RECIPE: Healthier Banana Nut Bread

by Tammy Taylor

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Our youngest daughter came home to Texas for a visit all the way from the east coast.  One of her fond childhood memories is of my footed cake plate being forever filled.  Sometimes it would have cookies, sometimes biscuits but there was always something in it.  I wasn’t about to have her walk in the house without something under that dome, but what to make?  I decided to use up some brown bananas and some of my own hand-picked pecans to make banana nut bread.  I made it healthier for her by eliminating the shortening called for in the recipe and replacing it with applesauce I made from apples given to me from my aunt’s tree last fall.  The bread turned out delicious!  I’ll describe my procedures, but the actual recipe will be at the bottom.

This healthier version of a favorite banana bread recipe replaces shortening with applesauce. #TaylorMadeHomestead

My recipe called for the ingredients to make only a single loaf, but if you know me I NEVER bake only one item.  If I’m going to make this mess to clean up in my kitchen and fire up that oven, I’m going to make more than one loaf.  (I feel strongly about it – see my post about cook-once-eat-twice)  I doubled the recipe and made two loaves – both of them gone within 24 hours of her arrival!  Don’t worry, I’ve also added the double recipe below!  Yep, I’m just good that way. (wink) Here are the ingredients that I used in my double loaves plus two VERY ripe bananas in addition.  Note that I only had 3 eggs so that’s all I used – the bread still came out awesome!  (Buying in bulk can save you money on the powdered milk you have to buy. Check *Amazon’s prices, they oftentimes are much lower than store prices.)

This healthier version of a favorite banana bread recipe replaces shortening with applesauce. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Anyway, first I mixed 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 1/2  teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda along with a dash of salt and sat that bowl aside.  In the *KitchenAid mixer bowl I mixed 1 1/3 cup of sugar with the wet ingredients of  2/3 cup applesauce (to replace the shortening) 3 eggs and 4 tablespoons milk.

This healthier version of a favorite banana bread recipe replaces shortening with applesauce. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Then I gradually mixed the dry flour ingredients and 2 cups mashed ripe banana into the wet mixture.

This healthier version of a favorite banana bread recipe replaces shortening with applesauce. #TaylorMadeHomestead

When all were fully incorporated I folded in 1/2 cup chopped nuts and poured the batter into two greased 8x4x2 loaf pans.  I prefer to use glass pans, one of these is an Anchor pan I believe but one is a vintage Fire King pan.  Love them!  I sprinkled additional chopped pecans on top of the loaves just because I like the presentation this will give the finished bread.

This healthier version of a favorite banana bread recipe replaces shortening with applesauce. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Then into a preheated 325 degree oven for about 60 minutes. Remember the temp has to be reduced because the pans were made of glass and not metal.  No worries, that note is included in the recipe below.

When they come out of the oven they were golden brown, smelled delicious and looked beautiful.

This healthier version of a favorite banana bread recipe replaces shortening with applesauce. #TaylorMadeHomestead

I allowed them to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then I turned them onto a baker’s rack to cool completely.  I covered the loaves with a lightweight cotton tea towel so the steam would keep the crust soft while not allowing it to get soggy.  I foolishly froze one of the loaves when it cooled thinking it would stay fresher during her visit but silly me, I had to pull it right back out of the freezer within hours and as I mentioned above both loaves were gone within 24 hours of her arrival.  (sigh…)  It does a mama’s heart good…

This healthier version of a favorite banana bread recipe replaces shortening with applesauce. #TaylorMadeHomestead

OK as promised here’s the recipe as well as the doubled recipe below it.  ENJOY!

Banana Nut Bread  –  makes 1 loaf
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening (or applesauce)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt.  Set aside.

In a mixer bowl beat sugar and shortening till light, scraping sides of bowl often.  Add eggs, one at a time and the milk, beating until smooth after each addition.  Add flour mixture and banana alternately to creamed mixture, beating till smooth after each addition.  Fold in nuts.

Turn batter into a lightly greased 8x4x2-inch loaf pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven (325 degrees for glass pans) for 60 to 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove from pan; cool completely.  For easier slicing, wrap and store overnight.  Makes 1

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Banana Nut Breadmakes 2 loaves

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening (or applesauce)
4 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Stir together flour, baking powder, soda and 1 teaspoon salt.  Set aside.

In a mixer bowl beat sugar and shortening till light, scraping sides of bowl often.  Add eggs, one at a time and the milk, beating until smooth after each addition.  Add flour mixture and banana alternately to creamed mixture, beating till smooth after each addition.  Fold in nuts.

Turn batter into two  lightly greased 8x4x2-inch loaf pans.  Bake in a 350 degree oven (325 degrees for glass pans) for 60 to 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove from pan; cool completely.  For easier slicing, wrap and store overnight.  Makes 2 loaves.

