Banana bread is one of the most versatile sweet treats there are, but if you are a banana bread enthusiast and tried all the possible variations that exist, it is time for a big change. Have you made blue or black banana bread without using food coloring?
I mean, this delight can be made plain, chocolate, fruity, nutty and what not, but been there done that! And since I like experimenting (and what better ‘canvas’ that the extremely flexible banana bread?) I did some research and found pretty amazing stuff.
#1 Blue Banana Bread
Blue Majik was one of the hot trends that exploded in 2016. Marketed as a very healthy liquid superfood, this drink became popular mostly because of its shocking shade of blue.
Behind the cool name is actually Spirulina, a blue-green colored alga which is known for its health numerous health properties. In fact, this alga is so rich in vitamins and minerals that it is considered to be an ideal food for cultivation during long-term space travel!
In the making of Blue Majik, the yellow pigment of Spirulina is left out, hence the vibrant blue. However, even though it is considered safe for adult consumption, its health benefits remain unproven. Another ‘fishy’ matter related to blue majik is its somewhat fishy taste. However, if you mix it with other ingredients, the fishy taste should be undetectable.
In conclusion, the looks are pretty much the only advantage Blue Majik has to offer, so If you are up for a surprising banana bread recipe, try preparing a Blue Majik frosting. I have tried this on top of banana bread muffins instead on top of the loaf. I thought it would look better that way.
Make the muffins by simply pouring the batter into muffin tins for baking. For the frosting, you will need four capsules of Blue Majik (find them in health food stores or online). Mix them with 1/4 cup butter, 4 tbsp. honey, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract.
#2 Purple Banana Bread
Purple is my favorite color and I have always wanted to incorporate it into my favorite sweet treats. However, since I am not a big fan of artificial additions to my food, this seemed like a difficult mission. Until recently.
Purple yam is a tubular root popular in the Philippines where it is called ube. The sweet taste makes it perfect for desserts, as well as a flavoring for ice cream, glazes, frostings, tarts, cookies, and cakes. It is intensely purple and can be used as a natural substitute for purple food coloring.
Prepare ube icing that will turn your banana loaf into a great-looking purple cake. You can find ube flavor in supermarkets and while at it, make sure you also look for macapuno. Macapuno is a soft jelly-like coconut flesh and it goes hand in hand with ube in many recipes.
Measure three teaspoons of it and combine with 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup unsalted butter, and 1/3 cup macapuno. When the banana loaf is done, remove it from the pan and cover it with this purple icing. Sprinkle some coconut flakes on top or decorate with whipped cream. Ube icing should also look amazing on banana bread muffins (read #1 above).
#3 Charcoal Banana Bread
Need an idea for a Halloween banana bread recipe? This black quick-bread is perfect for the occasion. It is also great if black is your favorite color or you simply want to make something unexpected.
The ingredient I am talking about is charcoal. And even though charcoal is still a new and rarely used ingredient in the American and European cuisines, Asian countries have been using it for cooking for a long time, especially in the preparation of sweet treats.
Powdered charcoal is believed to absorb toxins and heavy metals from the body. The type of charcoal used for cooking is the activated charcoal which is obtained by high heat treatment of various types of tree. Bamboo tree is mostly used in Asian cuisines, but you can use charcoal made from any kind of tree. It is not very easy to find, so you will probably need to order it online.
To make your quick-bread black, add two tablespoons of activated charcoal into the batter.
#4 Red Banana Bread
I am sure that you have tried many of the natural red coloring ingredients like strawberries, raspberries, or even beets. This option, however, is only for the boldest cooks and most open-minded eaters. The red ingredient in question is – blood. Yeah, how do you feel about infusing your breakfast with some animal blood?
The supporters of cooking with blood claim that it is the best natural thickening agent for any dish. Another upside it that it is rich in vitamin D, iron, and protein. In addition, it adds extra wild flavor and texture to help you re-establish that lost connection with the primal that wells deep inside you.
If you decide to use this ingredient in your banana bread recipe, make sure you order it from your butcher in advance. You can choose sheep’s, pork’s, cow’s, or lamb’s blood provided it is fresh, i.e. not older than two days.
Add ¼ cup blood and whip it together with the eggs, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and continue with the recipe the usual way. The resulting loaf will not be bloody red but dark brown. I can’t say anything about the taste because I haven’t dared to make this one. Yet.