One of my mom’s favorite treats is homemade banana bread, and over the years looking for the next perfect banana bread recipe has become somewhat of a hobby for me. I enjoy making her banana bread on a whim so she doesn’t suspect it, making it more of a surprise. I always like to try out a new recipe for banana bread that features a unique tasty ingredient, though she actually just prefers the original kind. I find that looking for new ingredients to put in my next banana bread recipe has led me to discover all the delicious accents you can add to the original. If you need a new banana bread recipe to try, how about utilizing some simple ingredients that enhance your own favorite recipe? These ingredients are easy to add right into any recipe you already have on hand, and if nothing else, it’s a great way to use up excess ingredients in your pantry or fridge. Settle down with a piece of banana bread, cup of coffee and join me in learning these new tasty ingredients to put in your next batch!
1. Cashew Butter
One of my favorite new add-ins for any banana bread recipe is cashew butter in replacement for half the oil or butter called for in the recipe. If your recipe doesn’t call for either oil or butter, add in two tablespoons of cashew butter. This lends the most subtle, yet amazing creamy flavor that is so incredible. It is one of my top favorites of all.
2. Fresh Orange Juice
I tried this ingredient out one Mother’s Day, and it was actually a hit! I used ½ the amount of water or other liquid called for as organic plain orange juice, or you can use fresh if you prefer. It smelled like a breakfast dream! Plus, it doesn’t end up tasting like OJ, but instead like a deliciously sweet breakfast bread. I highly suggest this ingredient to try as soon as you can!
3. Apple Sauce
This is an easy, and pretty common, add-in to put in any banana bread recipe. You can add in ¼ cup plain apple sauce to any recipe you have on hand. It adds a nice subtle sweetness, and an incredible amount of moisture, giving you a softer, moister crumb. You can also sub out one egg or ¼ cup of oil if you like for apple sauce as well.
4. Almond Butter
Another common nut butter to use in banana bread, whether as a drizzle on top of the bread, or included in the batter is almond butter. Most banana breads use walnuts in the recipe, which is fine, but I like to add in one tablespoon or two of roasted, unsalted almond butter before baking. Cream the batter well and you’ll smell right off hand why this is so tasty! Almond butter has a nice rich flavor which makes the banana bread taste heartier. It also comes out a little more dense, which is really nice and filling.
5. Shredded Coconut
If you’re a nut over coconut like me, be sure to try ¼ cup shredded coconut, or even ½ cup in your next banana bread recipe. You can either substitute some for the flour or just add in a few tablespoons extra of water if you add in coconut to make sure it forms a nice batter. Coconut lends a nice tropical taste to the bread, which is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it.
6. Canned Pumpkin
This is a great idea to try for fall! Try using ½ cup canned pumpkin in place of 2 eggs in your banana bread recipe, or in place of ½ cup oil. It makes such a moist cake that still tastes like banana bread, but has that nice rich, pumpkin fall-like taste. I highly recommend it and believe it is one of the easiest enhancements, and most delicious you can try.
7. Almond Extract Instead of Vanilla
I love almond extract. It just has this amazing French vanilla flavor to it that I enjoy. It kind of makes you go, “Oh, what is that?” about the flavor. Try using almond extract in place of the vanilla called for in a recipe. It adds such a different twist, yet still tastes enough like the original too.
Have you ever tried adding in some dried fruit to your banana bread? While raisins are okay, I actually prefer the taste and aesthetic appeal of vibrant, red and tart cranberries. They add a great flavor distinction to the super sweet bananas and make for a lovely presentation. Just add in about ¼ cup dried cranberries to any recipe you have on hand.
Lastly, one of the best ways to ensure you get a moist crumb in your banana bread is to use ¼ cup yogurt for ¼ cup oil. This not only reduces the calorie content, but in my opinion, makes it taste much better. I recommend using non-fat plain yogurt for the best taste and just using your sweetener in the recipe as the only sweetener used. Many yogurts are filled with artificial flavors and more sugar than two candybars, so be sure to buy the plain for the most neutral flavor.
The beauty of these ingredients is they don’t really require you to use another recipe than the ones you have on hand. They are easy to add in or substitute ingredients with. If you need some really great banana bread recipes to get you started off on the right food, try using one of my favorite websites of all for amazing banana bread, which is Happy Healthy Life by Kathy Patalsky. She’s not only excellent in the kitchen, but her photos alone are worth checking these recipes out for. You use one of your own banana bread recipes, or one of Kathy’s latest here: kblog.lunchboxbunch.com. Do you like to make banana bread?