This delicious high protein protein banana bread is super moist, nutritious, and dairy free. It’s filling and packed with protein power and topped with an optional cashew cream cheese!
Life-changing High Protein Banana Bread
Do you ever crave banana bread? The almost intoxicating smell that fills the house while it’s baking, the deliciously dense texture, and perfectly sweet flavour? I do. Yes, I sure do. Banana bread is definitely one of my favourites and I’m revamping this recipe yet again for the blog today… I honestly feel it’s a recipe that can be changed so many ways and today I’ve seriously taken it up a notch. Did someone say cashew cream cheese frosting?!
This bread is delicious, super moist, dense, hearty, and full of protein, complex carbohydrates, and a nice amount of healthy fats.
Years ago I would always order the “reduced-fat, healthy” banana chocolate chip coffee cake at Starbucks (before I knew any better!) but now I almost always make my own at home. That banana bread was delicious, but one day my curiosity got the best of me and I looked up the nutritional details on the Starbucks website and let’s just say, like usual, “reduced fat” = “a crap-load of sugar” and seriously, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dietary fat anyways, so the whole “reduced fat” label (especially when one piece is still 400 calories) is just plain silly. A perfect example of deceptive food-industry marketing.
I decided shortly after my Starbucks awakening that I’d have to find or create a better, more balanced and healthy banana bread. To my delight I stumbled across a recipe from Brittany at Little B’s Healthy Habits that seemed like a good starting point (she has since made her blog private and it can’t be accessed anymore!). Brittany’s recipe for high protein banana bread was packed with protein from the addition of whey protein powder and Greek yogurt. Unfortunately, due to my dairy allergy I can’t do either so instead I’ve created a couple adaptations based off of Brittany’s banana bread recipe that are dairy free and contain plant-based protein powder and egg whites to bring in a great amount of protein.
What Makes This Banana Bread High Protein?
- Protein powder – Vanilla plant-based protein powder isn’t all created equal though so my suggestion is to stick with a powder that is either brown rice based, (organic) soy based, or pea based for this recipe. You can also use vanilla whey protein powder if dairy is not an issue.
- Egg whites – Egg whites are a great, affordable source of protein that really add to this recipe.
- Yogurt – If you are A-ok with dairy, you can opt for fat-free (0%) plain Greek yogurt, which also adds an additional boost of protein. If not, no problem – you can simply substitute it with coconut yogurt, though you will lose a few grams of protein and the bread will turn out a bit more dense and fudge-y with this option.
- Protein icing – Feeling a little extra? While the cashew cream cheese icing is optional, it brings up the protein a bit more as it contains both vanilla protein powder and cashew nuts.
The wonderful thing about protein packed banana bread is that it helps keep blood sugar levels stable which can in turn prevent sugar cravings. When I used to work with nutrition clients I would always assess their daily protein intake (especially if sugar cravings were an issue) and it was amazing how often cravings and mindless snacking would disappear when protein intake wasn’t lacking.
Healthy dietary fats can also help with cravings as they make you feel more satisfied, full, and slow the release of sugars into the blood stream. The cashews in the delicious dairy free cream cheese frosting for this banana bread bring in healthy fats (and some more protein!), and blend perfectly with vanilla protein powder, a touch of vanilla extract, maple syrup, and almond milk. The frosting is totally optional for this recipe as it makes the loaf more indulgent and a touch messy (but really, does that even matter when it tastes so darn good?!).
Tips for this Banana Bread
- Yogurt type – You have the option to use either plain 0% Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt, which is higher in fat. The Greek yogurt will give the bread a lighter, airier consistency whereas the coconut yogurt is going to make the bread more dense and fudge-y. You will also probably need to increase cooking time with the coconut yogurt again because the fat content is higher.
- Protein powder – The type and brand of protein powder you use in this recipe won’t really change the texture but it will affect the flavour as different brands taste differently. Just choose your favourite. (One exception: I don’t recommend using coconut-based protein powders as they’re too absorbent in this application.)
- Cooking time – My suggestion is to not stray from the recipe too much with substitutions and cook the bread for as long as you need until a toothpick pulls clean from the centre of the loaf, checking it often.
If you love banana bread as much as I do and want to increase your protein intake to ward off sugar cravings, this protein packed banana bread is a perfect way to do just that! Be sure to pin the photo below the recipe to save this post for later and of course, share the love!
More Banana-Based Recipes
Have an awesome day!
Christal // NITK