banana bread Xspace

Healthy Banana Bread with Chocolate Swirl

Fill your house with the wonderful aroma of freshly-baked banana bread! This bread not only looks and tastes great,  it is much healthier than traditional banana breads.  Made with whole wheat flour, less fat, and less sugar, a slice of this bread has less than half the calories of most banana breads (and surprisingly, half the calories of Starbuck’s Banana Nut Loaf).  I guarantee you, it also tastes much better than the Starbuck’s bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil, melted butter, or transfat-free margarine
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed (about 1.5 cups mashed banana)
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Chocolate Swirl

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk (whatever you have on hand, I used 1 percent)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 8½ x 4½ x 2½-inch pan.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl or food processor, whisk together eggs, sugar, yogurt, and oil.  Stir in mashed banana and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add banana mixture to flour mixture, and stir to combine.
  5. FOR CHOCOLATE SWIRL:  Place chocolate chips and milk in 2 or 4-cup measure, or in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on HIGH for 30-50 seconds (until chocolate just starts to melt). Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.
  6. Add 1 cup of batter to chocolate mixture, and stir until combined.  Place alternating spoonfuls of chocolate and plain batters into the loaf pan. With a knife, swirl batters together.
  7. Bake bread until golden brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean (about 1 hour).  Remove from pan and cool on rack.

Makes 12 Slices

banana breadBanana Bread Tips and Variations:

This is a terrific basic recipe that lends to plenty of delicious variations. Here are a few . . .

  • Add walnuts for extra nutrition, healthy Omega-3 fats, and crunch (toast them first for maximum flavor)
  • Skip the chocolate swirl part if you’re busy or want a simple loaf – if you still want chocolate without the fuss, add chocolate chips to the batter
  • Add orange zest
  • Choose very ripe bananas, since they have the most sweetness, best flavor, and are easiest to mash (and they probably aren’t at their prime for eating!). No ripe bananas on hand, but you want to make banana bread? Check out this Epicurious article (How to Make Bananas Ripen Exactly When You Want Them To)

Nutrition Per Slice

  • 185 calories
  • 4 g protein
  • 5 g fat (1 g sat)
  • 30 mg cholesterol
  • 33 g carbohydrate
  • 2.5 g fiber
  • 18 g sugars
  • 250 mg sodium
  • 200 mg potassium
  • Iron: 5% Daily Value
  • Calcium: 5% Daily Value
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You’ll find more healthy recipes here.
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