Look no further for the best banana bread! It’s flavorful and moist, but made with a little less sugar and more whole-grains, like whole wheat pastry flour.
Think of the best banana bread you ever tasted. How did it smell, taste, look, feel? Food often brings with it memories and emotions of a time gone past. The banana bread my mom made overflowed with banana flavor. You could see the signature brown specks in every slice, declaring that this was banana bread. I’ve never quite replicated my mom’s banana bread. I’m not even sure which recipe she used.
I do know, though, that she made it with lots of refined flour, sugar, and probably butter – like most quick breads. These breads often have a reputation of being quite high in fat, sugar, and refined flours, and low in fiber content. However, you can modify your favorite banana bread recipe to make it lower in fat, sugar, and refined flours while increasing the fiber content.
I took one of my favorite banana bread recipes and re-modified it. You see, years ago I changed it to make the fat content quite low (hello low-fat era) and increase the fiber content. While I liked that recipe, it still had more sugar than I wanted. And it was sometimes drier and too dense because of the very low-fat content.
This time, however, I hit the sweet spot with a banana bread that’s flavorful and moist, but made with a little less sugar and more nutritious whole-grains, like whole wheat pastry flour. I actually ended up increasing the fat content, which is okay too. Fat helps carry flavor, keeps the bread moist, and helps you stay full longer when you eat it. Also, the addition of ground flax seed provides a dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
While it’s not the banana bread of my mom’s era, the Best Banana Bread recipe I have for you today is just as good and memorable as hers. So, if you have a few overripe bananas sitting around, why not give it a try and let me know how you like it in the comments below. But first, here’s a few tips for this recipe:
Best Banana Bread prep tips:
- Use bananas that are overripe but not spoiled.
- If you want even more banana flavor, try adding an extra banana.
- To mash the bananas, put the peeled bananas on a large plate and mash by hand with a fork. It’s easy and quick.
- Let prepared batter rest in the pan while the oven is pre-heating. This gives the whole grains a little more time to absorb some of the liquid, making the bread more moist.
- Do not over bake. Start by baking to the minimum time suggested. Check the bread with a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. If it has batter clinging to it, increase the time by 1 or 2 minutes at a time and recheck each time until the bread is done. Over baking will cause it to dry out.
- For flax seed, look for ground flax seed and store in the freezer to keep it fresh.
Best Banana Bread
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 2/3 c. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 mashed bananas medium size
- 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- In a small bowl mix together the oil, sugar, maple syrup, egg, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas.
- In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, ground flax seed, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in all the wet ingredients from the first bowl. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened, but do not over stir.
- Spray a 9" x 5" loaf pan with non-stick pan spray and sprinkle with a little flour. Pour banana bread batter into pan and set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F. After oven is heated, place ban of banana bread batter into oven on the middle rack. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack before slicing into 1/2" slices.
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