Whole Wheat Oatmeal Banana Bread

Stop reading right now if you don’t think banana bread is the greatest thing on the planet.

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My love for banana bread runs deep. Well, my love for banana ANYTHING runs deep. (Except for banana flavored Laffy Taffy. WHAT. IS. THAT?!) It was destined. My nickname growing up was Deanna Banana. It’s also no joke when I say that I eat 3 bananas a day. (Is this bad? Please don’t tell me this is bad. I probably won’t listen anyway.) They’re just so sweet and delicious and I can’t stop eating them. So if I can increase my banana intake via bread and/or muffins? Sign. Me. Up.

The thing about loving bananas is that I will never be that person who always has a large amount of bananas left over to brown. I always eat them before that happens. So the fact that I really love banana bread and muffins can be problematic. I actually need to plan ahead and buy extra bananas strictly for the purpose of leaving them out long enough so that I can bake with them.

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When the planets all align and I do have leftover bananas that are perfect for baking, banana bread is the first thing that enters my mind. There is just nothing better. Banana bread warm out of the oven or leftovers the next day; I just can’t get enough. In general, I just can’t enough enough of ALL quick breads and muffins. There is just something so homey and comforting about them. My boss makes THE BEST apple bread ever and you do NOT want to see me when I’m alone with that bread. It’s not a pretty sight. Have you ever had something so amazing you tried to throw it out so that you wouldn’t eat the whole thing? Then, while trying to throw it out, you’re hovering over the trash eating more little by little? No? Oh…then me either.

If I could open a bakery and serve nothing but different varieties of quick breads and muffins, I would be a happy camper. Imagine walking in to a store and seeing and endless supply of banana bread, lemon loaves, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, blueberry muffins, banana muffins, chocolate muffins, etc. The list can go on and on. Serve all of those up with some coffee, and I’m a goner. And cookies. Always, always cookies. They’re my love language.

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I’ve been making this particular bread for a while now. There are just so many things I love about it. Using whole wheat flour makes me feel like I’m living right. It makes me feel grown up. Adding old-fashioned oats? Hold the phone. It’s just so good. It adds such a great texture and nutty flavor that I can’t handle. It makes me feel whole. I’m also 80 years old and have such an oatmeal obsession. It’s legit. Baked oats, oatmeal, granola bars, granola, oatmeal cookies. I just can’t get enough. If I can put oats in something, you bet your life I will.

Another all-star ingredient in this bread? Unsweetened apple sauce. What the what? Applesauce is used in this recipe in place of other fats like oil and butter. It helps add moisture to the bread without the extra fat and calories. And for someone who is getting married in 6 months (oh, hi. that would be me), cutting fat and calories is an extra bonus. Between the applesauce and the mashed bananas, you really are not missing any of the extra fats. Shocking, but true. And with only a 1/2 cup of sugar in this entire loaf, it pretty much means you can eat 3 huge slices and not worry. #bananabreadmath

The resulting bread is one that is so flavorful, it knocks my socks off. The banana flavor is so profound, and the whole wheat flour and oats add such a nice depth. This bread has some heft to it. It’s not a light and fluffy cake-like bread, which is just how I like it. If I want light and fluffy, I’ll have some angel food cake. Having a slice of this bread with your coffee in the morning? I can’t think of a better way to start the day.

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I just wrote over 650 words about banana bread. What is my life?

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Whole Wheat Oatmeal Banana Bread

(Recipe by: Baked By Rachel)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of mashed banana
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×5″ loaf pan with non-stick spray
  • In a medium bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients (applesauce through banana).
  • In another bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (flour through salt)
  • Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
  • Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan (sprinkle with additional oats, if desired).
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing.