The Simple Way To Elevate Banana Bread

There's nothing like a slice of warm, fresh banana bread straight out of the oven. A versatile treat, banana bread makes for a great breakfast when paired with a cup of coffee, or can be served post-dinner as a sweet and somewhat healthy dessert option. The classic quick bread is incredibly customizable, as you can keep it simple and straightforward, mix things up with sweet banana bread additions like maple syrup or cream cheese, or even toss in a handful of chopped pecans or walnuts for some added crunch. 

Slather a warm slice with a generous smear of butter or jam to further elevate the sweet flavors of this tasty treat. While you surely have a go-to banana bread recipe — and if you don't, we recommend this brown butter banana bread recipe — there's a simple way to elevate any basic banana bread that results in a zesty and refreshing flavor profile.

Use this ingredient to make better banana bread

One of the best ways to upgrade your banana bread is to add citrus. A super simple addition, citrus can brighten up any quick bread recipe, according to Taste of Home. Try adding orange juice or orange zest to your banana bread recipe, as orange blends well with banana and results in a refreshing, fruity flavor. Adding a splash of orange juice will also help make your banana bread super moist.

While overripe bananas are the perfect base for any banana bread recipe, you may have fruit on your counter that just won't ripen fast enough. In that case, try this tried-and-true trick from The Pioneer Woman. Place your bananas in a brown paper bag with other ripe fruit you have handy — think apples or avocados — and your bananas should be ready to fold into quick bread in as little as 24 hours. You can also bake them for faster ripening results. First, preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, then roast unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the skin blackens. Allow them to cool before peeling and incorporating them into your banana bread recipe as usual.