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Our Favorite Banana Bread Recipes

While Patrick has become the primary chef at our house (and I will never complain about that!), I am our resident baker. One of the easiest but most frequently requested baked good in our house is banana bread. I even made a no-refined sugar version for Hayes's first birthday smash cake. It was such a hit that I have continued to make it (and eat it with very little self-control because, hey, it's healthy!).

First, a little banana tip from Martha Stewart herself. Martha suggests freezing your very ripe bananas before using them for banana bread. In our house, where our toddler could want a banana every few hours one week and then the next week let the whole bunch turn brown without touching them, this is a total game-changer. I just pop any old bananas into the freezer and I am never without a stash when I want to make banana bread! Pull them out an hour or two before and you're good to go!

Without further ado, the non-sugar and traditional (decidedly sugared) recipes:

Traditional Recipe:

Over the year, I have tried many a banana bread recipe and have landed on my favorite, which was shared by @meganstokes. SO GOOD. The best part is that you can mix it all in one bowl (and your toddler can even help)! That is so clutch for cleanup. Follow this link for the original recipe. We make the following small revisions to the recipe, which the author mentions in her notes:

- use butter instead of oil

- use only 3/4 cup of sugar, rather than a full cup

If you want to be Pinterest and Valentine's Day ready, cut a strawberry into the shape of a heart and place it on top of the dough before baking.

No Refined Sugar Recipe:

You may be surprised at how tasty this version is, even without a cup of sugar. The added spice makes it warm and comforting! In case you want to make the cake version, I have included the icing recipe too, but we make it as a banana bread without icing.

Cake/Banana Bread (mash all the wet ingredients together and then add them to the dry ingredients):

- 4 very ripe bananas

- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (we sometimes use vanilla for a little added sweetness)

- 1 large egg

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- 1.5 cup whole wheat flour

- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or a little extra if you like cinnamon)

Icing (whip ingredients together):

- 1.5 cups plain Greek yogurt (or vanilla...)

- 1/2 cup cream cheese

- sprinkle of cinnamon

- small squeeze of honey (ONLY FOR BABIES ONE YEAR OR OLDER)

Makes two to three 5" pans or 1 larger circle or square (or one banana bread loaf pan). Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes. If adding the icing, let cool and then frost.


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