Sunday, September 22, 2013

{Recipe} hearty banana bread

Yeah, yeah, I know everybody has a banana bread recipe. But not everybody can say their banana bread is both delicious AND boasts several healthy perks. Just don't try to count this towards your daily fruit servings--it IS still a treat, so enjoy as such.  ;)


Yield: 1 loaf; 12 slices

1 cup 100% whole-wheat flour
1 cup white bread flour
1 1/2 cups unprocessed wheat bran, divided
2 T ground flaxseeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup organic nonfat plain Greek yogurt
4 T organic butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 large organic eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. 

Mix 1 cup of wheat bran into the yogurt and let sit at least 15 minutes.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Combine the flours, remaining 1/2 cup wheat bran, flaxseed, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; stir well. 

Mix together butter, sugar, mashed bananas, and eggs in a separate bowl. Stir in yogurt and wheat bran mixture.   

Add banana mixture to flour mixture, mixing until completely blended.

Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 65 minutes. Cover top of bread with aluminum foil and bake for additional 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of bread comes out clean. 

Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove from pan and let cool completely. 

This banana bread is nutritionally superior to standard recipes because it contains a blend of 100% whole wheat and white flours (versus all white flour), and it has added wheat bran which provides a ton of insoluble fiber and "bulks up" the bread (helping to make it much more filling/satisfying than standard slices--a must-have feature as I was developing this recipe!). 

Additionally, the Greek yogurt, which I added for extra moisture, provides a nice boost of protein to the bread, which is definitely missing in standard loaves. The ground flaxseeds provide some nice plant omega-3s, lignans, and both soluble and insoluble fiber, along with a little more texture.    

Each slice contains ~245 calories.

Pro Tips
You can easily freeze the loaf or partial loaf (after you've enjoyed a couple slices) to bring out again in a week or so if you wish. Just wrap the remaining loaf tightly with aluminum foil, place in a large sealable plastic bag, and pop in the freezer. 

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