As a mom, it’s easy for me to get lost in the parenting fog. That place in life when you’re simply going through the (good) motions each week: planning meals, tackling laundry, reading bedtime stories, and all of the other tasks that are required to make sure everyone is cared for. I find myself, many times, stuck in the parenting fog, which means it’s hard to see past the daily tasks, and notice the true impact these tasks are having on my family.
Last November, Piper’s school invited parents to a family-style pow-pow to enjoy songs, finger-plays, and food. Upon arriving, we were gathered around the shaded basketball court to wait for the children to make their grand entrance. The court was filled with parents with cameras, all of us eager to watch our kids sing the songs we’d been hearing about for weeks.
The first teacher entered the court, followed by a long line of children. Each child wore a beaded necklace and a hand-print hat, showcasing something they were thankful for. I read hat after hat, as the children made their way to the inside of the court. I’m thankful for Mom and Dad. I’m thankful for Legos. I’m thankful for my pet. I’m thankful for Grandma. I’m thankful for toys. I eagerly anticipated seeing Piper, and curiously thought about his hat, I bet he chose Legos, or Batman. Maybe Mom? Nah, I bet Dad got this one.
As the back of the line approached the court, I saw Piper and waved at him. He waved back, and then turned his head so we could read the words on his hat: I’m thankful for banana bread. I immediately chuckled, and looked at Dustin, “Did you see his hat? He’s thankful for homemade banana bread!!”
My heart was touched, and suddenly that parenting fog lifted. I realized that while the weekly task of preparing homemade food, which is something we often do as a family, may seem small and routine, it’s making a big impact on Piper’s life (and hopefully Londyn’s life, too).
Yes, Piper loves a good ol’ loaf of homemade banana bread, but I think the banana bread is just a symbolism of something deeper. Making banana bread causes our family, or at least a couple of us, to slow down and measure ingredients, talk to each other, and create something together. And, of course, the end result is a nourishing snack or breakfast.
PS: The pow-wow was so much fun. We sang, danced, and then enjoyed treats together as a kindergarten family. And then we went home and baked banana bread, upon Piper’s request!
By now I’m sure you’ve guessed that today’s recipe is for brownies. I’m totally kidding. Of course we’re going to make banana bread. But this isn’t just any banana bread. This is Piper’s favorite real food-style banana bread.
Most banana bread recipes call for a large amount of refined sugar, on top of the already sweet bananas. This recipe relies on the natural sweetness of overripe bananas and a small amount of maple syrup. Between the bananas and maple syrup, this bread is surprisingly sweet, and incredibly nourishing for a quick bread. To up the nourishing qualities of the bread, I add two ancient whole grains to this recipe: einkorn and spelt flour.
In honor of Piper, let’s make a loaf of Naturally-Sweetened Multi-Grain Banana Bread…
Naturally-Sweetened Multi-Grain Banana Bread (with Chocolate Chip Option)
- 8 TB butter melted, 1/2 cup/115 g
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt 120 g
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey, 80 ml
- 3 bananas once mashed, about 1 1/4 cups/280 g
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose einkorn flour 170 g
- 3/4 cup spelt flour 120 g
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, whole milk yogurt, and pure maple syrup. Add the bananas to the bowl, and mash the bananas with the back of a fork or potato masher. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients: einkorn flour, spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well combined. If you'd like a sweeter bread, stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips.
- Grease a bread pan, or line the bread pan with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the bread pan.
- Bake the bread for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.
- Alternatively, for a muffin pan, bake the muffins for about 22 minutes.
If you’d like to make a dairy-free bread, I believe you could sub the butter for melted coconut oil, and use coconut yogurt instead of the whole milk yogurt. I haven’t personally tried making these substitutions with this bread. If you’d like to make a gluten-free banana bread, I recommend trying my highly-rated almond flour banana bread recipe.
You could probably sub out the optional chocolate chips for crushed nuts (pecans or walnuts) for a nutty banana bread.
This recipe is freezer-friendly. I like to cut the baked bread in half, and then freeze the loaves in freezer-friendly bags. Defrost the bread in the fridge or at room temperature.
What’s Spelt Flour?
Spelt is believed to have originated in the Near East over 8,000 years ago, eventually making its way into Europe, particularly Germany. The mildly-nutty tasting spelt berry is considered an ancient grain much like einkorn, and is even referenced in the Bible. The spelt berry has not been hybridized like modern-day whole wheat. Spelt is sold in many conventional grocery stores, health food stores, and online.
