A freshly baked loaf of banana bread is in a league of its own.
Perfectly warm, soft, and just the right amount of sweet, it’s impossible not to love.
While it probably shouldn’t be your main source of nutrition, just a little bit of banana bread goes a long way, especially with coffee, tea, and a Saturday morning.
How do you make banana bread everyone will love? Is it possible to refine the recipe and make a healthier version that you can enjoy more often? Let’s find out.
Quick history of banana bread
Known as one of the most famous dessert-style quick bread, banana bread came about as a way to pack a ton of tasty flavors into a relatively easy and accessible package.
Sometimes, the baking and pastry scene can become overloaded with way too many complications and advanced techniques.
Banana bread goes in the opposite direction and says that anyone can make a delicious product right at home without hours of labor.
In the United States, recipes for easy banana bread can be traced back to nearly 100 years ago in now-classic cookbooks.
According to Wikipedia, Pillsbury was one of the first companies to publish a widely-used recipe that still holds up to this day!
The Great Depression is thought to also play a role in the widespread popularity of the bread.
In those times, families could not allow any food to go to waste, so they found inventive ways to utilize ingredients that were on the verge of expiration.
Since nobody wants to eat overripe bananas (too sticky, too sweet), folks figured out a way to incorporate those mushy fruits into a quick bread that tasted great and delivered some much-needed calories to hungry families.
Back then, bananas were not considered cheap food, since they had to be grown and exported across the country. This made it even more important that they did not go to waste.
Other theories state that banana bread became so popular as a result of corporate promotion of flour and baking soda products, which were relatively cheap to produce and easy to profit on.
Even if the reasons behind banana bread were more economic than culinary, it stuck around long past the Depression-era for a reason: it’s a stellar bread!
By the ‘40s, banana bread was being made in nearly every home and could be found in local bakeries and diners throughout the United States.
Banana bread also made an appearance in the Chiquita Banana Recipe Book of the 1950s, making it an official staple of the American household.
We’re just glad that folks back in the day were smart and resourceful enough to save those bananas and repurpose them in such an elegant way!
How is it different from other breads?
We mentioned earlier that banana bread is considered a quick bread, but what exactly does that mean? Muffins, cornbread, and some other cakes are lumped into this category as well.
Essentially, most traditional bread relies on yeast and eggs to get that signature volume and texture. Sourdoughs, Pullman loaves, and hearty ancient grain bread all use the same central mechanisms to achieve that spongy softness that everyone loves.
While those recipes are fantastic, they aren’t very easy or fast to make.
Even professional bakers occasionally mess up a loaf or two, since there are so many factors at play. Acidity levels, humidity, and variables outside our control - it’s often too much to handle for the majority of home cooks.
Quick bread flips the script and makes it difficult to mess up the recipe!
We can credit commercial baking soda from the mid-19th century for making quick bread a part of the American tradition.
Instead of relying on yeast, families could use a bit of this magical powder to get amazing results with just a few ingredients. It was more reliable, less labor-intensive, and pretty much guaranteed the same outcome every time.
Things escalated quickly during the Civil War when military members needed baked goods on the fly - there was no time to waste on crafting a perfect loaf! Quick bread made the difference for many troops and helped the nation get back on track.
With all that said, it’s easy to see why banana bread is such a famous recipe - it’s fast, relatively easy to make, and puts smiles on faces anywhere it goes.
Not the healthiest snack
For all its advantages, banana bread has some drawbacks in terms of nutrition, and that’s putting it kindly.
It’s safe to say that for most of these recipes, banana is the only remotely healthy ingredient in the whole lot.
Some of the stuff included in the store-bought banana bread is downright scary! Hydrogenated vegetable oils, strange preservatives, and sometimes even corn syrup.
Yes, it’s extra moist and squishy, and probably tastes great for the first few bites, but that mass-produced banana bread is something that everyone should stay away from.
You’re probably in agreement on that fact and think that the homemade stuff is better.
While baking banana bread at home is generally a healthier move, it still packs a lot of carbs and contains enough sugar to destroy a whole week of careful dieting.
If you add extras like peanut butter, chocolate chips, and fruit, the situation gets even worse for your waistline. No wonder we feel weighed down after just a couple of small slices.
For anyone on a keto diet, which aims to limit carbs to fewer than 50 grams per day, banana bread is not going to make the cut.
Gluten-free folks also shy away from the stuff, since processed flour is often one of the primary ingredients. Add in the butter, and you have a no-go for the dairy-free crowd as well.
All in all, banana bread is a hazard for way too many people, which is why healthier solutions are always in the works.
A nutritious alternative is here
Since banana bread is seen as so decadent and sugar-laden, it’s hard to picture a recipe that actually packs a good amount of nutrition without the extra carbs.
When we set out to formulate the ultimate Superfood Bread, we knew that it was possible to bring banana bread back to the menu for many health-conscious eaters.
How did we do it? By eliminating all the prohibitive factors that keep away the health crowd. Our bread is made of 8 simple ingredients that come together for next-level nutrition and taste.
Almond flour, psyllium husk and golden flaxseed form the foundation of our bread, and our leavening agents are super healthy as well.
This gives you the perfect canvas for all kinds of toasty creations, including banana bread!
Here’s how we suggest you make Superfood Banana Bread:
- Toast a few slices in the toaster or oven with some butter and a pinch of salt.
- Slice fresh bananas on top and a drizzle of your favorite healthy sweetener. We like using natural honey or agave syrup. A little goes a long way!
- Add some crushed walnuts to bring that nutty flavor and add some extra healthy fat.
- Sprinkle a bit of extra spice like cinnamon to create a cozy winter vibe.
This recipe is even easier and faster than the quick-bread versions of old, plus you can make any modifications you want to boost the flavor and nutritional profile.
If you are 100% keto and don’t want to include any fruit in your diet, there are ways around that, too. This article shows you how to take advantage of ingredients like banana extract to enjoy those delicious flavors with ease.
Finally, this is a banana bread that everyone can enjoy guilt-free. It captures all the flavors and warmth of the original without going overboard on carbs and sugars.
Banana bread isn’t the only thing we brought back to the keto crowd. French toast, grilled cheese, and other comfort food favorites can be enjoyed once again, with a few small tweaks.
With a little bit of outside-the-box thinking, you can find ways to eat your favorite bread-based foods while living the low-carb, gluten-free, and dairy-free lifestyle!
Banana bread has always been one of those definitely-off-limits foods for anyone serious about their health, and there’s no denying those old-school recipes are overly decadent.
But luckily, foodies and health nuts have come to the rescue with cleaner versions of the classic, leveraging different types of flour and alternative sweeteners.
We are very satisfied with how our Superfood Bread performs with bananas, spices, butter, and few natural sweeteners to achieve that definitive flavor we missed so much.
If you feel like you’re ready to put banana bread back on the menu in a healthy way, definitely look into having our Keto Kubes delivered right to your door!
Follow us on social media to see how the Uprising community is expanding its reach and inventing healthy versions of your favorite recipes.