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Oct 21, 2006 03:02 PM

Your best "healthy" banana bread recipe please

I have a great recipe, but it calls for Roman Meal Cereal which is no longer available in stores. Yes, you can mail order it, but I'm looking for an easier route. ;)

Does anyone have a healthier-than-most recipe? Less sugar, less egg, etc.

They're drawing fruit flies and it seems like a good cake day!

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  1. Try Cooking Light's website..they have numerous recipes on their site that I have tried w/great success.

    6 Replies
    1. re: rosielucchesini

      Cooking Light's banana bread recipe is my favorite - I make it at least once a month. It was voted one of their best recipes of all time.

      Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro

      Classic Banana Bread

      We love this bread's moist texture and simple flavor. Banana bread should form a crack down the center as it bakes--a sign the baking soda is doing its job.

      2 cups all-purpose flour
      3/4 teaspoon baking soda
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 cup sugar
      1/4 cup butter, softened
      2 large eggs
      1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
      1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      Cooking spray

      Preheat oven to 350°.
      Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

      Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

      Yield: 1 loaf, 14 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

      CALORIES 187 (21% from fat); FAT 4.3g (sat 2.4g,mono 1.2g,poly 0.3g); IRON 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 40mg; CALCIUM 20mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.4g; SODIUM 198mg; PROTEIN 3.3g; FIBER 1.1g

      Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2003

      1. re: jeanmarieok

        This is similar to mine, but instead of any butter or oil, I substitute sugar free apple sauce and divide the flour up with half whole wheat flour.

        1. re: jeanmarieok

          the cooking light Classic is my go-to as well -- I add a dash of cinnamon and a few choc chips and then cut back the sugar just a bit to keep from making it overly sweet. You would never guess it was a "healthy" version. I use white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. It's perfect for a pre-soccer snack or even breakfast on the run

          1. re: jeanmarieok

            This is my go to banana bread as well, it's fantastic. I actually use fat free Greek yogurt, Fage 0% is my fave. A little nutmeg is a great addition as well. Enjoy!!!

            1. re: jeanmarieok

              Odd. Except for a slightly higher amount of sugar, and a couple of T. less butter, this recipe is exactly the same as the first (of 2) America's Test Kitchen version. Can't imagine why a white flour version w/ butter & the standard # of egg yolks is considered particularly healthy. I make the ATK version healthier by using whole wheat pastry flour in mine (no white), Succanat instead of white sugar, discard one egg yolk, and use a no trans-fat margarine made from healthy oils to replace the butter & salt (unfortunately there is no salt-free version of the margarine so I don't really have control over how salty it is, but using plain oil gives quick breads an unpleasant, greasy texture so I don't do that). You need to use the regular rather than the "lite" version of the margarine for baking b/c the light kind is mostly water & doesn't work in baking.

              Personally I wouldn't use applesauce b/c the bananas & yogurt give this batter more than enough slow-releasing moisture already, and more risks it coming out more like pudding than bread. I'm also not a fan of lots of bitty hard seeds throughout breads, and fiber is not the only reason whole wheat is healthier than white flour. I get plenty of fiber from eating veggies and use whole wheat primarily for the vitamins & minerals it has that white flour doesn't. I don't believe I would have enjoyed a bread made from white flour & Roman meal.

              People seem to thoroughly enjoy the version I make. (Never any left over.)

              1. re: jeanmarieok

                I just put a loaf of this bread into the oven, and it looks very promising.
                I subbed half the all-purpose flour for whole wheat, cut the sugar in half and used lt. brown, and added some dried blueberries which I allowed to soften a bit in the banana puree. A scant 1/4 t. of cinnamon went in as well.

                Thanks for posting this. Hopefully my modifications will still yield tasty results!

                Thanks also for the nutritional info. I follow WW, so this is very helpful.

            2. this is my tried and true banana bread. I got it from a cooking light type of book and have add some additional spices to improve its now wonderful taste

              1 1/4 c flour
              1 1/4 t baking powder
              1/2 t baking soda
              2 1/2 t cinnamon
              1/8 t salt
              2 slightly beaten egg whites
              1 1/2 c mashed bananas
              3/4 c sugar
              1/4 c oil
              3 t vanilla
              heavy dash of nutmeg
              non stick spray

              in a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. in larger bowl mix together bananas, egg whites, sugar, oil and vanilla. stir in flour mixture until moistened. SPour into sprayed 8x4x2 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 mins until toothpick comes out clean. Cool bread in pan for 10 mins. Remove from pan and enjoy.

              for an extra treat, i also throw in 1/2 c or so of chocolate chips.


