The other day, Ryan (hubby) brought home two huge bunches of way-overly-ripe bananas. I just looked at him and knew. “You want me to make banana bread, don’t you?”
Banana bread is his weakness. All things banana, really. My best friend dubbed the nickname “Banana Bear” for him long before I even met him. His birthday cake is almost always some form of banana-something. Sometimes it’s brown butter banana cake with rich chocolate ganache, sometimes it’s mini banana cream pies, sometimes it’s banana and peanut butter something-or-other.
So, yes, banana bread was destined to be my fate tonight and I knew it. It’s his birthday month so I can’t really say no to him.
I mean, I could…
But I won’t.
Okay, so here’s the thing about banana bread. People think it’s pretty healthy, cause, hello, it has fruit. But it also has a ton of sugar. A ton of butter. Probably oil. Lots of white flour.
So I wanted to make my banana bread healthier. But I also didn’t want Ryan to know that I did that. I wanted to make a healthier banana bread that tasted as similar to his sacred, holy, don’t-mess-with-the-recipe ‘nana bread.
Soooo, how was I going to do this? I poured myself a glass of an amazing Syrah Rosé and got the wheels turning. I knew I wanted to nix butter and sub in coconut oil. I knew I was going to put a little bit of brown sugar in the batter for texture, but the rest would be honey. And I knew that nutty whole wheat flour was going to get cozy in there, and maybe some flax seed for a fiber-packed punch.
Okay. Sounds pretty good.
Oh, and walnuts, too. Cause I like my ‘nana bread with nuts. But if you don’t, fine. I won’t hold it against you. Just omit them.
So this recipe is what I came up with and I must say… it’s pretty darn good. Drizzled with some honey and warm from the oven, it’s even better than regular banana bread. Even Ryan loved it. A lot. Like, 3 slices a lot.
It’s also dairy-free. And please… don’t be afraid of the flax. The flax is your friend.
But do enjoy this bread.
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup white flour
- ½ cup ground flaxseed meal
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
- 3 overly ripe bananas
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped (plus more for top)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a standard loaf pan. (I line mine with parchment and grease it well with coconut oil)
- Chop lightly toasted walnuts and set aside.
- Combine flours, flaxseed meal, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
- Mash bananas. Set aside.
- Combine melted coconut oil, brown sugar, and honey in a large bowl or stand mixer. Whisk or beat to combine.
- Add in eggs and vanilla.
- Add in mashed bananas and combine well, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure that the honey is mixed well and not sticking.
- Add the dry mixture, alternating with the almond milk, in 3 additions. Mix until just combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl.
- Fold in chopped walnuts.
- Pour your batter into your prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top with additional chopped walnuts.
- Bake until the top is brown, firm, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes.