Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

Made with whole grains and Greek yogurt, this is the perfect anytime banana bread. Grab for a quick breakfast or enjoy as an afternoon snack; it's a filling, delicious bread you can feel great about eating. 

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Of all the quick breads out there, banana is by far my favorite. But it's always felt like a special occasion food to me; like, for when company is coming. Or, for baking on a snow day. It's always felt a little too indulgent for regular breakfast rotation. 

greek yogurt whole wheat banana bread

But why should such a delicious, easy bread be enjoyed only a few times a year?  Especially since it's a perfect grab-on-your-way-out-the-door kind of breakfast. (Or, equally enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee while watching the snow fall.) I've been searching for the perfect everyday banana bread for years. One that will not only satisfy my cravings for a sweet bread, but also satiate me for more than an hour. Because that's the problem with a lot of quick breads - they are mostly filled with refined carbohydrates and lots of sugar, with very few ingredients to actually keep you full.

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whole wheat greek yogurt banana bread

There are a lot of recipes out there for "healthy" banana breads. And believe me, I've tried many. Some were too dry, some too soggy (yes, that's a thing), and some just flavorless. I've even seen a few with artificial or alternative sweeteners.  (I did not try these; there is no place for artificial sweeteners in my kitchen.) With a few recipes getting close but not quite right, I decided to test out my own. As much as I am willing to take risks when it comes to cooking,  baking is not an area in which I stray from a recipe. Like ever. But it only took a few failed breads, including one that completely collapsed in the middle, before I found the perfect recipe. It's moist but holds it's form, it's sweet but not too sweet, and filled with ingredients that will fill you up and keep you energized for several hours.  It's like the Goldilocks of banana breads. 

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This banana bread gets my stamp of approval because: 

  1. Whole grains , which means more fiber so it's digested more slowly than a refined grain. Hence, you are fuller for longer. Plus,  whole grains = more nutrients. 
  2. Full-fat Greek yogurt for extra protein and healthy fat to keep you full. 
  3. Lower sugar because most of the sweetness comes from overripe bananas. 
Whole wheat greek yogurt banana bread

But it's not one of those "tastes like it's healthy" breads. We're not sacrificing flavor in the name of health. I brought a loaf of this bread to my father-in-law, who is known for his love of anything sweet and disinterest in vegetables and he gave it two thumbs up.  

The chocolate chips are optional, but I'm not sure why you'd leave these out. Because, chocolate is definitely acceptable at breakfast when it's in banana bread. Or really anytime.

I recommend heating a slice in the microwave for 15 seconds before eating and putting a bit dollop of nut or seed butter  for some extra staying power and deliciousness. 

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Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Ingredients
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large (about 1 1/2 cups) over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% or 4%/whole milk)
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional) + more for topping
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts (optional for topping)
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9x5 loaf pan. Combine first 5 ingredients (dry ingredients except brown sugar) in a large mixing bowl. Whisk remaining ingredients except chocolate chips and walnuts (all liquid ingredients + brown sugar) in a separate bowl until combined. It's OK if there are small chunks of banana that remain. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour liquids and then stir gently until combined. Do not over mix. Mix in chocolate chips, if using. Pour batter into greased pan then top with walnuts and additional chocolate chips, if desired. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Check with toothpick for doneness (it should come back clean). Let cool for 10 minutes. Slice and top with nut butter, if desired! Store on counter for up to 3 days or in fridge for up to 1 week. It also stores well in the freezer for up to a month.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10-12 slices
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