I am a recent but completely devoted fan of banana bread. How come? I’ve been avoiding sweets and desserts my whole life because of the body weight, of course. I allow myself sinning only from time to time and with light sweets only. Nothing that includes too much sugar, chocolate or creams. That was the case a few months ago when I went to my friend Amy’s house for a cup of coffee and a friendly chat. She had just prepared a fresh banana bread that smelled so great I just had to grab a bite. Oh that combination of banana bread with coffee will haunt me my whole life.
Healthy Banana Bread
The best thing was that the loaf was moist, soft, light and sweet enough even without any sugar added. Amy told me she had stopped adding sugar in her banana bread because the banana acts as natural sweetener. Wait, what? Can banana bread actually be good for you? When I got home I started searching for healthy variations of banana bread and I realized I had been living in the dark all these years. I landed on an amazing banana bread collection on MyGreatRecipes that offers tons of low-fat and good-for-you-recipes.
The classic banana bread recipe is made with white flour, butter, egg, sour milk and refined sugar, but changing a few ingredients you can transform this sweet treat into a wholesome goodie.
Banana Bread Foundation
1.Flour. Replace the regular white flour, which has almost no vitamins and minerals, with whole wheat flour, oat flour, almond flour or any of them mixed with some flaxseed that brings protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
2.Sugar. As I mentioned before, the banana is sweet enough and you don’t really need sugar. However, if you insist on a sweeter treat use honey, stevia, agave, maple syrup or molasses to cut fat and calories.
2.Butter. You can substitute regular butter with nonfat butter, coconut oil or olive oil. You can also choose applesauce instead of butter.
- Sour cream. Some banana bread recipes call for sour cream which contributes fluffiness and moisture. Replace it with some nonfat plain Greek yoghurt which will produce the same effect but with less calories.
4.For those who want an extremely healthy treat, there are substitutes for eggs too. Try the chia eggs, for instance.
Safe Banana Bread Add-ins
1.Chocolate. If you are making a chocolate banana bread, make sure the cocoa powder you’re using is unsweetened (and if possible unprocessed) or use dark chocolate chips.
2.Nuts. All kinds of nuts work perfectly well in banana bread. Feel free to use them, they are full of proteins and perfectly healthy.
3.Try using chia seeds in your banana loaf. They are called superfood for a reason: they are low in calories and rich in antioxidants. Plus, they will add extra crunchiness to your bread.
4.Any fruits work great in banana bread. Try pumpkin, carrot, avocado, peaches, coconut, basically any fruit that comes to mind.
Here is a list of possible extras that you can add to the loaf completely guilt-free:
dark chocolate chips
peanut butter chips
chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans)
Try pairing your new favorite healthy banana bread recipe with a cup of tea that boosts your metabolism and helps burn fat, like green tea, oolong tea or mint tea.