Dairy-free banana bread is a type of yeast-free bread that contains fresh bananas. This type of bread is commonly eaten as a light breakfast or as a snack in Europe and North America. Banana bread is usually sweet, though not as sweet as a cake. When it is made without any dairy products, banana bread contains flour, bananas, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, oil, and sometimes eggs.
In most recipes, the only type of dairy product in banana bread is butter. Butter gives banana bread a soft texture and also flavors the bread. Instead of butter, dairy-free banana bread must include another type of fat, such as oil or margarine. These fats can be substituted one to one for butter. Clean-flavored oils, such as coconut oil or vegetable oil will soften the bread without adding any additional flavor, while stronger-flavored fats, like margarine, will alter the texture and give the dairy-free banana bread a more buttery flavor.
Some recipes for banana bread call for milk in order to give the bread a creamier texture. Milk can be replaced with additional bananas, water, or a milk substitute such as rice milk. Some recipes for banana bread also call for chocolate, so cooks who are making dairy-free banana bread should make sure that the chocolate doesn't have any milk or butter in it.
Though they aren't technically a type of dairy product, many people who do not eat dairy will also avoid eggs. Eggs are commonly used in breads such as banana bread because they help bind the ingredients together. In dairy-free banana bread, the banana can act as a binder or the eggs can be replaced with binders such as xanthan gum or guar gum. An egg replacer can also be used in a dairy-free banana bread, but cooks should take care that the egg replacer doesn't include any egg or dairy in it.
Dairy-free banana bread is a type of quick bread, a kind of bread that requires no yeast. Baking powder is used to make a banana bread rise, which it does by causing a chemical reaction that creates bubbles of carbon dioxide in the bread. People probably first started making dairy-free banana bread about a hundred years ago, when baking powder was in regular use. The widespread availability of bananas in recent decades have helped to make it popular.