Mmmmm…the smell of banana bread baking in the oven is one of my favorite aromas in the world! Even better, a healthy banana bread that I can eat without guilt. Yep, here it is!
Traditional banana breads can be on the unhealthy side for a few reasons. I think the biggest one is portion size. Most people slice themselves up a thick slab of banana bread, which usually equals out to 3 or more servings. A regular sized loaf should give you about 16 servings. So that means we need to do a better job with our slicing. Thinner pieces of bread should still be tasty and satisfying without getting crazy with the calories. Unfortunately, that’s not something that is built into this recipe. It’s just something you will have to work on yourself. You can read more about portions and serving sizes here.
Another unhealthy thing about banana bread is the refined carbs. We are talking about white flour here. As you may know, white flour is stripped of its fiber and whole grain parts, leaving it pretty nutritionally useless. The first change I did to make this healthy banana bread was to add in some whole wheat flour. I still used some white flour to maintain the consistency, but more whole wheat flour is better.
Many banana breads are also loaded with sugar. This is unnecessary because the banana itself will give off a lot of sweetness. You can lower the amount of sugar significantly without the bread becoming tasteless. Now I definitely don’t like mine too sweet, so this might be a big change for some of you. Notice that I am using real sugar here though. Real sugar is not the devil…it’s just that most people eat way too much of it. I choose not to use artificial sweeteners because they are, well, artificial, or sugar alternatives because they just don’t taste the same. Other forms of sugar are still sugar (honey, agave, etc.). Don’t be fooled by recipes that claim to be sugar free, but use honey in them. You can get all my tips for healthifying any baking recipe here.
Another healthy thing about this bread is the use of yogurt. When you use plain nonfat Greek yogurt in baking, you are really eliminating the need for oil. The yogurt, as well as the banana, help to keep the bread moist. Just a tip though, I find that when I bake with yogurt, the baked good tends to go bad faster. Be sure to store it in the fridge to help it last longer.
The last thing I did to bump up the nutritional value of this bread was to add flaxmeal, which is ground up flax seeds. This meal is full of fiber and antioxidants.
The first step was combining all of the dry ingredients and stirring with a whisk.
Next I combined all of the wet ingredients and beat with a mixer. Then I added the sugars and beat until blended.
I poured it all into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Then into the oven it went to bake. Your bake time may vary depending on your oven, so be sure to check it periodically.
Out came the bread after 45 agonizing minutes of smelling it bake. Be sure to let it cool before you slice into it, or the bread will just fall apart.