              2 Replies
              1. re: Mel

                Mel, just made your banana bread and it came out great! Thanks for the tip.

                1. re: maeisner

                  I am glad you like it... it has been a favorite of my hubby's. It also freezes great too.

              2. I use organic whole spelt flour, organic canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling), and erythritol (a polyol sugar substitute) instead of sugar (I'm diabetic). This is a recipe I developed. It's extremely easy, and healthy, to boot.

                * Exported from MasterCook *

                Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread

                Recipe By :Gail Gordon Oliver / Flavours of Home Inc.
                Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
                Categories :

                Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
                -------- ------------ --------------------------------
                2 ripe bananas -- mashed
                1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
                1/4 cup canola oil
                2 eggs
                1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
                2 cups whole spelt flour
                2/3 cup erythritol (or granulated sugar)
                1 teaspoon baking powder
                1/2 teaspoon baking soda
                1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
                1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
                1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

                Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a large loaf pan (approx. 8 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 2 1/2.

                In a large bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, pumpkin puree, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined well.

                In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, erythritol (or sugar), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt.

                Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in large bowl and stir until just combined.

                Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake until top is deeply browned and springs back when touched gently, about 70 to 85 minutes.

                - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 221 Calories; 9g Fat (34.3% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 32g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 53mg Cholesterol; 278mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

                Nutr. Assoc. : 84 4653 0 0 5403 26182 2130706543 0 0 0 0 0 0

                2 Replies
                1. re: olivergail

                  I can barely boil an egg and I just made this on a cold rainy day. It is incredibly delicious and moist! Had some friends over and they each had seconds. Ahhh success!! I added a generous amount of dried cranberries to mine and cardamon instead of ginger.

                  1. re: keralacutie

                    Cardamom w/ bananas is a favorite flavor combo of mine, too! I once tried nutmeg in banana bread (copying an online suggestion), and I didn't care for it at all.

                    Sidenote: Love allspice in blueberry quickbread, and ginger w/ a trace of clove in orangey quickbread. Some spices just seem to go w/ certain fruit flavors.

                    I apologize if I've gotten too far off-topic.

                2. We love Epi's low-fat banana bread, link below, but it does not use whole wheat flour...not sure if it would fit your definition of "healthy." It IS low-fat, using buttermilk and only 1 TBSP. of oil. By the way, I always use 3 very ripe bananas, seems to help for moistness.


                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Val

                    I always use at least 3 bananas, sometimes 4 even.

                    1. re: Val

                      You could probably sub whole wheat pastry flour for the white flour. I do it all the time in quick breads quite successfully.

                      1. re: Val

                        I make this using WW pastry flour - gives a slightly less cakey texture, but I like that in my banana bread. I agree an extra banana doesn't hurt, but I find this is moist enough that it keeps fairly well, and I find it's better the day after it's baked. I like to use brown sugar and add a little cinnamon, too.

                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                          I use King Arthur's white whole wheat flour instead of AP flour in ALL quick breads, muffins, bars, and single-layer/sheet cakes.

                          1. re: greygarious

                            I'm pretty much on the same page, except I use whole wheat pastry flour, which I prefer. I use it for cookies, pancakes, etc., too. Have done so for umpteen years, so things don't taste "lesser" to me with WW.

                            1. re: greygarious

                              but this is not a pastry flour, right? regular gluten content, not low gluten?

                              1. re: toodie jane

                                Correct, not pastry flour. I have never tried WWW for anything that requires a very fine crumb, because I actually prefer baked goods with a more homey, rustic texture like the coarser crumb of a muffin or quickbread.

                          2. re: Val

                            I made this last night with a few changes to the methodology and was happy with the result:

                            I started w/ just the yolks and sugar, blending the hell out of them like I was making sabayon. Then with my fingers, "mushed" the bananas and tossed in the little pieces while the mixed was running with the whisk. I only used 1/2 cup sugar to start. Finished the rest of the recipe as written with the exception of using walnut oil instead of vegetable oil. Then I whipped the whites separately, beat in the remaiining 1/4 cup sugar to make them more stable, and folded into the rest of the batter. Put about 90% of the batter into an 8 inch pan w/ tall sides.

                            The resulting "cake" had a nice dome and a dryer, lighter, less-gummy texture than you sometimes get w/ bananna bread. I melted a few dark choc chips w/ a little more buttermilk and glazed the top, sprinkled w/ pecans and maldon salt. Thus making an extremely low fat birthday cake for my husband who is "studying" for his lipids test next week ;-)

                          3. Thank you all--I'll make one or two and report back. I love banana bread!