Whole Wheat Trail Mix Banana Bread

Whole wheat banana bread that is moist and tender (without any dairy!) and studded with raisins, nuts, and chocolate chips.  A thick slice of this would drive away any Monday blues!

Yet again, you are going to hear about moms.  We just had our graduation ceremony this weekend!  Trying to explain homeschool graduation to someone who hasn’t been would take a good hour or two (not kidding) so I’ll only say my Mom was graduation director this year.  And she, along with all the other parents, worked incredible hours to pull graduation off.  Because we don’t have hundreds of graduates, the parents are given a couple minutes to talk about and send off their child.  Although the Dad usually speaks, there was a consistent theme of “without your mom, this wouldn’t have happened.”  It is so true.  I would not be able to take the tests I take and pass the classes I do without my mom.  This year’s graduation was the fastest ever (woot woot!) and was really fun and I’m awfully proud of Mom for getting it all done.  I still don’t think I’m ready to graduate next year though … 😉  At least I’ve got a year right?

Whole Wheat Trail Mix Banana Bread

In addition to realizing how incredible homeschooling moms are, I realized how meaningful gifts are.  As a graduation gift for my Mom, the seniors gave her a bag full of fresh fruit and lemons and avocados.  I was thrilled!  And then I saw that they had also gotten her a big bag of Enjoy Life chocolate chips.  I couldn’t believe they had gotten it – just for me!  Gifts like that are incredible blessings.  One of my friend’s moms also gifted me this weekend and I was blown away.  She told me that I didn’t have to take it if I didn’t want to, but she wanted to me accept it.  It was a gift that she wanted to bless me with.

Whole Wheat Trail Mix Banana Bread

I realized, through her words, that there are two kinds of people in this world.  There are those who can accept gifts and those who can’t.  I tend to be the one who can’t accept gifts without feeling some sort of guilt or needing to repay for it.  But that takes the joy away from the giver and I never like it when someone does that to me.  It is Biblical to give and receive gifts and I am learning to accept the gift and remember, God is the giver of all good gifts and He wants to use people to bless other people.  When I refuse to just bask in His grace, I take away the joy from me, from the person, and from Him.  Accepting the gift is learning to accept that I can’t earn some things.  Love, joy, grace – I can’t earn those things and yet I try.  Dragging out the thank you for your thank you (Bethany? 😉 ) doesn’t give me peace.  Trying to earn the thank you doesn’t give people peace.  There is something special about sharing the joy of a gift without guilt.  It is special and even more meaningful than the gift itself.

So Mrs. DeWolf, if you are reading this, thank you for helping me realize that it is ok to just simply accept gifts.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness, especially when you had your plate full.  It is the little things that are the biggest blessings.

Whole Wheat Trail Mix Banana Bread

I saw a book that was talking about a man who wrote a handwritten thank you note to someone every day for a year and how it impacted so many people.  I’d like to try something like that.  I forget to thank people, even knowing how much it means when people thank me.  These bars make a lovely gift for whomever you feel blessed by.  And if this person happens to have dairy allergies, they will be even more blessed.  I’m telling you, since going off dairy, it makes my day whenever anyone makes something specific for me.  I don’t expect people to work around my allergies – that isn’t their responsibility and plus, the attention is a little much.  But things like the chocolate chips or these bars will mean so much to someone with allergies.  It isn’t only the thought that counts, but there is a lot of truth to that statement.  I’m so thankful for all of you who read my blog.  I would love to thank you in person and give you one of these bars, but I’ll have to settle for just thanking you here and offering you a mouthwatering picture (if I do say so myself.)

Whole Wheat Trail Mix Banana Bread

It had been a while since I had made banana bread and since my coconut recipe fell through (we were out of coconut … figures) I decided to give it a go.  I wanted to make a new banana bread and the half bag of trail mix was staring at me from the cabinet.  I went with it, adding Enjoy Life chocolate chips to the batter along with the nut and raising trail mix.  Yes, I added raisins AND nuts to my banana bread.  And I loved it.  I ate two whole slices after this photo shoot and I have to say, this might be the best way to eat raisins.  Melty chocolate chips, nutty almonds, and moist banana bread can make almost anything good, I’m convinced.

And a handwritten thank you can make anyone’s day brighter.  Of that I am also convinced.

