Generally I roll my eyes at the phrase “healthy baking”. If I want to be healthy, I’ll eat grilled fish or a salad. When I make dessert, I want sugary, buttery goodness and I don’t care who knows it.
That all changed when I discovered a Greek-yogurt based banana bread on Pinterest. Greek yogurt is a great alternative to butter, as it’s high in protein and packed with probiotics. Plus the tangy flavor perfectly balances the sweet bananas, and the creaminess provides an unbeatable texture.
I made this on a whim because I was bored and happened to have all the ingredients, but it’s officially become a staple in my kitchen. It’s easy to make, but feels like such a special treat. It’s been my go-to breakfast, and favorite late night accompaniment to my tea and book.
2 large, ripe bananas
1 cup white-whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
5 tablespoons melted coconut oil (don’t base this off solid coconut oil, measure AFTER you melt it)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 oat flour (save yourself a ton of money, and make by tossing some old fashioned oats in your blender!)
Start by removing 1 tablespoon from your flour, and replacing it with your 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. This helps create a cake-like batter. Then mash up your bananas.
The rest is pretty straightforward.
Mix all the wet ingredients (plus the brown sugar) in 1 bowl, stir the remaining dry ingredients in another bowl, and combine! Over-mixing at this stage will result in a dense, dry bread. Mix until everything is just combined, pour your batter into a lightly greased loaf tin, and bake!
After multiple tests with different time and temperature, I’ve learned a bake of exactly 55 minutes at 350 F always yields a crispy, golden crust and soft center. Be sure to do the toothpick test and allow to cool for 10 minutes before digging in.
For dainty, socially acceptable-sized pieces, cut this loaf into 12 servings. But if you really want to live it up, slice it into 6 – 7 King Sized pieces of banana goodness and go to town.
This bread has lasted me up to 5 days, stored in an airtight container at room temperature. 15 seconds in the microwave always bring it back to life. You can also double the recipe to make 2 loaves, freeze one, and defrost it overnight at your convenience.
Tips & Tricks
Banana ripeness matters, people! We’re only using 1/2 cup brown sugar, so much of the sweetness of the bread will come from the bananas. That means the ones you just bought this morning won’t get the job done. The blacker and mushier – the better!
This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of honey, and I’ve made it with those measurements plenty of times. But when baking this today, as soon as I closed the oven door I realized that I forgot the honey! I spent the next 55 minutes in agony, prepared for disaster.
Believe it or not, it actually tasted better. Sweeter. I have absolutely no explanation. Next time I may only use 1 tablespoon of honey to see how it comes out.
To make this already sweet treat just smidge more indulgent, throw in some dark chocolate chips. And don’t feel too bad about it. Dark chocolate is actually heart-healthy and a source of antioxidants.
Add 3/4 cup to your dry ingredients before mixing with the wet. Getting your chocolate chips coated in flour will prevent them from sinking to the bottom, and help them disperse evenly throughout the bread. And when you reheat it, get ready for a gooey chocolate surprise.
Bake the world a better place with banana bread!