If you have a couple of ripe bananas and an egg and some flour, you can make banana bread. You can even do it without a recipe. And any well-baked (by which we mean moist, slightly underdone, and richly banana-sweet) loaf will win the hearts and minds of anyone within a whiff's distance.
But sometimes you find yourself wanting more. "More" meaning coconut or ginger or chocolate chips or sesame seeds or you-name-it—going beyond the traditional (though certainly not ho-hum) walnut addition. (Chef Camille Becerra put some ginger and coconut and flax seeds in hers, below.)
Grab a few bananas on your way home from work tonight, throw them in the freezer, and survey your pantry: There's never been a better time to use up odds and ends. Banana bread is the perfect safe space for experimentation. Tomorrow, when you bake the bread, you'll know that with the blank canvas that it is, you'll be able to taste the added splotches of espresso or cardamom or tahini all the more vividly. (If you need a blank canvas, this is a very good one.)
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Stir espresso powder—and/or good old espresso—into the batter
Line your baking pan with flax seed, like Camille Becerra
Or finely grind tea (like a black tea or chai) and add it to the batter