Sometimes I’m in the mood for a warm slice of soft banana bread. And sometimes I have a bunch of near-black bananas in desperate need of someplace to be before they get tossed in the trash. This, my friends, is the perfect banana bread for those days when you’re craving the comfort of carbs, or when you just have too many freaking bananas. It’s tender, moist, and perfectly spiced. I collaborated with my husband, Nathan, to get this bread just right – he used to be famous amongst his friends for his delicious banana bread! I like to add walnuts to our classic banana bread, but, of course, you can leave them out or replace them with chocolate chips, dried fruit, or whatever!
I used a mix of coconut sugar (my fave, but brown sugar will also work) and honey to add a bit of moisture. You’ll need three whole bananas for this recipe and your favorite flour – I like to use whole wheat pasty flour because I find that it lends to a tender crumb in my quick breads. You can use all-purpose flour or even a mix of half all-purpose and half whole wheat. The applesauce in this recipe replaces oil, but if you have no applesauce on hand you can use any kind of vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil). We baked this loaf at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time to ensure maximum moistness (sorry not sorry if you hate that word)! As always, happy baking!
Healthier Banana Nut Bread
Makes one 9×5″ loaf (serves 8-9)
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 ripe bananas (~1 1/3 cup mashed banana)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temp
2 large eggs, room temp
3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1.) Preheat your oven to 300°F and spray a 9×5″ loaf pan with olive oil. Bring your eggs to room temperature by placing them in a glass of warm water for 10 minutes.
2.) Meanwhile, mix the coconut sugar and honey in a medium bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
3.) Mash your bananas with a fork and add to the sugar honey mixture. Whisk in the almond milk, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla extract until well combined, making sure to scrape the bottom of your bowl.
4.) Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently mix until nearly combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts or other add-ins (chocolate chips, raisins, etc) until no flour pockets remain.
5.) Pour batter into your prepared loaf pan and top with any desired toppings (extra nuts, banana slices, chocolate chips, etc). Bake at 300°F for 65-75 min or until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
6.) Allow your baked loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before gently removing it with a butter knife and transferring it to a cooling rack. I like to turn my loaf pan on its side to shimmy the loaf out with a butter knife, so I don’t ruin any toppings. Enjoy warm and store leftovers in an airtight container.