This Banana Bread is true to its name. More bread than cake. If you are after something very sweet with added ingredients like chocolate chips, dried fruits, and maple syrup this probably isn’t the recipe for you. If you want a more savoury bread, then I’m hoping this might be exactly what you are after. And you can always ‘treat’ it up afterwards with toppings like apple syrup, berries and even ice-cream.
Before starting to cook something, I recommend taking a minute to think about exactly what you are after from your dish. This will differ from meal to meal and from day to day. You might be after something that’s easy to prepare or that will use up left-over ingredients. Cooking something that tastes sensational might be your main objective. Or you might want something to add a healthy balance to your diet. Whatever it is, make a written or mental note of what you want and take it from there. For this recipe, I wanted a basic banana bread. One that’s more savoury than sweet. One that has minimal ingredients. One that’s easy to make.
When you cook for and write a food blog, there is a real temptation to add extra twists to recipes to keep things interesting. This can sometimes work out great, but not always. Sometimes, I over complicate things and end up with a fancy sounding recipe, but one that doesn’t quite pass the taste test. Sometimes, the simplest things are the best and I reckon this is the case here.
Let me tell you my favourite things about this recipe:
Firstly, it’s a good way to use up ripe bananas that are about to go bad. The riper the banana, the sweeter the bread. Good for your budget and for reducing food waste.
I use oats instead of flour. You can buy oat flour but instead, I blitz oats in a blender or food processor to make the flour. Saves on having to have separate oat flour in the press. It also works out less expensive.
This bread relies on the bananas for sweetness. It doesn’t contain maple syrup or honey or any other additional sweetener. I like this approach because if you want to ‘treat’ it up when serving, this can be done by drizzling it with honey or maple syrup. Think toasted banana bread, topped with yogurt, blueberries and a drizzle of Irish apple syrup. Yay!
This bread freezes well. One of my favourite freezing tips is to cut the bread into individual slices and spread them on a baking tray to freeze individually first. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer container. Thus, avoiding that annoying scenario of trying to separate frozen bread slices from each other. I love a good freezer tip, don’t you?
Next up are some serving suggestions, all of which involve toasting the banana bread first.
First up is the obvious. Just spread a decent amount of real Irish butter on top and away you go.
Top with your favourite nut better, sliced banana and a drizzle of apple syrup. To be a little extra, sprinkle some toasted quinoa pops or seeds on top.
This may be my favourite. Add a dollop of plain Greek or coconut yogurt, blueberries and a drizzle of apple syrup. This qualifies as a healthy breakfast, doesn’t it? Anyone?
Note: I use Highbank Orchard Apple Syrup. It’s made from only organic locally grown apples and is produced about a mile away from my house here in Kilkenny. If you’ve already tasted it, you just know. If you haven’t, make this bread and you’ll have the perfect excuse to do so.
Keep scrolling for my Easy-to-Make Banana Bread and remember this is bread not cake! Just managing any sugar related expectations that you guys might have.
Easy-to-Make Banana Bread
4 ripe bananas
125ml almond milk
65ml melted coconut oil
300g oat flour / oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
Walnuts, oat flakes, pumpkin seeds, sliced bananas
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180C and grease a loaf pan.
Mix the bananas, coconut oil, eggs and almond milk using a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, mash the bananas well and then mix in the remaining wet ingredients and stir well to combine.
If using whole oats, blitz them into a flour. In a separate mixing bowl to the wet ingredients, mix the oat flour, baking powder and sea salt.
Fold the wet and dry ingredients together and pour into your greased loaf pan.
Bake for an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes our clean. Allow the bread to cool in the loaf tin for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to fully cool before slicing.
Toppings: I topped mine with chopped walnuts. Other options include oat flakes, pumpkin seeds, sliced bananas, and flaked almonds. Add the toppings before placing the bread in the oven.
*A narrow and deeper loaf pan works best.