Banana bread is something that I rarely plan to make. It is most often the result of unexpectedly finding myself with too many overripe bananas.
Most people are quick to toss those unappealing, black, mushy bananas in the trash and call it a day. I, on the other hand, view rotten bananas not as waste, but as an opportunity: an opportunity to repurpose, recreate, reuse. Though the options are limitless, my personal favorite way to use overripe bananas is definitely banana bread. It is the perfect afternoon snack or breakfast treat.
Now let’s be clear. I am pretty particular when it comes to my banana bread. I am extremely partial to my mom’s, as it is what I grew up eating and loving. The thing I dislike about many banana breads that I try is that they seem more like cake than actual bread. They are overly sweet and taste fake like banana Runts. No thank you.
My mom’s recipe, on the other hand, is just the opposite. The overripe bananas provide the perfect amount of sweetness and moisture that makes this bread irresistible. There is very little added sugar in this recipe, which prevents it from turning into a banana cake. The buttermilk gives it a subtle tang and the vanilla gives it bold flavor.
When I recently found myself with a bunch of browning bananas, I decided I would play around with my mom’s banana bread recipe. Not to improve it (as I said, it’s perfect), but to just for the sake of experimenting with different flavors and textures. As an ode to the increasing temperatures and looming summer months, I gave my bread a coconut spin. I substituted some of the butter for coconut oil, and mixed in some unsweetened coconut flakes. Additionally, I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour and oats. This gave it a heartier texture and made it a tad healthier.
Note: If you have overripe bananas but you don’t want to make banana bread immediately, you can always freeze the unpeeled bananas and defrost them whenever you are ready to bake!
Besides the amazing taste, I think the reason I love banana bread so much is that it is created from something that is otherwise considered spoiled, bad, no good. Moral of the story: when life gives you rotten bananas, make banana bread.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3-4 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 3 Tbsp buttermilk (can substitute 1 T sour cream and 2 T milk)
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 3 T coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat over to 350. Spray loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Mix butter, coconut oil, sugar and molasses. Add eggs
- In a separate bowl, mash bananas. Mix in baking soda and buttermilk.
- To butter mixture, add flour, oats, and salt. Fold in bananas and coconut.
- Add cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.