I’ve tinkered with more banana bread recipes over the years than I can count. But finding a lower sugar, high protein banana bread version that didn’t taste like diet food in disguise? Now that proved tricky.
After countless mediocre attempts and loaves likened to doorstops, I finally decided enough was enough. I became determined – no, obsessed – with creating my very own high protein banana bread recipe for guilt-free snacking.
It took months of experimenting with ingredients and tweaking methods. There were some ugly failed loaves along the way that quickly got relegated to the trash. But eventually, I struck gold.
This perfectly moist and indulgently sweet high protein banana bread has become my new go-to breakfast, snack, and anytime treat. Seriously – no one who tries it can even tell it’s packed with protein!
I can’t wait to share my hard-earned recipe wisdom so you can skip my trial and error and go straight to baking bakery-worthy loaves.
Table of Contents
My Journey Creating This High Protein Banana Bread Recipe
I love banana bread just as much as the next person. But the high fat, sugar, and calories in most recipes made enjoying more than the occasional slice pretty much off limits.
My first attempts at lightening up my favorite snack by using alternative flours or low fat ingredients always resulted in banana brick loaves about as moist as the Sahara desert. No matter how much I tweaked, sacrificed texture for dubious health gains just wasn’t worth it.
But I was determined to develop a classic recipe made a little “cleaner” with added protein and nutrients. I became committed to recreating the indulgently moist, sweet loaves of my dreams without all the excess fat, processed ingredients, and empty calories.
After purchasing more brown bananas than you could imagine and demolishing loaf after loaf (hey, someone had to test them!), it finally happened…I struck balance with the perfect combo of protein-rich and normal ingredients for ultimate flavor and nutrition.
This new go-to recipe quickly became a hit with my fitness friends. Even my kids devour slice after slice of this subtly sneaky health bread and beg for me to make weekly loaves.
Once you taste how amazing high protein banana bread can be, you’ll never see a spotted banana the same way again. Let’s get baking!
The Genius Protein-Packed Ingredients I Discovered
Through my testing, I landed on just the right mix of protein-rich ingredients and normal staples for ideal nutrition and indulgent banana bread texture. Here are my protein all-stars:
What sets this banana bread recipe apart is using ingredients naturally high in protein rather than less nutritious protein powders. Here’s the protein all-star lineup:
The secret ingredient! Swapping some of the butter for cottage cheese adds a big protein punch along with calcium without compromising taste or texture.
With 5 grams of protein per 1⁄4 cup, using oat flour gives the bread extra heartiness compared to all-purpose flour.
In place of dairy milk, soy milk adds plant-based protein, vitamin D and bone-strengthening minerals like calcium.
Sprinkled on top, hemp seeds add another 3 grams of complete plant-based protein per tablespoon along with magnesium and iron. Their mild, nutty taste pairs perfectly with bananas.
Stirring a dollop of Greek yogurt into the batter provides an extra dose of satiating protein – about 5 grams per quarter cup.
Let’s put these all-star ingredients into action with the step-by-step recipe…
My Journey Creating the Best High Protein Banana Bread RecipeCourse: BreakfastCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Stay tuned for the full nutrition facts later in the post! Now let’s get baking…
- Wet ingredients:
3 large overripe bananas, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup light cottage cheese
2 large eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk or almond milk
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
- Dry ingredients:
1 3/4 cups oat flour
1/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5” loaf pan and dust with flour or line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork. Stir in melted butter or oil, cottage cheese, eggs, milk, honey, vanilla and salt until blended.
- In another bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bowl. Gently fold together just until incorporated and no dry streaks remain. Be careful not to overmix.
- Fold in the nuts or chocolate chips if using.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top evenly. Sprinkle hemp seeds on top.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few moist crumbs. Resist opening the oven door much to prevent sinking.
- For the glaze, whisk together the yogurt, honey and vanilla.
- Once loaf is done baking, let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack.
- While still slightly warm, pour the glaze over the top allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Let cool completely before slicing.
- Store cooled banana bread tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days, in the fridge for 7-10 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
8 servings per container
- Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 3.5g 18%
- Sodium 210mg 9%
- Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
- Sugars 17g
- Protein 7g 15%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Tips for Bakery-Style Results
To achieve the picture-perfect bakery banana bread texture:
- Use very ripe bananas – the blacker the better!
- Mash the bananas thoroughly until mostly smooth
- Don’t overmix the batter to avoid denseness from over-developed gluten
- Bake in the lower half of oven to prevent top from over-browning
- Cool loaf thoroughly before slicing for clean cut edges that don’t crumble
- Brush with warmed almond butter instead of dairy glaze if avoiding added sugars
With my tips and your creativity, you can make your new go-to healthy banana bread!
