Welcome, I'm Monique! I'm a healthy food blogger, fitness enthusiast, world traveler and a romantic. Ambitious Kitchen is a healthy food blog devoted to sweet treats + healthy eats, inspiration and all of my life ambitions. Read more about me.
An incredibly moist Carrot Cake Banana Bread made healthy with whole wheat flour and applesauce instead of lots of butter or oil. Don’t forget the low-fat cream cheese frosting — it’s to die for!
I never really enjoyed carrot cake until about a year ago.
It started when I was living in Los Angeles; there was an incredible cupcake shop in Manhattan Beach that I used to stop in after a beach walk in the evenings. They sold a variety of mini cupcakes and for some reason I decided to try their carrot cake version. After one bite, I was in heaven. Now I’m on some sort of quest to find the best carrot cake out there. Any suggestions?
When it comes to cake, the only thing that can compete with carrot is my Dad’s yellow cake with chocolate buttercream – and that one is pretty hard to master. I’m still working on the recipe after 7 years. Maybe one day.
There’s one thing I don’t like about carrot cake: all of those calories. And I’m already going to be eating everything else in my face during Easter, including at least three of those Reese’s Eggs and probably way too much wine. Yes, I try to make every holiday as awesome as Thanksgiving.
Anyway as I was preparing to head to the grocery store staring at overly ripe bananas on the counter, an interesting thought came to me. What if I combined the two? You know, my love for carrot cake + banana bread. Could this be a thing?
A lightened up healthy banana bread packed with oats, coconut, and chocolate chips — you don’t have to feel guilty enjoying a slice or two!
You guyssssssss. I have made so many banana breads over the last few days. Sometimes I wish I could stop baking but when I get the urge to, I just can’t stop. I think I’m an addict.
Due to my baking urges, I’m often up late at night; unfortunately I don’t get the chance to photograph the recipe since it’s dark and because I’m a little bit of a perfectionist. But sometimes I just want to share a recipe with you right away so I took these photos with my iPhone… hope you don’t mind!
Naturally sweetened banana bread made with whole wheat flour and oatmeal. Perfect for a healthy breakfast or snack!
I’m absolutely one of those people who believe that everything happens for a reason.
That tragedy is followed by opportunity and growth. That difficult times will eventually be followed by lovely moments. But I’m also the type of person who loves to plan, think ahead, or heck, just think about everything. My to-do lists are endless. My goals keep getting bigger.
But, I’ve also found that sometimes you have to live in the moment. Enjoy little moments with people who matter to you. Appreciate the messes, forget imperfections, and embrace the present. Still with me?
Remember last week when I told you about my vacation? Well it was the best! I went to the apple orchard, on long fall drives, baked apple crisp, coconut cookies, turkey meatballs, and more. We watched movies, drank wine, and laughed like nothing else mattered. In fact, we even went to the diner and ate pancakes at 2am on a Sunday. Sometimes you just need those moments; that little bit of time with someone special.
Other times you just need banana bread. That sweet aroma to fill your house and create a comforting atmosphere.
It’s obvious I’m in love with banana baked goods. Have you checked out my recipe indexlately? It’s full of healthy banana breads.
Ahhh the weekend is here. I’ve been craving it like chocolate.
Now it’s unusual for me to bring you a recipe on a Friday, but I just had to share this epic banana bread with you.
Strawberries + Coconut + Chia Seeds. Have you ever heard of such a lovely combination? It’s like a cozy little slice of heaven.
Speaking of things that need to be shared: I have some exciting news to tell you… but I have to hold off a bit (sorry!). Ugh keeping secrets is pretty difficult for me too! Look for a fun announcement very, very soon!
Anyway this banana bread is something I can share. In fact, it’s pretty major — beautiful even! And guess what? It’s also full of healthy ingredients that most certainly deserve a little special attention.
I’m getting to the point today. This bread is downright sensational. My goodness, I’m in love with it! I baked two loaves this weekend, and now sincerely hold the believe that it’s a little bit magical.
Honey Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Doesn’t the name just scream ‘devour me’? The flavor combination is unique: a perfectly moist interior with a touch of sweetness from the honey with the bits of chocolate. Trust me, it cannot be matched.
Most of my banana bread recipes are healthy, use minimal sugar, no butter/oil, and focus on substitutes. I wanted this bread to fall under that category as well; however, I had never experimented with whole wheat flour in banana bread, nor unrefined sweeteners so I figured I would try something new.
The result? A gorgeous, perfectly moist bread with a golden brown crust! And not to mention, it’s now my new go-to banana bread. I just can’t get enough of this gem.
Yesterday I enjoyed the day grocery shopping, eating a huge greek lunch with tzatziki (my favorite!), and drinking a little white wine… or A LOT of white wine. No biggie. For a quality nutritious dinner, I destroyed a giant cup of frozen yogurt with four flavors: pistachio, cheesecake, vanilla bean, and red velvet cake batter. Seriously extraordinary.
But then today a little bit of magic happened.
Cause I made this banana bread.
