Don’t be afraid to use the ugly bananas!
If you feel like people would judge you if they saw those ugly, brown and bruised bananas sitting out on your counter top, then you’ve got the perfect baking bananas. That’s my banana motto at least!
In my home, we alway have an abundance of bananas. They are either green and fresh from the store, perfectly yellow and ready to eat, spotted and ready to be frozen, or an ugly brown and ready to become banana bread.
I’m the kind of home baker that loves to experiment. Making tweaks here and there. Playing with substitutions. Testing different variables to see what yields a good bake, and what isn’t worth repeating. My current go-to banana bread recipe was originally adapted from this Food Network recipe.
Up until pretty recently, my little guy was allergic to both dairy and eggs. Even small amounts would cause him to break out into all-over hives and eczema. Store-bought allergy-free foods can get pretty pricey, so I had to get creative and adapt our every-day meals to fit his needs. As any parent knows, no food is more appealing to a kid than the food his parents are eating . . . And so came the need to make a banana bread that my little guy could enjoy too.
My first iteration of this recipe was vegan. Now that little man can tolerate eggs, I don’t replace them, but feel free to substitute 2 flax eggs. It yields a nearly identical bake. I’d say an identical bake, but my husband swears he can tell the difference, although he’s eaten it plenty of times without knowing it was vegan. Still, I’ll stick with nearly identical . . . I do still make it dairy free. Baking with coconut butter instead of butter is something I’ve found I love doing. It’s an easy one-to-one substitution that adds a healthy twist. Now, that’s not to say that butter doesn’t have a place in my baking, but I prefer it over butter for everyday baked goods.
The original recipe calls for granulated sugar, but I’ve found I enjoy the more robust flavor and extra moisture that light brown sugar brings. Coconut sugar has a similar flavor, and is lower on the glycemic index. For this reason, I use an equal mixture of light brown sugar and coconut sugar.
This banana bread makes the perfect companioning to your morning coffee. We like to slice it nice and thick in our household and smother it with Smart Balance (or Earth Balance, depending on what we have), honey, or almond butter.
Hope you enjoy it too!