Whole Wheat Trail Mix Banana Bread


Whole Wheat Trail Mix Banana Bread
Serves: 10
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Whole wheat banana bread that is moist, tender, (without dairy!) and studded with trail mix and chocolate chips!
  • 1 cup mashed, ripe banana
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup trail mix (or assorted almonds, cashews, and raisins)
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips (use Enjoy Life to make dairy free)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease and flour a 8.5 x 5 loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix bananas, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, applesauce, and oil.
  3. Gradually add flours and baking powder until flour is completely incorporated.
  4. Stir in trail mix and chocolate chips.
  5. POur into prepared pan.
  6. Sprinkle some trail mix on top, if desired.
  7. Bake for 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Let cool before serving.

More banana breads!

Crazy Good Banana Bread

Orange Raspberry Banana Bread

Chocolate Swirl PB2 Banana Muffins

Skinny Chocolate Swirled PB2 Banana Muffins



  1. says

    I want A BIG MEAN SLICE OF THIS SCRUMMY BANANA BREAD!!!! It’s loaded with all the goodness that is not just great for health but also tastes insanely goooood! 😀 I soooo agree with you on that thought! Every time someone gives me a gift, my first reaction, even before I can feel happiness, is I try to think of ways in which I can repay them at a later stage! And I completely agree that it takes away the joy of gifting!!!!!!! This is such a beautiful post! Oh congrats on the graduation btw! :* :)
    Samina | The Cupcake Confession recently posted…Orange Butter Coconut Cinnamon SconesMy Profile

  2. says

    Congrats on your graduation, and your mom sounds wonderful! :) I am in my 40’s and I still have to work at accepting gifts or compliments without feeling guilty or something. One of my friend totally chews me out for it and I remind myself all the time that she’s right! This banana bread looks so delicious, and I love that you added trail mix. This would definitely take away the Monday blues!
    marcie recently posted…Zucchini and Roasted Corn Fritters with Cilantro Jalapeño Lime Greek YogurtMy Profile

  3. says

    I completely get you on the gifts thing, Mary Frances. I sometimes (inexplicably) feel almost embarrassed when someone gives me a gift. I much prefer giving, but it’s good to understand that others get pleasure from giving a gift, too, and so accepting the gift graciously is the right thing to do. Great post!
    And I love the loaf. I love raisins and chocolate together!
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane recently posted…Greek stuffed ‘little shoes’My Profile

  4. says

    Mary Frances! I absolutely loved this post. Such profound and important words from someone so young. You really have so much figured out for your age. Something else I wanted to say, I appreciate the fact that your recipes always come with stories. I find sometimes in the blog world that people feel the need to only talk about the recipe that their posting and forget that we come to their blog to read about them too! I love that I always know I can come here and get a great story alongside a delicious recipe! Keep it up :)
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…Chocolate Matcha Energy Balls + An Energy Ball Round-Up!My Profile

  5. says

    What a great looking cake!! (Here we call it cake)
    I just looooooooove all the mix nuts and fruits (banana) and would love to try this.
    I’m saving the recipe

  6. says

    Kudos to your (very patient) mom for homeschooling you and your siblings. I’ve only known one HS family personally and they are ambassadors of it to this day. I’ve seriously considered doing it with my kids when they’re older, but goodness I don’t know if I could handle it! This bread looks great, Mary Frances! I’d have never thought to add trail mix add-ins to banana bread and I’ll bet the texture is outta this world!
    Jelli recently posted…Why We Love This English Muffin Recipe (And You Will, Too!)My Profile

    • maryfrances says

      I’m pretty sure my mom didn’t plan on homeschooling eight kids when she had me, but I’m glad she has stuck with it! It is a lot of work and I’m convinced I would only be able to do it with a whole lot of help from God:)

      And thanks! I love trail mix, but I needed some help with portion control 😉 and thought to distribute it in banana bread … which I promptly ate 1/3 of, so I don’t think the portion control worked so well! It was really good though!

  7. says

    Aww that sounds like so much fun! And not just the ceremony, but the Enjoy Life chocolate chips too. :) Gracefully accepting a gift is a delicate skill that very few people seem to have these days, but after reading your story and seeing your delicious bread, I’d definitely say you possess it. Already pinned lovely!
    Amy @ Amy’s Healthy Baking recently posted…Skinny Cookies ‘n Cream OatmealMy Profile

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