Make Ahead

Banana Oat Bread

September 24, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Makes one loaf
Author Notes

My teenaged daughter has never once bought school lunch. I say that with an ounce of pride and more than several ounces of frustration as there are some days when making that lunch can just put us over the edge (though since I first wrote this she has taken over lunch making duties - I still make sure the kitchen is stocked with healthy options). As she leaves the house at 6:30 a.m. and is often at school until 4:30 or later with sports practice, we try to supplement her lunch with some healthy snacks. I'm not much for baking, but I experimented with whole grains and oatmeal in banana bread to try to come up with something hearty and heart healthy-ish. The handful of chips just makes her happy. —healthierkitchen

What You'll Need
  • 1 - 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 medium sized very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
  • 1 jumbo egg, plus one extra egg white (or two large eggs)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • scant 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray - either an 8 x 4 x 2 1/2 inch pan or a 9 x 5 x 3 inch pan.
  3. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the oil, sugar and eggs. Add the yogurt and then the mashed bananas into the oil mixture and stir until well blended.
  5. Add the flour mixture and stir until moistened. Stir in the oats and nuts and chips (if using).
  6. Pour mixture into the loaf pan. Place loaf pan on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Jara
  • healthierkitchen
  • Waverly
  • drbabs

22 Reviews

AntoniaJames July 9, 2015
Excellent recipe! My family really likes this bread.

I added a couple good dashes of nutmeg, and used full fat Greek yogurt as that was what we had on hand. I also used about 1/2 teaspoon of salt; I only had the standard whole wheat flour (KAF), so I used one cup of that plus 1/4 cup of all-purpose. I also added a generous bit of homemade vanilla extract.

What a nice texture this bread has! I'm not that fond of banana bread, but using only three bananas instead of our usual four (Tassajara Bread Book recipe) made it a bit less ripe-banana-y, which is a good thing. I believe that's because the spices came through so nicely.

I did not add chocolate chips but did add a small handful of yellow raisins.

This one's a keeper -- meaning it's going into my Google Drive collection of family favorites!!
AntoniaJames ;o)
healthierkitchen July 7, 2016
Thanks for letting me know AJ! I hadn't seen this till now!
ASK February 17, 2015
Turned out bitter and salty. Maybe too much baking powder?
healthierkitchen February 18, 2015
So sorry this didn't work out for you ASK. I haven't had that same problem, but I guess if you were willing to give it another go, I'd try cutting back the baking powder to 3 teaspoons from 4 and cutting the salt in half.
Jara December 11, 2013
Made it with the kids for holiday breakfast. Used two whole large eggs and added vanilla. Really nice texture with the oats. I would love to reduce the oil without compromising the texture.
healthierkitchen October 7, 2014
Jara - not sure if you'll see this at this late date, but I'd love to know if you did play with the amount of oil.
dlmontgomerytoo July 8, 2013
Great recipe! I used gluten-free flour instead of the wheat and was delicious. Thank you!
healthierkitchen July 11, 2013
thanks for saying, dlmontgomerytoo. Glad to hear it was convertible to a gluten free recipe1
AntoniaJames October 14, 2010
I'm making this for Mr. T tonight. Stay tuned . . . . ;o)
healthierkitchen October 14, 2010
Hope he likes it!! The one I made yesterday afternoon is already half gone. I'm still curious about shipping this, but my husband's like the owl from the old tootsie pop commercials. Best of intentions to eat it slowly.... But I did get a piece into my daughter's lunch.
healthierkitchen October 14, 2010
Made another one yesterday and added 1 tsp. vanilla and two tablespoons of flaxseeds. I think I like it this way.
AntoniaJames September 27, 2010
Great recipe! My younger son had an internship at a company over in Silicon Valley (relatively long commute, relatively long work days) this summer, and needed an afternoon snack as well as lunch. I made banana bread about twice a week, because that was what he liked most to take for snack. I use the Tassajara Bread Book recipe, with walnuts or pecans, plus raisins, and have for about thirty years, but this one looks so good. I plan to make this for Mr T as soon as the weather breaks. (It's summer here, big time, these days.) How does this hold? I'd like to make loaves to send Priority Mail to each of my sons at college! Thank you. ;o)
healthierkitchen September 27, 2010
I will have to check my library fo the Tassajara books. I'm not sure how long the banana bread lasts as it's usually gone within two or three days around here. I was thinking about sending my son one too, but haven't tried it yet. I think if left in a whole loaf and wrapped well, it might hold long enough to ship and enjoy, but I'm just not sure. Maybe we should ask on food pickle! I hear you on the heat - we are still having summer here in DC.
Waverly September 27, 2010
I sympathize with your plight. I too make lunches every morning and snacks for pre-sports practice every afternoon. It's not always easy. I am a big fan of banana bread and have tried many different recipes. It makes a terrific afternoon snack or mini muffin/cupcake for the brown bag. Your recipe looks great. I can't wait to try it.
PS. I like to use walnuts in banana bread- they are good for you, but if your children don't care for the texture, try grinding them in a food processor before you add them.
healthierkitchen September 27, 2010
Thanks Waverly! Great idea to grind the walnuts - my daughter likes them, my son not so much. Can do it with the walnuts now as my son is now away in college!
healthierkitchen September 24, 2010
Thanks drbabs - I have made this into muffins with success but I couldn't remember how long I kept them in the oven, and I never wrote it down, so I didn't put it in here. This is likely why I'm not much of a baker - I'm not so precise. I probably just watched them - maybe half as long for baking time? I did the same with your delicious zucchini bread. btw, after making that I thought about adding flaxseeds to this recipe!
drbabs September 24, 2010
I bet they'd be really good.
drbabs September 24, 2010
delicious. have you made this into muffins?
testkitchenette September 24, 2010
Kudos to you! Nice recipe and a great service you are doing. I never had a school lunch either and brought my mother's concoctions as well. I am so happy that she did that for my siblings and I. Banana bread can span breakfast and lunch easily. I look forward to trying your recipe!
healthierkitchen September 24, 2010
Thanks testkitchenette - hope my kids are as appreciative as you are of your Mom!
ellenl September 24, 2010
This is perfect. Thanks so much. My son leaves home at 7:20 and I pick him up at 5:30 after sports practice and games every day. We've been figuring out snacks that are healthy and sustaining. I'll make this for him.
healthierkitchen September 24, 2010
Hope he likes it, ellenl!