Saturday, August 1

Healthy Cherry, Banana, and Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

healthy cherry banana oatmeal bread

I always crave banana bread -- moist, tender, nut studded slabs with plenty of butter on top. I don't always crave the calories that come with it. That's why I have been experimenting with a creating a healthier, reduced fat banana bread that will keep both tummy and my hips happy. I have succeeded.

This banana bread is low in fat and calories yet high in fiber, protein, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Instead of fats such as butter or oil, I used healthier egg whites, low-fat buttermilk, non-fat yogurt, and orange juice. Instead of just plain white flour, I used protein and fiber-rich oats and whole wheat flour and omega-3-rich flax seed and walnuts. The cherries are a seasonal surprise that add sweet juiciness to eat bite. Of course, you could substitute other fresh fruit such as apples or mangoes or dried fruit such as raisins or apricots.

Oh, and don't worry. It tastes great.

healthy cherry banana oatmeal bread

Healthy Cherry, Banana, and Oatmeal Breakfast Bread
Makes 2 (8 1/2 X 4 1/2 -inch) loaves
Print recipe only here.

1/2 cup toasted rolled oats (or old-fashioned oatmeal)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs plus 4 egg whites
1 cup low-fat buttermilk (or low-fat vanilla soymilk)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
zest of one orange
2 small very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup pitted, halved fresh cherries
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup flax seed or ground flax meal

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat 2 (8 1/2 X 4 1/2 -inch) loaf pans with cooking spray.

2. To toast the oatmeal, place in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a medium size bowl, whisk the toasted oats, flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

4. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and eggs. Add buttermilk, yogurt, orange juice, and vanilla; beat until batter is smooth. Lower the speed; add the orange zest and bananas, and beat briefly (it's ok if the batter has a few lumps).

5. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, and mix until just incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cherries, walnuts, and flax seed. The batter will be thick. Pour the batter into the pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.

6. Transfer the breads to a rack; let cool for 10 minutes, then unmold and place on a rack to cool to room temperature.

You might also like:

Healthy Muffins

Date, Fennel, and Pistachio Scones (Heart Healthy & Low Fat!)

Banana Coconut Almond Bread (It's not low-fat, but it's oh-so-good.)

Here are a few more healthy banana bread and muffin recipes:
Low Fat, Eggless Chocolate and Banana Loaf at Priya's Easy and Tasty Recipes
Whole Wheat Healthy Banana Bread at Recipe Girl
Healthy Banana Apple Muffins at 17 and Baking

Don't forget to enter for your chance to win 2 free tickets to see Julie & Julia in LA on Thursday, August 6th!


Lindsay (Happy Herbivore) said...

yum! I'll have to make this vegan.

Elissa said...

This looks so delicious! The texture of the bread in the first photo looks so good.

Patsyk said...

I love the addition of cherries to the bread! Looks delicious!

ChichaJo said...

Love banana bread too...thanks for whipping up a healthier version! This looks so yummy!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Healthy and delicious! A delightfiul bread!



Meeta K. Wolff said...

i love banana bread too and have been using all kinds of fruit to pair it with but not cherry - yet. will have to do this soon! brilliant recipe!

diva said...

mmm. susan this looks reaaally good! what a fab bread to have around for breakfast. great thing about it is that i've got quite a few bananas heading towards the over-riped category. joy! x

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Trader Joe's sells a great mix of dried cherries and blueberries, which would work really well in this bread. Now if only I could get someone to bake for breakfast around here...

Zoe said...

I crave banana bread too. This looks wonderful!

Parita said...

Bread looks delicious!

Kate said...

My kind of post....just the title alone in my Reader was enough for me to jump over to your blog and hit 'Print'. For all your effort, we get the delicious result. I may need to make this right away!!

Soma said...

Loving all the cherries around! I can just imagine the perfectly juicy bites of cherries in the banana bread. real good idea.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This is my kind of breakfast Susan.

veron said...

Great breakfast bread, Susan!

Christine said...

Those cherries really make your already great bread simply spectacular!

Sha said...

This is a cake I will make, for sure!

The Food Hunter said...

Looks delicious. I love that it's healthy.

Kara said...

Yes, this just went on the must-bake list (and the sooner, the better). We've loved all of your healthy (and even those less so!) recipes so I can't wait to try this one. Might take Lydia's recommendation and grab the bag of dried berries from TJs since I'm still sadly cherry-pitter-less...

