Banana bread is one of my all-time favorite dessert breads. The smell that fills up the kitchen reminds me of baking it during my childhood. So when I forgot to eat my bananas purchased for the week, it was a no-brainer of what I should do with them.
I’ve been trying to nail this recipe for a few weeks now, and I think it’s finally just right. It’s light, yet filling, nutrient dense, and delicious. This recipe uses whole wheat flour, olive oil, and lower amounts of added sugar from maple syrup. A true keeper, this is not your average banana bread in the best way.
When ‘healthifying’ a recipe, I suggest taking it slow and tweaking the ingredients a little bit each time. The easiest ingredients to change up are flour, sugar amounts (and type), and oil of choice. For instance, with this banana bread, I started with half white flour/ half whole wheat and eventually moved to wheat. Then I played around with decreasing the sugar content and oil (little by little) until I was happy with the nutritional content and taste. Having honest taste testers is also helpful when swapping ingredients! This is a great example of introducing healthy ingredient swaps and how small changes can add up.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup of maple syrup (can use honey, if preferred)
- 2 eggs
- 2 mashed brown spotted bananas (1 additional banana for topping)
- ¼ cup milk of choice unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or line pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all wet ingredients (olive oil, eggs, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla). Whisk ingredients by hand or with a mixer and add mashed banana. Mix until smooth—can keep a few banana lumps if desired.
- In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients (baking soda, flour, cinnamon, salt, and flour). Next, add the dry mixture to the wet one and mix. Once batter is fully mixed, add additional mix-ins (examples: nuts, dried fruit, cacao powder, chocolate chips, and so on) and fold in by hand.
- Pour the batter into your greased or lined loaf pan and add optional banana on top (in slices or halved).
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the loaf's center comes out clean. Let banana bread cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the loaf pan.
- Recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate
- If adding banana topping: I like to spray the top of the bread with a mist of olive oil (using a Misto spray bottle) for optimal caramelizing of the bananas. The topping may add an extra 5 minutes or so onto cooking time.
Serving tip, as seen on my Instagram account (@eats2know): Toast a slice of warm banana bread and top with plain Greek or Icelandic yogurt (ex: Siggis) + nut butter of choice.
The next time you have brown spotty bananas go ahead and give this recipe a try. If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out by commenting below or tagging me on Instagram!