Monday, June 17, 2013

Semi-Healthy Banana Bread

I LOVE banana bread. Like most of my baked goods, I always strive to make them at least a little bit healthier than the original recipe. Every little bit helps. I have seen recipes that say you can use all whole wheat flour and it is yummy. Well, I disagree. The texture and flavor are all wrong - when what you are expecting is a fully loaded piece of banana bread.

I have a standard recipe I have used for years. It came from a school fundraiser recipe cook book (Brown School Sampler - 1995). The recipe I really like is called Grandmother's Banana Nut Bread. I have made several tweaks to increase the whole grains and of course have omitted the nuts as my kids don't like nuts in things. I have also played around with the fat content in this recipe. Since there is only 1/4 cup to begin with, I usually don't bother. You can substitute up to half of the fat with a non-fat yogurt and still have a decent texture.

So, when I have bananas that look like this:

I know it is time to make some bread!

1/4 c shortening (or 2 TBSP shortening plus 2 TBSP yogurt)
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
2.5 TBSP milk
1/2 TBSP cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 SMALL bananas
(a total of 2 cups 'flour' is needed. The exact combination is not as important as the ratio of white flour to everything else. I would not use any less than 3/4 c white all purpose flour. The rest just depends on what I have on hand.)
3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 c wheat germ
1/4 c quick oats
optional: you can add nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
Mix everything together. If you don't have a mixer, you can certainly mix everything by hand, but you will want to mash the bananas first.

Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean. Sometimes I run into the problem of the top getting dark before the loaf is done. I check at the 30 minute mark and if it looks like it is getting dark, place foil loosely over the top of the bread. 

Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Until Later...

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