My grandma Lucy makes really good banana bread. She’s a retired home economics professor (back in the days when you could major in that for college) so whenever we go to visit she bakes all sorts of terrible (for you) treats. It is so awesome. And when Parker first went to visit, she had made banana bread that he ate up slice after slice. So now she always makes it when we visit. But her banana bread can’t exactly be made on a regular basis in this house because we would become big fat fatties since we seem to have a problem with only having the occasional slice.
So when Parker asked me to bake some banana bread with the bananas that were turning black on the counter, I knew I couldn’t let my husband down. But he’s also been complaining that he feels a little too “large and in charge” these days so I decided to see what I could do to make a healthier version of the treat he loves so much.
I started with this recipe but changed things up a bit to make it as healthy as we could stand it. Substituted half the sugar for splenda, used whole wheat flour, added some oat bran and some cinnamon for flavor. The result was amazing! Just as moist and dense as Grammy’s but not nearly as bad for you (she still uses margarine!). You could easily add ground flax seeds to this or add heart healthy walnuts (we didn’t have either) to make it even more nutrient packed. I did however find some 62% dark chocolate Ghiradelli chips that seemed appropriate…can’t make it too healthy I guess! Not in this house.
A Somewhat Healthier Version of Banana Bread
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup splenda
- 1/4 cup butter, softened (I used light butter, per Parker’s request but I don’t usually endorse it)
- 1 whole egg
- 2 egg whites
- 2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 4 bananas) – the darker the peel, the better
- 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips – totally optional
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
- Place sugar, splenda and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.