Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Yummy, Healthy & Easy Banana Bread

One of the things that's challenging about being sugar-free is that so many things are off limits.  It has taken a lot of label reading over the past six months to learn what's okay to eat and what to avoid (almost everything in packages).

I love banana bread and haven't had it in ages.  As you could imagine, I haven't found a store-bought banana bread or mix that wasn't just loaded with sugar or HFCS.

A few months ago I baked a banana bread that had no sugar at all (no artificial sweeteners, no honey, no maple syrup, etc) and it was, shall we say, less than a favorite? I sliced it thin and slathered it with peanut butter and Babyface liked it, but he was the only one.

Most banana bread recipes call for at least a cup of sugar.  I made this banana bread recipe with just 3T of sugar (less than a quarter cup).  Since it bakes into a 10-slice loaf, I figured I could live with this very small amount and have the bread as a treat.
So good we ate some before I could take a pic

The applesauce in this recipe not only adds natural sweetness, it also reduces the amount of butter needed.  I also used the mixer rather heavily, adding air. This recipe is super easy to make and doesn't have any unusual ingredients.

Yummy, Healthy & Easy Banana Bread Ingredients:
3T sugar
2T butter, soft
1 beaten egg
1/4c unsweetened applesauce
3 mashed bananas
1t vanilla
1 1/2c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

First, here's a trick for mashing bananas.  Peel them, put them on a cutting board, then mash with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350*.

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and give it a few good stirs.

Cream butter and sugar for at least three minutes.  Add the egg and applesauce and mix for two more minutes.  Add the bananas and vanilla until well combined.  Add the dry ingredients half a cup at a time.  Pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan.

Bake for an hour or so at 350*.  The top gets golden but not very brown, so when a knife comes out pretty clean, it's ready.  Let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes or so, then cool on a wire rack. It's very moist and yummy.

Yummy, Healthy & Easy Banana Bread
Next time I would add some chopped nuts, pecans or walnuts.  I left them out this time because My Heart's Desire doesn't care for nuts in food.

It also freezes beautifully.  You can freeze slices, microwave them, then pop them in the toaster for that fresh-out-of-the-oven consistency.

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