~TMH~

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32 thoughts on “RECIPE: Healthier Banana Nut Bread

  1. Pingback: Old-Fashioned Friday #65 - Our Heritage of Health

  2. Angela Parker

    Great looking recipe! This recipe will be featured in this week’s Sunday Social Blog Hop – Congrats! Hope you had a great Easter Sunday : )

    Reply
  3. Sandra @ Scrumptilicious 4 You!

    The only thing better than smelling hot banana bread cooking in the oven is eating it! Love your link! Thanks for partying with us on the Four Seasons Blog Hop! Sandra from Scrumptilicious 4 You!

    Reply
  4. Cathy

    Thank you for sharing at our TGIF Link Party at A Peek Into My Paradise. I hope you will be back to link up another awesome post this week! Cathy @ http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  5. Summers Acres

    Oh, I love banana nut bread! Thanks for sharing with us at The HomeAcre Harvest Hop! Please join us again Thursday for our regularly scheduled hop at: http://summersacres.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-homeacre-hop-43.html ~Ann

    Reply
  6. Betty Taylor

    Thanks for linking up with us this week at Four Seasons Blog Hop. You have the greatest recipes! I love all the fresh ingredients. Pinning this too!

    Reply
  7. Vickie

    Mmmm – sounds so good! Except I don’t like pecans as much – I will use walnuts! Also, I like where you said “for easier slicing, wrap and store overnight”. Are you kidding??? In my household it will be gone by then!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Vickie – LOL – it goes pretty quickly here in the Taylor Household as well (who was I kidding??!) 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  8. Laila

    There is salt listed in the instructions, but not the ingredients. Is it supposed to be an ingredient? Thanks for the recipe~ it is going to be my first try so keep fingers crossed.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Oops Laila (blushes) Yes, although I don’t double the salt for the double recipe, it is an ingredient. I’ve amended the post – thanks for pointing it out. Enjoy the banana bread! ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Linda@With A Blast

    Pinned ! I love Banana Bread and yours has the option of apple sauce 🙂 Thank you for sharing at our ALL MY BLOGGY FRIENDS party !

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks for the pin Linda. Sometimes you can try too hard to make something healthier and it turns out dry or flavorless. This bread really did turn out amazing! ~TMR~

      Reply
  10. Barb @ A Life in Balance

    That does sound yummy! I love the smell of banana bread baking. Thanks for sharing your recipe at Fabulously Frugal Thursday!

    Reply
  11. Carol J. Alexander

    These pictures make me want to go right in the kitchen and bake away. Thanks for sharing on the Self-Sufficient HomeAcre Hop.

    Reply
  12. Lisa Lynn

    Thank you so much for sharing this on The Creative HomeAcre Hop! I hope to see you again tomorrow. 🙂

    Reply
  13. 'Becca

    I totally agree that you may as well make multiple loaves while you’re at it! I have 4 loaf pans, so I usually make 4 loaves at once, unless I don’t have enough ingredients. Quick breads freeze well. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Well ‘Becca, I don’t know how messy YOU are in the kitchen but I apparently try to single-handedly dirty up each and every dish in the kitchen when I’m cooking! At least I only do that once when I’m cooking multiple dishes. LOL Thanks for your comment. ~TMR~

      Reply
  14. Patty

    Gosh this looks so delicious. Will have to try it with the applesauce. I love your story about having something good under the cake dome. What a precious memory.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks Patty. It’s funny, you never know which experiences you offer to your children as you’re raising them will become a cherished memory for them. And yes, she went out and bought her own footed covered cake plate so she can carry on this tradition in her own home. 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  15. Lisa Lynn

    This sounds so good! I’d love to have you stop by and share your post on The Creative HomeAcre Hop today!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Awesome LisaLynn, thanks for the invite. I’ll “hop” over there and check it out! 😉 ~TMR~

      Reply
  16. Christina @ Juggling Real Food and Real Life

    The banana bread looks so good. THAT is what I am in the mood for right now. Too bad I’m on my lunch break at work right now and munching on the salad I brought. Tastes good, but some banana bread would be good with it. I also use whole wheat flour or spelt flour. I wonder how they would work. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      The previous commenter Heather also uses whole wheat flour and she’s going to give it a try tonight. Might keep an eye on her blog http://www.frugalfitfamily.com to see how it turns out! 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  17. Heather May

    I am totally making this tonight! I use only wheat flour and my last attempt was an epic fail!!! I have your recipe now to go by so I am on it!! if it turns out, I would love to share it on my site with a link back to you! Let me know if that is okay!! Also, I am giving away ad spots on my site – go to the sponsor page and select the ad swap/sponsor size..use code SWAPIT at checkout and it is free! I believe in your site and would be proud to have you on mine!! Thanks for your support thus far!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Heather, give the recipe a shot – you won’t be disappointed. If you love it as much as I did (and apparently my DAUGHTER too, LOL) then yes, I’d be honored if you’d link it on your site. Your kind words about the ad spot givaway is awesome. I’ll go check it out – THANKS! 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply

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