Healthy Protein Kodiak banana bread with Walnuts

Healthy Protein Kodiak banana bread with Walnuts

Healthy protein banana bread is made with perfectly-ripe bananas, Kodiak Power Cakes baking mix, ground cinnamon, pure maple syrup & walnuts!  It’s full of protein, and perfect for a quick breakfast on a busy morning or a nutritious snack.

Who doesn’t love a slice of banana bread first thing in the morning…or for an afternoon snack, or, let’s be honest, any time of day?  The problem is that it’s often heavy on carbs and light on protein and doesn’t satisfy your hunger for very long.  What’s worse, traditional banana bread is usually so full of sugar that it fits more into the dessert genre than it does the breakfast or snack category.  That’s where this healthy high protein banana bread recipe comes in.  This recipe yields moist banana bread, scented with cinnamon and nutmeg and full of protein and whole grains.  Each serving packs a punch with more than 20 grams of protein. Put this one in your breakfast-on-the-go and healthy snack arsenal. 

I’ve fallen hard for Kodiak baking mix in my quick bread.  I keep a Costco-sized box in my pantry just in case the urge strikes to whip up a batch of these apple cinnamon Kodiak muffins or these double chocolate banana protein muffins.  Now it’s time to try a loaf of this super-easy and healthy Kodiak walnut banana bread!

WHAT IS KODIAK CAKE BAKING MIX?

This pre-mixed blend is like the Bisquick mix of my youth, made to be convenient and versatile for whipping up easy waffles, pancakes and muffins!  But, unlike other brands, Kodiak mix, known as “Power Cakes”, is made 100% of whole grains, both with whole wheat flour and oat flour, and only contains a tiny amount of added sugar.  The mix alone contains 14 grams of protein (from wheat protein isolate and whey protein concentrate) per serving, which is always a good addition to breakfast pastries.  Kodiak Power Cakes mix is standard at my Costco, which makes it especially economical, but I’ve also seen it at most of the local grocery stores as well.  “Buttermilk” is their original flavor of “Power Cakes” flapjack & waffle mix and the one we’re using to make this banana walnut bread. 

HEALTHY PROTEIN KODIAK BANANA BREAD WITH WALNUTS

INGREDIENT & substitution notes

  • Kodiak “Power Cakes” baking mix – This comes pre-leveaned so it’s easy – no baking soda/powder or salt needed.  It combines whole grain oat flour & whole grain wheat flour for a 100% whole grain muffin. 
  • Baking powder – There is already a little baking powder in the Kodiak mix, but in my recipe testing I found the texture and rise of the finished loaf is better if a little extra is mixed into the dry ingredients. 
  • Bananas –  You’ll need 1 cup of mashed bananas, which usually ends up being 3 small or 2 large bananas. The riper, the better. Frozen bananas, defrosted in the microwave also work!  See below for more tips on using frozen bananas. 
  • Pure maple syrup – the sweetener in this muffin recipe. You can swap honey in its place, too.
  • Milk – The milk is flexible.  Use whole milk, unsweetened almond milk, or oat milk but dairy milk will have the most protein.
  • Eggs – Large eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • Oil  – A neutral oil like avocado works best.
  • Vanilla extract – purely for flavor 
  • Cinnamon – This is optional.
  • Nutmeg – Nutmeg is optional as well but so delicious with the banana and walnuts. 
  • Walnuts – A little extra protein, plus walnuts are banana are just a match made in heaven.  Pecans would also be lovely if you prefer. 
  • Butter – For greasing the pan.  Parchment paper or coconut oil would also work!
ingredients needed to make HEALTHY PROTEIN KODIAK BANANA BREAD WITH WALNUTS

HOW TO MAKE Healthy Protein Banana Nut Bread

1. PREHEAT OVEN AND GREASE loaf pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and center oven rack.  Grease a loaf pan generously with butter (or line with parchment paper) and set aside. 

2. MIX BATTER

In a large mixing bowl, whisk all dry ingredients including nutmeg and cinnamon to mix well, ensuring all baking powder is well incorporated.  In a separate bowl, stir together all wet ingredients, starting with eggs and whisking, followed by mashed bananas, oil, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently with a rubber spatula until most of flour has been incorporated and only a few streaks of flour remain. Don’t over mix. Fold in chopped walnuts. Using rubber spatula again, spoon all batter into prepared pan and smooth.  Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of turbinado sugar on top of the bread.

3. BAKE banana bread

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

4. COOL banana bread AND ENJOY

Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack in pan, and then remove from pan to cool fully on cooling rack.  Serve with almond butter or peanut butter for even more protein.  A little salted butter is delicious too, of course!

HEALTHY PROTEIN KODIAK BANANA BREAD WITH WALNUTS
serving HEALTHY PROTEIN KODIAK BANANA BREAD WITH WALNUTS

MIXING THINGS UP

Feel free to get creative to suit your taste preferences and protein goals.

  • For even more protein, substitute 1/4 cup of greek yogurt for the milk in this recipe. 
  • For healthy Kodiak chocolate chip banana bread – Gently fold 1/2 cup of chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate chips) into the finished batter.
  • To make blueberry protein banana bread – Substitute 1 cup of fresh blueberries for the chopped walnuts. 

CAN FROZEN BANANAS BE USED IN BANANA BREAD?

Absolutely!  You can save all ripe (and overripe!) bananas and collect them in your freezer until you’re ready to bake with them.  They work well in all kinds of banana baking recipes like banana chocolate caramel bundt cakebanana muffins, and, of course, this high-protein banana bread recipe.  I’ve found the flavor and texture of the bread to be just as good as the loaves made with fresh bananas.  You’ll just need to defrost the frozen bananas before you begin because they’ll need to be soft enough to mash for your baking recipes.  

Ripe to overripe bananas can be frozen up to 3 months in an airtight container or ziplock freezer bag.  Just peel them and line them up in glass lock or bag and find a nice cozy spot for them in your freezer.  You’re looking for a soft, mash-able texture and to release all the excess liquid from the freezing process. 

YOU CAN THAW BANANAS ONE OF THREE WAYS:

  • Place them in a bowl (covered) or other container in the refrigerator overnight.  Don’t be concerned if they turn brown as they thaw. They are perfectly safe and delicious to use in your banana bread. Before using in recipe, pour off or drain (and discard) liquid. 
  • Defrost them in the microwave in 30 second intervals on high power. Drain and discard liquid before using. 
  • Defrost them in the microwave on 50-percent power for 2-3 minutes, until bananas are soft enough to mash and they have released some liquid. Drain and discard liquid before using.
HEALTHY PROTEIN KODIAK BANANA BREAD WITH WALNUTS

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Healthy Protein Kodiak Banana Bread with Walnuts

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Snack
Keyword: healthy banana walnut bread, kodiak cake banana bread, protein banana bread
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes buttermilk mix
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup mashed bananas – mash with large fork, pastry blender or potato masher about 2 large or three small bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • butter, for greasing pan

Instructions

  • Center a rack in oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan generously with butter (or line with parchment paper) and set aside. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk all dry ingredients including nutmeg and cinnamon to mix well, ensuring all baking powder is well incorporated.
  • Stir together all wet ingredients, starting with eggs and whisking, followed by mashed bananas, oil, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently with a rubber spatula until most of flour has been incorporated and only a few streaks of flour remain. Don't over mix. Fold in chopped walnuts.
  • Using rubber spatula again, spoon all batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth.  Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of turbinado sugar on top.
  • Bake for 4-50 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack in pan, and then remove from pan to cool fully on cooling rack.
  • Slice into thick slices and serve with butter, if desired.





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