30 April 2011

The elusive quest for healthy banana bread

With a bunch of bananas browning at a rapid rate this past week, there was no better time but the present to tackle the ongoing and elusive quest for perfect a healthy and delicious banana bread. I have been fond of this treat since introduced to it by my mom and now having gone through a slew of recipes, I've discovered I like my banana bread rather simple. I want the rich, but clean flavors of vanilla and banana shining through, and the texture just right, with a surprise of raisin in the occasional bite. And guess what? I achieved just that with two great low fat recipes! Of course, if you prefer a more dolled up banana bread with spices and the addition of nuts, please customize this bread to your preference!

Banana Bread

  • 1 and 1/2 c of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c of sugar
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 c of fat free greek yogurt OR 1/2 c of softened butter and 1/2 c of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 bananas
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Fork
  • Spatula
  • Greased loaf pan (I used an olive oil cooking spray to get the job done)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Mash bananas up with a fork and mix well with eggs.
  3. Stir in remaining wet ingredients.
  4. Fold in dry ingredients to the banana mixture until well incorporated.
  5. Pour into loaf pan evenly. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the bread is cooked. If at 35 or 40 minutes the top is as brown as you would like and is at the texture you prefer, but the the bread still jiggles and does not come up clean, cover the the loaf pan loosely with tin foil and continue baking for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes and then allow to cool completely on a rack. Do not attempt to cover the bread in any way for at least 3 hours, or the moist bread will stick and get, well, icky, on whatever you have covered it with.
  7. As you can see, my breads came out as two different colors and slightly different heights. The one made with greek yogurt is the lighter looking bread, which to me appears untraditional, however I find the two have the same texture inside. The one made with a mixture of apple sauce and butter is the browner of the two then, and has a slightly harder and crunchier top, but for me isn't reason enough to bake it again with butter. Enjoy!
p.s. Cleaning out your fridge can produce extremely colorful dinners!

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