Spelt has a lower gluten content than today’s whole wheat, making it easier to digest. Spelt is not gluten-free and should not be used by those with celiac disease or a severe gluten intolerance.
What’s Einkorn Flour?
Einkorn is known as the oldest variety of wheat making it an ancient grain. The ancient grain is believed to have originated in the Tigris-Euphrates region and is possibly the main grain referenced in the earliest accounts of the Bible. To put it simply, einkorn is the wheat men were eating in the earliest days before modern-day wheat varieties. While modern wheat has undergone hybridization, einkorn still holds true to its original properties. Einkorn is slowly gaining popularity, but is still grown in only a few regions in Europe.
The sweet, ancient grain has a lighter texture and taste than modern-day wheat, and contains a more favorable gluten ratio. People with minor gluten sensitives may be able to consume einkorn without the issues associated with whole wheat due the lack of D-genome, however, einkorn is not gluten-free. Einkorn is packed with nutrition, containing high levels of protein.
Einkorn looks and tastes similar to white flour, so it’s the perfect healthy flour to use when making soft, fluffy bread. Einkorn is sold in some health food stores and online.
Have you ever tried adding peanut butter to this recipe? I’d like to try it but I didn’t know if I should adjust the amount of butter.
You can try 1/4 of a cup. I haven’t tested it out, so I’m not 100% it’ll work.
Let us know how it works!
I made this DELICIOUS Banana Bread recipe after making the Einkorn Cranberry Orange Bread several times, LOVING it’s unique healthy texture and moist flavor. Having just made Instant Pot yogurt, I saved a bit for this recipe since the yogurt turned out so delicious. I’m sure I’ve made banana bread about a million times, but this is a stand out recipe due to the Einkorn and spelt flours. I used white chocolate chips and added some chopped dates too. Everyone loved it and it is definitely a keeper in my recipe file as is the Einkorn flour. Thanks for sharing it.
So happy you love it!! 🙂
Awesome, Pam! That’s great to hear!
I have this in the oven now and I’m excited to try it, but I have a questions about the measurements.
I prefer to bake by weight whenever possible, but with this recipe I didn’t know whether to trust the weight measurements over the cup measurements…How is 3/4 cup spelt flour equal to 120g if double that amount (1 1/2 cups) Einkorn flour is only 170g? I believe 120g is 1 cup, so is the 3/4 cup of spelt flour accurate (which should be more like 90g) or the 120g?
This is my first time using spelt flour so I figured maybe it was heavier than other flours, but I checked the bag which says 30g is 1/4 cup which is the same for the Einkorn and most other flours. I ended up using the 3/4 cup measurement because I figured there was more likely to be a mistake with the weight measurements, but I weighed it as well to check and it was around 90g.
All your recipes I’ve tried have been great so I just want to make sure I make this right! Thanks!
Hey Peggy Ann, Let me recheck my measurement for spelt in this recipe and I’ll get back with you. I’ll report back soon. Enjoy the bread! This is my favorite banana bread recipe.
Thank you! It turned out perfectly with the 3/4 cup of spelt flour that I weighed at 90g so perhaps the 120g is the wrong weight? Batter didn’t seem too runny or anything.
I made it into 3 mini loaves (and I doubled the salt just because I know I like more salt than that in my baked goods) with walnuts instead of chocolate chips. It was delicious and my husband and daughter loved it as well!
That’s awesome, Peggy Ann! So glad you’re enjoying the bread–and your daughter and hubby loved it too. I’m going to recheck my weight tomorrow for spelt, too.–Thank you again for noticing that and asking about it.
Would milk work in place of yogurt? Or sour cream? I’m fresh out of yogurt and really want to give this recipe a try today!!
Hey Lia, I bet sour cream would be great. Milk should work, but I’m not sure if it will sub 1:1.
Yes! Just made these and they are exactly what I was hoping for (sometimes I feel like that never happens haha). Thank you so much. I’m slowing getting into this real food stuff with my family and this is the first recipe I’ve tried with einkorn. I didn’t have spelt flour so I just used regular all-purpose with the einkorn instead. So good! Peace out boxed muffin mix!
*Side note: you think if I replaced the bananas with pumpkin it would work? Since I know this muffin recipe turns out I’m thinking of using it as my go-to base muffin recipe. Thanks!
Yay, Karli! That’s so great to hear! I *think* pumpkin puree should work in place of the bananas.
This recipe is fabulous! I haven’t gotten around to purchasing einkorn flour yet, but have made this banana bread several times substituting white whole wheat + the spelt flour and my son and I both love it! Thank you for sharing!!
