By Carrie Havranek
If there’s one thing that pandemic life has taught us, it’s that almost everyone loves banana bread. Even if you are #teamsourdough, it’s hard to deny the appeal of this quick & easy loaf which uses up an ingredient that we all seem to always have on hand: overripe bananas. Of course, most banana bread recipes call for all-purpose flour, white sugar, and plenty of butter. That’s why it tastes so good! If you’ve tried a healthier version, you know that not every so-called healthy banana bread recipe works well. Sometimes they’re dry, sometimes they’re not sweet at all, and sometimes they’re too grainy, too gritty, or just somehow off.
But don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you and found a healthy banana bread recipe that’s moist and delicious.
The Tastiest, Healthiest Banana Bread Recipe
This healthy banana bread from Cookie and Kate checks all the boxes: It tastes like bananas (a must, in our book), is just-sweet-enough, and it’s so tender — which isn’t always easy to achieve with whole-grain flour. It’s also super versatile, which means there’s plenty of room to make it your own.
Here’s what makes this banana bread recipe uniquely healthy:
It uses better-for-you sweeteners: This particular banana bread gets its sweetness from maple syrup or honey. Use whichever you have on hand, or mix the two. Or, if you can find it and want to bring more of a molasses-like depth of flavor, use date syrup. (They often offer date syrup on the cheap at Lidl.)
It uses better-for-you flour: Kate’s banana bread is written for white whole wheat flour, which is a great way to add more whole grains into your baking. You can make this with a gluten-free flour blend, too, if you’d like. For something different, try spelt flour, which is easier to digest than all-purpose flour but produces baked goods that are more tender than those typically made with 100-percent whole wheat flour.
It uses healthier fats: Rather than butter, this recipe calls for unrefined oil. You can use extra virgin coconut oil, which is nice if you’re wanting to play up tropical flavors and add shredded coconut to the loaf. Or try using extra virgin olive oil.
Make It Your Own
You can make this recipe as is, but banana bread is so good with a 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts or pecans mixed in. Or mini-chocolate chips (if you’re feeling decadent), dried cranberries or raisins, or some unsweetened shredded coconut. I like to add 2 tablespoons of ground flax meal because it makes everything taste better, from oatmeal and pancakes to banana bread and smoothies. It’s also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, decrease inflammation in the body and help the brain function optimally.
Get the recipe: Healthy Banana Bread! from Cookie + Kate