Sometimes we need a little comfort food. Maybe a rough day at work has you drained. Maybe relationship problems are troubling you. Maybe some unexpected bad news has got you down. No matter our reasons, it’s tempting at times to reach out to Ben & Jerry for support. Food can soothe our emotions and troubled minds, but it’s a good idea to have other stress-relieving tools in the toolbox as well. Moderate exercise, talking with loved ones, and engaging in activities you enjoy are great ways to refuel a drained mind and might leave you happier in the long run.
But for the days when food is comforting, give this banana bread a try.
Bananas – nature’s amazing “prepackaged” fruit – are amazing for your heart and digestive health. Let’s count the ways. Bananas pack an impressive 400+ milligrams of potassium, a mineral shown to help bring down high blood pressure. You can protect your heart in another facet by reducing cholesterol with fiber, and one banana contains a whopping 12% of your daily fiber needs. As we all know, fiber is vital for good digestive health as well. Bananas contain soluble fiber, which can provide relief from both constipation and diarrhea. Bananas also protect the stomach lining with natural antacid properties – they have long been used for relief from acid reflux and ulcers. Another amazing nutrient in bananas is fructooligosaccharide, a non-digestible carbohydrate that acts as a prebiotic, nourishing the good bacteria in your gut and improving your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and get rid of waste. Possibly the biggest beauty of bananas is that they are harvested year-round, so they are never out of season. Hallelujah!
Whole wheat flax banana bread
Adapted from Desserted Planet
Makes 1 loaf
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flax meal
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/3 cup)
1 egg + 1 egg white
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, flax meal, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and walnuts.
- In a large bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, egg, egg white, Greek yogurt, honey, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top of the dough with an additional handful of oats.
- Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.