When I really think about it, the act of making banana bread serves a few important purposes in my life.
Stress relief, family bonding, plain and simple comfort after a long week… so often when I need to unwind on the weekends, I check our fruit bowl in the kitchen to make sure we’ve got some overripe bananas leftover from the week, and I break out the mixer and head to my happy place.
Of course, being the type of baker that loves to experiment and can rarely make the exact same recipe twice, I’ve tried just about every version of banana bread one could imagine. Gluten-free, vegan, black sesame, this one has an espresso mascarpone... some have definitely turned out better than others, but thanks to banana bread’s inherent crowd-pleasing nature, they almost always get gobbled straight from the oven, gifted to neighbors, and popped in the freezer for on-the-go breakfasts during the school year.
With all that experimentation, you’d assume I would have landed on a favorite – and you’re right. This version (as the name suggests) is chock full of healthy, nutritious ingredients, nothing artificial, and only a little gluten. It gets its texture from a mix of whole wheat flour and almond flour, and it’s got enough butter and nuts to feel really satisfying but not so much sugar that it becomes dessert, as banana breads so often do. It’s morning (or afternoon, or pre-bedtime) fuel at its most comforting. And my favorite thing about this bread is that it has FIVE whole bananas, which keeps it moist for days.
The chocolate chips are totally optional – you could omit, or sub in more nuts or coconut or dried fruit instead. But I’ve found that there’s something about that slightly melty chocolate when you take a slice out of the oven that really takes this bread over the top.
Scroll on for the recipe, and I’d love to hear if y’all give this one a try!
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons greek or skyr yogurt
- 1/2 cup whole milk (or nut milk of choice)
- 1 stick butter (or coconut oil or coconut oil or ghee), melted
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 teasopons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (I love to use vanilla bean paste)
- 5 bananas, mashed
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- for topping: extra chopped walnuts, shredded coconut, a pinch of sugar, cinnamon, & flaky salt
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray 2 loaf pans or 1 rectangular cake pan with nonstick spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine eggs, yogurt, and milk. With the mixer on, add melted butter, peanut butter, and maple syrup. Mix for about a minute until well combined.
- Add both flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix on the lowest setting just until combined. Add vanilla and banana and stir just until combined. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips, then pour into 2 loaf pans or 1 rectangular cake pan.
- Sprinkle the top generously with walnuts, coconut, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool, and eat!