HEALTHIER WHOLE WHEAT BANANA NUT BREAD



This whole wheat banana nut bread is lightened up by swapping half of the oil for unsweetened applesauce, reducing the amount of sugar, and subbing in whole wheat flour– just enough changes to help you feel good about eating it for breakfast without sacrificing the flavor.

The result is a perfectly moist, healthier whole wheat banana nut bread with a great texture and just the right amount of sweetness. If you have leftover bread after the first day or two, you can wrap it in aluminum foil, freeze it, and defrost it in the fridge overnight for breakfast the next morning. It freezes perfectly!

Somehow, it didn’t cross my mind to blog about the recipe until the banana bread was already out of the oven, and at that point, I had my priorities in order: eat banana bread first, blog second. I actually almost didn’t post the recipe since I just ended up with just a couple measly, unfocused shots of banana bread, but it’s still delicious. And that’s what we care about most…right?

Healthier Banana Walnut Bread


Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil, measured in liquid state or grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened is best)
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 6 over-ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350. Optional: toast walnuts in the preheated oven for 6-7 minutes on a small baking sheet, or until slightly darkened and fragrant.
  • While the walnuts are toasting, mix flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla and stir until flour is just barely incorporated into the wet ingredients, being careful not to over mix. Add mashed bananas and nuts and stir until incorporated.
  • Grease 2 9x5 loaf pans and fill, making sure they are filled with the same amount of batter for even cooking. Bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out mostly clean. Tent tops of the loaves with aluminum foil during the last 15-20 of baking if necessary to prevent them from becoming overly browned.
  • Wrap loves in foil and keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days. To freeze, wrap loaves or individual slices of banana bread in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or unwrap foil, wrap in a paper towel, and defrost in microwave.

Notes

*Regular storebought whole-wheat flour may make the loaves a bit denser than you're expecting. I used a mixture of half spelt and half kamut flour, but storebought whole wheat pastry flour is another good option for maintaining a good texture. Alternatively, you can use half unbleached white flour and half 100% whole-wheat flour.

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