Can you Substitute Plantains for Bananas in Banana Bread?

Banana bread is one of the most traditional bread recipes out there and for good reason. It’s easy to make, delicious, and an excellent way to use up those overripe bananas posing on your kitchen counter.

But what if you don’t have bananas on hand? Can you substitute another fruit, like plantains, instead?

As an experienced home cook and chef, I have tried many swaps and substitutions in my baking adventures, and today I am excited to share my findings regarding using plantains in banana bread.

What exactly is a plantain? 

If you’re not familiar, plantains are a type of starchy fruit that is commonly used in Caribbean and Latin American cuisine.

They look similar to bananas, but they’re larger, have thicker skin, and are not as sweet. 

So, can you use plantains instead of bananas in banana bread? 

The short answer is yes, you can! Yet, there are many things to keep in mind.

First of all, plantains are not as sweet as bananas, so you may need to adjust the sugar in your recipe. You could also try using riper, sweeter plantains to get a more similar flavor to bananas.

Secondly, plantains are starchier than bananas, so you’ll need to blend them before adding them to your recipe. I advise using a food processor or blender to puree the plantains until they’re smooth.

Thirdly, when it comes to measurements, you can either use the same amount of mashed plantains as mashed bananas, or you can adjust the ratios based on the recipe and your taste preferences.

For example, if the banana bread recipe calls for 3 mashed bananas, you can use 2 mashed plantains and 1 mashed ripe banana, or 1 mashed plantain and 2 mashed ripe bananas. 

You can also experiment with adding some nuts, chocolate chips and dried fruit to the batter to make it more interesting.

Finally, you’ll need to adjust the moisture in your recipe. Bananas are very moist and contribute a lot of moisture to the bread, so if you’re using plantains instead, you may need to add more liquid to your recipe.

You could try adding a little extra oil, milk, or even water to help compensate.

Overall, using plantains in banana bread is definitely doable, but it may take some trial and error to get the ratios right.

It’s also worth noting that the final product will have a little different texture and flavor than traditional banana bread, so keep that in mind when experimenting.

If you are thinking of a recipe to try using plantains in banana bread, I recommend this one from The Spruce Eats. It includes clear instructions on how to use plantains in place of bananas and has received rave reviews from readers. 

What to use when you don’t have enough bananas for banana bread?

Banana is a popular ingredient in many baked goods, including banana bread, due to its sweet flavor and moist texture.

However, suppose you don’t have any bananas hand or want to switch things up. In that case, plenty of suitable substitutions will work just as well.

The first is to use frozen bananas. 

Frozen bananas give off more liquid due to them being naturally sweet and having a stronger flavor.

This extra liquid can help create moist and flavorful banana bread. It’s also beneficial because you can always keep some frozen bananas stocked in your freezer, so you’ll always have enough for your baking needs!

Alternatively, you could opt for a banana-free version of banana bread. Here are 7 best substitutes for banana in banana bread with the recommended ratio:

1. Applesauce

substitute applesauce for bananas in banana bread

Applesauce has a subtle tartness and softer consistency than bananas.

Ratio or measurement: For every cup of mashed bananas called for in the recipe, replace with ¾ cup of unsweetened applesauce.

It also helps lower the amount of fat used in the recipe since it contains much less natural oils than most other fruits.

2. Pumpkin Puree

pumpkin puree is good substitute for bananas in banana bread

Pumpkin puree adds moisture and sweetness to the batter and has a mild flavor that won’t overpower the other ingredients like banana can sometimes do. Plus, it’s packed with Vitamin A!

Ratio or measurement: For every cup of mashed bananas needed, substitute with 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree.

3. Mashed Sweet Potatoes

mashed sweet potatoes are good alternate for bananas in banana bread

Sweet potatoes are normally sweet in flavor and creamy texture, which makes them perfect for baking recipes like banana bread.

Ratio or measurement: Replace each 1 cup of mashed bananas in your recipe with 1/2 cup of cooked & mashed sweet potatoes, adding more as needed depending on your desired sweetness level.

4. Avocado

Avocados are full of healthy fats & vitamins as well as extremely universal when it comes to baking recipes like banana bread; they add moisture and richness to the mixture without any strong flavors coming through.

