Robin’s Healthy Take: Quick Bread 3 Ways

by in Robin's Healthy Take, May 12, 2011
Quick Breads
Robin's favorite quick breads: Banana Bread, Corn Bread and Zucchini-Lemon Bread

How could I not like quick breads when “quick” is the first word? Sweet or savory, quick breads are awesome because they basically require one prep bowl, one loaf pan and an oven. Dump, stir, bake — it’s that easy. But it’s also easy to overload on fat and sugar, because that’s what keeps quick breads moist and flavorful. One slice of regular banana bread has 330 calories and 11 grams of fat. Truth is, you don’t need that much fat and sugar for an amazing treat. Check out 3 of my favorite healthier quick breads.

I took my basic, family-favorite banana bread recipe and tweaked it to make zucchini-lemon and corn quick breads. To lighten it up, I reduced the amount of oil, used low-fat milk instead of regular and let the bananas, zucchini and corn shine.

Basic Recipe: Banana Bread
10 servings

Cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 medium ripe bananas
1/4 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8 or 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or fork. Add milk, egg, oil, and vanilla. Fold in flour mixture until just blended. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, until a wooden pick comes out almost clean (little bits clinging to the pick mean the bread is still moist, not dry).

Nutrition Info Per Slice (serves 10)
Calories: 214
Total Fat: 2 grams
Saturated Fat: <1 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 45 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Sodium: 243 milligrams
Cholesterol: 18 milligrams
Fiber: 2 grams

For the Zucchini-Lemon Bread:
Substitute 3 medium zucchini (grated) for the bananas.
Omit the vanilla and add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon finely-grated lemon zest and 1 tablespoon honey to the oil mixture.

Nutrition Info Per Slice (serves 10)
Calories: 178
Total Fat: 2 grams
Saturated Fat: <1 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 36 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Sodium: 243 milligrams
Cholesterol: 18 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram

For the Corn Bread:
Substitute one can (14.75-ounces) creamed corn for the bananas.
Omit the vanilla.
Reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup.
Replace 1/2 cup of the flour with 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal.
Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin to the dry ingredients.

Nutrition Info Per Slice (serves 10)
Calories: 186
Total Fat: 2.5 grams
Saturated Fat: <1 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 38 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Sodium: 380 milligrams
Cholesterol: 18 milligrams
Fiber: 2 grams

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at

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Comments (14)

  1. Kathy says:

    Thank you for this post, Robin. I have been looking for a healthy banana bread recipe to make for my husband so this article is most welcome. Will let you know how it turned out!

  2. Kathy says:

    The banana bread was amazing! I replaced the sugar with brown sugar and added a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. It was moist and my husband loved it! Thank you again for posting. Yum!

  3. Robin says:

    Yay!!! That's great news. Thanks for the feedback!

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