banana bread two ways

i love banana bread. i also love chocolate zucchini, pumpkin, lemon poppy seed and cranberry walnut breads. the dilemma i always face when making these quick breads is deciding whether i should make all of the healthy substitutions i know (swapping out the oil for applesauce/yogurt, the white sugar for agave/honey, the egg for ground flaxseed and water, etc) and risk potentially sacrificing some of the flavor or whether i should go all out and use the oil/butter/sugar as written. luckily, when i set out to make banana bread this weekend, i realized i had eight ripe bananas in the fruit bowl and it dawned on me that i could make both the healthy whole wheat flaxseed recipe and the jacked up butter and bourbon recipes that i had been eyeing online. so i did.

whole wheat flaxseed banana bread

healthy goodness

Inspired by this and this.

Makes 1 loaf

4 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey or agave
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 bananas (ripe and mashed)
¼ cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
For the topping: 1 tbsp ground flaxseed, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together oil, yogurt, brown sugar and honey/agave until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well mixed. 

Stir in mashed bananas until well combined.

Sprinkle the spices, ground flaxseed, baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

Add the flour last and mix until just incorporated and no flour spots remain.

Pour into loaf pan that’s buttered, greased or sprayed with cooking spray. In a small bowl combine the ground flaxseed, brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over it over the top. 

Bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a wooden stick inserted center comes out almost clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

bourbon, spice and chocolate chip banana bread

admiringly found on smitten kitchen

4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter (if you only have unsalted as I did, add 1 tsp of salt later)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cup of flour
handful of chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

Add the flour last, mix until just combined. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top if using (and you really should) and mix to combine. 

Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

the verdict? as expected, both are SO good in their different ways. the healthy one has become our go-to breakfast: a nice thick slice toasted and slathered with natural peanut butter, eaten alongside greek yogurt and blueberries, or devoured all by itself. the decadent one makes the most perfect after dinner pick me up: moist and filled with melted pockets of chocolate, with the faintest smell of butter and bourbon. YUM. if you can’t pick one, just make both!

bon appetit,


One response to “banana bread two ways

  1. Oh wow, they both sound delicious!

Let me know how the recipe turned out for you!