Whole Wheat Banana Flax Bread

I’ve re-discovered that running errands on Saturday morning is infinitely more enjoyable in warm weather. We are back to our usual routine of visiting the Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning…although I am noticing that we have to wake up earlier and earlier to nab that prime parking spot so others must be catching on too! Each year I forget the natural harvest times for produce and find myself let down when the market is sparse; tons of seedlings ready for planting but no rhubarb, asparagus, or peas yet. My stomach is obviously a few weeks ahead of Mother Nature.

To help pass the time I’m brainstorming recipe testing ideas and jotting down notes often. Spring has renewed my sense of inspiration and motivation. I find myself gravitating toward the kitchen to lighten up existing recipes and finding ideas hidden around every corner of my pantry. Its wonderful!

DSC_0583

Today’s conquest targeted the extremely ripe bananas that were originally destined for a smoothie, but instead became abandoned in the fruit bowl. I imagine I’m not the only one in this predicament. Its no secret that overly ripe bananas are my version of recycling in the kitchen; I simply cannot endorse throwing something so delicious and useful away. In an effort to freshen up my banana bread recipe I decided to focus on healthy ingredients: white whole wheat flour, walnuts, and flaxseeds.

I have been cooking a bit more with flax lately; it provides coveted omega-3s to your diet and has a nutty flavor and texture. Flaxseeds can be purchased whole or ground; whole is great for adding texture and fiber, but the nutrients in ground flaxseeds are more bioavailable (which is kind of the whole point, right?). I purchased Bob’s Red Mill ground flaxseeds and keep a small container in the refrigerator; the rest are packaged and stashed in the freezer for a later date. Its recommended to store flax in a cold environment because they are prone to spoiling if left at room temperature (just like nuts). This healthy bread is perfect for breakfast, a quick snack, or even dessert!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1/4 c. canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips (optional)
  • nonstick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

DSC_0580

In a medium mixing bowl use a whisk (no stand mixer or electric mixer required) to beat sugar and eggs very well.

DSC_0584

Mash bananas with the back of a fork until mostly broken down but still lumpy; I like finding a few pieces of banana in the final product.

DSC_0586

Add mashed bananas, canola oil, cinnamon, and vanilla extract to the mixing bowl; stir well.

ground flaxseeds

ground flaxseeds

Combine the white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and flaxseeds and then add to the wet ingredients.

DSC_0591

Use a spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until JUST combined.

DSC_0592

Add walnuts to the batter and stir to combine. If you are going for a healthy banana bread stop here and pour the batter into a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.

DSC_0593

If you like healthy banana bread, but at the end of the day believe in everything in moderation, add in 1/2 c. chocolate chips and then pour into the loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.

DSC_0595

Wonder which one I picked…ha, just kidding we all know I picked the chocolate version.

DSC_0596

Smooth the top of the batter in the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the center of the bread.

DSC_0606

Cool for 5 minutes then turn out the bread on a serving dish. Banana bread makes the house smell wonderful and reminds me that healthy and indulgent can really be one in the same. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *