I’ve always loved banana bread. It’s like a sweet dense cake that you’re allowed to eat for breakfast. Unfortunately, in the past few years, I’ve realized that just because a bread is made with fruit, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Unwilling to give up my banana bread craving, I decided that I just had to come up with a healthier version.My friend Lori is an amazing baker, and when I saw her “In Your Face Banana Bread“, I knew it would be the perfect recipe to adapt. There are five, yes FIVE, mushy bananas in this one loaf of bread. This means that even though I’m making it with whole wheat, it turns out surprisingly moist.
I also replace the brown sugar with sucanat, a natural form of sugar that you can easily substitute one for one. Your body processes sucanat more slowly than white or brown sugar which helps you feel full longer and keeps you from getting the dangerous sugar rush that can lead to blood sugar issues. The whole wheat flour has a nuttier taste than all purpose flour which goes really well with the banana. I add in a little nutmeg and cinnamon, an easy fat free and calorie free way to add even more flavor!
Now you may be wondering, can the whole wheat version really taste as good?
Well my dog certainly thinks it’s good, but what will the kids think?
Two weeks ago we made this in Healthy Cooking on a Tight Budget, and several mothers brought their children into the kitchen after class to taste whatever was left over. One mother had apparently told her young son that this was healthy banana bread and he came running up to me, shouting through a mouthful of crumbs, “This tastes like REAL banana bread!”
I laughed and answered, “It IS real banana bread.”
I think that’s one of the biggest obstacles we face in the nutritional health of children, teaching them that healthy food IS real food. I’m so thankful that I’ve learned the importance of this before we have children of our own, but it’s not too late for those of you who already have children. I’ve had a lot of friends and readers tell me about ways they’ve changed their children’s eating habits. Everything from teaching their kids nutrition and what foods give the right fuel their body needs, to turning healthy food into cute shapes their kids can’t resist.
What advice do you have for teaching kids to eat healthy food?
Whole Wheat Banana BreadPrep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 60-75 minutes Total time: 70-85 minutes Yield: 16 servings
- 2 cups (225g)
soft white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp (10g)
- 1/4 tsp
fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp (3g)
- 1/2 cup (115g)
butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (135g)
- 2 (110g)
- 5 (595g)
mushy bananas, well mashed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the inside of a 9×5 inch loaf pan (I like to use the butter wrapper).
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.
- In another bowl, cream together butter and sucanat. Stir in eggs and banana.
- Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until just mixed.
- Pour into the greased pan and bake 60-75 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out clean.
- Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then gently turn out onto a wire baking rack.
Approximate cost/serving: Getting my wheat and sucanat from Azure Standard saves me a lot of money. I get organic free range eggs either from a local farm or in bulk from somewhere like Costco or Cash and Carry. I save money on bananas by getting the ones with bruised spots that are half off. It comes out to about $3 a loaf for me to make this. At 16 slices that’s just 19 cents a serving!
Vegetarian: No meat but there are eggs and butter.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.