100% Whole Wheat Banana Nut Bread

IMPORTANT: I had originally calculated the nutritional data incorrectly. It’s been updated!

I had three over-ripe bananas, and of course I thought of baking some delicious banana bread! I wanted to utilize a lower sugar (or at least lower processed sugar) recipe that uses whole wheat flour, and I think I have it!

delicious healthy moist banana bread

At 211 274 calories, it’s a good afternoon snack. Add a scoop of peanut butter (+100 calories) and it’s a nutritious healthy breakfast!

I originally found the Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread recipe on the web site Breadtopia.com. It’s a great recipe (originally from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book), and there are lots of helpful comments and even an instructional video!

I modified some of the ingredients from the original recipe, using coconut butter/oil in place of butter, adding more nuts, and lowering the sugar content slightly.

I figured more good fats and less sugar would make the banana bread a bit healthier.

Yes, coconut oil is high in saturated fat, but it’s a different kind of saturated fat vs animal sat fat. Just make sure you are using virgin coconut oil. Back in the day, coconut oil got a bad rap because tests were originally done on hydrogenated coconut oil, which is highly processed and very unhealthy.

Ingredients

  • slightly under 1/2 cup (3.25 oz by weight) virgin coconut butter/oil
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 3-4 very ripe medium sized bananas – about 1.5 cups
  • 1/4 cup honey (I used raw honey)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (10 oz) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup or more (2 oz) of chopped nuts

Mixing and Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease a loaf pan – I used a Pyrex glass loaf pan and greased with a little virgin coconut butter.
  2. Mix/beat together the coconut oil, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
  3. Mix in the banana, honey and eggs – I beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then mushed in the bananas.
    mush overly ripe bananas into beaten egg
  4. Mix in the chopped nuts and whole wheat flour, stir until smooth.
  5. Spoon the batter into your loaf pan and let it “rest” on the counter for 10 minutes. I took this time to preheat my oven. I know you’re supposed to preheat before you start mixing, but I am not much of a preheater! ;)
    let the banana bread batter rest for 10 minutes on the counter
  6. Bake at 350° for 40 to 60 minutes, when you see the bread getting browned, place an aluminum foil tent over the top of the loaf.
  7. To test doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the banana bread – it’s done when it comes out “clean”
  8. Remove loaf from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
    allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from baking pan
  9. Then, turn the pan upside down to transfer to cooling rack. Allow to cool completely, or if you can’t wait, have a slice! YUM, I couldn’t wait! It was so moist and delicious. I was in heaven! And the bread made the whole house smell like yummy bananas!
    moist and delicious and healthy banana bread

Extra Notes

Make sure your bananas are very very overly ripe. See photo. (I don’t normally purchase organic bananas, but that day they looked better than conventional.)
use overly ripe bananas for sweet banana bread

Make sure you are using organic virgin coconut oil/butter. You can use 1/2 cup of butter (4 oz) or any other healthy oil, like almond or walnut oil.

There was no additional coconut flavor from the coconut oil, and the bread turned out very moist and delicious. It was not very sweet, and in fact, next time, I might lower the processed sugar content even more and add more bananas.

You can also substitute applesauce in place of the butter/fat, but I would lower the granulated sugar, or even remove it completely, and just use the honey.

Chopped nuts – the recipe calls for 1/2 cup or more (2 oz) of chopped nuts, but I used more: 1.25 oz almonds, .85 oz pecans, and .50 oz walnuts = 2.6 oz total. Cashews would work really well too, as well as any nut butter.
chopped pecans, walnuts, & almonds in the food processor

I love to use King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour, and I sometimes mix in half traditional whole wheat flour. Truthfully, the bread is so tasty, you wouldn’t guess it was baked with whole wheat!

I used a food processor to mix the wet ingredients, but in hindsight, it probably caused more mess than it was worth, so next time I will just use a bowl and mix by hand or with my handheld mixer. I was afraid to add the nuts/flour to the wet ingredients in the processor, since it was already at the liquid limit for my 11 cup processor. I transferred the liquid ingredients into a large bowl then mixed in the nuts and whole wheat flour.

I baked in a smaller counter top convection oven. My bread browned quickly, after about 32 minutes of baking. At that time, I tented with the foil and baked for another 28 minutes, for a total baking time of 60 minutes. At the last 10 minute mark, I slightly offset the foil so the un-browned part was uncovered, but the deeper brown remained covered.

You can alternatively bake 12 muffins instead of the loaf. It will take about 30 minutes or so at 350° for muffins.

I froze portions of the bread so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat too much of it all at once. I used zip baggies and packaged two slices separated by a small piece of wax paper. The defrosted banana bread tasted just as good as fresh!

Nutritional Data

12 servings – 2.5 oz each. These are generous, large slices, to save more calories, you may want to slice thinner. (Note: total loaf is approx 31 ounces)

Calories 210.9 273.6
Total Fat 12.5 13.7g
Saturated Fat 7.3 7.8g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 3.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.7 1.4g
Cholesterol 35.4mg
Sodium 186.7mg
Potassium 166.1 158.3mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.5 33.4g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 3.5g
Sugars 15.2 g – approx 11.3 g from processed sugar (sugar & honey)
Protein 3.2 5.4g

(Edited June 21, 2010)

2 thoughts on “100% Whole Wheat Banana Nut Bread”

  1. Hey Deb! I didn’t realize you had a blog…duh! Sorry. This is really really nice! I love the step by step along with the photos. Great job! I’m on my way to go investigate further….hugs <3……Susie

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