Going Against the Grain – Quest for the Best Banana Bread (And Giveaway!)

Up until now we’ve kept our banana breads on this quest pretty traditional, using all-purpose flours, white and brown sugars and even excluded nuts. Today, however, we’re going against the grain by going with the grain! Whole grain that is. Kelly over at Inspired Edibles was gracious enough to put together a recipe on our behalf that is entirely composed of whole grains and raw sugars. In case you didn’t know – Kelly is awesome (and so is her banana bread)!

Now, you can bet Miss A was excited to make this new recipe, especially when I told her that it had oatmeal in it. She loves oatmeal. So she and I gathered our dry ingredients including whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, whole grain oatmeal, ground allspice, walnuts (just for you Kelly), baking powder, baking soda and turbinado sugar.Β 

Miss A then mixed it all together for us.

Then we got to work on the wet ingredients which included orange juice, plain Greek yogurt, eggs, olive oil, vanilla and bananas.

Miss A was our masher as usual. This time she even added a little dance to her routine.

Next we mixed together the dry and the wet ingredients.

Then Miss A mixed together our topping of oatmeal, turbinado and cinnamon and sprinkled it over the bottom of the loaf pan. This particular loaf pan has leaf imprints on the bottom of the pan, so we sprinkled the pan versus the top of the loaf since we’ll be flipping it after it bakes.

We also sliced some bananas across the bottom of the pan for the topping.

Then poured in the batter.

We baked the banana bread at 375F for 50 minutes. Then we turned the oven off and let the bread sit in the heat for another 15 minutes. The result was a beautifully browned bread that smelled amazing.

Finally we turned the bread out so that the leaf imprints were on the top of the bread. The oatmeal topping outlined the leaves beautifully, but the banana topping is probably more visually appealing when you’re not flipping the loaf. Ours disappeared into the loaf, but it did make for fun banana bite surprises.

Kelly’s whole grain banana bread sliced wonderfully and came out of the oven just as Mr. N got home from school.

We were all anxious for that first warm slice and it was a hit! Now if we’re being completely honest here, and we always are, this did taste like a healthy loaf of banana bread. BUT, and this is the truth, it is by far the best tasting healthy banana bread we’ve eaten. Most of the healthy versions we’ve had have been either dry or bland – sometimes both. This bread, however, was moist and full of flavor.

You out did yourself Kelly. Thank you! And in January we’ll see how it stacks up to the others in the taste test.

Now since we’re feeling grateful for Kelly, grateful for Karen at the Back Road Journal who passed us the Leibster award (more on that in a minute), grateful for all of our readers, and since it’s Thanksgiving next week and we’re just being generally grateful, here’s a little giveaway for you.

I came across this “recipe rock” in Cooking Light magazine this month and knew I had to giveaway a few. It comes in completely handy for all the recipes I’ve been printing from many of your blogs and has kept them from getting covered in food. So if like us, you print of a lot of recipes on-line or clip them out of magazines, we hope you’ll find this as useful as we do.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below. For additional entries, follow us on Facebook or subscribe to the blog and let us know about it in another comment. The drawing will be held and we’ll announce the two winners on Thanksgiving Day. Good luck!

Now back to the Leibster award for a moment. The Leibster is awarded to blogs with fewer than 200 followers that deserve more, many thanks to Karen who passed it along. Her blog is a delight to read as it’s full of delicious recipes and wonderfully colorful adventures both around the world and in her own backyard. Thanks Karen! We’re humbled and grateful. The rules are simple, pass the award along to five blogs you think are worthy. Now we have no idea how many followers anyone has, but here are a few of our favorites and also some of the most recent blogs we’ve come across and find highly enjoyable:

Baker by Nature, A Dash of Sugar and Spice, Smart Food and Fit, Just a Smidgen, and Β Misadventures in Cooking.

Now for those of you that want to try Kelly’s amazingly healthy banana bread (which isn’t a bad quick bread option during this indulgent time of year), here it is…

Print this recipe: Kelly’s Whole Grain Banana Bread

92 thoughts on “Going Against the Grain – Quest for the Best Banana Bread (And Giveaway!)

  1. sallybr says:

    OH, I am definitely working too much and ALMOST missed this giveaway, and the wonderful recipe designed by Kelly – I am very fond of her blog, so it’s nice to “see’ her over here, indirectly

    Not sure I still made it for the giveaway, but here is MY COMMENT:



  2. A_Boleyn says:

    I don’t know how I missed commenting on your latest banana bread experiment … maybe because banana bread isn’t something I make or eat on a regular basis (once ever 3-4 yrs is plenty). It’s HEALTHY too which usually makes me give recipes a pass. I’m glad you’re doing all this experimenting and I look forward to the final verdict.


    • Kristy says:

      Glad you found this one and didn’t miss out on the giveaway. πŸ™‚ And we are the same way, at least with banana bread, we usually pass on the healthy versions. But I have to say, this one made me a convert.


