Back to school banana bread for champions

20th January 2023 | EATIVITY Editors

January means the end of long summer holidays, celebrations and time spent relaxing, yet new research reveals over 80% of Aussies admit they need more energy at the start of the year. Try a few slices of this back to school banana bread for champions, and get your energy up for a fantastic year ahead.

According to research from Australian Bananas, despite 75% of us feeling like we need to get back into a work and school routine, over a quarter of the nation has low energy and need to force themselves to get back into the swing of things. The research reveals that over a quarter (26%) of the nation feel their busy work schedules throw them off and a further third (38%) say feeling stressed and unrelaxed means they’re unable to get back into a routine.

We don’t even envy our kids when it comes to resuming their routine either – with almost half of Australian adults (46%) saying they wouldn’t want to trade places with them and go back to school. In fact, 22% would rather run a marathon, or work a 60-hour week (54%) than go back to tests, high energy activities and the classroom.

Interestingly, the study revealed that while we wouldn’t swap places with them, we think our kids are the true champions of the new year adjustment – with 60% of Aussies thinking primary schoolers are ‘champions’, and they don’t know where they get their energy from.

 Olympian and mum of six Jana Pittman heads back to school.

To help Aussies get back into an everyday rhythm, Australian Bananas has released The Champion Banana, the fuel for back to school, and to demonstrate its powerful effects are sending Olympic champion, Jana Pitman back into the schoolyard.

Pittman says: “I’ve been an Olympian, trained as a doctor and I’ve even been a contestant on SAS Australia, but nothing is quite as hard as getting back into routine in the new year and getting your kids ready for back to school. When juggling busy work and school schedules, bananas are the perfect way to add a boost of nutrition to your diet and ensure the energy levels are topped up for big and little kids alike.”

When it comes to finding our motivation, over half of Aussies (51%) are setting goals for the year ahead yet almost 30% had no idea bananas could boost their brainpower. This is surprising considering our top aspirations are to consume more fruit (60%), walk more and drive less (44%), take up a new hobby (29%) and for 49% of us, getting more into fitness.

Australian Banana Grower and mum of two, Josephine Borsato said: “Bananas are Australia’s go-to snack for energy because they are naturally convenient, full of magnesium, folate and vitamin B6, and taste so good. We’re proud to grow the best fruit that provides the whole family with the energy needed to start the year strongly and make those bodies sing!”

Try this recipe for back to school banana bread for champions, which not surprisingly uses The Champion Banana.

The time is ripe: back to school banana bread for champions.

Classic banana bread with maple cream cheese spread

A recipe from Australian Bananas

You’ll need:

125g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup golden syrup
2 eggs
4 Cavendish bananas, mashed (2 cups)
1¾ cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder, sifted
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ cup walnuts, almonds or pecans, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the maple cream cheese spread:

250g cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
¼ cup maple syrup
Sliced Cavendish or Ducasse bananas and extra maple syrup, to serve


1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan forced. Grease and line a 6cm-deep, 10cm x 21cm loaf pan.

2. Cream the butter, sugar and golden syrup with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well combined.

3. Stir in the banana. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon over the banana mixture. Stir to combine. Fold in your chosen nuts.

4. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack. Slice and serve as is or follow the next step to make the maple cream cheese spread.

5. For the spread, beat cream cheese and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add the maple syrup and beat until well combined. Serve banana bread toasted and spread with maple cream cheese spread, sliced banana and a drizzle of maple syrup.