The Heartiest Banana Bread

Oh my. This recipe is a keeper thanks to Lindsay Hunt's cookbook Healthyish. I saw this on a bookshelf over a month ago and have wanted it ever since. So naturally I ended up buying it for myself...I'm really bad at this whole budget thing. But it was such a great purchase. The recipes are manageable, the pictures are gorgeous, and overall it inspires me to spend more time getting creative in the kitchen.

The first recipe I made from the cookbook was the Whole-Wheat Seeded Banana Bread. The only substitutions I made were to use applesauce instead of oil and all poppy seeds instead of a mix of poppy and sesame seeds (simply because I have so many poppy seeds). The bread was OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD-AMAZING! I ate two slices the day I baked it...and they were thick and hearty slices. So freaking delicious. I ate a slice every day that week for a snack and my days were infinitely better. I thought about sharing but simply didn't want to...

I decided to make another batch this weekend since it is my friend's birthday. But I also wanted to have more for snacks this week so I made two batches, one as a loaf and one as muffins. The loaf is for my friend and follows the recipe to a T except I kept it nut free in case of any allergies (I am bringing it to work). The muffins I tweaked a bit more to make them a bit more snack-worthy. What I love about this cookbook is the healthyish concept. Each recipe is healthy in its own way but has the "ish" that makes it over the top delicious and not a diet food or something restrictive. So many recipes these days and/or pictures on social media portray meals/snacks as healthy or unhealthy. And healthy food is often only fruit and vegetables and lean protein. Where did the carbs go? Since when are carbs bad foods? As a dietitian I take it upon myself to explain (and show you!) that all foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle and that meals should contain fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. This is a strong part of why I'm active on social media, to combat the other more restrictive messages. Okay, end of monologue.

The recipe in the cookbook is already healthyish as the title says, but I wanted to make it a bit more "me" which means less sweet and a bit more portion controlled since I can eat bread until the cows come home. That being said these tweaks are what work for my eating habits and my preferences, you do you! When it comes to a quick bread loaf I have a difficult time cutting the bread into moderate slices and therefore end up eating thicker slices. There is NOTHING wrong with this, but after a week of hearty banana slices each day for a snack I started to feel a bit sluggish. At the same time I wanted more of that bread! So I made the bread into muffins and now instead of 8 slices of bread I have 12 muffins! But again, there's nothing wrong with having fewer denser, thicker, dreamier slices too. I'm not great at intuitive eating and listening to my hunger/fullness cues. I am much more of a planner and so I try having smaller portions that hit on all the nutrients that my body needs.

And if you were wondering, here is my adaptation to Lindsay Hunt's Healthyish Banana Bread.

Hearty Banana Bread


  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or other sweetener (can use honey or sugar)
  • vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • walnuts


  1. Add the first 5 ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well combined.
  2. Add the next 4 ingredients (omit the nuts at this time) and fold into the wet ingredients until well combined.
  3. Stir in the nuts (or chocolate chips!).
  4. Using 1/4 cup measuring cup portion into muffin tin (will make about 12 muffins, but can make less for larger muffins!)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
  6. Enjoy with peanut butter, butter, homemade jam (thinking of my mom's), crumbled over yogurt, as french toast, etc. You do you and enjoy!

References: Hunt, LM. Healthyish.