Food & Drink

Instead of Tossing the Banana Peel, Add It Straight to Your Banana Bread (Trust Me)

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I not-so-secretly love internet food trends — give me all the feta pasta, blueberry cookies, and baked oatmeal. But when I came across a recent trend involving an interesting twist on banana bread, I clenched my pearls. Why, you ask? Because you don’t mess with a classic.

This recipe for whole-banana bread from Joe Yonan of The Washington Post (adapted from Zingerman’s Bakehouse) doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary at first. The ingredient list includes vanilla, sugar, and butter — pretty basic, right? It also has walnuts and black sesame seeds: two ingredients that I don’t usually add to my own recipe, but was very on board with. Then I came across the two thawed bananas with the skin intact. It caused my right eyebrow to raise in suspicion, but I was also intrigued. It’s always great to find new ways to reduce food waste in the kitchen — especially when it can be done effortlessly. Would it also be delicious? I had to find out.

Get the recipe: Whole-Banana Bread from The Washington Post

How to Make Whole-Banana Bread 

Unlike your average banana bread recipe, the first step in this recipe is cleaning organic, spotty bananas before slicing the tops and bottoms off. Then, you freeze the bananas for at least eight hours before letting them defrost. After a couple of hours of defrosting, you add the whole banana — peel and flesh — into your food processor and blend until smooth.

After breaking down the bananas, the rest of the instructions are similar to a more classic banana bread recipe. You cream together the wet ingredients (melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs). Then mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and black sesame seeds) and add that to the wet ingredients along with the walnuts. Once combined, add the batter to a greased, parchment-lined loaf pan. 

Now, it’s time for some fun (anytime turbinado sugar is involved, it’s a fabulous time): You’re going to mix black sesame seeds with turbinado sugar and add to the top of the batter before baking.

My Honest Review of the Whole-Banana Bread Recipe

After taking my first bite of warm banana bread, I came to two conclusions. First, I will be adding black sesame seeds to every batch of banana bread I make from now on. Second, this recipe is absolutely ingenious. I mean, think about it: The skin of the ripe banana becomes super soft after freezing and defrosting, then when you blend it with the food processor it’s basically the same consistency as the flesh of the banana. It’s really not that weird!

I’m the type of person who will lick the batter off the bowl, spoon, and spatula, and after I snuck my first bite of this batter, I instantly knew I would be making it again. Not only did the batter have a beautiful consistency, but the banana flavor was also right in your face. I was afraid the bread would taste gritty, but that wasn’t the case at all. The bread itself was fluffy, and I loved the crispy bites, thanks to the turbinado sugar and black sesame seeds. It’s safe to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this whole-banana bread. Every single bite.

My #1 Tip for Making This Whole Banana Bread

Allow enough time to freeze and defrost your spotty bananas before taking your food processor out to blend them. The peel works so well in this banana bread because the skin become incredibly soft after all that freezing and defrosting. When you do this, the peels are barely noticeable once blended.

Will Coleman


Will Coleman is a chef and digital producer, focusing on infusing American cuisines with Southern and global avenues. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Will spends time experiencing and writing about all things food and culture. Besides being obsessed with Jeni’s Ice Cream, he’s an advocate for flaky salt and hot sauce on almost everything.

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