Banana Bread with Walnuts and Flaxseed


I like to play in the kitchen, flip through cook books and test out new recipes. That said, I am also very much a creature of habit and often fall back to the known and comfortable.  There are a handful of recipes that I make at least once a month. I can practically prepare them in my sleep, which is probably half of the appeal:  less thinking required, which means totally doable on a weekday evening.   One of my staples is banana bread.  When the bananas in our fruit bowl start to brown, it’s time to whip up a few loafs. 

Because I make banana bread so often, I try to keep it on the healthy side.  The recipe below has been my go-to for the last couple of years.  I originally “found” it in the April 2004 issue of Bon Appétit, when I was on a flax seed kick; everything with flaxseed is healthy, right?  Riiiiight. 

I like to (liberally) sprinkle a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon to the top of the batter right before putting into the oven – it adds a great topping that makes you forget all about the flax and whole wheat inside the bread.

Banana Bread with Walnuts and Flaxseed

Makes: 1 Loaf

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup whole-wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup ground golden flaxseed
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white
½ cup light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3 medium (very ripe) bananas, mashed
½ cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a nine-by-five-by-three inch loaf pan and set aside.  Whisk together the flours, flaxseed, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl, set aside.

Put egg and egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium-low speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.  Add melted butter, sugar, vanilla and bananas; mix until combined.  Add the reserve flour mixture and mix on low speed until well incorporated.  Stir in walnuts.

Pour batter into buttered pan.  Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (about 35 minutes).  Let cool slightly in pan.  Remove bread from pan and let cook completely on rack.

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Brittany | Jun 5, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    This looks so yummy! Question though – when our bananas start to brown, we put them in the freezer. How long do you think they can be in the freezer before they are no good even for banana bread?

  • Shauna | Jun 6, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Yum!! And healthy too!! I love to feed my little girl anything that I can put flaxseed in! Makes her smarter, right?? 🙂 You should enter this banana bread contest! You could win a $50 gift card to Sur La Table!


    There aren’t very many submissions yet, so your chances of winning are good! I’d enter it myself, but I’m the one sponsoring it!!! haha!!

    Plus, you’ll get traffic back to your website by entering the contest and that’s always a good thing!



  • Christine | Jun 6, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Brittany – Freezing is actually the other thing I do with bananas when they start to brown, but I’ve never thawed and used for baking, so I’m not sure how long they keep. I use the frozen bananas for smoothies, though, which is a great substitute for ice that makes the smoothie watery.

    Shauna – Thanks so much for the tip on the contest. I’ll definitely check it out!!