Cris said...

Ohhhhh banana breads usually look dull, even though they taste great, but yours looks yummy and beautiful and it is so colorful, love it!

Abby said...

Looks so good; those cherries are calling to me.

Also took your advice and bought powdered buttermilk! Can it be used in any baked good?

Manggy said...

It's a QUICK bread too, a woman after my own heart, ha ha ha! :) Now I just wish cherries weren't so expensive :(

Homemade Heaven said...

Health food does not normally look that good. I could do with a slice of that! Yummy Yummy!
I am going to keep this recipe for later in the year when we go cherry picking!

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

mmm, hearty deliciousness! I love the pictures!

Cakespy said...

Oh man, this looks delicious! Even with the word "healthy" in the title, you've still drawn me in with the deliciousness! :-) Kidding.

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious! I just made some healthy banana muffins this week, but now I'm sad mine didn't have cherries!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

happyherbivore-Sounds like a plan!

elissa-Thanks. I was happy that it came out moist.

patsyk-I've got a thing for cherries. :)

joey-Healthy but still yummy! :)


meeta-Then you've gotta try it! It's wonderful!

diva-I always have a few ripe ones ready to bake too!

lydia-Those would be good too.

zoe-Who doesn't crave banana bread? :)

parite-Thanks, my dear!

kate-That's so kind of you! Thanks a bunch!

soma-They do lend sweetness and moistness.

val-Mine too!

veron-Thank you!

christine-Spectacular? Oh, thank you!

sha-I'm glad to hear it!

foodhunter-Thank you!

kara-Those will work. But be sure to get yourself a cherry pitter soon!

cris-That's awfully sweet of you to say.

abby-I use it in lots of baked goods.

mark-They are expensive little buggers, but worth it.

rose-Yay! I'm so happy you like it.

alisa-Thanks a bunch!

cakespy-Cute. :)

elly-Next time then!

Kristin said...

YUM! I have to admit I was skeptical about this not having any oil in it. I made a lot of changes based on what I had, but it was a great base recipe and came out perfect:

I subbed whole wheat pastry flour for white and I used spelt for whole wheat; I used a little extra banana and omitted the yogurt and orange juice since I had extra bananas and no orange juice; blueberries instead of cherries; an extra 1/2 cup walnuts; 4 whole eggs instead of part whole and part whites; lemon zest instead of orange, I added a teaspoon of lemon extract. Before I baked it I sprinkled some coarse sugar over the top (about a tbsp per loaf). Awesome! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

Red Ribbon Bakeshop said...

wow,yummy!i love banana and it looks so delicious.. i want to try this at home.. thanks,keep on posting..


Stephanie said...

Ohhhhh mann. this sounds like the perfect way to start the morning!

Smita From San Diego said...

Hi Susan,

I made the bread. At first it was very dry and hence seemed very healthy. But later with the water of the cherries, the bread moistened. Everyone loved it! But I think some oil would have made me happier that this seemed too healthy!

Unknown said...

I found your blog & this recipe in a Google search, and then realized I already know your work from NPR, and probably Cooking Light as well!
The bread is great - I just made it, and ate two slices warm from the oven. I had to bake it for about an hour, though, and I subbed coconut for the walnuts because A) I had coconut and 2) DH doesn't like walnuts (and I shouldn't eat 2 loaves by myself). It does have a lot of ingredients, but I knew it was meant to be when I realized I actually had buttermilk, an orange, and a couple of lonely brown bananas lying around, not to mention I used up the last of the overzealous 3 lbs of cherries I bought last week. It is very moist & not too sweet (a little salty, tho? easily fixed). It's also very photogenic (just like your pic!), smells great, and easy to eat with one hand while dashing out the door - I believe it is likely to become a new breakfast staple. Thanks!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

ashely-Thanks for your thoughtful note! I'm so happy it turned out well. Thanks for brightening my day! :)

meeeee said...

Just made it, very moist and not to sweet. Next time I would leave out the orange zest. To sharp a taste for me.

And PS to all the comments, it would be more helpful to everyone if you leave a comment AFTER you try the recipe. Not just saying you will try it. IE: I read a few to hopefully get a feel for IF I wanted to make it and I couldn't find a coment where someone actually made it.