This easy, delicious, and healthy prune banana bread bread is high in heart healthy nutrients like potassium and soluble fiber. Adding California prunes keeps this dish in line with the DASH diet, Portfolio diet, MIND diet, and the Mediterranean diet. This recipe offers lots of opportunities for variations and flavors.
Banana bread is a classic recipe. Why? Because you can use up extra bananas, it is inexpensive and delicious. Now try this healthy twist, by putting California prunes to use in the banana bread.
Thanks to the folks at California Prunes for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own!
Why Make A Prune Banana Bread Recipe?
- Heart Healthy sweet treat
- Extra nutrition on a classic recipe – full of fiber and potassium
- Quick to Make – Takes less than 10 minutes to make!
- Texture and crunch from walnuts
- Sweet from the prunes
- Perfect as an on-the-go snack, breakfast or even a dessert.
- Unlimited nutrient-dense add ins.
- Great meal prep addition and kid friendly!
Pin It Now & Make It Later!
Prunes And Heart Health
As a heart health dietitian, I am always looking for ways to add more heart healthy nutrition into regular dishes. California prunes does just that by not only adding flavor and texture but boosting this recipe’s overall nutritional profile too.
California prunes are rich in dietary fiber, which is important for heart health as it keeps you full longer and can help reduce levels of bad LDL cholesterol (1).
Prunes contain antioxidants, such as phenolic compounds, which can help protect the heart by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body (2). Oxidative stress and inflammation are risk factors for heart disease.
California prunes are a good source of potassium, an essential mineral that helps regulate blood pressure (1). Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is crucial for heart health, as high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Besides fiber and potassium, California prunes are also rich in other nutrients such as vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting, and various B vitamins, which play a role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system (1).
Nutrition In Banana Bread With Prunes
I’ve already mentioned the many benefits of California prunes, but other ingredients in this banana and prune bread can help nourish your body.
Bananas – are rich in potassium and dietary fiber that can help manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Choosing extra ripe bananas can help you cut back on the added sugar in this recipe, and you may not have known this but ripe bananas actually have more antioxidants than its counterpart.
Walnuts – contain healthy unsaturated fats called omega 3 fatty acids that can lower cholesterol levels and triglycerides. They are also rich in protein and fiber.
Eggs – a great source of protein, Vitamin B12 and selenium.
Whole grains – more fiber, B vitamins, iron, potassium and magnesium.
Ingredients In Banana Prune Loaf
- Whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, vanilla – traditional bread ingredients & flavor
- Maple syrup – for sweetness, but you can also try honey or white sugar
- Eggs – yes you can eat eggs and still manage your cholesterol levels! but if you are looking for a substitute try making flax eggs instead
- Applesauce – in place of oil to reduce overall fat
- Bananas – loaded with potassium, and the riper the bananas, the sweeter the end result
- Prunes – California prunes are used for sweetness, a nutritional boost and flavor
- Walnuts – are a classic banana bread addition, but also provide this recipe with more omega 3 fatty acids
How To Make Prune Banana Bread?
- This banana prune bread takes a quick 10 minutes to prepare. You will want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit first.
- The two-bowl method works well for this California prune bread recipe– one bowl of dry ingredients and one bowl for wet ingredients, then all you need to do is mix!
- Start by mashing the bananas with a fork and adding other wet ingredients like the California prunes, apple sauce, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla extract if using.
- In the next bowl – whisk the whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Then slowly pour bowl one (the banana mixture) into bowl two (the flour mixture) and fold until all the flour has been mixed together with a spatula.
- Try not to overmix.
- Then add the walnuts.
- Grease a 9x3x5 inch loaf pan with some avocado oil or use parchment paper. Pour in the batter and top with walnuts.
- Bake the prune banana bread for 50 minutes – then grab a toothpick and poke it in the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean without any batter, you can take it out of the oven. If the batter remains on the toothpick, you can bake it for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow it to cool before slicing into this comforting dish. Enjoy!
Place your banana bread with prunes at the top rack so that it browns but doesn’t burn.
After the banana prune bread is cooked, cover it in an airtight container or ziplock bag to lock in moisture. It can then be left at room temperature for 3-4 days.
This banana and prune bread freezes well too! Heck, why not scale the recipe and make a double batch for a rainy day.
If you freeze leftovers, be sure to wrap the whole loaf (or sliced pieces) in plastic wrap and it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just thaw at room temperature, and it is ready to go!
My favorite variation of this banana prune loaf recipe is that you can make it into muffins, small loafs or regular loaf form. Prune banana bread muffins, sign me up!
If you make muffins, try baking for 20-25 minutes, and if using mini loaf pans they should be done around 30-35 minutes.
Other ways to adapt this flavorful banana chia bread recipe:
- Swap out some maple syrup for brown sugar, honey or white sugar
- Switch up the dried fruit like raisins or craisins or even add chocolate chips if you want
- Swirl in nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter
- Replace walnuts with pecans or macadamia nuts
- Add chia seed, like this chia seed banana bread texture, try adding flaxseed instead
- Try adding ginger, lemon juice, lemon zest and nutmeg for additional flavor
I don’t recommend using coconut oil to grease the pan, since it is high in saturated fat and can increase your LDL or low-density cholesterol levels. Check out this article regarding alternatives to olive oil.
Watch how easily this California prune banana bread comes together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can eat prunes and bananas together. This combination can be very heart healthy, providing a mix of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial for health.
Yes, you should wait around 10 minutes to cut banana bread, as you want it to be cool before cutting it. Cutting it while it’s still hot can cause it to crumble or fall apart.
You can cut banana bread after baking and cooling by using a serrated knife. Gently saw through the bread instead of pushing down to avoid squashing it.
What Else Can You Do With Prunes?
California prunes are a great addition to your dietary pattern. If you loved this banana prune bread recipe, and want inspiration on how to add California prunes to your diet, here are some possible ideas:
- Almond flour energy bites
- Broccoli and beet salad
- Banana smoothie
- Banana pancakes
- Banana and Prune breakfast bowls
- Chocolate banana bread
This banana prune bread is a healthier alternative to traditional banana bread. It uses whole wheat flour for added fiber, applesauce in place of oil to reduce fat content, and natural sweeteners like maple syrup.
The California prunes not only add sweetness but also contribute additional fiber and nutrients, making this bread a healthier, yet still indulgent, treat.
If you try it, rate this recipe and let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you.
Prune Banana Bread
- 1 loaf pan 9×5''
- 2 bananas ripe, mashed
- 1 cup prunes pitted, chopped
- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup walnuts optional
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until smooth. Stir in the chopped California prunes and applesauce.
- Beat in the maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- In another bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Avoid overmixing. If using, fold in the chopped nuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
- Allow the banana prune bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.