We occasionally share recipes of interest with our readers. Here is one:
Sure, banana bread is great, but fruit banana bread is even better. The reason? It is healthier, fresher, and richer. You can incorporate any kind of fruit in any form:
- Whole (berries)
- Slices and dices
- Mashed and pureed
- Fruit liqueurs
Here are some suggestions how to incorporate a few of them:
Pureed and Mashed Fruit Banana Bread
Pumpkin is the fruit that comes in the form of puree to make best banana bread recipe rich and autumn-y. Pair it with spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. You will also find that all pumpkin recipes also involve vanilla and can be mixed with nuts and chocolate. I recommend preparing a classic pumpkin banana bread and top it with vanilla bean glaze made with vanilla bean paste, heavy cream, sugar, and salt.
Mashed avocado brings softness and creaminess to the banana loaf. Mash 2 small avocados combine them with either blueberries or chocolate chips.
Sliced and Diced Fruit Banana Bread (plus Examples with Caramelized and Grated Fruits)
Dice an apple or a pear (one cup). You can add them to the batter complemented with cinnamon, but they are even tastier when you caramelize them with butter, brown sugar, cornstarch and add them on top of each slice. Well, this version is not exactly healthy, but it is certainly delicious.
Besides apples and pears, you can add any fruit you wish- peaches, apricots, pineapples, mangoes…
If you don’t like feeling the fruit chunks, especially when the apples and pears you use are very fresh and hard, you can also grate them into the batter.
Whole Fruits Banana Bread (and a Preserves Example)
When I say whole fruits, I mean berries. And by berries, I mean any berry that comes to mind – strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry… Add them to the batter or prepare some homemade jam to use on the side, for instance, my favorite strawberry jam.
Combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to boil. Boil, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (use a food thermometer to check this).
Flaked Fruit Banana Bread
Flaked fruit = coconut flakes. Mix their unsweetened version with any other (overripe) fruit you have in your cupboard and you will get an instant tropical flavored banana loaf. I have also combined it with chocolate and nuts. Tastes perfect every time. But I think the best combo is the coconut-pineapple, especially the recipe that calls for pineapple-rum glaze made with pineapple juice, rum extract, toasted coconut, and powdered sugar. All these ingredients appear in the batter as well.
Dried Fruits Banana Bread
I am sure that the first fruit that comes to mind when hearing “dried fruit” are raisins. One cup of raisins into the butter will suffice, and they are best to mix with nuts, especially walnuts.
However, my favorite dried fruit to use in banana quick-bread is the apricot. I don’t really like fresh apricots, but I adore them in banana loaves. Also, my dislike for the fresh version always leaves me with dying ones ready to reuse in my favorite sweet treat. It is best if you combine them with bourbon, butter, vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon and use them as a topping.
Fruit Syrup Banana Bread
You can use any kind of fruit (strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit, peaches…) to prepare easy homemade syrups to use as toppings and sides for banana quick-breads. Syrups can also be used as sweeteners if you want some extra fruity flavor in your loaf.
Here is how to prepare a syrup. Combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 1/2 cups fruit, frozen or fresh, or squeezed fruit juice in a sauce and allow the mix to simmer for about 25 minutes or until the fruit softens and starts to fall apart. Remove from heat and pour the mixture through a strainer. Let it cool and store in the fridge.
Juices and Zest Banana Bread
Any type of acidity makes batter-based goods fluffier, softer, and airier! Add at least a tablespoon of lemon, lime, or orange juice to the batter. Or add it in a cup of milk to create homemade buttermilk.
For extra tanginess, add 1-3 tablespoon of zest to the batter, or mix it with some maple syrup and vanilla and pour it on top of the bread slices. This is sure to wake you up instantly in the morning and is especially delicious when served with a cup of coffee or tea.
Fruit Liqueur Banana Bread
If you type “fruit liqueur” on Google, you will get a list of amazing fruity liqueurs. Even their names will make your mouth water: Amarula, Curacao, Hesperidina, Lichido…Now imagine using them in your favorite sweet treat. Add 1/4 cup any type of liqueur to your recipe to create an unbelievable depth of flavor. Mix it with chocolate chips, and compliment with some vanilla.