Hey Annie, I’m so glad to hear the substitution worked so well! Thank you for sharing.
Are you using regular bananas or the ripe ones stored in the freezer?
Hey Noel, Either fresh ones (that are ripe) or frozen (ripe) bananas will work. If you’re using frozen bananas, bring them to room temperature first.
I made this last night and love it! Very tasty! 🙂 Can it be stored on the counter or should it be put in the fridge? And how long will it be good for? I don’t think it will last long (we’re already almost half way through it!) but just curious. Thanks for the recipe!
Hey Kristin, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the bread. I usually keep it on the counter for 1-2 days, and then move it to the fridge.
Thanks so much!!! I’ll try that!
Awesome banana bread… is there any way to soak the flour for this recipe?
Hey Hadassah, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the bread. You could soak the spelt, but the einkorn doesn’t perform very well when soaked. When I was soaking grains, I primarily soaked oats and whole wheat.
What about coconut flour? Only asking because i have that in my pantry.
Hey Susan, Coconut flour won’t work in this recipe. I think you’d a lot more eggs.
Do you by chance have any idea of the nutritional values on all your recipes?
Hey Susan, I don’t, but I know there are a several great resources online to do so: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/.
Thank you for clearing up the flour mystery. I had not heard about the flour used.
Hey Stephney, I’m glad the flour notes were helpful! They are two of my favorite flours!
Can the flours be substituted for other flour types? I have a variety of not white flour, but not the ones used in this recipe. I know that flours absorb moisture at different rates, so I wasn’t sure if there are know substitutes for these two. Thanks!
Hey Patty, Subbing another flour for the spelt flour shouldn’t be an issue, but it probably will be an issue with the einkorn. Einkorn tends to absorb liquid and act differently than most gluten-based flours. You could try making a sub for it, just watch the batter–it should be thick once everything is mixed together. Here’s an article that may be helpful for converting over the einkorn flour to a different flour, since it goes into great detail the characteristics of einkorn: http://www.einkorn.com/tips-for-baking-with-einkorn-flour/
Thanks, Kristin! I’m looking forward to trying this banana bread on Saturday!
Wonderful, Patty! I can’t wait to hear what you think!
This looks terrific! If I use ALL Einkorn should I use the same total amount of flour in your recipe? Thanks!
Thank you, Carole Sue! I just found this article, which looks like it may be helpful for converting the recipe over to 100% einkorn. Spelt usually needs more liquid, so you may need to reduce the amount of yogurt in the recipe: http://www.einkorn.com/tips-for-baking-with-einkorn-flour/.
Hi from the UK. I have been making a very similar banana bread for many years, but with one difference. Here, butter is not recommended for any one with heart disease so instead I have been using organic rape seed oil. It makes life much easier as it is an oil and no melting required.
I also read Helen’s problem with banana bread and have noticed that if the bananas are really ripe i.e. brown then I need to use less of a mixing liquid. I tend to use milk instead of yogurt but that is our preference.
I was finding out the perfect recipe from past 3 months but didn’t find out any source. Thanks for sharing the information. I will try this at home and will come back to share my experience.
This looks so good! I have been having so much trouble lately with banana bread. It’s always raw and gooey in the middle, no matter how long I cook. Ugh.
Hey Helen, Thank you! Are the breads browning and sort-of cracking on top, and still coming out raw in the center? I wonder if it’s an oven temperature issue–maybe the breads just need to bake a bit longer in your oven. Another issue may be too many bananas in the recipes?
hmm too many bananas. Interesting!! I even made a recipe that I have made before with success and had trouble this week. Yup, browned and cracked. So frustrating! I got a thermometer and my oven is fine. I wondered if it wasn’t. After my dishwasher fiasco I don’t need an oven one, too LOL Though I did manage to break one burner on the ceramic cooktop so I’ve been without one for three years so far 😉
Interesting, I’m not sure what may be happening then. Let me know how this bread turns out…fingers crossed!
Um, just like cheese, chocolate chips are never optional. Might not be able to get myself to turn the oven on for the vegetable cassarole, but I can suffer through the heat for banana bread with chocolate chips. Baking this up tonight once the sun goes down.
Lol, Katie! I feel the same way–there’s just something about bread! Enjoy the chocolate chip banana bread!
I like how you baked a whole banana into the top of the loaf. It’s very artistic.
Thank you, Elizabeth. The banana caramelizes in the oven, and really adds a delicious sweetness to the top of the loaf! It’s my favorite part ;).