    • Kristy says:

      If it wasn’t for Kelly, I don’t think we would have tried a healthier version. But I have to say, she’s won me over! I seriously didn’t think a healthy bread could be good. πŸ™‚


  3. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    Kelly’s recipes are amazing and your recipes are also amazing :). I never knew a healthy bread could be so delicious looking. And Miss A looks like she’s ready for her close up :). She’s too cute for words..


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Kay! I know – who knew right?! Well, it’s all thanks to Kelly. She has a way of making healthy things look and sounds amazing. She even got me to eat peas (and like them!). πŸ™‚


  4. Just A Smidgen says:

    I loove banana bread and am definitely not put off by a healthier tasting one. Funny, sometimes I crave that “healthy” taste of whole grain, other times it’s all-purpose flour all the way. This is a recipe I’ll save to try:)


  5. Kelly says:

    Kristy! What a pleasure to read this post. Thank you for all of your kind words; you did such a beautiful job with the banana bread! The leaf imprints are so pretty and the slices… I know I’m partial to whole grains but don’t you find they look rustic and full of richness? (all of those nutrients – I like to think! :)) Thank you so much for featuring this whole grain loaf on your blog – Miss A is beyond adorable… my boys can’t get enough of her – it was a total jostle scene on the way down to Toronto this afternoon in the car – β€œIt’s my turn to see Miss A!!!” If your contest is open to your northern neighbours, you know I’m in! Love the rock… have not seen it before. Enjoy the rest of the weekend – xo.


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Kelly! I owe it all to you. πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed it. I know we did. And I do think that this bread looks the best of all of them. The rustic look has a lot going for it. Glad your boys enjoyed the post too. They would have gotten a kick out of her today too. She was performing her rock show – complete with rock star jumps off the fireplace mantle and fists in the air “woo’s!” LOL. I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!!!


  6. bakerbynature says:

    As always – I love the action shots of your little cuties in the kitchen! Banana bread is one of those things I can never get enough of… so a healthy version here and there could definitely be a good thing.

    Love the recipe rock – fun gift idea, too!



  7. Charles says:

    “This bread, however, was moist and full of flavor.” – Well, I always did have a sneaking suspicion that Kelly’s recipes were filled with awesome πŸ™‚ It looks really great, and it’s cool that it’s a “healthy” version too. I love your cake tin by the way… looks really cool. Don’t suppose you got it somewhere “generic” like Amazon did you, so I can buy one myself?

    Re you “recipe rock” – I’ve seen those around recently – nice to finally know what it is… couldn’t work it out at all πŸ˜€ Also, if you’ll ship to Europe, count me in!


    • Kristy says:

      You know I picked up the tin at a craft store. I’ll look around and see if I can find one online. If not, let me know and I can pick one up and ship it to you. πŸ™‚ And of course I’ll ship to Europe!


  8. Erin Renee says:

    Always nice to see a new recipe for banana bread. Next time you should try putting some chai mix in there too. Yum yum.

    Crossing my fingers to win this rad recipe stone….we shall see… πŸ˜‰


  9. Karen says:

    Miss A looks so happy making this banana bread. I think it might have the same smile making it as well. I am looking forward to reading the blogs of those you have passed the award on to.


  10. Caroline says:

    This is much, MUCH healthier than the banana bread I just made! And it looks just as delicious. Kelly whipped up a great recipe. Miss A looks so sassy in that photo, I love it. She’s a natural. Congrats on the award! and I’m already following you on FB. πŸ™‚ x


  11. Eva Taylor says:

    What a lively recipe, Kristy. I’ve not heard of Turbinado sugar before, but am assuming it’s healthier than regular processed sugar. The giveaway looks cool.


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks! We figured a healthy one should be thrown in the mix. It’s definitely different than any of the others and there’s some definite fun in that. Plus it tasted great!


  12. spicegirlfla says:

    I can definitely see how excited Miss A is over making this batch of bread! Terrible 3s…oh no, just the absolute cutest!! I think I’m going to have to squeeze in another quick bread recipe for next week. I love how full of good ingredients this one has!


    • Kristy says:

      LOL. It is the age of Jekyll and Hyde. πŸ˜‰ This one is packed full of goodness! Kelly is amazing. πŸ™‚ Hope that you’re enjoying having your daughter home!


  13. Courtney says:

    Awww, thanks Kristy! And I love that you tried a healthier bread – and I can’t help but laugh about your bananas disappearing. I had that happen once when I made Pinapple Upside Down cake and decided to replace cherries with fresh strawberries. πŸ™‚ Can NOT wait to hear the best banana bread recipe you find.


    • Kristy says:

      LOL! Glad I’m not the only one. I love your style in the kitchen Courtney. πŸ™‚ And you totally deserve the award. I love reading your blog. I’m anxious to see the best banana bread too.


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