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Healthy Banana Bread Recipe with Variations

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This is one of the best banana bread recipes you will ever make, healthy or not! However, I’m not just sharing a recipe here, it’s also a beginner’s guide on how to make a dessert recipe more wholesome. The goal is not to make it completely healthy but better than the original in any way possible without sacrificing the taste or texture. I always say if you want something super “clean” then stick an almond in a date and call it a day.

The process of health-ifying a dessert involves both subtraction and addition. Remove some of the processed unhealthy ingredients and add in extra nutrient-dense ingredients.

 
Let me take you step by step with how I amended this Banana Bread recipe I found online.
 

Start with the right type of recipe

I chose the best type of recipe to adapt to a healthier version, Banana Bread. Why is that? Recipes such as banana bread, carrot cake, apple muffins, or date cake have a wholesome taste to them to begin with. Therefore their flavor is more likely to be complemented with healthier ingredients such as wholegrain flours and natural sweeteners. I wouldn’t be able to successfully make the same changes to a vanilla chiffon cake for example.

Fruit-based cakes work great

Bananas add both sweetness and moisture to the cake allowing you to adjust the amount and/or type of sugar used in the recipe. So I replaced the brown sugar with the same amount of coconut sugar, and I replaced the 1/2 cup of white sugar with a 1/4 cup of honey.

Always use ripe bananas!
 

Choose a better flour

I replaced the all-purpose flour with a combination of whole-wheat flour and almond flour. Whole-grain flours tend to need more moisture than white flour, so using a liquid sweetener such as honey, as I mentioned earlier, helps with that. Also replacing about 30% of the flour with a gluten-free option such as almond flour won’t affect the end result, but you get to reduce the total amount of flour in the recipe.

Choose a healthier fat

I replaced the butter with coconut oil. Since the butter was melted, it is easy to replace with the same amount of coconut oil. And considering that banana bread has a relatively strong flavor thanks to the bananas, you will barely notice it. Another option is to do half coconut oil and half nut butter, or even better tahini! Yum. I might just do that next time.

Dairy alternatives

For the sour cream or yogurt, I used oat milk with lemon juice. You can use any plant-milk adding either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to replicate the sourness in the cream or yogurt.

It’s time to Add!

If you would like to reduce the sugar even further, you can add in some chopped dates, or as the cake comes out of the oven drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of honey.
How about some nutrient-rich nuts and seeds? My favorite would be to add chopped toasted walnuts in the batter and more on top. Or you can sprinkle a mixture of seeds and oats on top.
 
The original recipe just called for vanilla, but I love some spice in my banana bread, so I added both ground cinnamon and cardamom. If you want to stick to vanilla, how about…
 
adding in some dark chocolate? Warm banana bread with chunks of melted dark chocolate is perfection. Check out the suggestions below to turn up the chocolate volume.كيك

Why keep the eggs?

I’m not vegan, and unless I’m looking to make a vegan recipe, I don’t bother removing the eggs. I don’t believe eggs are unhealthy and therefore I prefer to keep them whenever they are called for in a recipe. However, since bananas can be a good egg replacer in general, probably replacing the eggs with ground flax, ground chia or aquafaba might work. Here’s what I would do (but please note that I haven’t tried!): Replace the two eggs with 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds or chia mixed with a 1/3 cup of water or aquafaba.

How about gluten-free?

Although this recipe can handle going gluten-free, making that change would require using several different flours, and I wanted to keep it simple. A beginner’s guide as mentioned previously.
 
For more in-depth details on how to health-ify your favorite desserts, download my free book Guilt-Free Desserts.
 

Delicious Variations

And in case you get bored, here are some serving suggestions below:
 
Toast a slice and serve with labna and a drizzle of honey, the perfect breakfast.
 
Make sandwiches by filling it with your favorite nut butter and jam or tahini and honey. Don’t forget to toast it too!
How about some French toast with healthy Nutella? Soak with bread slices in a mixture of egg and milk, then fry off before adding a spoonful of homemade healthy Nutella on top.
 
Chop the bread into cubes toast them in the oven until crispy, then add them to a cup of hot chocolate or fondue. Even better brush the cubes with a little melted coconut oil and then dip in some coconut sugar and cinnamon, then toast…I swear they taste like churros.

 

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe with Variations

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Cook Time: 50min
|prep Time: 10min
| total Time: 60min
| servings: 8

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (120ml) oat milk (or any plant-based milk)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup (120g) whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup (40g) almond flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (or more cinnamon)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120ml) melted coconut oil
1/2 cup (95g) coconut sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 270g)


Instructions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F or 160C. Grease a 9 x 5inch loaf pan, and line with parchment paper. Place it on a baking sheet and set aside.
2. Measure the oat milk and add the lemon juice. Stir and set aside to curdle (it doesn’t have to).
3. In a large bowl, Stir together the flours, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium bowl add the coconut oil with the sugar and honey and whisk to combine. Then add in the eggs one at a time whisking just until incorporated and finally add the vanilla and stir to combine.
5. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold in until almost no flour is visible, then add in the mashed banana and milk, folding until incorporated but don’t overtax. overmix?
6. If you would like to add in any chopped nuts or chocolate chips add them in the last few strokes.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 60 minutes until the crust has browned and toothpick served into the center comes out clean.
8. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on the rack.
9. The banana bread will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 1 week, and in the freezer for months. If you would like to freeze, slice before.


Notes:

If you plan to make the variations, I recommend you make the banana bread without any additions.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. بشاير الرشيدي | 6th Jun 20

    واااو اروى واااو سويت الف كيك بالموز ولا شي ضبط ولااااشي ، كنت اتحسف على المكونات اللي عندي تنتهي ولا استخدمها خصوصا انه الاغراض عندنا غااالية بالكويت وكل ماسويت كيكة فيها طحين القمح تطلع ريحته او تطلع جنها توست، صراحة تكون الوصفه مبدعه لما تاخذج لعالم ثاني الريحة چني آكل فرش انقلش كيك نفس الشعور، شكرا اروى خصوصا ان انا عندي حساسيه الاكتوز وعسر هضم ، ياربي حتى اسلوبج حلوه وتدرين في كل الفيديوات فيها شي مشترك نيتج البيضه اللي تبين على وجهج، صج سماهم في وجوههم

    • Arwa | 6th Jun 20

      فرحتيني بشاير الحمدلله!!! مشكورة على التعليق وكلامك الجميل … إن شاء الله دايماً اكون عند حسن ضنكم فيني

      ❤️

  2. وفاء | 7th Nov 20

    اهلًا أروى، جربت هذي الوصفة مع بعض التعديلات وتكللت الوصفة بنجاح ولله الحمد، اولًا بدل حليب جوز الهند استخدمت حليب الأرز*هذا المتوفر، وبدل البيضتين، استخدمت تقريبًا مقدار ملعقة كبيرة بذور شياء مع موية حارة، وما اضفت دقيق اللوز*ماكان متوفر، وبدل العسل استخدمت دبس تمر*المتوفر، واستخدمت موزتين فقط بدل ٣، وكانت حدها لذيذة.?

    • Arwa | 7th Nov 20

      شكرآ وفاء على مشاركتنا تجربتك وعليك بالعافية ??

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