in the pantry.
The banana bread is really good eaten cooled but reheated is... heavenly. A quick reheat in the toaster for a crunch and gooey melted chocolate is recommended. The microwave also does the trick, though the bread becomes more like a soft sponge, which can be nice too.
The banana bread with walnuts usually goes better with black tea (with a dash of milk of course), and when with dark chocolate, coffee (flat whites!).
If you want a guilty pleasure, add a dollop of (crunchy) peanut butter and boy it will be great. If you've got a great sweet tooth, heat up a slice of banana bread and spoon in some good quality vanilla ice cream... It'll be good. Trust me.