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Whole Grain Banana Bread with Flax

banana bread with flax

We live in an age of high fashion food; hence, the commonplace banana has no more glamour than a nylon nightgown. But glamour can be exhausting, and slowing down to savor the familiar goodness of a banana is one of life’s pleasures.

To celebrate the wondrous ‘nana, I offer a multi-grain banana bread, one I’ve been promising to share for some time now. I had planned to take notes on how my husband makes his (it’s great), but instead decided to branch out on my own, in large part because I couldn’t get him to commit to a note-taking baking session (he prefers spur-of-the-moment banana bread episodes).

This recipe is the confluence of several basic banana bread recipes—one from Joy of Cooking, another from a Williams-Sonoma muffin book, and a third from Cooking Light. The result is healthier, and also (in my humble opinion) more delicious thanks to the substitutions of white whole wheat flour for standard all-purpose flour, and brown sugar for white, which adds subtle undertones of molasses and caramel. A final addition of some ground flaxseeds makes the bread even moister while adding those super-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.

But as good as the swap-outs and add-ins are, it’s the bananas that shine in this yummy bread. You may have a general idea of the nutrition in your ubiquitous bananas, but I am happy to report some of the specifics.

For starters, they are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber. One banana has 15 percent of the vitamin C, 11 percent of the potassium, and 16 percent of the dietary fiber needed each day for good health. Bananas also contain a rich supply of vitamin B6 (20 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance) which is significant in the synthesis of antibodies in the immune system. Finally, they help in protein metabolism, red blood cell formation and functioning of the central nervous system. At 90 calories and fewer than 15 cents a pop, they are almost too good to be true.

And now, to the kitchen!

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Whole Grain Banana Bread with Flax

  • Author: Camilla
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 80 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 12 1x


  • 13/4 cups whole grain spelt flour OR white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds (flax meal)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup natural cane sugar OR packed organic light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed OR 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 2/3 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large, very ripe bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5-inch Pyrex baking pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour (e.g., Bakers Joy).
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, flax, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl beat the coconut oil and sugar with an electric mixer set at medium speed until blended. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the banana, yogurt, and vanilla until just blended. Stir in the flour mixture by hand until just blended. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake 55-60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Invert onto wire rack, turn upright, and cool completely. Makes 14 slices/servings.


This bread, like any quick bread, can be made in less time by making it as muffins.It will make about 14 standard size muffins, and you’ll only need to bake them about 20 minutes. A gentle reminder before you begin baking: when adding the flour mixture to the banana mixture, stir as little as possible—overmixing is what can cause a gummy texture. But if you mix just until the flour is incorporated, you’ll have a perfectly tender bread.

  • Category: Quick Bread
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Wednesday 16th of May 2012

Hi Jessica,

I have not used pinterest much (I know, I am behind! Must get it otgehter!) but that sounds very odd. Could you give me the link to where it is taking you? I will have my computer guru husband take a look to help me figure out what is going on! :)


Wednesday 16th of May 2012

Hi,I don't know if it is something you control or not, but your recipes are not transferring to Pinterest right. Although, I saved the picture of the banana bread to my Pinterest page, when I click on it, it takes me to a page about Quinoa.


Thursday 29th of September 2011

Yay! I am so glad you enjoyed it! I love regular whole wheat flour--I bet it was great! :)


Thursday 29th of September 2011

AMAZING!! MY family said it's the best I've made and they've raved on others!! The texture is WONderful!! I did substitute with regualr whole wheat flour and used all organic ingredients, and WOW!!Thanks so much for posting this healthy and delicious bread!!!

Raechel Taylor

Tuesday 24th of May 2011

Camilla! It's Raechel Taylor! My brown bananas reminded me that it was time to put them to good use! So I'm so happy to have found this recipe! I'm sure it'll turn out amazing! Hope all is well!!

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