Banana, Blueberry and Oat Bread

I’ve had plain banana bread and banana bread with nuts and dried and fresh fruits. But my go-to banana bread recipes are the ones with fresh fruits. One cup of fruits adds so much moisture and sweetness that this dessert becomes so addicting. The classic banana bread gets a healthy upgrade with white whole-wheat flour and oats, and flavor boost from blueberries. Pair with cream cheese for extra richness. I hope you enjoy it!

10 MIN PREP | 50 MIN COOK | 1 HR TOTAL | MAKES 1 LOAF OR 9 BARS OR 4 MINI LOAVES

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Base Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large or 4 small very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blueberries, or
  • 1 cup raspberries, or
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries, or
  • 1 cup mixed fruits
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Instructions:

1. PREHEAT oven to 350 degree F.

2. MELT butter in a loaf pan, or an 8×8 square pan, or a mini loaf pan while oven is preheating (set a timer for 5 to 7 minutes to prevent the butter from burning).

3. In a large bowl (prepare wet ingredients), BEAT the eggs and MASH the bananas. GREASE your choice of baking pan(s) with the melted butter. STIR in the rest of melted butter with the eggs and bananas.

4. In a medium bowl (prepare dry ingredients), COMBINE the flour, oats, sugar and baking powder.

5. Slowly ADD dry ingredients to wet ingredients until well-combined (don’t overmix). FOLD in the fruits (don’t overmix).

6. POUR batter in the pan(s). BAKE, uncovered, until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean (or with a few moist crumb), 55 minutes. Slightly COOL before removing from pans.

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Notes:

Just loafing around. You can use a standard-sized loaf pan, or an 8×8 square pan, or 3 to 4 mini loaf pans. My family likes the banana bread’s crispy edges, so I use mini loaf pans for all my banana bread recipes.

Eat your oats. I like to combine white whole-wheat flour with quick-cooking oats for a healthy boost. I think they go well together in baking as they are both mild in taste and share many of the same nutritional benefits. However, oats taste a bit nuttier and are mostly gluten-free. Use quick-cooking oats to achieve a more delicate texture in baked goods and old-fashioned oats for a more hearty texture.

Say it with flour. I use only white whole-wheat flour for all my baking and cooking. Not only for the health benefits of whole grain, but also for the convenience of having to remember to shop for and storing only one type of flour. White whole-wheat flour is made from whole grain similar to that of regular whole-wheat flour. Whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour are made from red wheat kernels. To make whole-wheat flour, the kernels are milled with the bran which makes the flour whole grain. The bran has a dark color, bitter taste and heavy texture, which can be less than ideal for baking. All-purpose flour is also made from red wheat kernels but without the bran (thus, it’s not whole grain), which is a less healthy option for baking and cooking. On the other hand, white whole-wheat flour is made from white wheat kernels. The bran in these kernels has a light color, mild flavor, delicate texture and sweet taste. Since white whole-wheat flour is naturally sweeter, I use fewer sweeteners for baked goods to taste good.

Gimme some sugar. I use only raw sugar (that’s slightly less refined sugar) for all my baking and cooking. Not because it’s healthier, but for the convenience of having to remember to shop for and storing only one type of sugar. Sugar is sugar, regardless of color. Sugar canes are stripped and crushed to produce sugar juice. The juice is then heated to create sugar crystals, also known as raw sugar. The crystals are then spun to remove the molasses which results in white granulated sugar. Molasses are then added back to the white sugar to make brown sugar.

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