whole wheat banana bread
While made without butter, oil, or white flour, this 100% whole wheat banana bread tastes just as flavorful and moist as my regular banana bread. In this healthier banana bread recipe, swap butter with unsweetened applesauce, all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, and replace some of the refined sugar with honey. With glowing reviews from taste-testers and readers around the world, this quick bread doesn’t even taste lightened-up!
I know I say I’m obsessed with a lot of different recipes, which might make convincing you to try something a little tough. If I love so many, which ones are actually the best?
My whole wheat banana bread completely blew my mind. To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations. This loaf was merely a way to get rid of 3 overly ripe bananas and a random jar of applesauce. I make my regular banana bread with butter and all-purpose flour because that’s where all the goodness hides. Well, after 1 bite of this “whatever, it won’t be good” banana bread, I was proven wrong.
Healthy ingredients CAN make incredible things.
This Whole Wheat Banana Bread Is:
- Wholesome, healthful, & hearty
- Extra moist and cinnamon-spiced
- Not overly sweet, so the banana flavor shines
- 100% whole wheat
- Prepared without butter, oil, or white flour
- Ready to bake in less than 10 minutes
Plus, this whole wheat banana bread slices and freezes like a dream. I love having a loaf on stand-by in the freezer for when I need homemade breakfast option or wholesome snack for al of us– adults and toddler alike. We all love it. (Especially with peanut butter spread on each slice!)
Let me quickly run through how you can make it.
Quick Tip: Mash Bananas with Your Mixer
Did you know you can use your electric mixer to mash bananas? Break or slice your peeled spotty bananas into large pieces and place in the bowl of your stand mixer– or use a regular mixing bowl and your hand mixer. Begin beating on low, then gradually increase to medium-high speed as the bananas break down into mashed banana. You can use this bowl for the rest of the banana bread ingredients. I do this for my banana cake, too!
You need 3 spotty medium size bananas for this recipe.
How to Make Whole Wheat Banana Bread
After you mash the bananas with your mixer, add the remaining wet ingredients. You need:
- Unsweetened Applesauce
- Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
Unsweetened applesauce takes the place of butter or oil. Additionally, I’m very light-handed with the added sugars– we really want the banana flavor to shine through here. If you don’t want any added refined sweeteners in this healthier banana bread recipe, swap the brown sugar with coconut sugar. To keep this banana bread dairy free, use dairy free milk.
After that, mix the dry ingredients together and add to wet ingredients. You need whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mostly the same dry ingredients I use in my Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins. Lastly, fold in chopped walnuts. The nuts are completely optional. Sometimes I add chocolate chips and/or raisins instead.
Delicious loaves of banana bread kissed with brown sugar and mixed with the nutty goodness of whole wheat flour. This combination could quickly become your new favorite!
It is the end of the Cake Slice Year. So this is the last bake from Maida Heatter’s Cakes. I say that with really mixed feelings. I have really enjoyed almost every single thing I’ve made from the book. I have really enjoyed seeing what everyone else made as well.
As much as I love a cookbook with pictures, I have enjoyed the creativity not having something to model you cake after has given us all. But I am REALLLLLLLLLLY looking forward to the new book.
I am actually baking my first cake from it as I am typing this. How’s that for multi-tasking?! I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but I am not allowed to reveal the book until next month. So hold on to your seats!
Anyway, the last month of every book is a pick whatever you want bake. Some people might enjoy that freedom, but I really do like having 4 cakes to choose from each month.
I am terrible at making a decision and everything always sounds so good. I was really hoping to go out on a big extravagant cake, but life has really been even more hectic than normal here.
So, I picked one that was super approachable and used up the ripe bananas I had on hand. Talk about convenience!
I love using whole wheat flour where I can, and the bit of nutty flavor it gives along with the brown sugar really made this loaf a delight. Instead of baking one 9″ loaf, I baked three minis.
Then I sliced them into nice thick slices and packed them up for a camping trip. They were a perfect snack after a long day hiking, canoeing and playing in the creek. A little something to tide everyone over while the fire was being lit and the steaks and potatoes were being cooked.
The one big benefit to bake whatever you want from the book month is there could be a lot of variety in what the other bakers make. I cannot wait to see what they all chose.
Seeing their cakes will almost certainly add to my list of things I would like to make in the future. I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the recipes from this book as much as I have. Now just wait until we start the next one!
Maida suggests that this loaf tastes even better if you wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. She also suggests toasting it under a broiler. I just sliced it up once it was cooled and brought it camping with us. Not a single person complained about it just the way it was!
TIPS ON INGREDIENTS FOR THIS WHOLE WHEAT BANANA BREAD
WHOLE WHEAT FOUR is processed and has more nutrient value when compared to white flour. However no compromise has been made to the taste of the banana bread. However if you do not have it on hand, any other flour would do great in this recipe.
JAGGERY POWDER gives the banana bread that rich, caramelized flavour. Jaggery or ‘shakkar’ is a healthier sweetener. I did not use any refined white sugar here. You can substitute this with brown sugar, coconut sugar or even white sugar if that is what is available to you.
EGGS add structure and texture to banana bread. However to make this eggless, you can skip the eggs and add in a cup of greek yoghurt/hung curd. This would yield similar results.
