banana bread with almonds and chia seeds

I've been on a bit of a banana bread rampage recently.  I am not really sure what triggered it, but this week I suddenly became obsessed with making a {healthy} banana bread.  I love bananas and I eat at least one every day, but it has been years since I have had a good, hearty slice of banana bread.  Probably because I associate most pastry breads with unnecessary amount of butter, sugar, and flour. But with a craving ensuing, I figured if I swapped some of those bad ingredients out for stuff that is better for you, I could make a healthier banana bread happen. 

It started when I came home from dinner a few nights ago. At 11:30pm, I pulled out the kitchen aid mixer and started baking away.  I was not fully prepared, and I was lacking a few key ingredients {baking soda and bananas that were the right level of ripeness to name a few} so needless to say when 12:30am rolled around and I pulled my loaf out of the oven, it looked a little like a deflated football with almonds on top. Blurry eyed and disappointed, I forced myself to go to bed and give it a more efficient try in the morning.

The next afternoon, with all the right ingredients on hand, I gave it another go. As the loaf slowly rose up out of the pan, I knew it already had a better chance than banana bread #1. Victory.  It was not only better, it was a pretty darn good tasting banana bread. And, with the addition of chia seeds {which are high in fiber and omega 3s} and almonds {one of the best nuts out there - high in vitamin E} it also had a few added nutritional benefits. Craving satisfied, and then some. 


1 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour
1/3 cup of chia seeds
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon of salt

2 large eggs
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (melted)
1/3 cup of all natural packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 bananas (very ripe ... can even be brown)
a handful of finely chopped almonds for topping (optional)

* You will also need a 9x5x3" loaf pan


- Preheat oven to 350°F. 

- In a bowl, mix the first five dry ingredients: flour, chia seeds, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 

- In a separate bowl using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on low until combined.  Add in the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and bananas and mix until combined. 

- Add in the dry mixture and blend on low until combined.  

- Place the batter into a pan that is brushed with butter or oil. 

- Sprinkle the chopped almonds on top.

- Bake the bread until the loaf rises and it a golden brown color (about 30-35 minutes). 

- Let the bread cool a little before removing it from the pan.  I like to eat the banana bread slightly warm, but you can also serve it at room temperature.  It should keep for about 3-4 days at room temperature.