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Tu B'Shevat Banana Bread

Noticing that I don't have a banana bread recipe in my tea bread collection I figure I'd better get on it. In an ideal world, this would be posted sooner than now. Catering has definitely kept me running non-stop for weeks. That said, better last minute than never!

My thoughts about banana bread are that I love the old-fashioned loaf. I'd say that it's the type my mom made when I was a kid but I think it's the type I made when I was a kid that my mom enjoyed. Store bought loaves are devoid of 'the love'; that magical ingredient that takes everything to the next level. Almost rotten bananas help, too.

Feeling the pressure of feeding 500 people last week and 500 this weekend, I need to address a new recipe and Tu B'Shevat. Forget the walnuts traditionally peppering a banana loaf. Let's go with almonds; at least I'm not allergic to those! And, let's throw in a few chopped dates. Heck, add a little honey (feel like I'm pushing the health food envelope here!)....and, where's that container of "barley malt extract" I bought? What is it anyway? Ah, Aunt Patty's brand testifies that it contains maltose, a sugar derived from barley that is absorbed into the blood stream slower. Works for me.....

Boy, does it ever. I only use enough to fulfill some weird notion of a mitzvah in my head. The loaves (yes, I ended up with 4 so I'll cut the recipe again!) are similar to what I've always made but there is a little nod, bordering on tilt of the head, to something a bit more healthy and a heck of a lot more interesting. Yum! Great color to surround with dried fruits and nuts.

This only takes 1/2 hour to whip still have time!

Kosher Status: Parve
Number of servings: 2 x 8" loaves
Main Ingredient(s):
Preparation Time: 00:30
Cooking Time: 00:40
Skill Level: 1 - Easy (1 Easy - 5 Hard)
Estimated POINT value:
Average Rating: 5/5


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup barley malt extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 - 3 very ripe bananas (about 1/2 pound peeled weight)
  • 1/2 cup milk or soy milk
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup slivered or chopped almonds



Preheat the oven to 350' F.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter or margarine, sugars, honey and barley malt extract until smooth. Add egg and beat until smooth.

Mash the bananas and set aside. Add to the creamed mixture.

Add the dry ingredients and mix just until smooth.

Stir in the nuts and dates.

Pour into prepared pans. Sprinkle with sliced almonds if desired.

Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes OR until the loaf springs back when pressed with a finger. These loaves, depending on the oven, take time to bake.

When done, let rest for 10 minutes. Turn onto wire rack to cool.

Rate this Recipe:


Karen: Hey, Leah! Looks great but I'll be forgoing the dates (don't like chunks of fruit in anything). A suggestion: I keep massively overripe, frozen bananas on hand for smoothies and it seems to me I remember that bananas work better in cake and quick bread recipes if they've been frozen and thawed (I think the cell walls lyse or some such). Just place in a freezer bag and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before use. Bananas keep a long time in the freezer--don't be without!
Elizabeth: Shalom, Leah! Thank You so much for posting an egg-less, milk-free beautiful banana bread. I've never seen barley malt extract in person. Is it available in cooking-supply stores, such as Smart&Final or would I need to go to Whole Foods to find it? Thank You for sharing all these wonderful recipes with such love for us all to try.
Leah: Hi Elizabeth ~ there is 1 egg but you could probably use egg replacer. I got the barley malt extract at Whole Foods..gotta love living a block away! Thanks for using the website; I have files and piles to share ~ just need more time in a day!
Leah: Hi Karen ~ thanks for the frozen banana tip! Too often I buy bananas with the good intention of eating healthy and find I'm rarely home to eat them. Perfect way to ease the guilt; freeze for later use!
Souzan: Looks yummmmmm! I've gotta try it!
Sarah: A friend recently made this for Tu BiShvat. She replaced the barley malt with molasses and it was SUPERB! I can't wait to make a batch for my dad, who loves molasses. I just wanted to point out that though you list the egg in the ingredients, you don't say when to add it. Since I'm a throw-everything-in-the-mixer type of baker, I guess I'll just add them whenever.
Leah: Hi Sarah! Thanks for the tip - and, for pointing out the error in my instructions. Egg is added! Thanks again, Leah!
Sarah: Also, I notice the order of the steps is mixed up.

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Tu B'Shevat Banana Bread

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Hi! Thank you for stopping by to watch me, Leah, cook kosher. I've been the owner operator of my boutique catering firm in Seattle, Leah's Catering, for the past 14 years.

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