CINNAMON AND GINGER POWDER add that much depth in the banana bread. The warmth of spices feels like a nice cozy hug. But if this something you don’t have at home, you can omit this.
WALNUTS add a beautiful crunch and textural satisfaction to the banana bread, you can replace them with almonds, or any other nut of your choice.
This recipe is a very easy-peasy one with literally zero things to fret about. A delicious Whole wheat banana bread fills your home with the exact kind of warmth that one needs to forget the stresses around. Especially with this deadly virus, all we tend to do is talk about it and increase the stress. That is not how it should be. Baking as an activity is really meditative and it helps to ease not only the one baking but also the surroundings. Plus, this Whole wheat banana bread is easy and quick.
This Whole wheat banana bread is made completely of whole wheat flour or atta. Now, you can use any normal atta, just make sure you are sieving it as many of you might use pure mill flour.
I love using spices in my cakes. This whole wheat banana bread uses cinnamon and ginger powder. While these happen to be my favourite, you can surely go ahead and use some nutmeg or some cardamom. Whatever makes you feel at ease! You can also drizzle the baked bread with some honey!
THE LEAVENING AGENTS IN THIS WHOLE WHEAT BANANA BREAD
I have used both baking powder and baking soda in this whole wheat banana bread. I prefer the brand Weikfield because it is highly trusted and is also the bestseller! Always remember that baking soda should be lesser than your baking powder in all desserts!
The jaggery powder
Don’t worry if you don’t have jaggery powder. Just cut down your solid jaggery and throw it in a mixer. Blend to a fine powder like consistency and use it in your whole wheat banana bread batter!
WHICH BANANAS TO USE IN YOUR CAKES AND BREADS
To get the sweet sweet banana flavour in the whole wheat banana bread, please only use the ripest bananas only! When they have freckles, they are super spotty. This means the natural sugar in the bananas is high, this will benefit the taste of your banana bread. But what do you do if you don’t have ripe bananas at home? Just put them in the oven, bake them @ 200 for 15 minutes. Do this with their peels on please, when the peep turns black, that’s when you know the bananas are done.
Why black bananas are often preferred for breads and such is because when the peel has turned black, the banana has converted almost all the starch to sugar and thus has gotten as sweet as it can before it spoils. Un-ripe bananas hardly have any sugar juices flowing through them. It will take an un-ripe banana a lot of time to secrete the sugar juices once being baked. Often, it is hardly able to do so. Thus, if one uses un-ripe bananas in desserts like this whole wheat banana bread, they get a bad and undesirable flavor.
I made this using my stand mixer. Simply because I have it on hand and much easier to do so in one. But if you just have a bowl and a whisk in your hand, you will do just fine. This recipe is so forgiving that what kind of equipment you use has a very less say in how the product turns out to be.
TIPS FOR THE BEST EVER WHOLE WHEAT BANANA BREAD
- Use the yellow-est of bananas. Actually, the blacker the better. If you don’t have a too ripe banana, microwave it at 180 degrees for 15 minutes! Bake ‘em.
- Ensure your jaggery powder is really fine and smooth. Obviously smooth batters are more desirable. This whole wheat banana bread should also have a nice and flowy batter.
- Don’t go overboard with the spices. They are desirable but nothing tastes good when it goes overboard. This whole-wheat banana bread is a well balanced dessert anyway.
- Roast your walnuts or your almonds. They impart a nice and crunchy taste to this delicious whole wheat banana bread.
In this healthier banana bread recipe, swap butter with unsweetened applesauce, all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, and replace some of the refined sugar with honey. With glowing reviews from taste-testers and readers around the world, this quick bread doesn’t even taste lightened-up!
- 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about a heaping 1 and 1/4 cups)
- 6 Tablespoons (90g) unsweetened applesauce*
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (72g) honey*
- 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar*
- 1/3 cup (80ml) milk*
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (67g) chopped walnuts
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lowering the oven rack prevents the top of your bread from browning too much too soon. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- You can use an electric mixer or mix everything by hand. I like to use an electric mixer because I use it to mash the bananas. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment on medium-high speed, beat the mashed bananas, applesauce, and eggs together until combined. (Or whisk by hand.) Add the honey, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed (or whisk) until combined. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Pour into the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed (or by hand) until combined. Fold in the walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent the top from getting too brown. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs. This may be before or after 60-65 minutes depending on your oven, so begin checking every 5 minutes at the 55 minute mark or so.
- Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
- Cover and store banana bread at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Banana bread tastes best on day 2 after the flavors have settled together.
- Freezing Instructions: The best way to freeze quick bread is to tightly wrap the loaf or slices (individually or grouped) in 2-3 layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place wrapped banana bread in a large freezer-friendly storage bag or reusable container. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- Muffins: Use this banana bread recipe to make about 2 dozen muffins. Pour the batter into a lined or greased muffin pan and bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 16-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total bake time for the muffins is about 22-23 minutes. The initial burst of hot air helps those muffins rise nice and tall! Or try my whole wheat banana nut muffins.
- Applesauce: If needed, melted coconut oil (or canola or vegetable oils) can be used instead of applesauce.
- Sweetener: Pure maple syrup or agave can be used instead of honey and coconut sugar can be used instead of brown sugar.
- Milk: I use skim milk, but any milk fat is OK. Nondairy milks work too!