Banana Bread with Walnuts

You know those healthy looking banana breads you see at coffee shops? Well, they aren’t that healthy. At about 420 calories a slice, featuring plenty of sugar and refined flour, you might as well call them cake. You can do better.

Here’s a loaf that’s just as tasty, easy to make, and much more nutritious. As with most of my recipes, I’ve tinkered with the ingredients to maximize the amount of healthful ingredients, without sacrificing great flavour and texture. In this case, the bananas provide much of the rich taste and moistness, allowing me to reduce the fat and sugar, which provide calories without protective nutrients. Whole wheat flour subs in for the traditional refined white flour, providing more fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, iron, and magnesium. The walnuts add a nice crunch, flavour, and healthy fats.  Best of all, it’s a great tasting loaf.


  • 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
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts


  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. Bake bread until golden brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean (about 45 minutes to 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 orange zest
  • Add chocolate (chips or chopped chunks)
  • Use pecans instead of walnuts
  • FLAVOUR TIP. Choose very ripe bananas, since they have the most sweetness, best flavour, 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

  • 195 calories
  • 5 g protein
  • 8 g fat (1 g sat)
  • 30 mg cholesterol
  • 28 g carbohydrate
  • 3 g fiber
  • 250 mg sodium
  • 228 mg potassium
  • Iron: 6 % Daily Value
  • Calcium: 7.5 % Daily Value

(For reference, Starbuck’s Banana Nut Bread has 420 calories a slice).

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