Easy Whole Wheat Banana Bread

healthy-banana-bread32-1I love making banana bread. Not only is it quick and easy, it’s a great way to use up any overripe bananas you have sitting around. I enjoy eating a slice with fruit for breakfast or as a fuss-free snack in the morning or afternoon.

I learned how to make quick breads at a young age, but even after all these years, I never grow tired of trying new recipes.  The quick breads I grew up with were made with white all-purpose flour so I’ve been on a quest to make healthier versions of my favorite breads.

Over the years, I’ve tried different whole wheat banana bread recipes; some I liked, some I didn’t, and some just didn’t turn out at all. I gave up on it for a while, but I had some overripe bananas that needed to be used so I decided it was time to try a different recipe.

The inspiration for this bread came from King Arthur Flour’s Whole Wheat Banana Bread.

My version of this healthy banana bread is made with fresh whole wheat flour milled fromwondermill-grain-mill_07 hard red winter wheat berries in an electric WonderMill Grain Mill. To make the loaf a little bit lighter, and still retain most of the nutrients, I sifted out some of the bran and germ from one cup of the whole wheat flour. I also substituted olive oil for the vegetable oil and reduced the amount of sugar.

The result is a delicious banana bread that’s not too sweet, and has a lighter, moister, whole-grain texture. It’s very flavorful.  Of course, if you prefer a sweeter loaf, you can always add more sugar. I used raw sugar, but you could also use granulated or brown sugar or honey if you prefer.

Like most quick breads, this loaf tastes better the day after you bake it. Letting it rest overnight gives the unique characteristics of the loaf time to develop and blend together.  The cinnamon-sugar topping is optional, but I recommend it because it enhances the flavor and adds a slightly crunchy texture to the crumb.

Easy Whole Wheat Banana Bread
 
Recipe type: Quick Bread
Serves: 1 loaf
 
Ingredients
Batter
  • 2 cups very ripe bananas, mashed (about 4 or 5 medium bananas)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup raw sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour, sifted once to remove part of bran and germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, optional (I omitted the walnuts)
Optional Topping
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
  2. Mash the bananas in a large bowl, then stir in the oil, sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Mix together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chopped walnuts, if using, and add to the liquid ingredients. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients.
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  5. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the batter.
  6. Bake the bread for about 60 to 75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, you might want to tent it with aluminum foil for the final 15 to 20 minutes of baking.
  7. Remove the loaf from the oven. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently remove it from the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Happy Baking!

Cathy

About BreadExperience

Hi! I’m Cathy from breadexperience.com. I’m a project manager by day and a bread baker by night.

I love to bake (and eat) bread! There’s just something about the smell of a freshly-baked loaf of bread and the taste that melts in your mouth as you bite into a warm, buttered roll or biscuit.

Through the Bread Experience site and bread baking blog, I share my passion for baking bread and provide recipes and techniques to assist you in making great bread.

I really enjoyed participating in the Grain Mill Wagon challenge. I like to experiment with different types of flour and WonderMill Grain Mills make it so easy! You just put in the grain and out comes the flour. Just like that!

Milling your own flour is such a rewarding experience. Not only is it fun to watch the mill do its thing, but the flour tastes so much better and you know exactly what you’re getting because you know what you put in. There are no additives or extra ingredients that you can’t pronounce. If you haven’t tried milling your own flour yet, I encourage you to jump on the grain mill wagon and give it a try.
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