Low-Waste Leftover Banana Bread Recipe

Whether you’re looking for some home baking inspiration or a delicious breakfast to enjoy while working from home, banana bread is the way to go. Rosanna Falconer shares her take on Niomi Smart’s plant-based recipe, along with ways to adapt it based on what you have at home. 

Extraordinary times call for simple pleasures. Personally, I find this in the kitchen, and it seems many others have too, as lockdown sweeps the country. Along with grappling the daily developments of the news, I have a newborn baby, so my free time is limited to say the least. Enter banana bread! This recipe is based on that of plant-based cook, author and influencer, Niomi Smart. It is adaptable, speed-of-light quick (two minutes chopping, 3 minutes stirring) and utterly delicious at any time of day. Spread it with almond butter for breakfast or serve with ice cream and maple syrup for pudding.  Or of course, just as it is with a cup of tea and dose of positivity!

A note for these exceptional times: I am very aware that it is tricky to get hold of a full ingredient list and we are all urged to stay at home. With this in mind, I have included adaptable ingredient options. This was greatly influenced by the response to my Instagram story of the banana bread I baked yesterday; never have I had more response from friends and followers heading straight to the kitchen! Lots of them substituted ingredients depending on their kitchen cupboards, some of which I have included below.


2 large, very ripe bananas (the riper the better, this gives sweetness)

200g flour (I use buckwheat but plain would work or you could even grind up oats to a fine powder in a food processor)

25g chopped unsalted walnuts (this is the classic combination, but the texture of pecans also works well)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon (nutmeg substitutes well or skip if you do not have it)

110g pitted and chopped dates (dates are sweet like caramel so perfect for this! But dried figs or apricots would be feasible swaps)

190ml milk (I use almond or oat – both add sweetness. If using cow’s milk, add a tablespoon of honey)

A pinch of salt


Loaf tin (ideally 18cm x 8cm) greased and lined


Heat the oven to 170C / 325F / gas 3.

Mash the bananas and leave a small amount to slice for the top.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Stir in the bananas and dates.

Slowly add the milk until the mixture is fully combined and smooth. Ensure there are no ‘bubbles’ containing flour.

Pour into the tin and top with sliced bananas and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Bake in the hot oven for 35-44 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. 

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Craving a wholesome breakfast while working from home? Try Lauren Lovatt’s Rosemary Berries and Walnut Porridge.

See the Eco-Age team put dairy-free milk alternatives to the test

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