Banana loaf photoI love banana bread and zucchini bread, and I’ve been on the hunt for a healthier version. But I couldn’t quite find what I wanted, so I did what I normally do and made my own recipe!

This one is based on traditional banana bread, using whole wheat flour and some healthy add-ons like carrot, zucchini, ground flax seed and protein powder to give it a little more staying power.

If you don’t want to use wheat flour, you can use an alternative like quinoa flour. Be careful about flour choice… some alternatives aren’t ideal for baking.

Note that swapping the flour may require a small change in the moisture of the recipe (i.e., you may need a little more water) or the cooking time, and may result in a slightly dryer, more dense bread.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com and tested in my kitchen (yum)

Makes 12 muffins or 5 small loaves (recommend small loaves versus a single large one for this recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey (substitute coconut palm sugar if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 medium bananas, gently mashed
  • 2 cups cups whole wheat flour (substitute quinoa flour if you wish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup hot water (you may need slightly more water)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ADD ONS:
    • 1 medium zucchini (skin on), finely grated
    • 1 medium to large carrot (peeled), finely grated
    • 1/4 cup golden flax meal
    • 4 scoops Arbonne vanilla protein powder OR 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt)
    • Juice of 1/2 orange
    • 1/2 cup applesauce (for moisture since there is no butter in this recipe; if you use Greek yogurt, you won’t need this)

Make it even easier: Instead of starting from scratch, use Cherryvale Farms “Everything But the Bananas” bread mix and just incorporate the add-ons. I like their products because they are made with real vanilla, flavorful spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, organic unbleached flour, and without any refined sugars.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat oil and honey together.
  3. Add eggs, and mix well. Stir in bananas, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt.
  4. Add baking soda to hot water, stir to mix, and then add to batter. Blend in flax meal, zucchini and carrot. Don’t over mix the batter.
  5. Spread batter into five greased small loaf pans or spoon into 12-muffin tin (2 large spoonfuls of batter should just about do it).
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes (muffins) or 55 to 60 minutes (loaves). When your toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done!
  7. Cool on wire rack for at least 20 minutes.

Note that with the add-ons to this recipe, the bread is pretty dense and may sink a little in the pan when you pull out of the oven to cool. Don’t worry about that affecting the taste, though. It’s delish!

Banana veggie muffins coolingKeep a few muffins out for immediate consumption.

Freeze the rest in a Tupperware container so they don’t go bad before you are ready to eat them.

They defrost beautifully! Same goes for the loaf.

Nutrition Facts

Note, this reflects the original recipe. Additions add a few more calories, plus grams of fiber, carbs and protein, but it’s worth it for the added veggies and protein.

Per serving (1” thick slice or 1 muffin): 218 calories, 29.4g carbs, 10.5g fat, 3g fiber, 4.4g protein

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