I am happy to be partnering with OXO to share this better for you Seeded Whole Wheat Banana Bread recipe from the new Healthyish Cookbook by Lindsay Maitland Hunt. #OXObetter #healthyishcookbook
I love banana bread. I love the fact that when other fruit begins to turn dark and ugly and likely gets tossed, bananas maintain the opportunity to shine, and become a hero ingredient.
And apparently you guys love banana bread as well. During our very first Traveling Apron Recipe Swap, 4 different banana bread recipes were submitted- the one that made it into the cookbook was this Banana Nut Bread. When I share the story of the 4 slightly different banana bread recipes that were submitted, people always ask how we narrowed it down. 2 of the recipes were nearly identical, so I was able to eliminate one right off the bat. Then, I made the remaining 3 recipes and did a blind taste test with my neighbors. Essentially, my former neighbors chose Ashley Townsend’s Banana Nut Bread.
When I was asked to try out a recipe for a healthier version of my beloved Banana Bread, I thought it was a good idea to give it a whirl. I mean, afterall, it’s only February and those January resolutions are still lingering encouraging a healthy and happy 2018.
- 1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil, such as canola, vegetable, or grapeseed plus more for the pan
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pan
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 12 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup mashed banana, from about 3 really ripe bananas
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Oil and flour an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch baking pan and set aside.
- Mix together 2 teaspoons each of the poppy and sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the remaining 1/4 cup each of the poppy and sesame seeds, the baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, eggs, oil, the remaining 2/3 cup sugar and the vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in the pecans or walnuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the reserved poppy-sesame-sugar mixture evenly over the top of the batter.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn onto a rack to cool completely. If you feel comfortable, carefully invert the loaf over the sink to catch any loose seeds and sugar.
- The loaf will keep at room temperature, well wrapped, for 3 days. To freeze the loaf, cut it into 3/4 inch-thick slices. Put in a zip-top bag with a piece of parchment paper between each slice.
Immediately, though I knew I might have an issue with the addition of both poppy and sesame seeds. I’m such a weirdo about texture (I can tell when my husband sneaks chia seeds into our oatmeal and I strain all my fruit pulp when baking) and didn’t know how I’d feel about the grit that may come with adding the seeds to both the batter and the crust.
To disguise things a bit, I added an extra 1/4 cup of chopped pecans to the crust topping thinking if I didn’t see the small poppy seeds, they wouldn’t bother me.
As predicted, the poppy seeds and I didn’t quite see eye to eye but I love the aroma and crunch that the sesame seeds provided and the pecan disguise worked! The seeded crust is such a nice compliment to the soft interior.
Paired with some fruit and coffee, I hardly noticed all those pesky poppy seeds and just reminded myself that I was enjoying a healthyish breakfast. Which, I think, will be my additional mantra for the year- “healthyish“. So much more approachable than just jumping head first into eliminating what seems to be all things delicious.
Couple of notes: **I used a white whole wheat flour and my bananas weren’t exactly “really ripe” as the recipe instructed. I also used I’d say half of the seeded topping, and instead adding an additional 3 tablespoons or so of chopped pecans. Just in case you’re wondering why the cookbook bread is much darker and seedier than mine.