The Key to Tall, Evenly Baked Loaves
A quality loaf pan really impacts the rise and baking. I highly recommend using:
USA Pan 9×5” Loaf Pan
It’s deeper than typical pans which gives you a nice tall loaf. The aluminized steel construction distributes heat evenly for consistent baking with straight sides and corners that hold their shape.
The nonstick surface means easy release without greasing, and it’s made to last – I’ve used mine for over 5 years through hundreds of loaves! Quality bakeware makes a big difference.
Pro Tips for Bakery-Worthy Texture
Follow these simple tricks for irresistible flavor and texture:
Use Very Ripe Bananas
The riper and more speckled the bananas, the better the bread tastes. Overripe bananas yield the sweetest flavor and moisture.
Mash Bananas Thoroughly
Mash those brown bananas with a fork until few chunks remain before mixing into the batter. Small bits don’t puree well during baking.
Once you add the dry ingredients, gently fold just until combined. Avoid overbeating which overworks the gluten and yields a dense crumb.
Check for Doneness Early
Test for doneness at least 5 minutes before the minimum baking time. Poking several toothpicks into the center helps ensure it’s baked through without drying out.
Let Cool Completely
Allowing the loaf to cool down fully before slicing allows the texture to firm up for clean slices that don’t crumble apart.
Store in an Airtight Container
Once completely cooled, store leftover loaf in an airtight plastic bag or container to prevent drying out. It keeps moist for up to 1 week at room temp.
Follow these simple baking secrets and I guarantee you’ll be whipping up bakery-level loaves in no time!
Storing and Freezing Tips for Longevity
- Wrapped tightly at room temp, it keeps moist for up to 1 week.
- Fridge storage extends life up to 10 days. Let sit out a bit before eating to restore texture.
- Well wrapped slices can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw at room temp or microwave briefly to restore freshness.
Proper storage means you can bake one loaf and enjoy slices all week long!
Troubleshooting Common Baking Mishaps
Here are some tips if your loaf doesn’t come out quite right:
Dense, gummy texture – Likely overmixed once flour was added. Gently fold to just combine next time.
Sunken center – Avoid opening the oven door repeatedly during baking, which can cause caving.
Too sweet – Cut back to 1 tablespoon honey and use full fat Greek yogurt in glaze rather than low-fat to provide balance.
Dry, crumbly texture
Ensure bananas are very ripe. Let cool completely before slicing. Brush slices with warmed almond butter for extra moistness.
Uneven baking – Use a quality pan that distributes heat evenly. Check oven temp accuracy. Rotate pan halfway through.
Burnt or overbrowned top – Cover with foil after 30 minutes if browning too fast. Position rack to lower third of oven.
I hope these tips help you troubleshoot any hiccups on the quest for bakery-quality banana bread!
Get Creative with Fun Variations
Once you master basic high protein banana bread, try variations like:
- Blueberry Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Banana Bread
- Peanut Butter Banana Bread
- Banana Nut Bread
- Banana Oatmeal Bread
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
The options are endless! I can’t wait to hear about your flavor innovations.
FAQs and Troubleshooting Problems
Get your baking questions answered below:
Is it important to use overripe bananas?
Yes! Very ripe, speckled bananas pack way more sweetness and moisture compared to slightly green ones. The riper the better for flavor and texture.
Can I use white whole wheat flour instead of oat flour?
Absolutely. Or you can use half oat and half whole wheat for added nutrition. Just avoid all-purpose flour which lacks the protein and fiber benefits.
What if I don’t have cottage cheese?
Substitute an equal amount of plain Greek yogurt which offers a similar protein punch. You can also use ricotta cheese.
Why is my bread dense and gummy inside?
Take care not to overmix once you add the dry ingredients to avoid overdeveloping the gluten. Gently fold just until combined then immediately transfer to the pan.
Help! My bread sank in the middle and is raw.
A sunken center happens when the batter bakes unevenly, causing the middle to collapse. Be sure to use a high quality loaf pan that promotes even heating. Avoid pans with a dark finish.
How can I prevent the bread from being dry?
Using very ripe bananas, proper mixing technique, and avoiding over baking helps keep it moist. Once cooled, store tightly wrapped. Brush slices with maple syrup or melted butter to revive any dried-out areas.
I hope this high protein banana bread recipe helps satisfy your family’s sweets cravings in a more nutritious way! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Now grab those brown bananas on your counter and get baking! Enjoy slice after slice of this sweet treat wrapped up in the guilt-free nutrition of high quality ingredients. Have any other banana bread questions? Let me know!