I’d like to pause our regularly scheduled programming of seasonal produce and offer something warm and comforting…  It seems Old Man Winter has descended upon us, but hopefully not for long!  I meant to do a post on my banana bread all winter, but never got around to it.  All this sleet and snow has me bundled up and thinking warm thoughts, and is perhaps my last chance (let’s hope!) this season to offer a quick bread recipe before we drive right into spring produce.  Not that you can’t make a good bread any old time, but you know what I mean.

This is the first recipe I really tweaked to make healthier and “my own,” and I’ve been making it ever since.  It caught my eye in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, but I gasped at the enormous amount of oil it contained–for just two loaves! Below are the techniques I used to make it healthier, along with the recipe.  Warm up inside with this easy, unique and very flavorful version of banana bread!

Smart Switches:

– 3 C all-purpose flour became 1.5 C all-purpose and 1.5 C whole-wheat flour

– 1 1/3 C vegetable oil became 2/3 C canola oil and 2/3 natural applesauce or plain yogurt

– decreased 1 C sugar to 1.5 C

– decreased 1 C shredded coconut to 1/2 C

– decreased 1 C walnuts to 1/2 C, and toast them before adding to mix

Banana Bread with Coconut and Walnuts

1.5 C all-purpose flour

1.5 C whole-wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

3 large eggs

1.5 C sugar

2/3 C vegetable oil

2/3 C plain yogurt or unsweetened applesauce

1.5 C mashed banana (about 3)

½ C unsweetened shredded coconut

½ C walnuts, toasted

½ C lowfat buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray two 8×4 loaf pans with cooking spray.   Whisk flours, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the eggs, sugar, vegetable oil and applesauce (or yogurt).  Add the flour mixture slowly, mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla, banana, coconut, walnuts and buttermilk and mix lightly by hand.

3. Divide batter between prepared pans and sprinkle the tops with sugar.  Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from loaf pans to continue cooling.

Nutritional Information: (1/16th of a loaf)

157 cal, 7.33g fat (1.5g sat), 17.5mg cholesterol, 21.66g carb., 1.35g fiber, 2.77g protein


Holly R. Layer received a B. A. in Journalism from Penn State and served four years in the U. S. Air Force before deciding to go back to school to become a Registered Dietician.  She loves running, reading, fine stationery, colorful kitchen gadgets and ALL things food-related.  An avid cook and baker, you can find her in the kitchen most days whipping up something yummy.  Too bad her husband, Andrew (an East Aurora native) is the pickiest man alive!  You can find her at www.thefrozenpineapple.com.