This healthy banana bread is packed with fiber, protein, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Makes 2 (8 1/2 X 4 1/2 -inch) loaves
1/2 cup toasted rolled oats (or old-fashioned oatmeal)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs plus 4 egg whites
1 cup low-fat buttermilk (or low-fat vanilla soymilk)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
zest of one orange
2 small very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup pitted, halved fresh cherries
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup flax seed or ground flax meal
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat 2 (8 1/2 X 4 1/2 -inch) loaf pans with cooking spray.
2. To toast the oatmeal, place in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
3. In a medium size bowl, whisk the toasted oats, flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and eggs. Add buttermilk, yogurt, orange juice, and vanilla; beat until batter is smooth. Lower the speed; add the orange zest and bananas, and beat briefly (it's ok if the batter has a few lumps).
5. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, and mix until just incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cherries, walnuts, and flax seed. The batter will be thick. Pour the batter into the pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6. Transfer the breads to a rack; let cool for 10 minutes, then unmold and place on a rack to cool to room temperature.