Ratio or measurement: To replace each 1 cup of mashed banana called for in the recipe, use ½ large avocado or 1 small avocado, adding more as needed depending on your desired sweetness level.

5. Greek Yogurt

greek yogurt is also alternate for bananas in banana bread

Greek Yogurt adds tanginess, creaminess & protein to baked goods like banana bread; plus, it doesn’t contain added sugar, so you can control how sweet your loaf will be more easily!

Ratio or measurement: Replace each 1 cup of mashed bananas called for in the recipe with ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (full-fat or low-fat will work).

6. Silken Tofu

Tofu is an excellent vegan alternative that provides similar moisture levels & texture to that found in regular baking recipes like banana bread – plus, it’s loaded with calcium & protein!

Ratio or measurement: Substitute each 1 cup of mashed bananas with ¾ cup silken tofu (firm or extra-firm).

7. Dates

dates are good healthy alternate for bananas in banana bread

Dates are an incredibly healthy alternative for those looking to lower their sugar intake when making baked goods – plus, they add natural sweetness without being overly overpowering!

Ratio or measurement: Replace each 1 cup of mashed bananas called for in the recipe with 8 pitted dates (or 6 pitted dates if using Medjool).

plantain bread without Yogurt

Plantain bread is a delicacy that originated in West Africa, where it is still a popular type of food.

Unlike other types of bread, plantain bread uses mashed and fried plantains as its main ingredient, making it a unique and flavorful option.

Plantain bread can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature and accompanies savory dishes like stew or chili.

Plantain bread also makes for a delicious snack on its own since the natural sweetness of the plantains helps balance out the savory flavor.

To make plantain bread without Yogurt, begin by mashing two ripe plantains until their texture resembles thick mashed potatoes.

Heat one-fourth cup of oil in a skillet over medium heat before adding two cups of all-purpose flour and stir continuously for about five minutes. 

Add one teaspoon each of baking powder, salt, and sugar before gradually incorporating the mashed plantains into the mix until everything is well blended together.

Grease a baking pan with oil before pouring the batter into it, spread evenly with a spatula and bake in preheated oven at 350°F for 25 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy your freshly homemade plantain bread!

Wrap up on whether you can substitute plantains for bananas in banana bread!

In conclusion, while plantains can be substituted for bananas in banana bread, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

You’ll need to adjust the sugar, blend the plantains, and potentially add more moisture to get the recipe just right. 

However, with a little experimentation and a good recipe, you can create a delicious and unique take on a classic favorite. Happy baking!

FAQs on whether you can substitute plantains for bananas in banana bread!

Q1. Can you substitute plantains for bananas?

Yes, you can substitute plantains for bananas. Plantains are a starchy variety of bananas and have thicker skin and more firm flesh than regular bananas.

However, remember that they take longer to ripen and must be cooked before eating. They also don’t taste as sweet as regular bananas, so you may want to add additional sweetness if desired.

Q2. Can you substitute plantains for bananas in muffins?

Plantains can be used as a replacement for bananas in muffins. Plantains are starchy fruit that comes from the same family as bananas, which makes them an ideal substitute. They have a slightly different flavor compared to bananas, but their texture is similar when cooked.

Plantains can be mashed and added to the batter in the same way that you would use mashed banana, or they can be thinly sliced and folded into the batter like chocolate chips.

Additionally, plantains have a lower sugar content than bananas, so they will not sweeten your muffins as much as using bananas would.

You could also consider adding other ingredients, such as applesauce or nuts, to balance out the sweetness of your muffins if using plantains instead of bananas.

Q3. What’s the difference between a plantain and a banana?

The main difference between a plantain and a banana is their texture and flavor. Plantains are typically longer and wider than bananas, have thicker skin that needs to be peeled, are starchier than bananas, and have less sweetness.

Bananas usually taste sweeter than plantains and can be eaten raw or cooked. Plantains should always be cooked before eating because they’re too starchy in their raw form. Plantains also contain more nutrients than bananas. Both fruits are excellent sources of vitamins A, C, B6, and potassium, as well as dietary fiber.

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