Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread
Recently, I’ve been on a quest to eliminate processed sweeteners from my diet. Say goodbye to Splenda, Truvia, and good ‘ol fashioned granulated white sugar. Sounds a little hippy, to be sure, but I figured that cutting out processed sugar as much as possible can’t be a bad thing. Since this quest isn’t managing to quiet my incessant sweet tooth, this has let me on a constant search for sweetening replacements in baked goods. Hello, honey-sweetened baked goods!
This uber-moist banana bread is made with whole-wheat pastry flour, sweetened with honey and all starts with an olive oil base. Studded with toasted walnuts and wild blueberries this loaf packs a subtle nutty, banana flavor. With a tangy sweetness from the honey, this moist quick bread is sure to become a family favorite in no time.
I don’t mean to suggest that this is the end of the Granulated Sugar Era here on A Dash of Sass. It most certainly is not. Let’s be honest, there are certain recipes which simply couldn’t be duplicated without the scientific perfection of processed sugar. In fact, I’m currently dreaming of some thick, chewy, oatmeal raisin cookies that would be impossible without a proper amount of brown sugar. My aim is simply to broaden my horizons when it comes to sweetening baked goods. Sometimes it feels good to leave out the heaping cups of white sugar.
The benefits of raw honey have been heavily touted by health food nuts. It brings nutritional elements to the table that processed sugar can’t even begin to match. A unique benefit of using honey to sweetened baked goods is the depth of flavor that honey adds. With this banana bread, you can certainly taste the lingering flavor of the dark, buckwheat honey I used in this loaf.
Who doesn’t love a handful of perfectly plump, fresh blueberries? While I would love nothing more than to always have a solid supply of fresh, wild blueberries, living in the urban confines of New York City, my blueberry supplies are strictly limited. The good news is that organic, wild blueberries are readily available in the frozen food section of the grocery store! They pack all the same antioxidants as their fresher cousins and they bake up beautifully! Give them a toss in flour before gently adding them to the batter and you will avoid that dreaded “sinkage” problem where all your berries end up on the bottom of your bread.
My two suggestions for this banana bread: (1) Slice it thick and (2) serve it warm, slathered with butter. It doesn’t get better than that!
Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50-60 minutes
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas
1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
2/3 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and honey until combined. Add the eggs. Whisk until fully combined.
- Stir in the vanilla and the mashed bananas.
- Stir in the flour and salt.
- In a small, separate bowl, add the baking soda to the hot water. Let it fizz. Add the fizzy mixture to the rest of the batter.
- Blend in the chopped walnuts.
- Lightly toss the blueberries in whole wheat flour. Carefully stir in the blueberries into the batter until just combined. Pour batter into greased pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
- Store in airtight container for up to a week (if it lasts that long!).