So it’s finally official…I now have the necklace to prove it…I was part of the Saints’ Super Bowl winning season. I’m thinking I need a second one to keep it company – Two Dat?!?
Just had to show off a little…the real topic at hand, Banana Bread. Hilary’s roommate’s dad works for Chiquita and they always have a surplus of bananas at the house. Last month I inherited a box of them, and after sharing some with Jess and using a few for banana oatmeal, I still had a lot leftover. When life gives you bananas, make banana bread!
I never throw old bananas away. There is a bag in my freezer where all those past their prime are destined. While overly brown bananas are not good for eating out of hand, they are perfect when you want a strong banana flavor to shine in a recipe…for me that usually means banana smoothies and banana bread.
If made the right way, banana bread can be both moist and low fat…why?? Because the bananas are used to replace a lot of the fat (and sugar) in a standard quick bread recipe while keeping it from becoming dry and crumbly (the same can be done with applesauce and pumpkin). Beware, however, this is not always the case*.
Things that make this the “best” banana bread? Good vanilla extract (I sound like Barefoot Contessa), moistness from the yogurt, and the peace-of-mind knowing it’s healthy (thanks to the bananas and whole wheat pastry flour…I also add 1/2 a cup of King Arthur Harvest Grains blend).
By the way, this huge bottle of extract (32 oz) is an INCREDIBLE deal…it will last you forever and it is better than the imitation extract they sell in the grocery.
This bread is so delicious you will want to eat it for dessert and so healthy you won’t feel guilty eating it for breakfast. Perfect either way with an ice cold glass of milk (or milk with ice in it if you are me!).
Best Banana Bread adapted from The Fresh Loaf
Makes 12 servings
1 cup whole wheat (pastry) flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (go easy on it so it doesn’t overpower the banana flavor)
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 large(
1 cup Greek fat free yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan; set aside (I use a piece of parchment in the bottom as well). Combine dry ingredients together in large bowl; set aside.
Mix wet ingredients together in a medium bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I slice mine and then freeze the individual slices…so I don’t eat it all at once :)
Per serving (1/12th of the loaf): 162 calories, 4 g fat (2.2 g saturated), 26 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 5 g protein; Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fat
* Compared to Banana Nut Loaf from Starbucks: 490 calories, 19 g fat, 75 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 7 g protein
Or their Reduced-fat Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake: 390 calories, 7 g fat, 79 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein
Even if you cut my loaf into 10 slices it’s still only 195 calories and 5 g fat