I don’t know if Peanut Butter Bananas are a thing outside of my childhood home. It’s like one of my mother’s favorite things. And when my brother and I were kids, we had them as snacks all the time. Now, she gives them to my son. She takes a whole banana and scoops out a big dollop of Jiff Creamy Peanut Butter to put on every single bite. Years later I had to break it to her that the actual serving size of peanut butter is 2 tablespoons. I’m pretty sure we all ingested about 10 tablespoons of peanut butter per banana.
But the combination of Peanut Butter and Bananas, (or the Food Marriage, as my mother likes to call it), is one of the greatest. So when I set out to make my Banana Bread today to give as gifts this Christmas, I thought of that combination and decided to try something new. I usually make my Banana Bread with shredded coconut*, but this time I swapped it for some Peanut Butter chips. I considered using some creamy Peanut Butter in the batter, but felt that might be overkill. I thought that having a traditional tasting Banana Bread with the occasional Peanut Butter morsel in every bite sounded like a wonderful idea.
I like to make my Banana Bread a little healthier by substituting unsweetened apple sauce for half of the butter and then cutting back on the sugar just a bit. And I use a whole grain flour instead of the white. I feel like Banana Bread is one of those things that most people think of as a healthy bread, but it rarely ever is. So I like to make those people feel a little bit better about eating mine, but you can make yours however you want to, as long as you make it. Because this stuff is goooooood.
Here’s what I did…
*Peanut Butter Banana Bread
-2 cups whole wheat flour (oat flour is another good whole grain option if you can find it)
-1 tsp kosher salt
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-4 TB unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
-2 large eggs
-3 very ripe bananas, mushed (technical term)
-3/4 cup light brown sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup peanut butter chips
-Preheat oven to 350. Grease a standard loaf pan (or use a pan with 4 mini loafs like I did here).
-Mix your flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
-In a large mixing bowl, cream your butter and applesauce until smooth.
-Add in your eggs and vanilla and mix well.
-Add in your mushed bananas and brown sugar and mix well.
-Slowly add in your dry ingredients and mix until just combined, but be careful to not overmix.
-Fold in your peanut butter chips.
-Pour into your prepared pan.
-Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the edges are a golden brown, the top of the loaf is firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out relatively clean.
-Cool in the pan for 15 minutes or so and then transfer to a cooling rack.
-Serve warm or room temperature.
(*If you want to make my Banana Coconut bread, just omit the peanut butter chips and fold in 1/2 cup of shredded coconut. 1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips can also be added, as well as 1/3-1/2 cup of chopped, crystallized ginger.)
(This freezes well if you wrap your cooled bread tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil before freezing.)