Banana bread is very difficult to mess up because of its simplicity. On the other hand, taking its deliciousness to another level is quite easy! There are countless variations you can make, from vegan and vegetarian co completely delicious and comforting. Plus, after mastering this dish – you can move on to more complicated desserts such as Lemon Meringue Pie or Naked Cake.
This post is all about banana bread made with nut butter. But when talking about nut butter, we don’t mean the cheap varieties made with who-knows-what. Because the whole point of including nut butter into our banana bread recipe is to make them healthier, not infuse them with refined sugars and chemicals.
Creamy and smooth nut butters sold in healthy food stores are a safe but pricey option. That is why I recommend making them at home. Homemade nut butters are not only cheaper, but they are also easy to make and very tasty. In addition, besides in banana bread recipes, you can use them in smoothies, on top of your oatmeal, or smeared on a toast.
All you need is a food processor or a blender and a few kickass nut butter recipes. Oh, and banana bread recipes, of course. We’ve got you covered.
Note: For best results, organic nuts are always the best choice.
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Peanut butters sold in the stores are very cheap and convenient but contain scary-sounding ingredients like hydrogenated oils and sodium. You don’t want to feed your loved ones with these, do you? Well, you don’t have to.
Put three cups of peanuts into a food processor/blender and mix until smooth and creamy, stopping a few times to scrape off the sides. It will take you no more than 10 minutes! Store in a glass mason jar.
When including peanut butter in banana bread recipes, you will probably combine it with chocolate in the form of cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips. You can’t go wrong with this combination!
Cashew Butter Banana Bread
Cashews yield an insanely creamy, light, and delicious butter. Its taste is very mild, which means that you can combine it with a variety of ingredients without overwhelming the dish. However, I find it a bit bland as is, so I like sweetening it with some pure honey, and adding coconut oil to bind it well plus a twist of vanilla to improve its taste. Made like this, your cashew butter can be served as a spread for your banana loaf slices as well!
Place three cups of cashews in a blender/food processor and mix until smooth and creamy for about 6 minutes or so. The nuts will first become powdery, then turn into a butter, so be patient. Stop from time to time to scrape the sides. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well incorporated and creamy. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
Combine your homemade cashew butter (1/3 cup) with chopped cashews and butterscotch chips (to change the chocolate chips routine) and unsweetened coconut flakes (one cup each) in an amazingly aromatic banana bread.
Almond Butter Banana Bread
I love the taste of almonds and often incorporate them in my sweet treats in the form of a flour, milk, or simply chopped. Once popular mostly among those suffering from peanut allergies, today almond butter is probably the most popular nut butter amongst consumers of all categories, after peanut butter of course; but technically, peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes, so…
Making this pricey butter at home will cost you about half the original price. Soak three cups of raw almonds overnight in distilled water with a sprinkle of salt (avoid table salt and use sea, Celtic or Himalayan instead). Wash the almonds in the morning and dry them (this will take you about 24 hours because they need to be completely dry). Place the almonds together with some coconut oil in a blender/food processor and mix until completely smooth and creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides.
You can combine almond butter (1/3 cup) with a cup of chocolate chips or chunks in banana bread, but I have another idea. Inspired by the traditional English Easter cake called Simnel I made last year, I decided to combine almond butter with fruits. Simnel cake is a light cake that incorporates marzipan, almond paste, and fruit (usually apricot jam is used). I adore this combination! You can even grate some marzipan into the batter if you want!
Walnut Butter Banana Bread
Walnuts are perfect to be blended into butter due to their natural oiliness. Also, blending walnut butter with some water will produce the best homemade walnut milk. It should be noted, however, that walnuts are lower in protein and higher in saturated fats compared to other types of nuts, so go easy on this butter!
Walnut butter can be made with raw, soaked, or toasted walnuts.
Raw walnuts yield a very creamy and smooth butter with a taste of shelled walnuts.
For a richly textured butter, soak the walnuts, leave them overnight to remove part of the tannin from their skin. Drain them, then place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, until completely dry (but not dark). Let them cool before blending them into butter.
The third option is to toast the walnuts in order to enhance their sweetness and nuttiness. Place them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 7-9 minutes. Let them cool before blending them into butter.
To make the butter place three cups of walnuts in a food processor/blender and mix until you obtain a paste. Add a little vegetable or walnut oil to serve as a binder, together with a pinch of salt. Optionally, you can sweeten the butter with agave syrup to taste. Note: Replace the oil with butter and the agave syrup with pure maple syrup if you like.
Combine 1/3 cup of walnut butter with a cup of crushed walnuts in a pumpkin or carrot banana bread and complement with lots of cinnamon. If you are a fan of spices, mix cinnamon with ginger, clove, and nutmeg (about ¼ teaspoon each).