healthy, tasty banana bread

When I was a girl scout, my mom and I made banana bread for a baking contest. The recipe won the blue recipe for taste, but not necessarily for health. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, and is still a family favorite, but the loads of butter, sugar and white flour made it more of a dessert than a healthy bread loaf.

Since graduating college, I've been on the hunt for a better-for-you, yet still tasty, banana bread. Almost six years later, and somewhere between five to ten recipes discarded, I have found it. It goes easy on the butter and sugars, heavy on the whole wheat and spices, uses yogurt instead of oils and packs a health punch with the addition of flax.

Give it a try; you won't be disappointed. And your waistline will thank you, too.

Healthy, Tasty Banana Bread (very modified from Cooking Light)
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (~2 large ripe bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain fat-free vanilla or plain yogurt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted, or canola oil 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar or honey (decrease the cooking time slightly if using honey)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars and vanilla; beat until combined.
  3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through ground allspice). Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool completely.

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