I’m on my Spring Break and home (Sacramento, CA) and the weather has been so lovely. Compared to Buffalo, NY it’s been literal heaven. Highs have been in the high 60’s low 70s and the sun has been shinning. I’ve been balancing keeping busy with things I really enjoy doing and my responsibilities, like going out to eat and studying for my Vitamins & Minerals exam, respectively.
Today I decided to bake. It wouldn’t be a truly fulfilling spring break without some delicious baked goodies. Baked treats are welcome in my household 24/7/365. Baking is about so much more than just eating something yummy. For one, you get to be creative and its a good time. Secondly, you can control everything you do with the recipe and experiment a little (& make it more nutritious). And lastly, you do of course get to eat something delicious (& good for you) afterwards.
Baking is a total win win. Especially for my family/roommates/guests/etc. since they get to experience the house develop a new, enticing scent and then taste it afterwards. Lucky them 😉 Banana bread is especially fun because there is a lot of room to dress it up or down. It’s easy to make it healthy since lots of sweetener isn’t required if you use super ripe bananas. It’s a great way to utilize items that may have been sitting around in the kitchen for a while (like raisins, chocolate chips, and, well — super ripe bananas).
Natalie’s Natural ‘Nana Bread
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Total time: 65 minutes (+ 10-20 mins for cooling)
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil or avocado oil*
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1-2 dates, pitted and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease a 1.5 Quart Pyrex loaf dish (~9×5 inches) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the oil, maple syrup, eggs and milk. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas. Once well mashed, add them to the wet mixture.
- Next, add the baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix to combine. Lastly, add the flours; folding in gently. The batter will be a little lumpy from the bananas.
- Transfer batter to the greased loaf dish. Top with more cinnamon (if desired) and the chopped dates.
- Bake for about 55 minutes (a toothpick inserted should come out clean). If you want to add things like nuts and/or dried fruit, the bread may require a slightly longer bake time.
- Let bread cool for 5-10 minutes in the loaf pan. With a baking spatula, loosen the bread from the pan and let cool for an additional 5-10 minutes on a wire rack. Slice and serve!
*Using olive oil will give the bread a slightly herbal taste. Some people don’t prefer this. In this case, I would recommend using avocado oil which has a very mild taste.
This bread turned out perfectly! It has a thin, delicate “crust” and is super moist and flavorful on the inside. It’s delicious with a cup of pour over coffee or served warm with a little butter spread over it. I’m very happy with how this turned out. If you make it, I’d love to hear how it turns out for you! Comment below or share on social media (you can find me @theflourishinggut). Happy baking!
Natalie, future RDN