April Ate Protein-Packed Banana Bread


Great for lunch boxes and after-school snacks, oh and breakfast too, this delicious Banana Bread recipe is one of my family’s favorites. It is filling and healthy, yummy and satisfying but not too sweet.

I made this bread on a Thursday evening, pulling it out of the oven around 8pm while my kids were doing homework. I placed it on the cooling rack and went upstairs to write. My husband came home from a meeting, the kids came downstairs, and I was lucky to have any banana bread left to take a picture of come Friday morning! It is that good.

The basic recipe is from the estimable Mollie Katzen and her book Sunlight Cafe. My talented sister, artist extraordinaire Karen Combs, gave me this cookbook years ago and I cannot recommend it enough. Inspired by the fact that Mollie had a cup of protein powder to her recipe, I’ve made a few modifications to add even more protein by including both chia seeds and walnuts. Now, without further adieu –

April Ate High Protein Banana Bread

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour ( I actually used gluten-free Cup4Cup and it worked wonderfully.)
  • 1 cup protein powder (Mollie recommends soy protein powder from the bulk food section at the grocery store. I always use Vega Protein and Greens powder because it tastes good and I like founder Brendan Brazier‘s ethics.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts – either ground in a food processor or finely chopped with a knife
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs (I always use omega-3 eggs because we are vegetarians)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil

    To Make:

  1. Preheat oven to °350. Lightly spray a standard-size loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, protein powder, salt, baking powder, and sugar until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, ground or chopped walnuts and the chia seeds.
  3. In another bowl, mash the bananas and then thoroughly combine them with the eggs, vanilla, and melted butter.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bowl and stir from the bottom of the bowl until everything is thoroughly blended into a stiff batter.
  5. Evenly transfer the batter into the bread pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour depending on how moist you prefer your banana bread.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 20 minutes or more before slicing.

This bread freezes well, so if you have lots of ripe bananas you could always make two loaves and store the second in the freezer for a Saturday morning treat.

The original recipe for Mollie Katzen’s Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Bread is right here. Check out her recipes – you will not be sorry.

Season 2 of the April Eight Songs & Stories Podcast starts this week! I’m so excited! If you and your kids haven’t listened to Season 1 yet, it starts right here. Enjoy.

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