Growing up, my mom made the best banana bread.
It was this ooey-gooey dish, packed with bananas and covered in a sugary glaze. Sometimes she would toss in chocolate chips to make it extra special. It wasn’t exactly healthy, but it was delicious and sweet.
While this banana bread will always have a special place in my heart—and my tummy—I’m on a kick to consume fewer processed sugars and more whole wheats. This is largely the result of watching Cooked on Netflix. The show looks at the ways we eat “through the lenses of the four natural elements—fire, water, air, and earth.” Using a somewhat anthropological analysis, the show suggests returning to when food was simpler. Less processed. Healthier.
Before I work my way up to making big, crusty loaves myself, I’m baking some healthy whole wheat banana bread. This recipe, adapted slightly from Cookie and Kate, has no sugar or butter (minus butter for the bread pan). The coconut oil, honey/maple syrup, and bananas keep the bread moist and sweet enough. Easy adaptations—like adding walnuts or other nuts, shavings of coconut, dried fruit, or even some dark chocolate chips—add variety to the bread. Follow my slightly adapted whole wheat banana bread recipe below.
- 1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 c. honey
- 1/4 c. maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. mashed bananas (I used three bananas)
- 1/4 c. almond milk
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
- Butter, just to grease the baking pan
Preheat your oven to 325 F.
In a big bowl, mix together your melted coconut oil, honey, and maple syrup. Next, mix in your eggs, bananas, and milk. Toss in your baking soda, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg, mixing it all together. Gradually add in your flour, stirring in between additions. Add a few handfuls of walnuts, and stir throughout.
Grease your 9″x5″ loaf pan with some unsalted butter, and pour in your batter. I sliced some banana length-wise to put on top; in addition to being a decoration, I think it helped keep the top of the loaf soft and moist.
Pop your pan in the oven and bake for 55–65 minutes, or until you can pierce the bread with a toothpick and it comes out clean.