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“These are healthier, soft, fluffy, filled with the warming flavors of banana and cinnamon, and have the perfect crunch from the cinnamon topping,” O'Donnell shares. Plus, if you ask me, mini versions of foods are just inherently more fun to eat. You can share the extras with your loved ones or save them for a rainy day… but we won’t judge you for storing and saving them for yourself. Keep reading to see what makes this recipe shine, then learn how to make these simple yet deliciously satisfying loaves yourself.
Why we love this cinnamon crunch banana bread recipe
“When it comes to banana bread, the simpler the better,” says O'Donnell. “And if you have a couple extra ripe bananas sitting on your counter, this one’s for you.”
Speaking of bananas, they’re one of the most nutrient-dense fruits you can find. They’re rich in carbs, proteins, fatty acids, and minerals—plus bioactives like alkaloids, phenols, flavonoids, tannins, and saponins, which possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial activities. Standouts on the nutrient front include fiber (3 grams per medium banana), which promotes digestive and cardiovascular health. Meanwhile, their potassium content (450 milligrams per medium banana) balances water content in cells and thus helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Oat flour is another nutritional powerhouse in this dessert-for-breakfast (or dessert for dessert’s sake) recipe. It contains beta-glucans for even more beneficial fiber, which 93 percent of us could really use more of to help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic ailments. Moreover, oat consumption at large has been shown to enhance health by improving gut microbiota and helping promote a healthy immune response. (P.S. O'Donnell suggests using ready-to-go oat flour from Bob’s Red Mill, which is available in whole grain and gluten-free varieties.)
Her recipe also calls for a bit of Greek yogurt—aka the best yogurt for gut health—from Chobani to offer a bit of protein and calcium and minimal sugar. Maple sugar adds natural sweetness, and cinnamon rounds out the warm flavor profile while offering antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer effects.
Alas, it’s time to wake, bake, and invigorate with these tasty treats.
Mini cinnamon crunch banana bread recipe
1 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill oat flour (or 1 3/4 cup oats, blended)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup Chobani Greek yogurt
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Cinnamon crunch topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a mini loaf pan or a standard loaf pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, eggs, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and use a wooden spoon to mix until well incorporated and the batter is somewhat smooth.
- In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon crunch topping.
- For mini loaves, use a 1/2 cup to scoop the batter into each mini loaf. Then, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of each for the cinnamon crunch topping.
- If using a standard loaf pan, pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Then, sprinkle the top with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- For mini loaves, bake for 28-32 minutes.
- For a standard loaf pan, bake for 45-50 minutes. If the top starts to about halfway through, add foil to the top.
- For both, bake until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
- Serve with a spread of butter and a drizzle of honey, if desired. Enjoy!
- Sarma, Partha Pratim et al. “A pharmacological perspective of banana: implications relating to therapeutic benefits and molecular docking.” Food & function vol. 12,11 (2021): 4749-4767. doi:10.1039/d1fo00477h
- Paudel, Devendra et al. “A Review of Health-Beneficial Properties of Oats.” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 10,11 2591. 26 Oct. 2021, doi:10.3390/foods10112591
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