Sometimes I just can’t get it right. One week we’ll run out of bananas and the next, we’ll end up throwing out an entire bunch that has ripened to the point of no return. I sure don’t like the guilt of pitching them in the garbage!
With a bunch of barely yellow and mostly brown bananas on my hands this week, I set out to find a descent healthy recipe for banana bread. Flipping through a few of my cookbooks, I found a lot of different options but one really stuck out in The America’s Test Kitchen HEALTHY Family Cookbook, featured on page 427. It called for very little sugar and oil and included plain yogurt. Since I had a tub of yogurt that was nearing its best before date, that recipe was definitely the one. And, with an name like ‘Better-For-You Banana Bread,’ how could I go wrong?
Better-For-You Banana Bread
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
3 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed well (1 ½ cups)
4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
¼ cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cut walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat and 8 ½ by 4 ½-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil
- Whisk the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla together.
- Gently fold the banana mixture and walnuts (if using) into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined (do not overmix). Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 55 to 65 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
- Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool for one hour before serving.
The banana bread was delicious! It was definitely sweet enough despite having very little sugar added. And, it was really moist, which I attribute in part to the yogurt. I anticipated it might be dry or course because of the whole-wheat flour but that wasn’t the case at all. It was smooth and really good and the top had a nice crunch to it. I didn’t add walnuts simply because I didn’t have any on hand. I also didn’t read the instructions close enough to know I should have rotated the pan during baking but it still turned out really well. For a fresher taste, freshly grated cinnamon sticks and nutmeg.
On the “Sugar Scale” [my unofficial recipe rating system], this recipe scored an 8 out of 10. It was a bit fussy with three bowls on the go at once but the finished product was worth the effort. Everyone in my family liked it and nobody knew it contained yogurt and whole-wheat flour If they read this blog post they’ll know but I’m sure my secret is safe!
The views expressed in this post are purely my own. See my disclosure policy for more information.