I love a good banana bread but I like them to be hearty and healthy. My problem with most store brought banana breads is the amount of butter and refined white flour used in them, not to mention that they are often loaded with sugar as well. So I steer clear of them and bake my own.. And who can resist the aroma of freshly baked bread from the oven with smells of cinnamon and banana filling the air.. It is simply devine..
Anyway, so after numerous trials of trying to find the recipie that is moist enough, flavourful and filled with heart healthy carbs and nutrients I chanced upon this recipie and tweaked it to suit my preferences. I love adding walnuts to all my banana breads, and if I am baking them as muffins then I get a little indulgent and add dark chocolate chips as well. This recipie also uses oat bran which is one of my favorite ingredients for baked goods.. There is something inherently satifying about knowing that you are getting your sweet fix while adding something good to your body. Also, the earthiness of bran when combned with sweetness of bananas gives a beautiful texture and taste to the bread.
I used greek nonfat yogurt to add moistness to the bread but you could also use applesauce which would give it an additional sweetness as well. Its a one bowl bread and doesnt use any butter/oil or sugar which needs to creamed. The sweetness comes from the honey / maple syrup used and the ripe bananas.. And this is what makes it soo good to eat everyday. You can easily slice it up and freeze it for upto a month. I like to eat mine toasted with a chunk of crunchy peanut butter on it.
So without rambling on much further heres the easy peasy recipie.
Ingredients (1 loaf )
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup oat bran
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2-3 mashed ripe bananas
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup organic maple syrup/ honey
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 Loaf pan
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the loaf pan with baking paper
2. Mix the dry ingredients together leaving the chopped walnuts aside for adding in later.
3. Make a well in the centre and add in the egg, mashed bananas, skim milk, yogurt , vanilla extract and maple syrup. Stir with a spatula or a wooden spoon until just combined.
4. Add the chopped walnuts and fold it in the mixture. Do not overmix. If adding chocolate chips ensure that the total quantity of chocolate chips and nuts does not exceed 1/2 cup.
5. Scoop the mixture into greased and lined loaf pan and bake approximately for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Notes- You could also bake these as muffins, in which case bake them for 20-30mins. You could add a variety of toppings and extras depending on your preference from almonds, cranberries, raisins or macadamia nuts.