lemons brown bananas, make banana bread!

My mom recently decided to bestow 3 extremely brown bananas on me. I suppose not everyone would appreciate such a gesture, but I was ecstatic! It’s rare for me to remember to buy bananas, and even less likely for me to have ones ripe enough for a perfect banana bread.

If you’ve ever made banana bread with yellow bananas, you’re doing it wrong. Even ones heavily mottled with brown spots aren’t quite there. The best bananas for bread have to be brown and so soft that they’re falling apart. If you happen to have bananas in this state and don’t have time to be baking banana bread, remove the peel and put them in a ziploc in the freezer until you’re ready.

Please don’t forget to peel them before you freeze them. I made this mistake once, and that’s all it took. It’s literally impossible to remove the peel, and just messy after it defrosts. Trust me.

Anyway, I wanted to make some changes to my family’s absolute favorite banana bread recipe. I’m not one to alter perfection, but I had some buttermilk leftover from making baked chicken fingers, and didn’t want it to go to waste. I also, for some unknown reason, had the idea that I wanted to throw some polenta into the recipe to give it a little crunch.

When I first took the bread out of the oven and cut myself a slice, I wasn’t sure what to think. It wasn’t the bread I was used to, and I’m not big on change.

But when I had another taste the next day, I kind of liked the subtle, crunchier texture. I mean, it’s not the recipe from childhood, but that’s ok. I can always go back to the old recipe, but I think this one might stick around for a while.

Chocolate Chip Polenta Banana Bread

Recipe by Me

Print this recipe!

Makes 1 loaf

1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup flour
1 cup polenta
1/2 cup light buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Grease bottom of a loaf pan.

Mix together sugar and egg, by hand or with mixer. Mix in bananas, butter, and buttermilk.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, polenta, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to banana mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into loaf pan.

Bake 50-60 minutes til golden, and toothpick comes out clean.


  1. I’m not big on bananas, but put them in banana bread and I’m there. This looks just fantastic.

  2. i LOVE banana bread. yes, brown ripe bananas are a must. and frozen bananas taste great as a snack! :D

  3. Polenta does add a nice texture, good idea! I love baking with polenta. The bread looks moist and flavorful, if only a slice mysteriously appeared in front of me

  4. I still have 3 very dark bananas that were not used in my banana blueberry muffins this week and was thinking of just throwing it into a banana bread ….I should give your recipe a try – I am a fan of trying new banana bread recipes. Its amazing how different each can actually be.

    • Perfect! I’ll have to post my regular banana bread recipe sometime too. It’s SO good. Pretty much the same as this but with all white flour (slightly less than the flour plus polenta amt in this recipe) and no buttermilk. The mini choco chips are a must tho!

  5. What a great idea to add polenta for texture. I love it. Also, I can second that you really need to peel your banana before freezing. You’re right, you only do it once and then realize it was a terrible mistake. :)

    • Thank! Hehe, peeling before freezing isn’t intuitive…although now that I’ve done it, it seems like it should have been obvious! :)

  6. I like the twist you made on the recipe. I’m sure that added a nice texture. I’m a huge banana bread fan, but even more so a zucchini bread fan. Well, I’m really a fan of any type of bread, ha! This looks delicious.

    • I totally forgot about zucchini bread! My mom used to make a great one when I was growing up…I should totally make that soon :)

  7. I love the addition of the polenta and chocolate chips! Yummy! :)

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