Banana bread is perhaps one of the most loved recipes and a go-to for beginner and veteran bakers alike. It’s healthy, easy to prepare, requires affordable and accessible ingredients, and it comes out perfect every time. Fortunately, it’s great for your taste buds and your health. A Byrdie feature on banana bread highlights it as a potential source of protein and fibre, allowing for better digestion and a healthier heart.
While it’s not exactly a superfood, it’s definitely healthier than other sweet treats. It’s still good to eat it in moderation. That being said, make each batch of banana bread special — here are four topping ideas to upgrade your favourite banana bread recipe.
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Add a nut topping!
As one of the most used toppings for a variety of pastries, nuts go remarkably well with bananas. It complements the bread’s soft and decadent texture with its crunch and nutty flavour. Walnuts and pecans are on the sweeter side, which is why they are popular choices; but do try out hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, and macadamia nuts too.
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Nuts are also a great source of omega-3, omega-6, and monosaturated fats, which are all good for the heart. They are also rich in selenium and magnesium, which are necessary for the conversion of sugar into energy. You really can’t go wrong with sprinkling crushed nuts over freshly baked banana bread.
Incorporate berries into your banana bread
Bananas pair really well with other berries and make for a very flavorful and healthy combination. Fresh blueberries and strawberries are great toppings alongside light maple syrup.
Dried cranberries, raisins, and apricots are also fool-proof additions to any banana bread recipe. This double cranberry banana bread recipe from Taste of Home would be a great festive dessert — berries are also loaded with antioxidants and nutrients to help boost immunity and your metabolism.
Who can resist dark chocolate chips?!
Milk chocolate chips are an all-around popular choice for desserts, but consider using dark chocolate chips instead. Besides adding a rich bittersweetness, it also provides several health benefits. Health and wellness website SymptomFind explains how dark chocolate that contains more than 70% cocoa can increase energy levels by improving blood flow to the brain for up to three hours. Plus it’s also rich in antioxidants, which makes chocolate and banana a match made in heaven.
Add spices to your banana bread
Dusting spices over banana bread can elevate its taste and bring out all of its flavours. A crowd favourite would be cinnamon, as it brings a wonderful kick and aroma to any simple loaf of bread. Cinnamon is also promoted by BBC Good Food as one of the best spices to help manage diabetes, reduce blood pressure, and ease digestive comfort. Other great spices to incorporate are nutmeg, allspice, and even clove. Plus, spices also work well with nuts and chocolates.
Banana bread is a fun and easy treat to make, you add a twist by trying out these topping recommendations on your next baking session. For more bread-making techniques and ways to improve bread, check out my baking tips and troubleshooting page.