When I am searching for the perfect baked good, nothing quite compares to banana bread. January 21 is National Banana Bread Day and there is no better way to celebrate than baking some of your own! I prefer it with chocolate chips instead of nuts, but the great thing about banana bread is that it is open to interpretation. The smell alone inspires nostalgia as this is a staple in so many homes. Not only will you get to enjoy it with your coffee, which is awesome, your house will smell delicious.
(Photo by Flora Westbrook/pexels.com)
History of National Banana Bread Day
- Early 1900's
In the early 1900s, bananas became easier to acquire in the United States. With refrigeration techniques, it was easier to transporting them into the U.S.
It is no secret now that you should use very ripe bananas in your banana bread. They are easier to work with and offer a better flavor profile. This was discovered actually in the Great Depression when people refused to throw away food. Overly ripe bananas began to be used in banana bread.
In the 1930s cookbooks began to include recipes for banana bread.
Banana bread began to get popular in 1950 when it was featured in the Chiquita Banana Recipe Book.
Upgrade your banana bread game
There are many different add-ins and ways to upgrade your banana bread. Extra ingredients can really change the flavor and help you discover something new each time you make banana bread. Consider one of these ingredients this National Banana Bread Day:
Nuts are great for adding additional flavor and texture to your recipe. Many people consider nuts as a necessity when it comes to banana bread. Walnuts are used the most often, but you can mix in any nuts that you choose.
Chocolate chips or chocolate chunks are also a great thing to add to banana bread. Chocolate and bananas go so well together that this is one of the most delicious combinations. You may run into the problem of the chips sinking. If you dust the chocolate chips in flour before you put them in the batter, it will help prevent them from sinking. Add a few on top as well to make your loaf even more delicious and appetizing.
- Peanut butter
Peanut butter and banana is another great combination. If you add chocolate, it can make this even better.
You will notice cinnamon as an ingredient in many different banana bread recipes. You can also add nutmeg, clove and allspice as well. These warming species add another layer of flavor to your recipe.
If you are looking for even more chocolate flavor above chocolate chips, you can add in some cocoa to your recipe. By adding just a quarter cup to your bread, you will turn your regular banana bread to cocoa.
By adding some citrus, you can brighten up many different recipes, including banana bread. Orange combines with banana really well and is a good recipe to try for something different.
- Dried fruit
An easy way to add flavor to your banana bread is by adding dried fruits. Just as with the chocolate chips, make sure to coat them in flour, so they do not sink. Raisins, cranberries and apricots are all good choices.
Pumpkin is a great way to add both moisture and a fall flavor. It works really well with mashed bananas.
- Maple syrup
Another great way to add flavor and sweetness to your banana bread is by adding maple syrup. This is an awesome treat.
While zucchini bread is delicious in itself, try adding in mashed bananas. This is a great way to add more moisture and use up that zucchini.
Since coconut and banana are both tropical ingredients, they tend to work well together. You can use shredded coconut to add flavor and texture to your banana bread loaf.
Pineapple also works really well with bananas for the same reason as coconut. Crushed pineapple is a great addition to banana bread and adds moisture as well.
Ways to celebrate
- Make banana bread!
The most obvious way to celebrate today is by making your own loaf of delicious banana bread.
- Host a banana bread tasting party.
With all the choices and different add-ins you can do with banana bread, why not have a tasting party? You can ask everyone to make something different and then get together and enjoy them.
- Donate some banana bread.
If you want to bake a lot of it, but not eat it all, you can donate banana bread. There may be some nonprofit organizations in your community that take in home-cooked food donations. These may include soup kitchens and nursing homes. Sharing your banana bread will make you and the recipient feel good.
Fun Banana Bread Facts
- It’s good for your heart.
Banana bread can be good for your heart because of the potassium it contains. This potassium can help regular heart function and normalize blood pressure.
- Americans love bananas.
The average American eats about 30 pounds of bananas each year!
- No need to rise.
Banana bread is considered a quick bread because it does not need yeast. This makes it much quicker to make because you do not need to wait for it to rise like other breads. Instead, it has both baking soda and baking powder to help. Most banana bread recipes only take about an hour to completely finish.
- Look out for the radioactivity!
Bananas actually have a slight amount of radioactivity. This is due to the high potassium content.
Grab your overripe bananas and loaf pans and make a day of baking! Try out a few of the options above. Get the kids involved and make a math lesson out of it before you enjoy the spoils. Do not forget a cup of coffee and enjoy your banana bread. There is no better day of the year to do it. Happy National Banana Bread Day!