Wholemeal butternut squash banana bread, is a healthier take on well-loved banana bread. It makes use of butternut squash (or any squash or pumpkin puree), that is considered a superfood with its many antioxidants1. And made with wholemeal flour, it is a perfect way to get these benefits, bake from scratch & use up those ripe bananas!
Wholemeal Butternut Squash Banana Bread
By CaroJump to Recipe
WHY USE MY RECIPE? 1. Quick & Easy 2. Much Healthier & Tastes Good 3. Inexpensive To Make 4. Freezes Really Well
1. Quick & Easy Recipe
My banana bread recipes, are all quick to make. Use digital scales & you can be more accurate as well as use less bowls. This wholemeal squash banana bread can easily be prepared & baked in one hour.
The process is very simple too: ‘creaming’ butter & sugar together, adding in the rest of the ingredients, before adding to the bread pan to bake.
2. Much Healthier & Tastes Good
My banana bread recipes all use less butter than regular cakes or cupcakes. I also increase the fat & dairy content (that is required for the bake), by using some full fat Greek yoghurt. You could also use any plain/natural thick-set yoghurt too.
Of course there’s bananas too. Once ripe, the starch in the bananas converts to sugars (glucose, fructose & sucrose). However, they have a relatively low glycaemic index (GI) of 42-58 dependent on how ripe they are. Fibre in bananas is also believed to benefit our gut health, & they are rich in potassium, vitamin B6 & Vitamin C. Great if dehydrated too, and especially good for post workout, as they are rich in electrolytes that you might have lost.
100% Wholemeal Flour
All the flour for this recipe, is wholemeal flour (also known as wholewheat), and therefore has all associated health benefits of said flour.
These include things such as: an array of nutrients, such as several B vitamins, minerals such as magnesium, more protein than white flour, antioxidants, as well as Plant Compounds (such as sterols), that are believed to play a role in preventing diseases.2
And this is because wholemeal, wholewheat and whole grain flour, is minimally processed, and therefore not stripped of its nutrient dense composition.
And of course, wholemeal flour also is higher in fibre. Not only does a better supply of fibre (both soluble and insoluble), ‘keep you regular’ by preventing constipation, it can also improve digestion and ward off inflammation, diarrhoea, and pain often experienced by diverticulosis sufferers.
Soluble fibre can lower your cholesterol, as well as your blood sugar (glucose levels). Whereas, the insoluble fibre helps move the food along your digestive system much easier. And in turn, ‘more regular’, preventing constipation and associated pain you might experience.
Whole grains also contain lactic acid, that encourages ‘good bacteria’ in the gut, to absorb all these beneficial nutrients, as well as strengthen the immune system3.
Benefits Of Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is also a really good source of fibre, and we already discussed the benefits of fibre. One cup (approximately 160g4) of 1 inch cubed, cooked butternut squash, contains 7 grams (0.25 oz) of fibre (both soluble and insoluble fibre) and the recommended daily amount to consume is now 30grams (1 oz).
Rich in nutrients and low in calories, butternut squash contains 10 vitamins & minerals, and is another good source of all the B vitamins.5
Abundant in antioxidants, butternut squash can help reduce or prevent inflammation and lower the risk of some chronic diseases. So you can see the ingredients in this banana bread, go a lot further than just using up bananas past their best.
3. Inexpensive To Make
This squash wholemeal banana bread recipe, is inexpensive compared to other lavish cakes or cupcakes. Not using lots of butter or any buttercream, as well as ripe bananas, it can work out cheap to make. I have not included the cost, as that is going to vary from country to country.
4. Freezes Really Well
I froze individual slices, wrapped in baking/parchment paper, then tin foil & a labelled food bag. I defrosted at room temperature and they tasted excellent. You could also freeze a whole cake. I recommend using up by 2 months.
Tip For Ripe/Black Bananas
Ripe bananas are best for using in banana bread, but if you don’t have time to make something, can’t bake or don’t particularly like the taste of banana, freezing is a great alternative to throwing the black bananas out. So I often freeze bananas, or even a single banana.
And I normally freeze bananas in their skin, as it is the banana’s natural protection. Just wrap in paper and then foil or cling film/plastic wrap and into a labelled food bag.
After freezing the whole banana in skin, the banana will have turned completely black, and once defrosted (after about 1 hour at room temperature), the banana inside, will be almost mushy and puree like. But this is only due to freezing, defrosting and the break down of the sugary starches and is still good for banana bread and much more.
(New article on this in detail coming soon. In the meantime, see my quick freezing bananas video).
Ingredients & Substitutes
WHOLEWHEAT FLOUR – also known as wholemeal flour, you can also use whole grain or multi-grain flour. If you can not use 100% wholewheat flour, check out my other banana bread recipes, using partially wholewheat and white flour.
SUGAR – I use a dark brown and white granulated sugar combination, but you can use a mix of sugars, including light brown or coconut sugar, but not artificial sugar or sweetener.
BANANAS – any bananas can be used, but ripe is best, and the weight asked for, is not including the skin.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH PUREE – pureed/mashed butternut squash is best, but good substitutes are any kind of squash including pumpkin. Cook and puree your own, or buy cans of puree (not pumpkin pie filling).
BUTTER – always use unsalted butter for your baking, and cut into small cubes first, to soften faster.
EGGS – 2 medium or large UK eggs, are about the equivalent of Large and Extra Large US eggs and should not be omitted.
GREEK-STYLE YOGHURT – full fat, or low fat can be used or any other thick-set plain/natural yoghurt.
BICARBONATE OF SODA – also known as Baking Soda. Bicarb, or Sodium Bicarbonate. If using self-raising or self-rising flour, omit this raising agent.
