Dense, moist and rich, banana bread can pack a lot of calories and fat in a single slice. You can modify banana bread recipes to reduce fat, calories and cholesterol while increasing fiber, vitamin and mineral content. A healthy whole wheat banana bread recipe offers the nutritional value of whole grains and ripe fruit with fewer calories and less fat. This recipe replaces refined flour with whole wheat flour and canola oil with applesauce, eliminating saturated fat and cholesterol.This recipe includes ripe bananas, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt, vanilla extract, and optional chopped walnuts. Bananas are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps you maintain a normal blood pressure. Using whole wheat flour to make banana bread boosts its nutritional value by adding fiber, B-complex vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, copper and manganese. The fiber in whole wheat promotes digestive health, helps you control your cholesterol and may reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. For a gluten free version, use whole grain spelt flour instead.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 4 large overripe bananas mashed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 2 cups of whole wheat or whole grain spelt flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350ºF (175ºC) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl combine the applesauce , eggs and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Returning to your mixing bowl, blend in the applesauce,eggs, sugar vanilla, and bananas until well mixed. Stir in the dry ingredients by hand, being careful not to over-mix; a few lumps are okay. Gently fold in the nuts if using. Spread the batter into your prepared loaf pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is browned and resilient to the touch. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes before removing it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Yields 10 -12 slices