I am posting this all-American comfort food because somehow people (ok, me) always end up with a few very ripe, brown and spotty bananas just sitting on the counter.
Bananas that are too ripe to eat, but are just perfect for baking.
I make this classic treat quite often in the cold season, because that’s when I buy bananas (the other part of the year my parents’ garden supplies us all with plenty of fresh fruit). This time I felt dedicated to find inventive ways so I could have my cake – and eat it totally guilt free. That meant swapping a few ingredients for a lightened up, better-for-you banana bread that is not only just as delicious as the original, but also wholesome and nourishing.
I believe in tradition, but I also like altering classic recipes sometimes to make healthy treats. It’s all about smart changes. Flavor is super important but the result needs to be lower in calories, sugar and fat and at the same time, higher in fibre, protein and healthy oils.
This banana bread has all those redeeming qualities. It won’t send your blood sugar levels for a loop, not to mention that you can whip this up with just one bowl, a few measuring cups and some basic ingredients. The Husband approves too, so I can assure you: the loaf passed the taste test.
Moist and dense, delicious and filling. Perfect for breakfast and beyond, also freezable. The homey comfort of banana bread, updated to fit a more health-conscious life.
Some notes, if I may:
- This recipe is dairy free.
- You can make this recipe gluten-free by using a GF flour blend, or oat flour.
- Bananas: the riper the better. They are super sweet! I actually made this recipe without any sweetening, and it was still totally enjoyable.
- You can use any other kind of nut meal instead of walnuts, or omit nuts completely. In that case, increase the amount of flour to 1 cup.
- Sweeten the batter with the natural sweetener of your choice. So far I tried it with birch sugar, honey and maple syrup, all working well.
- Feel free to substitute the currants with blueberries, cranberries, raisins, or whatever floats your boat.
- Banana bread keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days, or can be frozen for up to 3 months. It’s best if you slice before freezing to be able to thaw individual pieces.
Healthy Banana Bread
Classic banana bread recipe updated with better-for-you ingredients. Yield: 1 loaf
3 very ripe bananas
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp natural sweetener of your choice
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup walnut meal
½ cup vanilla protein powder
½ cup fresh or frozen blackcurrants
- Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F), lightly grease a 9×5” loaf pan (or line with parchment paper).
- In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork.
- Add eggs, salt and sweetener, whisk well.
- Add walnut meal, protein powder, flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir to blend with a spoon or spatula, just until combined.
- Gently fold in fruits, if using.
- Pour batter in pan. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-50 min.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 min before transferring to a wire rack for another 20 min before slicing. Enjoy!