Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lightened Banana Bread (122 Calories per Slice!)

For years, one of my favorite recipes to make has been the banana bread from my trusty Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. However, the 1/2 cup of oil or butter makes it heavier than it needs to be. I am also not a fan of overly sweet things, and often use bananas as a "sweetener" in oatmeal or smoothies. Surely this bread could still be tasty with a bit less sugar, right?

Mmmm.... Tasty!
I cut the sugar, swapped out the oil for applesauce, increased the spices for a more flavorful bread, and also used half whole wheat, half white flour. Why not all whole wheat? I think that all whole wheat baked goods are often tough and overpowered by the taste of whole wheat. Using half white and half whole wheat will give you a lighter textured, tastier result. If you don't mind a denser bread or the taste of whole wheat, feel free to use all whole wheat flour! I also turned this into a "one bowl" recipe - it saves a few dishes and makes this even easier. It doesn't even take 10 minutes to get this in the oven. One last thing: I didn't think to take pictures of the first few steps, so please forgive my shoddy blogging!

How do I get 122 calories per serving? Well, for sake of ease, I don't include spices when I do calorie counts. The calories they add are negligible. (We're talking maybe 10 calories across the whole recipe.) It also saves me a lot of time when I'm adding up calories, something I do for pretty much every recipe I make. Adding 10 different spices that all are 0-3 calories for the amount I'm using is so frustrating and pretty pointless! Here are the calorie counts per ingredient, in case you are curious:

1 cup white flour - 440 cal.
1 cup whole wheat flour - 440 cal.
5 bananas - 525 cal.
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce - 50 cal.
1/2 cup sugar - 360 cal.

Total: 1955
1955/16 rounds to 122 calories!

Lightened Banana Bread
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Serves 16 - 122 Calories per serving.

I had already mashed the bananas before I decided to do a blog post.
Just pretend there are 5 very ripe bananas here, okay?
5 very ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. white flour
1 c. whole wheat flour

Preheat the oven to 350.

Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a potato masher. Add the eggs and use the masher to break them up a bit.

Add the applesauce and sugar and mix everything together.

Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix together.

Next, add the flours. Mix just until the flour is moist and everything comes together. 

There will be lumps. This is exactly how you want it!

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and shimmy it a bit to get it evened out.

Bake for 55-60 minutes. I usually start checking on the bread around 45 minutes - it has been known to be done much earlier than anticipated. When a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, it's done.
As much as it pains you to wait, let the bread cool before you cut into it. If I'm lazy I'll just let it sit on top of the stove, but I'm trying today so I moved it a few feet onto a cooling rack. As we've established, I'm lazy, so I usually keep the bread in the pan and just cut slices as needed. I cover it with aluminum foil once the bread is cooled and call it a day. Mmmm... Banana bread :)

1 comment:

  1. Embarassingly I'm a European newbie when it comes to banana bread but it always looked delicious on American TV, so I might just make this for brekky tommorow! You have such a lovely blog <3