Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Walnuts

"Baking is like chemistry..." I saw that quote on someone's blog last week, but of course I can't remember whose blog it was.  If you know whose blog has that quote, please let me know, so I can give them recognition and a shout out.  That quote has been rattling around my head for last week, like an old song that you can't think of the person, who made it famous.

I have been baking for over 50 years, since I was about 8 or 9.  I was in 4-H Clubs of America and made cookies for the County Fair. Since then my baking skills have progressed. I am sure glad that I hadn't seen the "Baking is like Chemistry", when I was younger, because I never liked Chemistry, and might have been "turned off" to baking, Like my Grandma, who never used recipes or measurements, a pinch of this, a handful of that,  I have forged ahead with pretty good results, but I do use recipes, sometimes. I have adapted many recipes, and not given one thought about chemistry, until last week when I saw the "Baking is like Chemistry" quote. 

You see, I wanted to start baking with whole wheat flour again.  Years ago I baked with whole wheat flour when I was " Earth Mother", but got away from it. I have since forgotten the texture of baking with whole wheat.  Thanks to the Internet and cookbooks, I always look at a jillion recipes, before I adapt one to my liking.  Besides using whole wheat, I knew that I wanted less sugar and fat, that most recipes had. This time was different, because the "Baking" quote was rattling around in my head. How will the whole wheat flour react with less sugar, with Greek yogurt?  Should I use half whole wheat flour, half all purpose flour?  I decided to use all whole wheat flour, King Arthur brand, Greek yogurt, Splenda, egg whites, and Smart Balance, and of course bananas, cinnamon, and   walnuts. The bread turned out so well.  It is more dense, than if I had used half AP flour, but isn't heavy like a rock. It is very moist. thanks to the Greek yogurt, and has just enough sweetness, thanks to the ripe bananas, and the crunch of the walnuts.
 If you have never baked with whole wheat flour, I urge you to try this quick bread recipe for Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Walnuts. You won't be disappointed.  Whole wheat is a complex carb which can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Let me know how your bread turns out, if you try it. Deelicious!!  It's healthy and tasted good at the same time, My husband has peanut butter on his slice for breakfast.  Enjoy it! Next time I have to try Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Bread.  Stay tuned!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Walnuts
 Adapted from Cooking Light
  • ¼ c Splenda or ½ c brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light butter, softened or Smart Balance
  • 1 1/2c. mashed, ripe bananas, about 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 6 0z   container Greek Yogurt, plain for less carbs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine Splenda and butter in a bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Add banana, yogurt, and egg whites, beat well, and set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; stir well. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, beating until blended. 

Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; bake at 350º for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until pick inserted in middle comes out dry, Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Cool on rack. 


  1. I have always believed there was some trick to using whole wheat-trying to avoid the "rock" thing. I have steered away from 100% whole wheat because of that reason. However, maybe this is the recipe that will change my mind. It does look delicious. Great post.

  2. Tina- thank you! I'm a big fan of Greek yogurt in baking. It has 14 g. of protein for 6 oz. I also believe it improves the texture and moistness of your baked goods. if you try it, let me know how it turns out.

  3. By the look of its ingredients, this loaf is a definitely healthy treat for all time. I'm glad that you said that the texture of this loaf is good even the use of "wholemeal" and "low fat" ingredients.

  4. Zoe-The texture in part is due to the Greek yogurt, which I love, love, love, in baked goods.

  5. I have never baked with whole wheat flour before. I am scared it will turn out funny. I only buy whole wheat bread though, so I like the flavor. What a great recipe!

  6. Erin,
    I used King Arthur Whole Wheat flour, which worked well. I also used the Greek yogurt, which gave additional moisture. Try it and let me know, how it turned out.

  7. Just made this today - big hit with the family! I threw in some chocolate chips to make it more kid-friendly and it was very tasty. The yogurt adds a great texture to the bread.

  8. I love baking with whole wheat flour. I'm eating a mushroom omelet as I type...but as it good as it tastes, it pales in comparison to this! Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe. I hope you are having a joyful start to your week!


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