Banana Bread - a slightly healthier version

melbourne epicure


  • 2 eggs
  • 100g honey
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 125g wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  •  ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 small very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 100ml natural yoghurt
  • 1 medium-large carrot, grated finely (about 125g)
  • 1 medium-large zucchini, grated finely (about 150g)
  • 75g sultanas
  • 75g dates, finely chopped
  • 50g walnuts, chopped

Optional toppings

  • Crushed walnuts
  • Brown sugar
  • Oats


  • Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, grease and line a 26cm loaf tin with baking paper
  • Using an electric mixer beat eggs and honey together for several minutes until light and fluffy
  • In the meantime, sift flours, spices, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder together in a small bowl, set  aside
  • Add mashed bananas and yoghurt and continue whisking until incorporated
  • Using a wooden spoon, mix in dry ingredients until just combined
  • Fold in grated carrot, grated zucchini, sultanas, chopped dates and chopped walnuts until all incorporated
  • Spoon into prepared tin and add optional toppings if using and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes , test with a skewer, it should come out clean
  • Allow to cool slightly before removing from tin



Why use bicarbonate of soda in a recipe? 

  • Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda are both leavening agents
  • When added to a batter, the leavening agent causes air bubbles to expand when heated and therefore causing a rise
  • Bicarbonate of soda is used in recipes that contain an acidic ingredient e.g. lemon juice, sour cream, buttermilk, cocoa or honey
  • Baking soda starts to react and release carbon dioxide gas as soon as it is added to the batter and liquid is added
  • Bicarbonate of soda has a slightly different quality to that of baking powder when used in baking
  • It can have a slightly tangy or soapy taste and it makes a lovely golden colour, think of it used in the making of honeycomb
  • It gives cakes a very specific texture unable to be achieved with baking powder
  • It needs to be sifted well and measured precisely to avoid the bitter taste