Happy Halloween, Well+Being readers! While pumpkin-flavored everything has been clogging the shelves practically since August, we’re still (somehow) not sick of it—especially when it makes an appearance in one of our year-round favorites, banana bread. Registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield created this recipe for a healthy version of the classic baked good that packs in plenty of whole grains, gets its sweetness from natural maple syrup, and adds a dose of vitamin A, iron, and potassium from the pumpkin. “This recipe is perfect on its own for a quick breakfast, snack, or dessert,” says Scritchfield. “It also pairs well with a bowl of roasted vegetable soup or hearty bean chili, and is great to make in advance and store in the freezer.” If you have a mini loaf pan, bake individual loaves and defrost them whenever you want for a take-anywhere treat.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour for one loaf, or 40 minutes if using mini loaf pans
Nutrition information: 183 calories, 6 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 27 milligrams cholesterol, 152 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber, 8 grams sugar, 4 grams protein, 53 milligrams calcium.
2 mashed ripe bananas
1 can pumpkin purée
¼ cup vegetable oil (you can use corn oil, canola oil, or olive oil or experiment with your favorite)
½ cup maple syrup
2 cups flour (try whole-wheat pastry flour or 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole-wheat flour)
½ cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Lightly coat an 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan (or four mini loaf pans) with vegetable oil, and wipe off the excess.
3) Place mashed banana, pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup, and eggs in a large bowl. Beat with an electronic mixer on low speed.
4) Place flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon in a medium bowl, and whisk to combine.
5) Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, and stir or lightly beat until just moist.
6) Pour batter into loaf pan, and bake for one hour or until toothpick placed in center comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.
Rebecca Scritchfield is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and Founder of Capitol Nutrition Group in Washington, DC. Have a healthy recipe to share? E-mail email@example.com with details for a chance to be featured on Well+Being.