Friday, September 17, 2010

Banana Nut Bread

We had some bananas starting to look a little brown, so I decided to make a healthy version of banana nut of my many weaknesses! I searched the internet for recipes and finally decided on the one at To help cut down even more on the calories, I substituted sugar for Stevia (a 100% natural zero calorie granulated sweetener....this sweetener is better for you because it's raw, unlike Splenda or Sweet & Low which is man-made). Just substituting sugar for Stevia saved me 1,161 calories in my bread! If you want to omit another 160 calories from the bread, simply don't add toasted walnuts (but honestly they're worth the extra calories!). To toast walnuts (or any kind of nut for that matter), spread nuts evenly on a baking sheet and bake in the oven @ 350 for 8-10 minutes, very simple.
The bread smelled great while baking but I was a little disappointed when I took it out and saw that it did not rise much at all.....not sure what caused that since I am still a fairly new cooker and baker! However, the bread not rising did not take away anything from recipe! My husband and I both really like it. It's not too sweet, so it really is the best balance between bread and cake, but don't go thinking it'll taste just like one would in the have to sacrifice a little taste for a whole lot less calories! I will definitely be making this more often since it's great to have for a snack, dessert, or even breakfast (put a little light butter on it, nuke it in the microwave and there you go!). The only thing I will change next time is to substitute the oil for unsweetened applesauce. I meant to do that this time but forgot to pick it up at the store....that substitution can save another 300 calories or so.
The way I made the bread this time came out to having 156 calories per slice if you cut it into 10 slices (and those are pretty thick!). Happy Baking!

Banana Nut Bread Recipe
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 egg whites
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large)
1/4 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 8x4-inch or 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In large bowl, beat sugar, oil, egg whites, bananas, milk and vanilla until well blended. Stir in flour mixture until well blended. Stir in walnuts. Spoon into pan.

Bake 8-inch loaf 55 to 62 minutes, 9-inch loaf 45 to 52 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack.

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