SPICES – Mixed Spice (similar to Pumpkin Spice), Ginger, Cinnamon, Anise & fresh nutmeg are used. Anise & freshly grated nutmeg are optional, and you can substitute with a tsp ground nutmeg, and ground seeds of Star Anise, or omit altogether.
How To Serve
Top a slice of your butternut squash healthy banana bread with homemade fig anise curd – which is also good for you.
Add your favourite jams/preserves, or even toast it first. (Check out my plum & orange jam recipe). This banana bread is not sweet & makes a nice sturdy bread, that you can cut 14 nice thin slices from, that could easily be used for making savoury sandwiches.
Wholemeal Butternut Squash Banana Bread
- Weighing scales or measuring cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium sized bowl
- Hand/stand mixer
- Small measuring jug
- plate/bowl to mash bananas on
- Rubber or silicone baking spatula
- 2lb Loaf Tin (21 x 11 x 7cm or 8 x 4 x3″. See notes to use a 1lb )
- Lining Paste, melted butter or cake release spray (Go to Lining Paste recipe) or see video
- Small pastry or artist brush for greasing
- Large spoon
- Timer or Phone Timer
- Cooling rack
- Large sharp or serrated bread knife
For The Banana Bread
- 57 grams Butter (unsalted, soft & cubed – ¼ cup, 2 oz)
- 100 grams Dark Brown Sugar (½ cup, 3½ oz, see notes for alternatives*)
- 70 grams Granulated Sugar (⅓ cup, 2½ oz, see notes for alternatives*)
- 2 Eggs – medium to large (US large to extra large)
- 166 grams Banana, mashed (2 or 3 bananas depending on size & doesn't include skin – Heaped ½ cup, mashed, 5¾ oz)
- 100 grams Butternut Squash/Squash/Pumpkin Puree (3½ oz, ¼ can, ½ cup approx. – see notes on puree & quantities)
- 120 ml Greek Style Yoghurt (full fat or low fat, but thick set plain yoghurt – ½ cup, approximately)
- 280 grams Wholemeal/Wholewheat Flour (2⅔ cup, 12½ oz*)
- ¾ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
- ¾ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Ginger
- ½ tsp Mixed Spice (Pumpkin Spice)
- ⅓ Nutmeg, freshly grated (or 1 tsp powdered nutmeg – optional)
- ½ tsp Anise (optional)
- ‘Cream’ the butter & sugar together in a large bowl, with a hand or stand-mixer. Beat it on high until soft & spreadable. Note however, that the granulated sugar will still be large crystals at this stage so you don’t need to mix for too long. Next, add in one egg at a time, mixing in-between each addition, just until evenly incorporated. See Photo 1 below.
- Heat the oven to: 180°c/Fan Oven 160°c/350°f/Gas Mark 4 & then gently fold in the yoghurt. See Photo 2 below.
- Sieve over the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) & spices into your wet mixture. Mix by hand or by machine, just until all combined. See Photo 3 below.
- Add the butternut squash puree or pumpkin puree, & fold in the mashed banana to the liquid mixture, just till evenly distributed. (The bananas should be mashed & then weighed or measured). Fold in with a rubber or silicone spatula, like you were writing a number 8 in the batter. Where the spatula is your pen & the batter the paper. When doing this, be very careful to not knock out any air. Only do so until all mixed through.) Because we are using all wholemeal/wholewheat flour, the batter can be a little dryer, so if your batter looks thicker than in photos 4 & 6, go ahead and add a little milk, a tsp at a time.
- Now it’s time to line your loaf tin. I used Nancy Birtwhistle’s lining paste recipe – go to home-made lining paste recipe. (See Photo 5 below of how to do this, the video below, or click the link for more details). Alternatively, brush a good coat of melted butter on the inside of the tin, brushing in upward strokes, or even some cake release spray. You can also line on top of that, with a piece of baking/parchment paper too. I strongly recommend making the lining paste as it works a treat, even in bundt pans and is inexpensive to make. See my video below, of the bake just popping out of the tin.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared bread tin & level off the best you can, before tapping the tin a few times off the top of the counter/worktop to expel any trapped air. See Photo 6 below.
- Finally, bake in the centre of the oven for between 45 – 60 minutes. This time will depend on how hot your oven is running at (I check mine every time with a thermometer), & which tin size you used (for 1lb tin it will be a little quicker). So I recommend putting the timer on for 25 minutes. Then turn the tin around & cover the top of the bread with foil (by this point the bread will be well risen and be set on just the top crust). Don’t put the foil on before that or the batter will stick to the foil.
- Now bake for at least another 20 minutes & then check if the banana bread is done, by inserting a wooden cocktail stick into the centre of the bread. If it comes out clean of crumbs it is ready. If not, turn the tin, place the foil back on & bake another 5 minutes. Keep checking until ready. Then remove from the oven & leave to cool in the tin, on top of a cooling rack, for about 30 minutes . See Photo 7 above & 8 below.
- Now turn out the banana bread onto a cooling rack & allow to cool down more. If you used the lining paste, it should literally slip out when turned upside down. See my little video below of this happening. Also using a single strip of baking/parchment paper, also makes it easy just to lift out. See Photo 9.
- Once ready, just slice with a long, serrated bread knife. You will get 12-14 slices from this loaf. And all that remains is to eat and enjoy! See Photo 10.
**I am not a qualified nutritionist, and nutrional values are approximate and based on values via website Whisk.com, and based on per 71.5 gram (2.5 oz) slice, assuming 14 slices are cut.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: easy, beginner
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