Whole Banana Bread Recipe

Your new favorite banana bread recipe might just be this waste-free version of a traditional banana bread. This dish, which is deliciously tender and perfectly sweet, is a must-try. You’d be surprised to learn that there are whole bananas in there, with their peels and everything!

The fact that you’re reading this recipe with a mixture of mild curiosity and major skepticism is not unusual. That was my initial reaction when I learned that home cooks were using banana peels in their baked good creations.

However, it only took one bite of my first loaf to completely shift my viewpoint.

The reason for this is as follows: It’s moist and perfectly sweet, and yes, it’s every bit as good as the banana bread I’ve been baking since middle school, but with a little less sugar. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Banana Bread

Where Did this Banana Peel Business Come From?

That’s a good question. First and foremost, while the use of banana peels in cooking may be novel to me (and perhaps to you), cultures throughout the world have been doing so for generations. Even Nigella Lawson, Britain’s grand dame of television cookery, has a recipe for Banana Peel Curry, which she describes as “delicious.”

What about the banana peel bread? According to what I’ve learned, the inspiration for the cookbook came about after Lindsay-Jean Hard, author of Cooking with Scraps, taught a cooking class at Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

After seeing this, the kitchen was inspired to experiment with recipes that made use of all the scraps and peels. As a result, no-waste banana bread was created.

Banana Bread

Why Make Banana Bread with the Peel?

Banana bread made the traditional way is arguably the most perfect food on the planet, so why mess with perfection? There are a couple of very interesting reasons for this.

1. It helps to reduce food waste. That’s good news for the environment, because food waste is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

2. It’s a good source of nutrition. Yes, you are correct. It is a good source of fiber, phytochemicals with antioxidant properties, vitamins, and minerals, among other nutrients.

3. It is cost-effective. The peel accounts for approximately one-third of the total weight of the banana. Because of this method of using the peel, you’ll use fewer bananas, which means you’ll have one or two extra bananas in the fruit bowl for your peanut butter toast or afternoon snack.

The banana bread it makes is absolutely delicious. I don’t care how nutritious, cost-effective, or environmentally friendly a recipe is; if it doesn’t taste good, I’m not going to make it. And this is a very fine loaf of bread.

Special Tricks for Making Banana Bread

The method for making this recipe, as well as the basic ingredients, are the same as for any other banana bread recipe. The only difference is that the peels must be prepared a little ahead of time. Here are a few important things to be aware of.

1. Make use of ripe bananas. Make sure the bananas are mottled and have a lot of black spots on them. As a result, the fruit will be sweeter and the peels will be softer.

2. Bananas should be frozen and then defrosted. This is yet another step that softens the peel to the point where it can be seamlessly incorporated into your batter.

3. In a food processor, puree the bananas until smooth. When using only the fruit, a fork is all that is required to mash the fruit together evenly. When you add the peel, however, you’ll need the power of a food processor to get it silky smooth and creamy.

Banana Bread

Use Organic Bananas

Despite the fact that organic ingredients are rarely specified in our recipes, this one is an exception. According to the Environmental Working Group, bananas are a pesticide-intensive crop because they contain a high concentration of sugar.

The amount of pesticides that make it past the peel and onto the fruit is minute, but if you’re going to eat the peel, organic is the way to go.

Swaps and Substitutions for Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe allows for a plethora of inventive swaps and substitutions to be made. Here are a few that I would suggest.

Swap walnuts for pecans, hazelnuts, or other chopped nuts if you don’t have any on

hand.Chocolate chips can be used in place of or in addition to walnuts.

Use 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour to make a loaf that is entirely made of whole grains.

If you don’t have access to whole wheat flour, you can substitute all-purpose flour for the whole wheat flour.

In place of the olive oil, you can substitute vegetable oil or melted coconut oil.

Spices such as 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, or 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg can be added at this point.

Sprinkle your favorite seeds on top, such as raw pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds, if you’d like.

Banana Bread


1. Prepare the bananas:

Bananas should be washed. Remove the stem and hard end of each banana and toss them in the trash. Placing the bananas in a bowl and freezing them for at least 8 hours or overnight (or for several weeks, if you prefer) will help them retain their shape.

Defrost them on the counter for at least 2 hours, or until they are very soft. If you prefer, you can defrost them in the microwave for approximately 3 minutes on the defrost setting.

2. Preheat the oven:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Olive oil should be generously greased into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.

3. Purée the bananas:

Pulse the melted whole bananas in a food processor fitted with a metal blade for approximately 30 seconds, or until smooth. There will be a few tiny brown bits left over. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of banana purée, measured out evenly.

4. Mix the wet ingredients:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs. Combine the banana purée, brown sugar, maple syrup, olive oil, yogurt, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until well combined. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and well-combined.

5. Mix the dry ingredients:

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt until well combined.

6. Combine the batter:

Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until everything is well combined and there are no streaks of dry flour. Stir in the walnuts until they are evenly distributed.

7. Bake the banana bread:

Scrape the batter into the baking pan that has been prepared. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the bread is deeply browned and moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted in the center, depending on your oven. It rises to form a lovely dome, with some deep crags along the top of the structure.

8. Cool and serve:

Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before removing it from the pan. After running a butter knife around the edges of the pan, carefully tip the bread out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.

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