For the past several weeks I've been making a serious effort to eat (and snack) better. And, I'll be honest: anything is an improvement over handfuls of jelly beans and half a bag of chips, which is my old go-to.
As part of the effort, I recently made No Bake Energy Bites for the first time. This meant I had to purchase a little ingredient called "flax seed". Now, I don't live under a rock, so I've heard of flax and I know it's supposed to be good for us, but I admit it was the first time the stuff has (knowingly) entered our house.
Much to my surprise, I LOVE the Energy Bites. It's true, they're pretty delicious. And, bonus: my whole family loves them, too. So when I was eyeing the ripe bananas begging to be made into banana bread, a little light bulb went off. Why don't I try to incorporate some of the nutritional ingredients into banana bread for a healthier dessert and snack?
I used this Peanut Butter Banana Bread Recipe by Joy the Baker and made some additions and adjustments.
The result is a slightly healthier-ish Banana Bread that is literally LOADED. Loaded with flavor, texture and deliciousness. Seriously, how good (and, yes, filling) does this look?
Obviously, you could go even more healthy by using whole wheat flour, omitting the chocolate, etc., etc. But, baby steps, people. I'm taking baby steps.
And right now I'm going to step into the kitchen for another slice.
Loaded Banana Bread Recipe
Peanut Butter, Oats, Flax and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Make this Banana Bread Extraordinary
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c ground flax seed
- 1/2 c oats
- 3/4 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- about 1 1/2 c mashed ripe banana (I used 3 bananas)
- 1/2 c plain or vanilla yogurt (I used Greek vanilla yogurt)
- 1/3 c peanut butter
- 3 T butter, melted
- 1 t vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 c honey
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1/4 c chopped peanuts
- 1/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
Grease 9 x 5 loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients - flour, flaxseed, oats, baking soda, salt & cinnamon - in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk banana, yogurt, peanut butter, butter and vanilla until combined. Mix in eggs, honey and sugar. Whisk together until there are no sugar clumps.
Gradually stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Fold in peanuts and chocolate chips.
Bake for 55 - 65 minutes.