Healthier Banana Bread : Made with Bran, Almonds and Olive Oil


As Nick and I were tidying the kitchen after dinner last night, I told him I would bake something for dessert on the weekend. He replied, “You know what I’d really like you to make? Banana Bread. Or give me your recipe and I’ll make it.”

That surprised me because Banana Bread is more of a snack or breakfast food than a dessert. Also, it’s the thing that I’ve baked most often in recent years and he’s never really seemed to be all that into it.

Since it has always been more my thing than his, I’ve felt free to tweak the recipe every time I’ve made it, in an attempt to make a healthier version that still tasted really good. Since he wasn’t asking to sample it, any fails could be kept to myself.

Now, based on his choice for what he really wanted me to bake when he could have picked anything, I think I hit on a winner the last time I made it!  So, it’s finally time to stop experimenting and get this “Healthier Banana Bread” recipe down.

While most Banana Bread recipes contain melted butter, white flour, and up to a cup of sugar to make a single loaf, my recipe calls for heart-healthy Olive Oil (you can’t taste any olive flavour), bran, whole-wheat flour, and the minimal amount of sugar required to make it taste good, but not overly sweet. Also included are nutritious and protein-filled raw almonds, which are apparently the best nut to eat for disease prevention. Their fibre, along with that in the whole-wheat flour and bran, will fill you up, making this an excellent thing to have when you need a snack.

Oh, and a word about baking with bananas — You know when you have that one on the counter that just didn’t get eaten in time? Well, just put it in a bag or container (still in its peel) and stick it in the freezer. It will be a soggy looking mess when you thaw it out later to use in your baking, but don’t be turned off because it will be perfect for the purpose. You can use frozen bananas to make this bread, or a combo of very ripe fresh ones and frozen ones. Or just fresh ripe ones, if you always manage to eat all your bananas before they get too brown. [Aside: when I was a little kid I absolutely loved bananas that were past their prime, to the point that it amazed my parents that I would eat them like that. My tastes have changed now though and the brown bananas get put into the freezer.]


So here’s the magic recipe. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do.


Healthier Banana Bread, with Bran and Almonds

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup unbleached (regular) flour
  • 1/3 cup wheat bran (not cereal but the kind you would use to make bran muffins)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw (unsalted) almonds
  • 1 1/4 cup or so of mashed ripe banana (= 1 large banana or two medium ones)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl mix first 7 ingredients (the two kinds of flour, bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt and almonds) together with a fork to blend well.

In another bowl mix remaining ingredients (banana, egg, sugar, milk and oil) together with an electric hand-mixer or a whisk.

Blend dry ingredients into wet ones until well mixed (but don’t over-blend).

Pour into buttered loaf pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until done. (To check if it’s done, insert a tooth pick into the centre, if it comes out clean, your bread is baked.)

If you’d like to freeze some, you can slice it up and freeze the slices on a cookie sheet and then transfer into a bag, so you can have one slice at a time. Or not, either way, it freezes well.


Banana Almond Bread

Ingredients part 2
    Instructions part 2

    Ingredients part 3
      Instructions part 3

      Ingredients part 4
        Instructions part 4
        Banana Bread, Healthy Banana Bread

        Thanks for checking out my post. I hope you have a great weekend!
        xo loulou