An easy healthier banana bread recipe made with whole grain flour (all purpose will also work in a pinch!), extra ripe bananas, and maple syrup for a touch of sweetness. You want to use extra ripe bananas for this banana bread recipe! The peels should be entirely black and the fruit should be almost syrupy in texture. Lightly spotted bananas have a lower sugar content and won't yield as tasty a loaf.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) with a rack in the center position. Grease a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, pure maple syrup, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until ombined. Add the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients and fold in with a large spatula until the flour is just absorbed.
Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow the loaf to cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.
Storage Tips: Leftover banana bread can stored in a large ziploc bag - set a paper towel on the top of the loaf to absorb any moisture - at room temperature for up to 3 to 4 days.
Tips for Success:
You want to use extra ripe bananas for this recipe! The peels should be almost entirely black and almost syrupy inside. Lightly spotted bananas have a lower sugar content and won't yield as tasty a loaf.
Feel free to adjust and adapt the spice measurements to your liking! I prefer a generous amount of baking spices. If you do not have cardamom on hand (or do not wish to purchase it), just leave it out.