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Whole Wheat Banana Pecan Cranberry Quick Bread Recipe (Power Foods)

by Jeanette on February 1, 2013 · 9 Comments
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Banana Pecan Cranberry Bread © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Banana Pecan Cranberry Bread © Jeanette's Healthy LivingLast week, I found myself with more ripe bananas than you could ever imagine. We typically go through tons of bananas during the week, but for some reason, I must have bought an extra bunch here or there. Well, I kept staring at them until they started turning so ripe that I either had to freeze them, throw them out, or make banana bread.
Banana Pecan Cranberry Bread © Jeanette's Healthy Living
Since I already had a bunch in the freezer, and I hate throwing food out, I made three loaves of banana bread. I kept half and gave half away to a very happy recipient ;). I found the original recipe for this banana bread in a collection of recipes that was put together as part of a fund raiser for my kids’ school a number of years ago. It doesn’t use a lot of oil and I made it healthier by substituting half the flour with white whole wheat flour and cutting the sugar back from 3/4 cup to 2/3 cup. Ripe bananas are naturally sweet, and since this is a quick bread, it’s not supposed to be overly sweet. Heart healthy pecans and fiber rich dried cranberries add some crunch and sweetness to this breakfast bread or snack.

This week, a group of bloggers is featuring Pecans as a Power Food.  This weekly food blogging group features a different Power Food each week based on the book Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine. Power Foods are foods that are outstanding in the amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, fiber and more, that help fight disease and promote good health.

Let’s take a look at what makes Pecans a Power Food. Like most nuts, Pecans contain the good fats – unsaturated fats – which help lower cholesterol, and reduce the overall risk of heart disease. Pecans also contain an amino acid called L-arginine, which may improve the flexibility of artery walls and decrease the risk of arterial blood clots. They are also a good source of fiber and vitamin E.

Just remember that nuts are high in fat, so even though they’re good for you, portion control is important. One ounce of pecans has 193 calories, 20 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 3 grams dietary fiber, and 3 grams protein.

Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up for this week’s Power Foods post: (If you’re interested in joining our group, contact Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits.)

Alyce – More Time at the Table
Ansh – Spice Roots,
Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living
Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits

Whole Wheat Banana Pecan Cranberry Quick Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This banana bread is on the dryer side, but is nice toasted.
Serves: 1 loaf
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • ⅔ cup organic sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease or line 8x4x2" loaf pan.
  3. Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, mix together egg, bananas, sugar and olive oil. Add to dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Fold in pecans and cranberries.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into loaf comes out clean.

Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with 38 Healthiest Ingredients
Self Nutrition Data – Pecans

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  1. We like toasted banana bread and the cranberries are a good touch. I still have both dried cranberries and dried sour cherries left from Christmas baking; I’ll both. Thanks, Jeanette! Have a beautiful weekend.

  2. This is lovely, Jeanette! I love a good quick bread full of bananas and cranberries, and your whole wheat version is a must-try in this house. Saving to try soon. Thanks!

  3. Looks wonderful–I love the idea of adding cranberries.

  4. Your banana nut bread is so moist. Love how you added so much pecans and dried cranberries, reducing the sugar was a good idea also.

  5. Bananas, cranberries and pecans… what a great combo! I can always count on you for a flavor dense food.
    I sorry I couldn’t post this week—very busy with work. I’ll be back next week.

  6. Pecans are one of my favorite nuts and this sounds like such a great way to enjoy them! Especially as someone who always has brown bananas on her kitchen table!

  7. I love pecans in the banana bread more than the walnuts. May be because while growing up walnuts were not used in something sweet. I discovered pecans in America and love them. a tad bit more than walnuts.
    Love this recipe with the olive oil added. I should try to substitute butter with olive oil too.

  8. Hi Jeannette! I just made this banana bread for breakfast and it’s wonderful! I used all whole wheat flour, and added in an extra banana over 1 cup, since I had 4 overly ripe bananas. It is not dry at all, and is full of flavor! Thanks for sharing this healthier version!!!

    • Carol – thanks so much for letting me know you tried this recipe – love how you used 100% whole wheat flour + the extra banana for more moistness!

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