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I love banana bread made at home in a bread machine. Not just because it’s cheap to make, but because it’s nearly idiot-proof and, best of all, you can modify it.
Nearly any fruit will do, provided it isn’t something especially watery, like melon. I even break that rule by throwing pineapple in the bottom of the pan. You can make a pineapple upside down cake with a sweet banana bread as the base! Blueberries, raspberries, really any berry can add to the banana bread. Soft pear and apple also make for pleasant additions. Zest things up with a bit of grated lemon peel and/or lime. The adventurous can go for pomegranates thrown into the batter. Baking with cranberry adds a real variance in flavor, but don’t put in too many or it can overwhelm the bread! If you really want to shake things up, take a bunch of fruit you love, cut into small portions and merely use the banana bread mixture to bind them all together.
Like a particular nut? Then add the nuts to your bread. Larger nuts, like cashews will need dicing, but you can add any nut to your mix.
Finely grated carrots can add moisture to your banana bread, as can pumpkin.
Milk chocolate chips add lots of sweetness to a banana bread, so you’ll want to cut down on the amount of sugar you’re using. You can also opt to grate chocolate and replace the sugar in the recipe with the grated chocolate. White chocolate chips add the most sweetness to the recipe, dark chocolate adds character.
Spices and Flavorings
Instead of vanilla extract, try almond extract for a change! You can also change things up a bit with mint extract. This is particularly good with chocolate. Cinnamon and cloves are a common addition to most banana breads, especially when pumpkin is added to it. Something that you don’t see often but is fun to add to banana bread, especially when you’re going for something a little different and savory, is curry. On this blog, there’s a curry chocolate recipe you might want to try. Another savory instead of sweet thing to try is a corn bread with bananas added to it. Throw in a little rosemary and cut down on the sweetness for a complex side bread.
Yogurt, Sour Cream, Peanut Butter
Yogurt, sour cream and even peanut butter are all ingredients you can find in alternative recipes. Nutella, which is one of my all-time favorite things to spread on bread, can also be used in the batter.
Above all, once you find a banana bread base you like–experiment!
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