Banana bread has always been my go-to if I’m in the mood to bake (which is basically all the time). Partly because I love it so much, and partly because we have overripe bananas 95% of the time. Sometimes we go a little crazy and buy two massive bundles of bananas at Sam’s Club and then realize that three humans couldn’t possibly go through that amount before they turn brown without turning into bananas ourselves. Once our bananas become even slightly brown, everyone in the house is pretty much just waiting for me to do something about it. It’s a lot of pressure, and I’m a real people-pleaser. So long story short, there is banana bread in the house more often than not.
Banana bread was also the very first recipe I posted on my blog when I started last May! I want to say it was one of my grandma’s old recipes, but of course I modified the hell out of it to make it healthier. She’s probably rolling over in her grave because of it. Sorry Grandma. Despite all the modifications, the recipe has always been a real crowd pleaser, even among my family members who like to resist my healthy substitutions as much as possible and refuse to admit they like something if they know it has been healthified, even if it’s delicious. Like whipped cauliflower for example. (Which you should try ASAP if you haven’t already — recipe on my Side Dishes & Dips page)
Lately I’ve really been wanting to try a different recipe that doesn’t involve refined sugar or a Splenda sugar blend like my other banana bread recipe. I was a little hesitant to tell the fam, because if you don’t tell them something is different, they usually don’t notice or care. (Like the time I fed my brother and Ethan my Flourless Black Bean Brownies without telling them first, and they loved them!) Thankfully, this recipe turned out awesome and I am so happy I found it.
The original version of this recipe is from Cookie + Kate’s blog, but I made a few minor changes to it. Instead of oil, I substituted plain Chobani Greek yogurt, which reduces calories and adds in some good protein. I also used almond milk, and then of course added chopped walnuts and dark chocolate chips, because honestly what is banana bread without nuts & chocolate? Those additions are optional but I highly recommend them. Some other yummy additions you could try: blueberries, dried cranberries, pecans, etc. Go crazy! There are some great tips on how to adapt this recipe for specific diets, such as vegan & gluten-free, on Cookie + Kate’s blog, as well as some beautiful pics of the making of this recipe! I neglected to take any pictures while I was making it since I wasn’t sure how it would turn out – but I’ll be sure to add some in next time I make it, which will probably be very soon! Here ya go peeps.
Healthy Banana Bread: Version II
- 1/4 cup plain Chobani Greek yogurt
- ½ cup pure raw honey
- 2 eggs
- 2 large or 2 1/2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
- ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice / water)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to sprinkle on top
- 1¾ cups whole wheat flour
- Optional mix-ins: chopped walnuts or pecans, dark chocolate chips, blueberries, dried cranberries, etc.
*I added 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips to mine, which was the perfect amount! Sometimes I like to sprinkle even more walnuts on top before I bake it, which makes it even prettier and in turn, more delicious. ; )
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix the Greek yogurt and honey using a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well.
3. In a small bowl, mash the bananas using the whisk and stir in the almond milk, then add to the large bowl and whisk to combine.
4. Add baking soda, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and whisk to blend. Switch to a large spoon and stir in the whole wheat flour, just until combined.
Gently fold in any additional mix-ins, such as walnuts and chocolate chips.
5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle cinnamon on top if desired.
6. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Cookie + Kate advises to bake for 55 minutes without mix-ins, or 60 minutes with mix-ins. Mine was perfect at 60 minutes with mix-ins!)
7. Once bread is ready, let it cool for 10-20 minutes before slicing, and ENJOY!
Only 10 sleeps ’til Christmas! 🙂
Shanna Stewart, RD LD