I was famous for my banana bread in college. It’s the kind of recipe that makes you fast friends. Butter-kissed banana cake baked with ample dark chocolate and crunchy walnuts. It’s the best late night cramming (err, or home late from the bar) snack I know. It’s actually the recipe I grew up eating, and I love it.
But ok, it’s not very good for you. In moderation sure, but I always seem to have overripe bananas that need using*, and I can’t be making butter, sugar, chocolate laden banana bread (cake is more accurate) every week. So more recently, since my hips demanded it, I set out to give banana bread a healthier make-over. It took me a few tries to get it just right, but I came up with something I think is great – moist, sweet, toothsome, and richly banana scented, this bread is unbelievably all whole wheat, no white sugar, and studded with flax and oats. This is a recipe worth sharing and celebrating because if you’ve ever ventured into the world of whole grain baking, you know it’s not all sunshine and blue skies.
So, here I present banana bread two ways: one rich, decadent, and dessert worthy; and the other wholesome enough for breakfast but downright delicious in its own right.
*Overwhelmed by overripe bananas? Just throw them (peel and all) into a plastic bag and freeze them until you’re ready to make a batch of banana bread and then microwave for 30 seconds until soft.
Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate and Walnuts
- 2 large bananas, mashed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
Banana Bread with Oatsand Flaxseed
- 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- ½ cup light agave syrup
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or use half all purpose and half
- regular whole wheat flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup ground flaxseeds
For the Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate and Walnuts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and butter and flour a loaf tin. Combine the bananas, sugar, eggs, and butter in a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan and then tip out onto a rack and continue cooling.
For the Banana Bread with Oats and Flaxseed: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and butter and flour a loaf tin. Combine the bananas, oil, agave, buttermilk, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oats, and flaxseeds. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan and then tip out onto a rack and continue cooling.