And I made it vegan.
And irresistibly healthy.
Because I love you, duh.
This recipe was inspired by my dark chocolate raspberry oatmeal banana bread, which happens to be my favorite banana bread EVER. The ingredients call for gluten-free oat flour and I love making it myself; all you do is throw rolled oats (oatmeal) into your blender and blend until they oats are ground into a fine flour. Simple and easy!
I’ll never forget the day I fell in love with baking. I was 7 years old.
My Mom decided that we would make a homemade pumpkin pie for the holidays. We spent hours deseeding and roasting pumpkins. I always enjoyed our time together in the kitchen because she gave me the best tasks.
On that particular day, I was in charge of making the pie crust look beautiful and fancy. Using my small hands, I tried my best to mimic the pie crust I had seen on the Thanksgiving dinner table, which of course resulted in something unsymetrical and pretty funny looking. Nevertheless, Mom was beaming at my accomplished pie crust and I was too! Eating the pie was the best part though; each bite brought me comfort and happiness knowing that I helped create a little slice of magic.
And so my love affair with baking began.
These days I find myself so busy that baking seems like a daunting task. It’s time-consuming, and sometimes a little bit complicated BUT I have to remind myself the results of home-baked goods are always unmatched. Lately I’ve been wanting to get back to real baking, the kind that is more like a project. And what’s more fun and interesting then making bagels from scratch? Seriously!
Now surprisingly, I don’t own bread machine, so I kneaded the dough by hand (talk about a calorie burner!); I felt accomplished and proud. Although, using an electrical mixer (such as a KitchenAid) would also work with this recipe.
Alas! I’m here to convince you to make homemade (handmade?) bagels. I’ll take you step-by-step through the recipe so that you can make these too! It’s a wonderful weekend project and great to do with kids. These bagels also happen to be lower in calories than bakery style, plus they’re chewy and toast perfectly. It’s some serious magic.
And since it’s Fall, we might as well make them pumpkin bagels, right? Then top them with a homemade whipped cinnamon honey butter.
So, here’s how we start: we’re going to proof the yeast (basically activate it)! Begin by placing warm water in a large bowl and adding the yeast along with brown sugar. The yeast essentially feeds off the sugar.
After a couple of minutes add the pumpkin, spices, and 2 cups of bread flour and mix until a sticky dough forms (pictured above).
Someone once told me that they didn’t like banana bread.
What? Everyone likes banana bread.
I think I stared at them in shock for a good 10 minutes. Because if you don’t like bread, then how can we be friends? It’s the BEST bread on earth. The bread that makes you remember what it’s like to be a kid and eat massive amounts of sweets when your mom wasn’t looking. It’s moist. It’s heavenly. It’s awesome. It’s in your face.
You know what else has been in my face a lot lately? Reality TV. Everytime I turn on the TV there it is. And you know what I think I secretly like it. It’s addicting. Don’t judge.
In fact I kinda want to be Giuliana Rancic’s best friend. Mainly because I want to raid her closet. But she seems nice and fun. And I bet she likes bananas. I’m going to tweet her and find out.
Ah the power of Twitter. You can find out if people like banana bread.
Speaking of social media…
Maybe I should have defriended the person that didn’t like banana bread. Because that’s what you do these days. You go on Facebook and defriend the people who don’t like banana bread.
Only kidding. That would be rude. But I am going to hug them next time I see them. They are missing out one of the best breakfasts in the world. That makes me sad.
Okay but really, you want to know why this banana bread is so great?
Because it has coconut in it.
And toasted coconut on top.
It also has greek yogurt in it.
And a splash of orange juice.
Plus it’s made with love.
And because it will be your favorite breakfast ever.
Oh, and did I mention it’s healthy? Yep that’s right. 115 calories per slice. Yes, I will repeat that for you. 115 calories per slice. I calculated it out just for you.
Why is it healthy you ask? Because I use egg whites, greek yogurt, and minimal oil. It’s a lower fat, healthy option for you. The coconut provides some good fats though.
It also provides a bomb of flavor goodness in your mouth. Moist, delicious tropical savory sweetness.
A healthy, low fat banana bread packed with coconut. Great for breakfast!
Author: Monique of AmbitiousKitchen.com
Recipe type: Banana Bread, Healthy, Low Fat
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 Large ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup + 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
½ tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup of brown sugar
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons skim milk
¼ cup fat free plain greek yogurt
¼ cup orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda together in mixing bowl. In separate large mixing bowl combine mashed bananas, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg whites and mix together until smooth. Next add oil. Then, slowly add in flour and combine until moist.
Next add greek yogurt and orange juice. Depending on the consistency you can add 2 tablespoons of skim milk. If you like your bread more dense than omit the milk, but if you like it more airy or lighter you can add it.
Lastly fold in ½ cup of coconut into batter. Pour into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of coconut on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and the bread is golden brown.
Optional: throw in ½ cup of walnuts to batter to help keep you satisfied all morning. Another option: Substitute ½ cup of regular flour with whole wheat flour. Make 16 slices.