- Food: Banana Bread
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
Do you want to brighten someone’s day? Make some banana bread for them! “I’m going to bake some banana bread,” I stated just the other day, and I saw a mature man’s eyes light up like a child’s on Christmas morning.
Banana bread is one of those traditional, all-American comfort food dishes that makes everything better by filling the house with warmth. Banana bread is a thing of beauty.
This banana bread recipe was perfected for my cookbook, and I wanted to share it with you here. This recipe has all of the characteristics of classic banana bread: it’s fluffy, moist, and sweetly flavored, and it’s enjoyed by both kids and adults.
Bonus? Only one dish, a few measuring cups, and a few basic ingredients are required for this recipe.
What makes this banana bread so good for you?
- Unlike standard banana bread recipes, which call for refined flour and a lot of processed sugar, this banana bread recipe uses 100 percent whole wheat flour.
- Honey or maple syrup, which provide trace nutrients that white sugar does not, are used to naturally sweeten this banana bread.
- Finally, instead of using whole sticks of butter, this recipe uses a reasonable amount of unrefined oil (choose from virgin coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil).
As you can see, my homemade banana bread has a lot of redeeming characteristics, the most important of which is that it won’t mess with your blood sugar levels.
You can, however, keep them entirely to yourself. No one will be able to tell that this banana bread is healthy!
Options for Banana Bread Flour
This recipe is quite adaptable. Any of the flours listed below will work well. I like white whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour because they provide all of the benefits of whole wheat without the nutty flavor.
- Flour (all-purpose)
- All-purpose gluten-free flour blend
- oats flour
- flour made from spelt
- whole wheat flour
- Pastry flour made from whole wheat
- Flour made from whole wheat *
For reasons explained in the oat flour guide, you’ll need 2 1/2 cups to substitute oat flour.
How to Measure Flour (Tip)
It’s critical to accurately measure your flour for the finest results. Here’s how to use the “spoon and swoop” method to measure flour in cups:
- To loosen the flour, gently whisk it with a large spoon.
- Do not scoop the flour into your measuring cup; instead, spoon it in.
- With a butter knife, trim the excess.
Variations on Banana Bread
Now that I’ve nailed down the basic banana bread recipe, feel free to tweak it and make it your own.
Add some walnuts or pecans to the batter! Chocolate chips are the same way. You might also include raisins, chopped dried fruit, or banana slices.
Are you on a specific diet? This bread can be made vegan (dairy-free and egg-free) or gluten-free with a few small changes. Details can be found in the recipe notes.
|Time to Prepare: 10 minutes
Time to cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour and 5 minutes
You’re only a few easy ingredients away from making the finest banana bread ever with this healthy banana bread recipe! It’s made with whole wheat flour and honey or maple syrup for natural sweetness.
This banana bread may easily be made vegan or gluten-free; see the recipe notes for further information. 1 loaf is made from this recipe (about 10 slices).
- 13 cup (75 g) melted coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, or good vegetable oil*
- 12 cup (168 g) honey or maple syrup (155 grams)
- two eggs
- 1 mug (225 grams) 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 12 medium or 2 large bananas)
- 14 cup (56 g) choice of milk or water
- 1 tsp baking soda (not baking powder; the two are not interchangeable!)
- 1 teaspoon extract de vanille
- a quarter teaspoon of salt
- 12 teaspoon cinnamon powder (plus extra to swirl over top)
- 1 34 cup white whole wheat flour (220 grams) or ordinary whole wheat flour*
- This is completely optional: 12 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and butter a 9-inch loaf pan.
- Whisk together the oil and honey in a large mixing dish. After beating the eggs thoroughly, mix in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil hardens when it comes into touch with cold ingredients, simply place the bowl in a warm spot for a few minutes, such as on top of your stove, or warm it in the microwave for approximately 10 seconds.)
- Whisk together the baking soda, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Finally, using a large spoon, mix in the flour just until incorporated. Some lumps are acceptable! If you’re adding any more mix-ins, fold them in lightly immediately.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan that has been oiled and lightly sprinkled with cinnamon. Run the point of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern for a lovely swirled look.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (my bread is usually done at 55 minutes if I haven’t added any mix-ins; if I have, it takes closer to 60 minutes). Allow at least 10 minutes for the bread to cool in the loaf pan. To remove the bread from the pan, you may need to run a butter knife over the edges. Before slicing, carefully move the loaf to a wire rack to cool.
SUGGESTION FOR STORAGE: Because this bread is wet, it will only keep at room temperature for two or three days. It can be kept in the refrigerator for five to seven days or frozen for up to three months.
Before freezing the bread, I like to slice it and defrost individual pieces by allowing them to come to room temperature or softly toasting them.
OPTIONS FOR OIL: Here, coconut oil is my favorite. I used unrefined coconut oil and the flavor is barely detectable in the finished product.
If you’re into that, olive oil might give the muffins a herbal note (I tested with California Olive Ranch’s “Everyday” type and couldn’t even taste it).
Although vegetable oil has a neutral flavor, most vegetable/canola oils are heavily processed, therefore if possible, choose cold-pressed sunflower or grapeseed oil.
FLOUR ALTERNATIVES: You can substitute all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, or a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix for the whole wheat flour. 2 12 cup oat flour can be be used instead.
TO MAKE IT VEGAN, FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS: Use maple syrup instead of honey, flax eggs instead of eggs, and non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water instead of milk.
MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: Use non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water instead of regular milk.
REMOVE THE EGG: Flax eggs can be used in place of eggs.
TO MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE, use 2 12 cup certified gluten-free oat flour or an equal amount of Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free blend. Coconut flour should not be used in place of regular flour.
MAKE IT LESS FATTENING: While I believe this bread has a good level of fat, if you’re on a low-fat diet, you may replace the oil with applesauce.