Sweet breads are typically white flour, laden with vegetable oil and white sugar, just because there are a couple cups of bananas or zucchini does not overcome the fact that these breads are no better than a birthday cake. With a little know how, these three major issues can be remedied.
First off, mild flavored whole grains can be used to a a whole lot of nutrition. I recommend barley, oats, kamut and soft white wheat, any combination from one to all four will give good results. To give the whole grains a lift, increase the baking powder by 1/2 teaspoon.
Next, we address vegetable oil, which is the lowest class of oil next to hydrogenated (why must they taint the glorious "V" word?) My oil of choice in this case is coconut oil, followed by light olive oil and expeller pressed canola oil. No need for a full cup, the bananas and kefir give moisture a boost, while taking care to not over bake makes a world of difference.
Lastly, the dreaded over processed white sugar. It is true that texture of, lets face it-cake, is benefited by white sugar. But surely 2 cups is over doing it. For me and my kids 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup maple syrup is sweet enough to be a treat. Jarom adds a sprinkle of powdered sugar to his slices. Consider cutting back on sugar little by little, if you go too far just garnish with powdered sugar. Another trick is sprinkling a couple tablespoons on top of the batter before cooking, coarse sugars like turbinado work great for this.
Once we had banana bread for breakfast the and kids thought I was being naughty. Layne said "We did not have a very healthy breakfast today, Mom." Of coarse I argued that we did.
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup of white sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons kefir or buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 medium bananas
2/3 cup barley flour
2/3 cup oat flour
2/3 cup soft white wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan. Cut a 5x9 inch piece of parchment and place in the bottom of the pan.In blender place syrup, sugar and egg. Blend on low for 45 seconds. Add oil, kefir, vanilla and bananas. Blend again for 30 seconds. Place the remaining ingredients on top of mixture. Pulse until mostly combined, finish mixing with a spatula and pour into loaf pan. Bake for about 45 minutes.
Be sure to check the bread a couple times in the last 10 minutes for doneness. Press gently on the middle of the loaf, firm is done. When you remove loaf from the oven, let cool 5-10 minutes in the pan, then turn out on a wire rack and peel the parchment from the bottom.