I didn’t realise how much I used bananas in cooking until I started writing this blog! There’s banana muffins, banana teething biscuits, banana chips, banana icecream, banana pikelets, banana and butternut squash loaf, and they’re also my ‘secret’ sweetener in my sugar-free flapjacks. And these are just the recipes I’ve blogged!
Banana is commonly one of the first solid foods a baby experiences, and I think I probably just tried different things with them as Nicholas always loves them. I also pretty much constantly have some very ripe ones in the freezer waiting to be turned into something yummy.
I’ve tried many banana bread recipes over the years with varying degrees of success. Most of the time I prefer mine to be light and fluffy like a sponge, rather than heavy and moist. And while I adore cream cheese frosting, for me this banana bread is much better without it distracting your taste buds. It also means I feel less guilt when eating it for breakfast.
Banana bread recipes are quite similar overall with a different tweak here and there. My recipe isn’t anything new, but it’s evolved from combining recipes I’ve come across and experimenting until I was happy.
One thing you might want to experiment with is the texture of the mashed banana. Some cooks puree it with a blender while others leave it quite chunky. Supposedly pureeing it gives a richer banana flavour to the finished product. I mash my bananas with a fork, but mash about half of them until they’re very smooth and the remainder I only mash a little so you find the occasional chunk in the finished bread.
There’s quite a bit of banana in this recipe, but you can easily get away with less; even two smallish bananas would work fine (you want at least 175g of it unpeeled).
DAIRY-FREE BANANA BREAD
Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cook time: 40-45 mins
175g self-raising flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
175g golden caster sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 medium bananas, mashed
50g walnuts (or pecans), chopped
Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Whisk the sugar, eggs and oil together at a medium speed using a handheld beater or in an electric mixer. Whisk for a few minutes until it’s pale and fluffy.
Sift in the flour and baking powder, add the mashed banana, and mix until combined using a low speed. Gently stir through the walnuts.
Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
- Make individual muffins instead of a loaf (easier to freeze if you’re not going to eat all of it)
- Dust with icing sugar
- Top with cream cheese frosting for a more decadent loaf