We all have food memories of things we loved as kids. One of my favorites was baking banana bread with my mom or grandmother. Getting to mash the bananas, not sure why but it was so much fun as a kid. The house smelling of fresh baked banana bread, there is nothing like that smell. Then there is enjoying fresh warm banana bread out of the oven, whether you topped yours with butter and watched it just melt or just ate it plain it was always so comforting. Nothing fancy about my grandmas or moms banana bread unless they added walnuts and marked the top with a walnut half so you knew it was one with nuts. While there was nothing fancy about it this classic didn’t need anything fancy it was just pure heaven. As times changed so did banana bread adding in chocolate and other add ins and so many variations of how to make it. I try different versions over the years, making it with yogurt, buttermilk (or dairy-free buttermilk), with eggs, without eggs, oatmeal, adding chocolate chips.
Since it is Mother’s Day I decided to do something I loved to do with my mom and grandma and something I love to do with my girls, bake. Nothing better than to bake something I loved as a kid, love now, and they love, banana bread. Of course we have to have a little fun with it! My youngest things monkeys love peanut butter. I think this comes down to the monkey on Peanut Butter & Co Peanut Butter jar. My youngest likes to add peanut butter on top of her banana bread. I posted a picture on Instagram a while back where I was doing something and came down to her sitting there with a jar of Smooth Operator and a butter knife smothering her petite chocolate chip banana bread loaf with peanut butter. So we added peanut butter (and other nut butters, you can use seed butter for nut allergies) to our banana bread! Yep peanut butter and bananas, a classic tasty combination. My family likes petite loaves and muffins, the loaves being cute as it is your own personal banana bread still in a bread shape but if you don’t have these pans you can make them in a standard muffin pan. If your family is anything like mine they all like something different. Or if you are making these for yourself it is great because you can make different loaves depending on mood, maybe plain for breakfast and add chocolate chips to some for snack or dessert. Of course you can make just one flavor combo as well. With so many nut and seed butters out there and so many topping and add in choices the options are endless to how you can make these. We made a few batches as we were taking them up north for the weekend to share with extended family. You can see our variations at the bottom for the batches we made. So after you decide on your nut/seed butter, this isn’t easy for us and took the most time, you make a batch of banana bread and then comes the fun part you customize each loaf or muffin with add-ins and toppings of choice!
This Mama monkey went to market to get bananas and peanut butter to make banana bread.
This little monkey wanted plain banana bread, topped with banana slices to mark it.
This sweet monkey wanted chocolate chips.
This spunky monkey wanted chocolate chips, and peanut butter drizzle.
And this little monkey went wee, wee, wee excited with glee as they got just what they wanted!
So the big question… which combination will you make? Do you have any food memories you cherish or favorites you made with your mom or that nothing compares to the version your mom makes?
Petite Peanut Butter Banana Bread Loaves (or muffins)
Makes 12 standard cupcakes, 8 petite loaves (can be made into bread but it takes approx. an hour and 15 mins for 9×5 pan)
1 egg (1 TBSP ground/powder or whole chia seed or flax and 4 TBSP water)
3 large ripe bananas, mashed or puree (about 1 1/2c reference)
2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
1/2 c peanut butter, or nut butter/seed butter of choice
1 c almond milk, or non dairy milk of choice (used So Delicious Unsweetened Almond Milk Plus)
1/2 c coconut palm sugar (Navitas Naturals)
1 1/4 c all-purpose, gluten-free all-purpose, or brown rice flour*
1 c oats OR 1/2 c cooked cooled quinoa (or scant 1 cup oat flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3-1/2 c sweet cacao nibs, chopped chocolate, chocolate chips of choice, optional
optional add ins and toppings as desired such nuts, coconut, banana slices, marshmallows and/or peanut butter, nut butter that can be added after baking
* Optional reduce flour to 1 cup and use 3 tablespoons gelatinized maca powder.
** If using quinoa and you want less texture in your banana bread in a food processor, works in a mini food processor or blender as well, blend milk and cooked quinoa before adding to wet ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Ground oats in a mini food processor, chopped if you want more texture in your bread or into a flour for less texture. Place ground chia or flax in a small bowl and add warm water and mix with a fork to make your chia/flax egg. Set aside for gel to form. In another large mix together flour, oats/quinoa**, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a medium/large bowl mix together mashed bananas, peanut butter, coconut oil, coconut palm, almond milk, and vanilla. When chia has formed a thick gel add it to wet ingredients. Mix wet ingredients into dry, just until combine don’t over mix. Fold in chocolate and optional add ins if making a single flavor batch. Grease muffin tins/petite loaf pans with coconut oil, non cook spray, or line with cupcake liners for cupcakes. Spoon batter into prepared pans. If making individual flavored loaves sprinkle with add ins and carefully stir with the back of a wooden spoon or table knife. Sprinkle with optional toppings and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cook on a cooling rack. Add any additional toppings you may want. Enjoy!
Some of our variations and combos shown:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread: Decrease flour to 1 cup and add 1/3 cup cocoa/ cacao powder with dry ingredients. Use Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter, made using oats and brown rice flour, added in chocolate chips. Drizzled with Dark Chocolate Dreams or Peanut Butter & Co Smooth Operator as desired.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Banana Bread: Decrease flour to 1 cup and add 1/3 cup cocoa/ cacao powder with dry ingredients. Use Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter, made using oats and brown rice flour, added in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into the bottom of the pan and add big marshmallow cut in half side by side in the middle of the pan and top with batter. For muffins add half to whole big marshmallow to the middle of the muffin.
Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter Banana Bread: Made with Peanut Butter & Co Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter, coconut palm sugar can be reduced to 1/3 c for less sweat version. Made with quinoa and brown rice for flour.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread/ Peanut Butter Banana Cacao Nib: Made with Peanut Butter & Co Smooth Operator Peanut Butter, used oats and gluten free all purpose flour, added in chocolate, chopped Vega Maca Chocolate Bar, and or sweet cacao nibs (Navitas Naturals) as desired per loaf/ muffin.
Almond Butter Banana Bread/ Almond Butter Banana Bread with Cacao Nibs & Maca Chocolate: Made with MaraNatha Almond Butter. Used quinoa, 1/2 cup buckwheat flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 3 tablespoons Navitas Gelatinized Maca Powder. Added in chopped Vega Maca Chocolate Bar and Navitas Natural Sweet Cacao Nibs to half the batch and half the batch plain.