Healthy and Delicious Banana Nut Bread

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on February 7, 2012

Banana bread is one of my favorite morning baked treats in the world. There’s just something about it that is absolute perfection, I mean who doesn’t love bananas and walnuts surrounded by doughy goodness?

Unfortunately, most banana breads really should be called banana cakes. They’re loaded with fat and calories – because honestly, they’re pretty much like a cake. Whenever I’m at a breakfast buffet and there’s banana bread as an option, I always try to steer clear of it, and limit myself to 1-2 bites at the most.

The husband can usually polish off a piece of banana bread without thinking twice, and somehow it doesn’t show up anywhere (don’t you hate how men always seem to get away with stuff like that? 🙂 ). But obviously, it’s not good for him either because on the inside, the sugar and fat is still affecting his body. [He looks at me and gives me the “I know, I know” look].

I’ve been on a quest to find a healthy banana bread recipe for a while now, because I was determined to find a way to enjoy this treat that I love so much. And finally, I came across this recipe from a friend, and it was delicious!

The Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 very ripe to overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose whole wheat (or white) flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp all spice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
The Directions
  1. Preheat over to 325. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and dust with flour.
  2. Mash the bananas in a small bowl with a fork. Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add bananas, buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract and mix again until well combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Sift in remaining dry ingredients, and beat until blended, about 2 more minutes. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  5. Bake about 1 hour, or until golden brown on top and fork inserted in center comes out clean. Turn out onto rack and let cool. Slice and enjoy!

.

Now, for the twist. If you don’t like bananas, but still want the moistness that comes with this banana nut bread recipe, you can make a simple nut bread recipe by substituting 1-2 cups of split pea puree for the bananas.

How does this work? Here’s how to make the puree:

Add 2 ½ times the amount of water as split peas or lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes–the longer they cook, the thicker and softer they become. Stir frequently. Cool slightly and do not drain. In small batches, mash or pureè lentils or split peas with a sieve, food mill, blender, food processor, or potato masher. Pureè should be the consistency of canned pumpkin. Add water to thin, if needed.

I wouldn’t add both the puree and the bananas, I’d add either one or the other. And the split pea puree counts as a wet ingredient, so when you’re combining ingredients, make sure to add it to the wet ingredients bowl!

This recipe makes 12 thick slices (or 24 thinner slices), and the nutritional info is definitely more guilt-free than most banana bread recipes. One huge slice (for the 12 serving portion) has ~180 calories, 2-3g fiber, 4g protein, and with the bananas, about 17g sugar. Without the bananas, the sugar content goes WAY down. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Healthy and Delicious Banana Nut Bread

Yield: 12 thick slices, or 24 thinner slices

Serving Size: 1 slice

Calories per serving: 180

One huge slice (for the 12 serving portion) has ~180 calories, 2-3g fiber, 4g protein, and with the bananas, about 17g sugar.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 very ripe to overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose whole wheat (or white) flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp all spice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 325. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and dust with flour.
  2. Mash the bananas in a small bowl with a fork. Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add bananas, buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract and mix again until well combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Sift in remaining dry ingredients, and beat until blended, about 2 more minutes. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  5. Bake about 1 hour, or until golden brown on top and fork inserted in center comes out clean. Turn out onto rack and let cool. Slice and enjoy!
  6. Optional
  7. Now, for the twist. If you don’t like bananas, but still want the moistness that comes with this banana nut bread recipe, you can make a simple nut bread recipe by substituting 1-2 cups of split pea puree for the bananas. To make the puree: Add 2 ½ times the amount of water as split peas or lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes–the longer they cook, the thicker and softer they become. Stir frequently. Cool slightly and do not drain. In small batches, mash or pureè lentils or split peas with a sieve, food mill, blender, food processor, or potato masher. Pureè should be the consistency of canned pumpkin. Add water to thin, if needed. I wouldn’t add both the puree and the bananas, I’d add either one or the other. And the split pea puree counts as a wet ingredient, so when you’re combining ingredients, make sure to add it to the wet ingredients bowl!
http://pickyeaterblog.com/healthy-and-delicious-banana-nut-bread/

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Steph@stephsbitebybite February 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I relish the moment when I get to eat a hot piece of banana bread straight from the oven. Top it with peanut butter and some banana slices and you have a tasty little snack. This looks scrumptous

Reply

Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Omg yes! Peanut butter on warm banana bread is the BEST. I also like topping it with some marmalade or blueberry preserves. Yum!

Reply

laviera February 8, 2012 at 6:11 am

Top it with peanut butter? Genius! That’s a first, I am off to discovering the new uses of peanut butter.

Reply

Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 8, 2012 at 9:38 am

Haha nice! Yes – it ends up tasting just like a peanut butter and banana sandwich! Enjoy!

Reply

shari@myjudythefoodie February 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm

ooh this is so interesting. I’ve baked Mom’s Banana Chocolate Chip loaf which tastes amazing but is fattening with a ton of sour cream. Recently I baked on of her other loaves which was great and a lot healthier. Check it out: http://www.myjudythefoodie.com/2012/01/banana-honey-bran-bread/

Reply

Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I’d probably substitute whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose to amp up the fiber, and maybe replace half the oil with applesauce to make it even healthier!

Reply

Parita @ myinnershakti February 8, 2012 at 8:32 am

Banana bread is a great comfort food. I use a super simple recipe kind of similar to yours but I add in chocolate chips!

P.S. That first picture looks like it belongs in a magazine!

Reply

Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 8, 2012 at 9:37 am

Aw thank you! 🙂 Great idea to add in chocolate chips btw – you can make it even healthier by using cacao nibs or 72% dark chocolate pieces!

Reply

Farihah @ Spice's Bites February 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

Wow, would never have thought to sub dal for bananas! Here’s the weird thing, I’m allergic to bananas, but I can have banana bread! Something about the heat breaks down the protein in banana that I’m allergic to.

BTW, you’ve been tagged!

http://www.spicesbites.com/11-things-you-didnt-know-about-me/

Reply

Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Haha that is weird! At least you can enjoy the flavor of bananas when they’re cooked 🙂 Thanks for tagging me – I can’t wait to create my own list! Hope you’re doing well! 🙂

Reply

Denden April 9, 2016 at 6:38 am

I love banana bread and would like to try this healthier version. About how many cups will “4 very ripe to overripe bananas” make? Thanks.

Reply

Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 10, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Thanks Denden! I think it’s about 2 cups, but it really depends on how big the bananas you’re using are. Hope that helps! I’m sure you’ll love this recipe!

Reply

Kate Metatrader July 21, 2016 at 10:54 pm

Wow it looks delicious! I want to make this in my home. I think that my kids will probably go crazy about it! 🙂

Reply

Anjali @ The Picky Eater July 22, 2016 at 11:06 am

Thanks Kate! Enjoy!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: