Radioactive Banana Bread


This simple banana bread is one of the first things I learned to cook. I’ve been tweaking the recipe for a few months, and it seems impossible to mess up. Try it my way, or go to town with your own edits. Let me know how it goes!

You’re probably wondering why I’m calling recipe this “radioactive.” As it turns out, bananas are naturally radioactive. This isn’t a result of contamination, it’s a natural part of bananahood. Bananas contain the essential nutrient potassium, which is usually in the form of potassium-39, and contains 19 protons and 20 neutrons. A very small percentage of potassium is in the form of potassium-40, containing an extra neutron. This isotop will slowly decay over a very long period of time (after a billion years, only half of it will have decayed) and usually decays into calcium-40. Because of this long half life, and the very small amount of potassium-40 present in you’re typical banana (about 0.01%), you’re not in any danger from the radiation. It’s just another reminder that yes, radiation can be natural! Potassium-40 is thought to be the largest source of natural radioactivity in humans and other animals. For most people, natural exposure to radiation pales in comparison to exposure from medical scans and airplane trips, so don’t be frightened. The amount of radiation from food is very small, and potassium is essential to human life. All things considered, the largest health hazard in the food we eat is definitely from the fats & sugars :-D.

Materials (makes one loaf):

medium mixing bowl, medium bread tin, large spoon, oven

3 bananas, 2 eggs, 3/2 cups flour (whole wheat optional), 2/3 cups sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt.

Optional: 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips, 8 oz walnuts, 1 tbs lemon juice


Combine 3/2 cups whole wheat flour, 2/3 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Mix evenly.

In a separate bowl, beat two eggs. Peal three bananas, smoosh with your hands, and add them to the large bowl. Pour the eggs over top. Wash your hands, then smoosh 1/3 cup butter and add it over the eggs. Mix everything with a long wooden spoon.

If desired, add about a tablespoon of lemon juice, up to eight ounces chopped walnuts, and up to 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips. Pour batter into a greased bread tin.

Beat one egg yolk and brush  on top of bread. Bake at 325 F for 50 mns. To prevent burning, check after 40 mns. If a toothpick goes in and comes back clean, you’re probably done.


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