Serves 12 / Some commercial bakery treats nix unhealthy trans fats but then go overboard with other fats or sugars. This less sweet but moist and delectable quick bread boosts nutrition by swapping canola oil for butter, using less sugar than typical, and adding flavor-boosting, heart-smart ingredients: flaxseed, walnuts, bananas, and oats. Ingredient tip: Store any leftover ground flax in the refrigerator and stir into oatmeal, smoothies, or a bowl of cereal.
3 cups sliced bananas (about 4 large)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon turbinado or raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup reduced-fat buttermilk
1 2/3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 425˚. Place bananas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cut 2 teaspoons of the butter into small pieces and dot over bananas. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over bananas and roast for 20 minutes. Scrape bananas into a bowl; mash with fork.
2. Reduce oven temperature to 350˚. Combine oats and buttermilk in a small bowl; let stand 15 minutes.
4. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, flaxseed, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
5. Place nectar and 1/4 cup oil in a large bowl, and whisk until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add roasted bananas, buttermilk-oat mixture, and vanilla; whisk to blend. Add flour mixture; stir until blended. Spoon batter into a 9×5-inch nonstick loaf pan coated with remaining 1 teaspoon softened butter. Sprinkle walnuts evenly over top and bake at 350˚ for 45–55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut crosswise into 12 slices.
PER SERVING: 242 cal, 35% fat cal, 10g fat, 2g sat fat, 39mg chol, 5g protein, 36g carb, 4g fiber, 204mg sodium