Banana Bread – A Souvenir from Nayarit

There are certain edible products which have become iconic as souvenirs when visiting some locations, for example, Canadian maple syrup, or Swiss milk chocolate; in Mexico, cocadas (coconut sweets) from Acapulco, Guerrero, or Tequila from, well, Tequila, Jalisco, are sovereign.  In San Blas, Nayarit, eating Zarandeado grilled fish goes along with bringing home a loaf of pan de plátano – banana bread.  The dark and dense loaves are ubiquitous in the little town, offered out of baskets on the streets, or sold at a few more established bakeries, such as Juan Bananas™ I remember the classic San Blas banana bread as extra sweet and somewhat heavy, with a very strong banana flavour, evidently from a high fruit content. 

My recipe is a much lighter version, with just two bananas on the ingredient list for two loaves, but the resulting bread does not lose any credibility as an authentic Nayarit style banana bread.  The secret ingredient here is a grated apple*, which adds colour and flavour, but with a higher water content than bananas, making the bread moist and fluffy.   Allowing the mashed fruit to rest for a while before adding to the batter is the key to obtain a well developed enzymatic browning,  for a beautiful deep tone.    

Banana Bread – Pan de Plátano

Ingredients (for two large loaves or one ring)

2 ripe bananas; washed
1 apple; washed
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for moulds
1 cup vegetable oil, plus more to grease the moulds

I only have one large loaf pan (9.5×5 inches), so I like to use a Bundt cake mould with a wide opening in the centre; the ring-shaped bread looks nice, and the slices come out similar to some from a loaf (photo at the top of the post).  Prepare pan(s) by greasing with oil and sprinkling with sugar to coat all inside surfaces.  Reserve.

Start with very ripe bananas and a sweet apple variety, such as Pink Lady (photo below, left).  Peel bananas and place in a bowl, breaking into pieces; peel and core apple, finely grate and add to the bowl.  Using a fork, mash the bananas and mix with the grated apple (photo below, right):

Very ripe bananas and apple for banana bread My Slice of Mexico
mashed banana and grated apple for banana bread My Slice of Mexico

Allow the fruit to rest at room temperature, uncovered, until the mix has turned dark.  In the photos below, the fruit right after mashing (left) has turned brown after half an hour (photo below, right):

mashed fruit for banana bread My Slice of Mexico
Darkened mashed fruit for banana bread My Slice of Mexico

Meanwhile, mix the flour, baking soda and baking powder together.  Reserve.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar (photo below, left), and mix until well incorporated, and all the sugar has dissolved.  Add the reserved flour mix, sifting over the egg mix (photo below, right):

Eggs and sugar for banana bread My Slice of Mexico
Sifting dry ingredients for banana bread My Slice of Mexico

Mix well, then pour in the oil, incorporating to the batter (photo below, left).  Finally, add the reserved mashed fruit, folding with a spatula (photo below, right):

Adding oil to batter for banana bread My Slice of Mexico
Folding mashed fruit for banana bread My Slice of Mexico

Continue mixing until the batter is smooth and uniform,  Pour into prepared pan(s):

Pouring batter into prepared mould for banana bread My Slice of Mexico

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the thickest part of the bread, between 40 and 50 minutes for two large loaves, or close to one hour for a ring.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool down for a few minutes (photo below, left).  Slide a spatula or knife along the edge(s), then remove from the mould(s).  Since I used a Bundt cake mould, I also flipped the ring upside down, to show off the pattern (photo below, right):

The slices look similar coming from a loaf or a ring, and are certainly equally delicious, moist and flavourful:

* FUN FACT: My recipe originally called for three bananas.  One time, my mom and I were preparing the bread together, and we realized that we only had two bananas; some apples were at hand, so we grated one as a substitute for the missing banana.  The substitution led to an accidental improvement on the texture and colour of the bread, and after that, both my mom and myself were swayed towards always include a grated apple, whether we had enough bananas or not.

For your convenience, click on the images below for products available on Amazon™.  DISCLAIMER: Any reviews included in this post are my own, for items I have purchased, not provided by any company; as an Amazon Associates Program affiliate, I might receive a small commission for purchases originated from the links below, at no extra cost to you.  Thank you for your support!

I am joining Fandango’s Dog Days of August: A FUN FACT.

I am bringing my recipe to Full Plate Thursday #499 with Miz Helen @ Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

I am also sharing my recipe at Thursday Favourite Things #454 with Bev @ Eclectic Red BarnPam @ An Artful MomKatherine @ Katherine’s CornerAmber @ Follow the Yellow Brick HomeTheresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.

I am sharing my recipe at Fiesta Friday #343 with Angie @ Fiesta Friday, this week co-hosting with Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.

I am also joining What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up #268 with Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome.

I am sharing my recipe at Over the Moon #240, graciously hosted by Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, and Marilyn @ Marilyn’s Treats.

I am contributing with this story and recipe to Su’s Virtual Tea Afternoon; she is featuring her special banana cake with coffee butter cream, yum!

31 thoughts on “Banana Bread – A Souvenir from Nayarit

  1. Yummy post! I do love a good bit of banana bread myself. I’m going to try it with an apple myself next time. I wont be use the bundt tin though, I can never get anything I bake in one those out! Lol
    Thanks for the great recipe and information.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find that greasing with oil and sprinkling with granulated sugar instead of flour helps a lot with stickiness, but loaves are good, and more traditional for banana bread. I hope you like the recipe, thank you Mason!


      1. I thought the same the first time I tried it, but it actually kind of forms a very thin “shell” and the cakes come out in one piece (do not forget to grease first!) This finish also looks polished when you transfer to a tray, if it is upside-down and naked, as in this case. You may want to try it with the loaf moulds first anyway, to see how you like it. Good luck!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve never thought of allowing fruit to oxygenate before adding to a batter. When I make quick breads, I like to use 5 mini loaf pans in the place of two regular ones. They are a nice size for freezing and taking out when I want some without having too much at one time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your Banana Bread looks so moist and delicious! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday,499 and hope you have a great week!
    Miz Helen

    Liked by 3 people

  4. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I am captivated by anything baked in a bundt tin – I am trying to gather enough courage to try again as my first few attempts ended up with a lot of sticking.
    Your bake looks and sounds delicious – and I love that you created a better bake through a serendipitous accident!


    1. I mentioned to another reader that greasing the mould and then sprinkling with sugar, not flour, works really well to avoid sticking. It works for me all every time, and he tried and said it worked very well.


      1. Oh my goodness! Thanks so much for this tip – I will certainly try this. Thank you for giving me a reason to bring our my Bundt tin!


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